Lately, my LinkedIn inbox has been overflowing. Message after message asking me to “jump on a call” to learn all about how their business can help me. Last week, one connection even offered to show me the basics of generating leads with LinkedIn?!
I’m sure your inbox looks a lot like mine. Vendor after vendor sending the same salesy messages thinking that they can drown out the competition by making a lot of noise and screaming over each other...
So, what do you do with those messages? I delete them.
How do you avoid being just another annoyance in your prospect’s inbox?
To stand out, you need to be seen as more than just another person looking to make a sale.
- You need a game plan that elevates you above the crowd and differentiates you from the competition.
- You need to be seen as the leader, the go-to person, the AUTHORITY in the eyes of your prospects
What if you decided to stand above the crowd… you would:
- Be seen as a leader
- Book more appointments
- Sign more clients
And, if you do these three things - your business will grow so fast, your competitors will struggle to catch up.
How to use LinkedIn Groups to Build Authority
The way to stand out is to develop your Authority platform. This means being an industry expert and thought leader for your prospects. By facilitation interaction and providing content, you become a resource for our prospects rather than just another vendor sending message after message asking for a phone call without providing anything in return.
The end results:
- Name recognition and awareness. This is important throughout your marketing. According to one study, 69% of emails are read or deleted based on whether the recipient recognizes the sender.
- Stand out from your competitors. There is a world of difference between approaching someone as the leader of a LinkedIn group they should join (benefits them) vs. begging them to get on a sales call (benefits you).
- Increased outbound lead generation results. People buy from people they know like and trust.
How to Use LinkedIn Groups to Position Yourself As An Expert on LinkedIn
So, what is the easiest way to position yourself as an expert?
Without hesitation, I recommend starting a group on LinkedIn.
When you are the leader of the group, the positioning increases the “know”, “like” and “trust” factor in your relationships. I’ve seen clients start to get some inbound results just from the positioning created by starting your LinkedIn group.
But, those preliminary inbound results are what make this approach effective. The magic lies in how the stronger relationships made possible through your expert positioning will increase the results of your lead generation efforts.
People join platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to connect with other people professionally and socially. Creating a LinkedIn group helps your prospects meet that need while developing a know, like, and trust relationship with you.
Although you can see results from any group, I especially recommend LinkedIn groups because they are very effective for positioning. In fact, on LinkedIn, our clients’ connection rates are 10-15% higher once they’ve started a LinkedIn group.
LinkedIn Groups - It Is All About Your Prospects
So, what’s the secret to creating a group that prospects will happily join?
Make the group about them. Your LinkedIn group name should entice your prospects to join. In your group, you’ll be sharing valuable content and resources that address/cover all of the interests, issues, pain points your prospects face and care about...that is the right way to use LinkedIn groups to be seen and positioned as an authority in the eyes of your prospects.
The example below is from our LinkedIn group - which we created for our prospects, small business owners who are interested in growing their businesses online. The group is all about them. Their wants. Their needs.
What does this do? It builds my team and I up as subject matter experts in an area that THEY care about. We’ve become a trusted resource.
The biggest mistake I see is people creating LinkedIn groups that are all about themselves and not about the clients.
The example below is from one of our clients, Tom Swip. He’s a software developer that focuses on building ERP systems for manufacturers.
Building a LinkedIn group about software development would just attract his competitors. Building a group about ERP systems is probably too narrow of a focus for most manufacturing leaders to join. The group has been extremely successful and has grown to include live events.
Leveraging Your LinkedIn Group To Make More Connections.
Once you’ve created your group, it’s important to include it on your profile. See how the fact that he is the founder of the Midwest Manufacturing Leaders LinkedIn Group is highlighted in his profile headline.
Now when manufacturing leaders see Tom’s profile they are more apt to connect with him because they view him as a leader or a peer rather than just another vendor.
Our clients notice a 10-15% increase in connection rates once they’ve established their LinkedIn groups.
Growing Your LinkedIn Group
Your LinkedIn group does not have to be big to be successful. My clients notice a 10-15 percent bump in connection request acceptances from the time they start the group. The size of the group is not the important thing.
However, inviting people to your group is a great way to start a relationship with them. You can offer your prospect value right from the start. Here’s an example of a LinkedIn group invite message sent via email.
Because this strategy is so effective, a number of the pre-written email campaign templates in Connect 365 include an option to highlight group posts and content in your messaging.
A Small Investment of Time That Pays Big Dividends for Your Outbound Marketing
Contrary to what you might imagine, managing your group does not need to take a lot of time. On average, our clients spend about 2 hours a week.
The time is spent inviting people to the group, approving memberships requests, and posting content. In return for that time, you’ll strengthen your authority platform which will lead to better relationships and more opportunities.
Sign up for my upcoming L.E.A.D Blueprint Workshop
A group can be the centerpiece of an effective lead generation strategy. Want to learn the rest of the story? I’ve recently developed a new workshop that goes step by step through the process that has been so successful in our clients’ businesses -- the L.E.A.D. Blueprint.
In the workshop, we’ll be teaching:
- Exactly what an Authority Leadership Platform is and how you can leverage our Authority Amplifier process to position yourself above the competition, putting your business on an entirely different playing field.
- How to target high-end prospects using online platforms (social media + email) in a unique way that builds instant trust by doing the polar opposite of what most ‘salespeople’ try
- How to develop real relationships online using a highly-personal Multi-Touchpoint Messaging Campaign to naturally guide the conversation towards an appointment
- The right way to automate processes that build trust, improve credibility, and increase responsiveness in your campaigns.
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