Social selling is about using the power of your personal brand to interact with your prospects on social media.
A majority of people jump the gun.
They skip the important first step of creating a strong personal brand, and move quickly to the social selling part.
The result? People don't trust them.
How do you build a Personal Brand?
Read our Personal Brand building guide to start from scratch.
Here are the basics:
Using your Personal Brand to do Social Selling
According to LinkedIn, 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don't use social media.
Social selling and a personal brand are hard to differentiate between once you get into it. So I'll break it down into easy to follow steps.
1. Follow your Target Audience
It's all starts with connecting with the right people. Who can you help? Who do you want to help?
Segmenting your connections
Segmenting your existing LinkedIn connections can be a time consuming process. Nevertheless here's a guide to segmenting your existing LinkedIn connections.
Building a targeted network
More convenient: Start with following your ideal target audience using LinkedIn search. eg. If you want to target Business Analysts in Belgium, type "Business Analyst" and then filter by location.
When you do connect with them, you should never start with a business pitch. Here are some bad examples:
Like any networking event, you never lead with a pitch. You want to connect with them over a common interest
Here's a good example:
2. Provide targeted value
Just because someone connected with you doesn't mean they're interesting in buying your product.
They need to know who you are.
They need to be convinced of your expertise.
They need to be able to trust you.
You can accomplish these goals by providing them with content that is valuable for them.
- Create content that is relevant for their industry, or particular issue they face.
- Create content they need to move forward and grow.
- Post on LinkedIn at least twice a week.
- Create LinkedIn posts instead of blog posts. Simple LinkedIn posts have a better reach than LinkedIn pulse articles, and they require less time to create.
To be able to do this regularly, you need to work with a monthly plan with content ideas plotted in the calendar. Check how Willow allows you to do just that.
You can find quite a few examples of how you can provide your audience with value in this e-book too.
3. The selling: Use your authority to pitch
Now that you have been creating and posting content focused on your particular audience, you have convinced them of your expertise, and to an extent gained their trust.
Now you can pitch.
Lead Generating Post
You can now create posts that pitch your service to your targeted audience.
Here is a great example.
It leads with the big problem.
Provides a clear call-to-action
Provides the exact benefits you'll get.
Learn more about what makes this such a great post here.
Here's another great example of a lead generating post.
It offers pure value which is fully focused on a particular target audience: marketers and copywriters.
Learn more about how this gentleman created a lead magnet using his Personal Brand.
Important Note: Both these posts would never have worked if they did not
- create a targeted following.
- build a personal brand by posting valuable content regularly.
4. Contact or Advertise
Great. You followed the right audience, nurtured them by providing valuable content, asked them to signal their interest by leaving their details under your post.
It is possible to extract the list of people who commented on your lead-gen post with a tool.
Now you have a refined list of people who are interested in your expertise and might be willing invest in your product.
You can now contact them directly or set up a LinkedIn Ad campaign targeting them and other profiles like them by importing that list into your LinkedIn Campaign Manager.
Why this Approach works
- There are more organic conversations about your product or service.
- It's easier to convince people to buy when you can already see that they're showing buying intent.
- Because of the authority building (through valuable content) the sales cycle becomes shorter.
If you're interested in learning more, here are some excellent resources on this topic: