As a part-time College Professor, one of the first assignments my students need to complete is an online audit and analysis of their digital footprint.
They are expected to log out of all their social media accounts, Google their name and answer the question: “From the lens of a recruiter, would you hire you based on your professional presence?”
Think about YOUR first impression online. What do your prospects see when they Google you?
Did you know that LinkedIn is one of the highest ranked sites when someone Google’s your name?
Hopefully you have a strong LinkedIn profile that wows and fascinates your prospects (If not, message me for a quote).
I strongly encourage you also complete this exercise to see how people see you.
- Is your Facebook content optimized for privacy?
- Are any of you posts wildly unprofessional?
Remember that most social media channels are set to public by default, so people can obtain access to a lot of your personal information.
You also should be mindful that you are a brand representative of your company – even in your non-working hours.
Once you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile, there are quite a few things you can do next:
LinkedIn is like an online Rolodex of your connections. Unlike the traditional Rolodex, you are often kept up-to-date when your connections have changed jobs, received promotions etc.
1. Continue to build a network of quality connections.
2. Deepen connections through ongoing contact and “social selling”.
3. Build thought leadership through status updates.
Step #1: Making First Contact
To convert clients, you must build trust. Trust is built over time and through multiple touchpoints (According to Forrester Research 11.4 touchpoints just to build brand resonance).
Remember that even though your messages are being sent from computer-to-computer, or device-to-device, we are fundamentally connecting human-to-human.
Social media is meant to be a complement to your sales and marketing efforts. Face-to-face or phone messages will undoubtedly convert your clients faster by building rapport and trust.
You can leverage LinkedIn to cast a wide net and lay the foundation for building your network of quality connections.
Who should you connect with? Anyone you’d exchange business cards with. This may include: past clients, current clients, business associates, vendors, neighbours, friends, prospective clients.
PRO TIP: Whenever possible do NOT send the standard LinkedIn “form letter” connection request. Personalize the request whenever you possibly can.
Step #2: Deepen relationships through “Social Selling”.
You have a “line of sight” with your clients and prospects that you didn’t have access to before the advent of Social Media.
Click “LIKE” on their posts, engage in conversation, send them articles you think they might find interesting.
Check in with people regularly and congratulate them on new client “wins”, or job promotions.
Each and every touchpoint can deepen your relationships.
PRO TIP: Don’t sell. Give value and be “of service”. Make the connection more about them than about you.
Step #3: Build thought leadership through publishing relevant content.
Every time you publish relevant and useful content to your audience, you are building on your brand as a thought leader.
How to get inspired to create content: Answer frequently asked questions, explain “how-tos”, write about events you will be attending or have attended, share your latest research or whitepapers.
Resources for curated content: You may wish to re-share content you find online. Or, use apps such as Pocket to bookmark content or Grapevine6 for curated content.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The more you time you dedicate to nurturing relationships, the more you will see a return on your investment. Spend a 10-20 minutes (or more) each week to bring value to your network.
Leslie was called a “Social Media Guru” by CBC Radio and was featured on CTV’s “The Social” discussing how to manage your digital identity. Leslie has been working in digital marketing since 1997 and founded PUNCH!media in 2009.
PUNCH!media clients include Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Investment Planning Counsel, and RBC.
Whether it’s through LinkedIn training or profile optimization, PUNCH!media’s goal is to empower executives with a powerful online presence so they can brand their business properly and convert higher-paying clients.
www.punchmedia.ca * firstname.lastname@example.org
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