Few entrepreneurs consider themselves good salespeople despite the fact that it’s vital to growing your business. This lack of confidence can easily be traced back to an issue connecting with people. Scott Aaron is a bestselling author, speaker, business coach, and LinkedIn guru who has the secret formula for using LinkedIn to network in new and effective ways. It all comes down to communicating rather than selling. Scott’s one big tip may seem simple, and that’s because it is!
Personalization is the Key
Automation can be an amazing tool for certain parts of running your business. Budgeting, updates, invoicing, and other tasks can easily be automated to take a substantial amount of mundane work off your hands. But one thing should never be automated, and that thing is communication. When you’re using LinkedIn to establish connections and reach out to potential customers, clients, or partners, Scott outlines what your goals should be. “You want to close more sales,” he says,” you want to build a better following, you want to create more trust, educate and inform instead of selling and telling them.”
The Layer Cake of LinkedIn
Scott breaks his LinkedIn connection strategy into four main components that you can apply to your own strategy right now.
Optimize Your Profile
“Let people know what you do, not selling and pitching, not selling and telling, but really informing people and educating them on what you do and how you help others.”
Building a Network that Reflects You
“We're always looking for the mirror image of ourselves. So when you can define your business avatar, as well as your client or customer that gets the best results from what you do, all you have to do is search and connect with them.”
Scott breaks the third step of his LinkedIn Layer Cake, messaging people, into a magic formula that goes a long way in establishing a connection with your target audience rather than pushing them away with cold sales language:
- “When you reach out to someone on LinkedIn, you start by mentioning their names.”
- “Let the person know why you're reaching out without pitching or selling anything.”
- “Finish with a call to action. If you don't finish with a question, you're never going to get a response.”
Create Great Content
Getting those connections is one thing, but you need to be able to offer them the value you promised. Scott recommends one piece of content per day. It can be an article, video, or poster, but it needs to speak directly to your audience. As Scott puts it, “the content that you put out there has to speak to people, not what you want to talk about, what they want to hear.” You need to educate and inform your audience rather than sell to them.
Keeping It Real
Following these guidelines is the best way to build, maintain, and serve your target audience, which ultimately helps your brand. “Those four layers of using LinkedIn,” Scott summarizes, “will separate you from everyone else. And that's my one big tip.”
If you’re interested in taking advantage of Scott’s LinkedIn boot camp, you can find everything on his website scottaaron.net and find a link to get a free infographic download that takes you through optimizing your LinkedIn profile.