The next big thing in marketing may just be happening on LinkedIn.
In the digital age, everything happens super fast.
Why Video Marketing?
The demands on our time are excessive and often, immediate.
Which is understandable. In the digital age, everything happens super fast.
Could this be why video and live feeds rate so highly on social media
and are given preferential (at the moment) positioning by those platforms?
That means that e.g. the way Facebook sets its algorithms determines what you see on your newsfeed.
But we do our best to flag what’s going on to our networks.
Marketing via LinkedIn Video
For instance, did you know that LinkedIn is rolling out their video offering?
I got the heads up from a connection on that platform.
Another good example of how we can all help one another ?.
Different Ponds for different marketing
It immediately occurred to me that I know of at least two SMEs who have fabulously successful businesses with business to consumer markets, and who, are positioning themselves to sell their businesses.
There’s another business ready to move to the next level and needs investors.
Suddenly, they need to be in a different pond to attract the right buyer/investor.
The business to business pond.
They’re more likely to find good leverage for their new goal from the LinkedIn network, than from Facebook business pages.
A lot of us are saying that LinkedIn has been slow coming to the visual party. Way behind Facebook for instance.
We all know how phenomenal Facebook Live has been for reaching and engaging target markets. But, hey LinkedIn, better late than never, right?
So far as Michelle and I are concerned, we strongly recommend that no one dismisses such new offerings.
You may not need it now. But like the businesses I’ve referred to, neither did they 12 months ago.
Now, it’s a whole new ball game.
You never know what the next opportunity might be! Or where, or from which platform.
So, it’s a really good idea, to maintain a presence across two or so key ones, and keep an eye on the others.
Here’s a great piece that explains what the LinkedIn offering will mean for businesses and for marketing those businesses:
LinkedIn’s new feature has the potential to be a game changer in B2B.
Networking ¬ (noun) – interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.
You hear the word networking bandied about with great regularity. Everyone always talks about the importance of building networks.
But what exactly does it mean?
Yes, yes. You and I both know it means making connections.
You meet people all the time. Attend formal networking functions. Join groups. Connect on LinkedIn.
Speaking of LinkedIn, it’s important to make sure that your profile is setting you up as the prize.It needs to showcase you in the best light and if you’re not sure that it is, grab my FREE guide here
Connections not working?
You’ve exchanged business cards, and have lots of ”connections”, but still, something seems to be missing.
What is frequently overlooked is that networking is all about maintaining as well as making connections.
It is not enough to just use a speedy few moments to get out your elevator pitch.
To build an authentic network, you need to do more than just an exchange business cards.
Business cards are not the be-all and end-all.
What is important is knowing and remembering some key points about them and their business.
Things like – what do you have in common? Do they have a problem you could help them with? Can you introduce them to someone who could be of value to them?
DO NOT just give them your card and hope they’ll get in touch. That is not networking – it’s more like a face to face letterbox drop.
You need to nurture your connections.
Offer support and help where you can, with no expectation of gain.
When you next turn up to a networking function be sure that you’re ready to create and maximise all opportunities. You never know who you will meet!
Do not consider what they can do for you – it’s about what YOU can do for them. And I don’t mean it’s about what you can sell them. That’s just icky, and pushy!
From personal experience, I can honestly say, that some of my very best opportunities have come from the least expected places.
Networking & Referrals
As you build the relationship, you gain trust.
When trust exists connections start to open up, referrals happen and business starts to flow your way.
I love referring people to others in my network.
But…… I’ll only do it when I know the person I am referring to is trustworthy.
By that I mean, I know they’ll be upfront about what they can deliver. They’ll be professional.
This will, in turn, build further trust in me.
Why? Because I have referred the right person for the task at hand. It’s good for my own networking.
Can you see how this works?
Referrals are a privilege awarded when you are an authentic networker.
With a strong and authentic network, you have a powerful tool. These are people you can turn to in your times of need. But, not until you’ve built a solid foundation of trust.
Networking is something that is ongoing. It needs to be valued and nurtured.
To your success!
Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.
Love it or not, LinkedIn has been a standard bolt-on tool to business networking for long enough that it’s now an expectation.
Maybe, like me, you buckled under the expectation of peers, colleagues or clients, and ended up on LinkedIn because it just said too much about you not to be.
Like, ‘Really, you’re not on LinkedIn?!’ accompanied by the sort of facial expression reserved for inspecting fossils and other oddities from antiquity.
I’m enough of a dinosaur to remember the advent of cellular phones.
That was back when the first mobile phone (the ‘transportable’) weighed a ton, cost the earth, and was commonly known as ‘’the brick” for its unlovely looks and hefty weight. I expect you can still find one in a museum somewhere.
As a fledgling Vodafone sales rep it was my job to convince the reticent that they could not do without one. Never mind that lugging one of those things around gave you arms the length of an orangutan’s.
A day now without our mobile feels like a limb is missing and we can barely function.
Can we function without LinkedIn?
Sure. And quite happily.
The last thing a busy person wants is one more digital platform to keep pace with. Who really wants an already bulging to bursting in box pinging with new notifications that someone has checked out our LinkedIn profile, changed their profile pic or has worked at ABC Inc. for exactly 12 months today (should I send flowers, a cake)? Not me!
Yet I’m on LinkedIn. I may have landed on there simply to shut up my eye-rolling business associates and to disprove the theory that I’m a relic from the Land that Time Forgot, but given enough time, even a curmudgeonly crustacean like me, has to ‘fess up and say that it hasn’t been all bad.
OK, so it’s been more than worthwhile, once I’d sussed out the Missing LinkedIn Link. Because once you get a handle on LI it does open doors. No apologies for the pun.
What’s the Missing Link in LinkedIn?
To be fair it’s not missing. But it’s easy to miss amongst all the self-promotional fluff and flannel on there.
To get the most out of LinkedIn, you just have to use it, using good old fashioned networking skills. That’s the missing link to LinkedIn networking and opportunity creation (and not just for yourself).
These networking skills are a lot different to just mouse clicking like and periodically updating your profile brag sheet. Not that you shouldn’t have a great brag sheet. You should!
And you should be supporting your network with likes and comments and contributing with shares and posts of your own. But that’s just maintenance of presence stuff. And if that’s all you want LinkedIn for that’s fine. At least folk can find you if they want to.
I’m a salesperson so I expect a better ROI on my time and I want to be a bit more proactive than simply waiting for someone to fall over me.
I’m also an authentic person and I don’t want to engage anyone, however strong the connection, in any way that’s not authentic. I want to enjoy my connections.
Otherwise, it’s just too boring. LI doesn’t need to be a deep and meaningful experience for me. But it does need to be meaningful to be worthwhile – and that’s where the true value lies within LI.
Never lose an opportunity
Over the years, LI has proved to be a source of some choice opportunities that would not have come my way, had I not had a presence on that platform.
The alternative – not being on LI – would have simply meant that I’d have been unaware and unavailable to those opportunities and introductions. And that’s a key point – I’d have been ignorant of what I’d missed out on.
Ignorance may be bliss, except when it’s costing you an opportunity. A state which results in looking on (green-eyed) at your peers and competitors and thinking “she has all the luck” or “how does he get all the breaks” or “I can’t believe that dufus got that job/contract/client ….”
Are You Missing a Link?
If you’re already on LinkedIn and thinking “Huh, it’s been as much use as a chocolate teapot” in terms of opening doors for you, it’s possibly because you’re not actively using the medium to its full potential.
Maybe you haven’t found the Missing Link to making it work for you.
It’s kind of like having a membership to a club and never using it or turning up to any functions and then deciding it’s useless because you haven’t met anyone.
When Michelle and I started out with Dragon Sisters, we used to run networking workshops.
It was never a surprise to us that successful, competent business people, were just as cowed by the prospect of walking into a room full of strangers, as the less experienced workshop participants.
It just didn’t come naturally to go in cold and to engage, interact meaningfully and to come away with a value-adding experience from in-person networking events or functions which presented networking opportunities (in our book anywhere anytime is an opportunity to connect and network).
On line and offline the same networking principles apply, and that includes using the LI opportunity effectively. Putting in the missing link in how you use LI means you never lose an opportunity. But to do that you need to make sure you have a profile that makes you shine!
The Bigger Picture
Don’t be vain about who you invite to, or accept at, your LinkedIn table. Remember that helping out youngsters and start-ups can be rewarding in many ways.
Focussing only on a certain level of professional connection out of a sense of self-promotional reflective kudos can be counterproductive, as can the obsession with the number of connections you have.
Michelle and I have always believed in paying forward. We were lucky that seasoned professionals helped us when we were green, young and didn’t know what we didn’t know.
My LinkedIn connections include bright young things who have worked for me. Anytime I can give them a leg up I will.
Funnily enough, I sometimes get offers from companies reference checking my past employees and even the odd synergistic new connection from those managers and directors.
One day these bright young things will be directors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders themselves. That’s the bigger picture. Exciting, isn’t it?
Have fun networking!
Yvonne Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.