LinkedIn is quickly emerging as the go-to social media platform for B2B professionals. If you’re not utilizing what is essentially the biggest networking event in the world that people show up to EVERY DAY – you’re missing out.

Which is what most people are doing. Missing out on a huge pool of potential leads.

Luckily for you, if you’re one of the few who use the platform daily to post and engage, you’re ahead of the curve. Most people on LinkedIn are LURKERS; allowing their potential leads to be lured in by louder, more prominent voices on their feeds.

Ready to optimize your LinkedIn profile and up your LinkedIn game?

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  • Put a face to the company 🙂

Most people don’t take even the most simple step to LinkedIn optimization – uploading a profile photo.

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Trust us, LinkedIn is alllll about the human-to-human connection. Instead of reaching out to your target audience through a series of ads promoting your company, promote your company on LinkedIn through the greatest ambassador it has – you! People do business with people they like. Upload that professional profile photo and let people put a face to the company so you can start building some relationships.

  • Create a Background Photo 📷

Most people don’t take the time to upload a background photo to their profile either. If you’ve got one, you’re already one step ahead of the competition. A background photo gives you the opportunity to add some personality to your profile and really makes your page stand out. As a bonus, consider creating a banner image with your company logo to cement your brand into profile visitors’ minds! Ideal LinkedIn banner image sizing is 1584 wide by 396 high – an exact 4:1 proportion. Stick to those proportions for the best fit.

  • Use keywords with intent! 🎡

Don’t just spam your profile with keywords. Pick your top couple of keywords (AKA the type of work you are looking to do, not just everything that you have experience with) and use those in your headline and profile summary.  Do you want to attract leads based on what you’ve done in the past or has your target market evolved since then? If the latter, don’t place keywords on your profile relevant to the former.

  • Get creative with your profile URL 🎨

What’s the primary benefit you offer your target market? Let’s say you’re a digital marketer that generates insane leads for your clients. Instead of the generic linkedin.com/in/FIRSTNAME-LASTNAME1234 try something like linkedin.com/in/LeanMeanLeadGeneratingMachine. It’s the little things sometimes!

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  • Write an article 📝

Articles on LinkedIn are super important because they grant you the opportunity to establish yourself as an authority figure in your industry. Even with just one article written, when leads visit your profile and see that you have that article written up, you’re gaining trust and industry recognition. Hint – you are totally allowed to upload an article you wrote on another social platform or website.

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  •  Repurpose your articles. 🌈
    Wrote that amazing long-form article? Great! Now you can repurpose that one long-form article into a million short-form LinkedIn posts.

  • Get recommended! 👥

No recommendation? Recommendations are super important for establishing yourself as a priority figure on LinkedIn. Just one recommendation sets you apart from 99% of people on LinkedIn. Even though we all communicate increasingly by email and text, this is an instance where you should pick up the phone and talk about your request. If you do go the written route, delete the generic text and write something personal. Be specific, too. Ask them to recommend you for your recent project or work you did for their company. That being said, here is a template for a written recommendation request:

Hi (Name),

I hope all is well with you! I just read this piece and thought it would be particularly valuable to you as I read it: (PIECE LINK).

Anyway, I’m really proud of the work we’ve done together and look forward to working with you again. Would you be willing to write a bit about our collaboration and what the results were like with a recommendation?

I want to be respectful of your time so I’ve taken the initiative of starting a draft for you based on previous remarks you have made about me so you would just need to touch it up and submit. I am also more than happy to return the favor.

I know a recommendation from you will really elevate my profile but if you are busy, no worries.

Warmly,

(You!)

We hope these tips have you feeling like the LinkedIn pro we know you can be! That’s all from Ajax Union.

See ya next time!

 

Want to join the Ajax Union LinkedIn Authority Blueprint Webinar to learn how to become an authority on LinkedIn in 3 easy steps? Visit www.ajaxunion.com/blueprintwebinar.

Want to setup a call with Joe to discuss? Pick a time from his calendar www.joeapfelbaum.com/talk

Want the numbers? Check out the stats: www.ajaxunion.com/linkedinstats

 

Most people don’t realize but there are over 500 million people on LinkedIn and many of your potential clients are using LinkedIn daily.

LinkedIn is the biggest networking event in the world and people show up everyday. The question is, how do you leverage LinkedIn to get long term results?

An entrepreneur asked our CEO, Joe Apfelbaum, about his results from LinkedIn recently and this is what Joe told him.

For a long time, he was not getting much results from LinkedIn so he ignored it for the most part. One day, he started to take some action to see what happens and after a few weeks of constant action, Joe got two big leads. One of the leads turned out to be a waste of time but the second lead closed for 180k.

He realized that if you don’t take constant action, you won’t get consistent results. Joe committed to analyzing 1 million LinkedIn connections and started on his LinkedIn journey.

Here are 3 simple steps to leverage LinkedIn to get the maximum amount of results from the platform, directly from Joe.

1. The first step is to Recognize. That means you must figure out why you are on LinkedIn. What is your core purpose for being on the platform and what do you want to get out of it? For Joe, he wants three things. The first thing he wants is to be top of mind with existing contacts and research new contacts. The second thing Joe wants out of LinkedIn is to build relationship with ideal referral partners and the third thing is to get new business. You see how his last goal is to get new business? It’s because the first two goals lead to the 3rd. Most people are focused on the outcome and they forget about the process that leads to the outcome. Sure, you need to have your outcome top of mind but more importantly – you must understand what will lead you to that outcome and you must not engage in the urgent at the expense of the important. Stephen Covey talks about this in his book the seven habits of highly effective people. Networking and staying top of mind is important and closing deals is urgent. Which one will you spend most of your time on? So step one – recognize – is to have a goal, understand your target and identify the value you bring to your relationships.

2. The second step to leveraging LinkedIn is to Strategize. That means that you must have some type of playbook that you work off. That playbook must have checklists, scripts, messaging and include your plan in it. If you wing your LinkedIn activity, you will have results that are up in the air. Working off of some type of a playbook will help you stay focused and not get lost in the abyss of LinkedIn. People are putting out content and you do not want to spend time consuming random content on LinkedIn. Instead you want to stick to your plan. Once you have a playbook, you must create a dashboard where you can track your activity and the results you get. Joe’s LinkedIn dashboard has a list of all of his connections and they are sorted by the most important ones. Joe also keeps track of how much proactive time he spend on LinkedIn each day so that he can look back and see exactly what he spends his time doing. Finally, you need to optimize your profile and have a good strategy for what you want people to do when they actually check you out e.g you probably want a call to action to message you. That means you need the right photo, the right headline and an amazing summary. You want great experiences, skills and accomplishments. Make sure your contact information is up to date. So, step two is  – strategize – this includes your playbook, dashboard and profile.

3. The third and final step to a successful LinkedIn journey is to Prioritize. That means you need to take the right actions each day. How do you spend your time? For Joe, it’s about Planting, Nurturing and Outreach. What does it mean to plant? That means to create content and put it out there. There are 5 types of content that I like to put out there. There are articles, videos, posts, links and images. You want to make sure that you have everything you will be posting in advance organized in your dashboard so that you know what to plant when it comes time to plant each day. Nurturing is done in two ways – the first is through connecting with comments and likes and the second is through messaging with value and invites. Finally, the part that makes your account grow in the right direction is outreach. Reaching out to dozens of new connections that will get you more referrals and build your network on a daily basis.

“Most people that I know are busy on LinkedIn doing random acts of networking. That is why I love teaching people how to leverage their social media networking so that they can start getting real results from their efforts.” -Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union CEO

Want to join the Ajax Union LinkedIn Authority Blueprint Webinar to learn how to become an authority on LinkedIn in 3 easy steps? Visit www.ajaxunion.com/blueprintwebinar.

Want to setup a call with Joe to discuss? Pick a time from his calendar www.joeapfelbaum.com/talk

 

 

In an age where prospects are more educated than ever, we the marketers need to be able to offer tailored information based on what stage the prospect or lead is in. Marketing funnels are completely about stage, and without staging your efforts, you will end up with one hot mess of a marketing campaign.

Think of marketing funnels as you would a fine dining experience. Your meal typically will begin with an appetizer, followed by your main course, then dessert. The server knows not to offer you something off the dessert menu when you first sit down at your meal. Guiding your prospect through a lead marketing funnel is only natural, and easier than you may think.

Marketing’s three-course meal can be broken down into the following three categories: ToFu, MoFu, Bofu.

 

TOFU: Top of the Funnel

This is the very top of your sales funnel. You’re dealing with a larger audience of leads, and while there is targeting involved, you’re not discouraging anyone nor filtering out too many leads at this point.

You should be offering lead magnets, freebies, and showing off your brand to the new prospect. This can be in the form of relevant blog articles,  videos, or free seminars. Call-to-actions come into play once your lead seems to be a conversion opportunity, meaning they’ve stayed on your webpage for longer than two minutes, etc.

Your goal should be to educate your audience, identify any problems they may be experiencing which may have led them to your page, and begin to position yourself as the industry expert.

 

MOFU: Middle of the Funnel

The moment your lead converts from the initial ToFu offer (say, they signed up for your newsletter because they downloaded a free white paper or content asset from your website), they enter the MoFu stage.

At this point, your lead still isn’t quite fully qualified, and many times the lead will drop off here if what you’re offering isn’t matching their needs fully… and that’s totally okay. That is the point of the MoFu stage: don’t get discouraged when a lead drops off! It’s better to qualify at this stage than the latter, or the next one.

In this stage of the funnel, your content should continue to educate but also start the process of positioning your company as the solution to the lead’s needs and challenges. You want to build credibility in this stage, cementing your business as THE solution for their problem.

 

BOFU: Bottom of the Funnel

You and your lead have created a relationship at this point, and they may be ready to take the next step. You had the proverbial main course, and now comes the sweet stuff: The profit for you, and the solution for your lead.

This is your chance to go in for the sale via the information that has been shared previously between you and your lead. This is where a trial run comes in handy, or a discount code: you want to ease your lead into their purchase by incentivizing the first purchase and providing value, while establishing urgency around making the purchase.

Many companies have developed methods to automate this process, however, depending on your business, automation may or may not be the best option. The most important goal is to remain honest, and provide value to your lead every step of the way, and to not get discouraged if a lead falls off the funnel.

The key to success is to track prospects at each stage of the journey so your sales team will be set up for success. Your marketing team will gain valuable insights, and your business will thrive!

Episode 5 of our monthly marketing podcast dives deep into the existential realm of social media. We talk about the questions no one is asking, the taboos, the news, and the evolution of the anomaly that is social media. Tune in and make sure you bookmark our blog for more marketing goodness.

Ajax Union is a full service digital marketing agency based in Brooklyn, New York.

Episode 4 features host Phillip Lanos interviewing Ajax Union’s Creative Director and her approach to branding.

Ajax Union is a full service digital marketing agency based in Brooklyn, New York.