If you want to find and be found grow your connections. And if you want to connect grow your engagement.

LinkedIn with over 500 Million members is a formidable platform for prospecting. You will find more information on an employee on LinkedIn than in the employer’s HR system. On Linkedin, you will find valuable insight on company employees (Such as Average employee tenure, Employee distribution and headcount growth by function, Recent senior management hires, Notable company alumni, Total job openings, who are you connected with the company and much more.) But not everyone knows how to leverage such powerful insight. Am sharing a seven-step formula to awaken the LinkedIn Social Selling genie

  1. LINKEDIN PROFILE: Building your LinkedIn Profile is an art. The first thing anyone notices is your picture, name and your title. You can’t change your name but you can certainly post-professional image and title that speaks to LinkedIn members. Secondly, work on your background image – it’s your real estate, paint a picture that resonates with your Brand. And finally, complete your profile and continue updating it every three months. But remember Antoine de Saint words “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away“? I recommend www.360social.me to Know more about the person you are looking for.
  2. SEARCH AND NETWORK: Connect with your friends, colleagues, customers, prospects, and referrals. Search is the core of LinkedIn. Search them using Boolean search and connect to grow your 1st degree and 2nd-degree meaningful connections. Remember “Rome was not built in a day” because building your network is a gradual process. I recommended book authored by Porter Gales “Your Network is your Networth”
  3. RESEARCH AND NURTURE: Research your connections and nurture them. “Seth Godin,” the marketing Guru says you don’t need a big network to go viral. You simply need 1000 true followers and if they “word of mouth” and “share your content” it can go viral. Remember to continuously grow and nurture your tribe. I recommend “Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us” book authored by Seth Godin 
  4. ENGAGE: “Engagement creates visibility and visibility creates opportunity” Like, share and comment on relevant posts and send out personalized messages on triggered events such as Birthdays, job change, Anniversary, awards and promotions. Like means “we think alike or we share something in common,” Share means “I trust you” and comments means “I have an opinion” I recommend “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” book by Dr. Robert Cialdini
  5. LISTEN: Be the RADAR and zoom into your (CPR) customers, prospects and referrals activities. Listen to a job change, Birthday, spurt in hiring or redundancies, posts or request for help and advice. In face to face conversation when you listen you show respect. In a digital world when you listen and respond you accumulate attention and influence decisions. “Listen, Help and Win.”
  6. MEDIA HOUSE: On Social Media platform “Content is king.” Creating and curating meaningful content is the core of social selling. Be the MEDIA HOUSEand post content daily. Write long format post and influence decisions. Disciplined blogging on periodicity pushes you to acquire new experiences and add on new connections. Hence read and acquire new experience to craft meaningful blog posts. I recommend www.paper.li to create your Newsletter for your CPR ( Customer, Prospects, and referrals)
  7. InMail: The name of the game is Personalization. Ensure every post of yours adds value. Every InMail is personalized and when possible triggered by intent data. LinkedIn research says that a standard email response rate is around 3%, InMail response rate is around 10% but response rate for InMail triggered by Intent data is as high as 30%. To write catchy titles check out URL www.headlines.sharethrough.com

Finally if you are still short of prospects, check out “members who like, share or comment on your prospects and competitors post”; “members who engage similar posts”; “Investigate Your Competitors’ Networks”; Look at the “People Also Viewed” Sidebar (right side of your customer profile).

And finally, my take home message is “Learn, Unlearn and Relearn” because “the snake that cannot shed its skin dies”