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In this interview, Steve Phillip, a leading Coach and Expert on using LinkedIn shares his approaches and explains how his clients are using LinkedIn. The interview covers the basic such as overcoming barriers to entry, avoiding the common mistakes, strategy planning for first time adopters, plus more advanced tips and hints on how to use this successfully. Barriers and solutions to using LinkedIn to generate B2B business
Q. From your personal experience of working with companies who are new adopters to LinkedIn , what would you say have been the main barriers for companies and how should they overcome them?
I'd say there are the 2 main issues here:
Q. How have you worked toward helping clients overcome these barriers?
Firstly, our training programmes are always linked to the client's measurable objectives.
Where the client sees a direct link between using LinkedIn and business outcomes then they become more motivated to use it.
Secondly, our training programmes provide continuity support and follow up to review progress made by our clients and providing additional coaching.
We find that training and a well planned, focused social media strategy will help clients increase their sales, create new opportunities and gain increased ROI through this social media platform. For example, working with EnviroVent’s sales teams, he overcame their barrier to adoption by providing easy to follow steps and giving them the confidence to join in discussion groups. As a result, they received an order that represented 33% of their sales territory annual target.
Q. What have been the common mistakes which companies are making which we can all avoid?
It's simple. Lack of a clear strategy is the biggest mistake. Users sign up to LinkedIn but then have no clear plan in mind how they will use it.
Q4. What advice would you give to a company with planning their LinkedIn strategy, if they have little resource?
They should be clear about who they need to be building relationships with and be specific - Industry sector, company, job title of relevant decision maker, geographic location and then share information; news updates; web resources; own blog content etc that will be of value to their network.
Also make a decision to focus on one or two aspects of LinkedIn, such as networking and engaging in discussions in 3-5 LinkedIn groups maximum.
With limited resource, it will become extremely time-consuming to attempt to work in more than 3 groups really, whilst searching for new prospects - using Advanced search, checking who's viewed your profile and posting status updates.
Also decide, which aspects of LinkedIn will help you to engage with the right business connections and focus on these only.
Q5. Can you name your top 5 features in LinkedIn which companies can use to create leads or brand awareness?
Almost every aspect of LinkedIn will have an impact on generating leads and raising brand awareness, but here are my top 5 tips of practical actions you can take to support business goals:
Q6. From your experience of working with non corporate LinkedIn members (individual profiles), what benefits have you seen them realise?
Benefits have been varied, from saving time, to generating new sales and raising brand awareness and increased website traffic. Many are finding the quality of resource information available on LinkedIn incredibly beneficial, probably one of the reasons that LinkedIn is placing considerable emphasis on content sharing going forward.
By Steve Phillip
Steve Phillip is a recognised Expert in the area of personal branding and leadership coaching, Founder of Linked2Success. When it comes to helping companies apply social media to their business development and relationship goals, he understands the importance of individual and team strategy to ensure that tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are used toward specific and measurable business outcomes. Based in Harrogate, he speaks around the UK and is known for energetic, inspiring and informative presentations on LinkedIn, personal branding and business networking strategies. You can connect with him via LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.
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