546.000.000 Opportunities for Business Development
To be visible and get requests as a firm, there is no longer the need for a large team. Yes, since 2002, businesspeople have had an unprecedented tool at their fingertips: LinkedIn. This business-oriented social network currently has more than 500 million users and while that doesn’t mean you can simply click on a name and begin a promising business relationship, it doesn’t have to be that hard, either.
If you’re one of the many people who have struggled with or maybe even given up on LinkedIn, this execution plan may be for you. I’m going to show you how to turn this powerful social media platform into your ultimate tool for landing meetings with the clients you want. Yes, LinkedIn is an interesting ad-on in your marketing-mix.
Positioning Your LinkedIn Profile for Success: Add it to your marketing mix
The biggest problem I see as a LinkedIn consultant is that my clients haven’t put much thought into their profiles. Usually, they’ve just pasted their old resume into this space.
This is a huge mistake. On LinkedIn, all a potential client can judge you by is your profile. Does yours win interest? Does it make someone excited to hear from you? Does it get them thinking about what you could do for their business?
Creating Your Impact Statement
The first thing I tell my clients to do is to come up with an impact statement. Simply put, an impact statement succinctly summarizes the impact you have had on a past client’s business. When a potential client sees your profile, you want that impact statement to have them thinking, “Wow. This is definitely someone who could help me.”
Fortunately, as important as they are, impact statements are also incredibly easy to create:
- What – What is a major accomplishment that would interest your clients?
- How – How did you accomplish this feat?
- Why – Why was this accomplishment of value to your client?
For example, you might say:
“Created a lead generation funnel using Facebook Ads to target younger clients that earned $10,000 in revenue.”
Then you want to reduce the entire statement to just seven words. This will ensure it gets read. So you would change the above to:
“Created $10,000 in revenue through Facebook Ads.”
You can always elaborate on this accomplishment after you’ve earned someone’s attention.
Always begin your impact statement with a strong action verb (e.g. created, planned, established, grew, etc.) Make sure you quantify your accomplishments, as well. Saying you increased profits is nice, but saying you “improved profits by 5%” is far more powerful.
Defining Your Unique Selling Proposition
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is what sets you apart from your competitors. You can think of this as a far more specific version of your actual job title.
So perhaps your business card says, “Sales Consultant.”
That may be accurate, but it’s not nearly accurate enough for a USP. There are millions of sales consultants in this country. Why should a potential client decide to take time out of their busy day to sit down and talk with you? Why do you deserve their time more than the other millions of people who share your title?
You’ve probably heard some version of the old sales adage, “If you’re trying to sell to everyone, you won’t sell to anyone.”
That advice may be cliché, but it’s 100% true and is completely relevant to your LinkedIn profile’s USP.
So to whom are you trying to sell? Where is your expertise? Where have you had the greatest impacts?
Let’s say your current title is “Sales Consultant.”
Whom do you consult?
Okay. What kind of IT companies? Small businesses? Startups? Fortune 500s?
“SME IT companies.”
Any in particular? What kinds of services do these clients specialize in?
“SME IT companies that specialize in cloud hosting.”
We could continue this exercise, but you probably see the point. Your USP needs to be as specific as possible when it comes to what you do. This will greatly reduce your pool of competitors. After all, the more you zero in on a certain skill set, the smaller the list of people who share it.
Furthermore, hyper-specific USPs do a better job of speaking to the unique qualities of a prospective client. Sure, you begin to limit the list of people who will fall into your niche, but the result will be that you position yourself as extremely qualified to those whom you are qualified to help.
You want potential clients saying, “This person is exactly what my company needs. They understand what we do.”