“Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.” – Charles Eames
In the world of business, making connections is key and most people understand the way to do this is through networking. If you are great at networking, it can grow your business fast. At the same time, there are a lot of ways to make good connections. You can go to different events, conferences, or create your own event and invite the relevant audience to your event. But these methods consume a lot of time, and connecting to each and every person in an event is just impossible. Fortunately, thanks to technology and platforms such as LinkedIn, you can now network in the comfort of your office chair.
Since it is possible to connect to people in just a few clicks it is important to make sure that you have the right strategy. Here are 5 ways for you to be more successful using LinkedIn:Advertising
Identify Your Goal
LinkedIn is a professional networking site and with the millions of people that you can connect to in this site, you may get lost accepting and making unnecessary connections. This is the reason why you should be identifying your goal in using this. Do you want to build strong connections and get to know them better with the idea of developing a potential for collaboration down the road? Do you just want to see who the people in your network are working with? Are you looking for a new position? Whatever the goal that you have identified is, make sure to stick with it and always have it in mind when making and accepting connections.
Complete Your Profile
It is all about your profile. Since you are connecting to people via internet, they don’t know anything about you other than what they can see on your account, so make sure you have a complete profile. Start with a professional photo. Your photo should give the impression that you are a credible person and you can talk about business. Profiles with photos get 4x more views on LinkedIn. While you may enjoy taking selfies, this is not the platform to have that uploaded. Keep your selfies on Facebook and get a well taken professional headshot for your LinkedIn.
Make use of the summary section to write a good introduction about yourself, highlighting the milestones in your chosen industry and providing more information on your accomplishments. Write it in first person, as if you are talking to the reader. Don’t forget to put all of your experiences in your career and list all of the certifications you have acquired. Proof read and get someone else to proof read it for you. Ensure there are no grammatical errors. Nothing is a bigger turn off than a profile that is badly written.Advertising
Join LinkedIn Groups
Once you are done with completing your profile, start searching for things and topics you are interested in and start joining the relevant groups. Try to join at least 50 groups. This will expand your network quickly and you can also share relevant content in the groups and make use of the groups to gain the right connections.
This is also important for expanding beyond your current network as being active in certain groups will raise your profile for that topic.
Solicit Positive and Credible Recommendations
The first people you will connect to on LinkedIn are, of course, people you have worked with. To back-up your experience, skills, professionalism, and your whole personality as a professional, you should solicit recommendations. Start by going to the people you have worked with and giving them recommendations. Generally, they will then write about you in return. This will serve as a good reference for your prospects.Advertising
Never solicit recommendations from someone you don’t know. Also never recommend someone you don’t know. There are many people messaging strangers to for solicit positive recommendations promising a positive recommendation in return. This is fraud and should be avoided. Remember that your reputation is key so do not ruin it with such shady practices.
Connect to People with a Personal Touch
Connecting to people is often just a simple click for a request to connect. However, if you wish to be truly successful at creating great connections on LinkedIn, add a personal touch into it. Take a look at their profile and find out what commonalities you have. Send them a personal message mentioning the things you have in common and the person will be more likely to respond.
If you would really want to connect to a specific person and tried sending them a message but didn’t get a response, request for an introduction from a common connection. This normally helps to open doors easily.Advertising
Alternatively, check the groups that the person is part of and join that group. If you have seen that person commenting into something or have posted something, connect with them by replying. This will get their attention and may want to look into your profile. Again, add a personal touch when connecting to them.
Post and Share
To increase the exposure of your profile and get more people into your network, always create and post something related to your business on LinkedIn then share it on your social media accounts. For your posts, always think of your prospects or the group of people that you want to target. Make your posts especially for them so that you can get their attention. Research on a topic if you need to and create a unique idea from it to get your target market more interested. Be sure to tag your posts accordingly so that they can be picked up and shown correctly on Pulse.
I’ve given you the 6 ways on how to be more successful in LinkedIn. Just follow these ways and you’ll see the difference. Lastly, after you have done everything that I’ve told you, look at your profile and ask yourself – If I am the prospect, would I want to connect with this person on this profile? If you answered YES for yourself then you are doing a good job. If otherwise, go back to identifying your goal.
Featured photo credit: Stokpic via stokpic.com
Published on December 18, 2018
How to Brand Yourself and Make Your Business Stand Out
You’ve been in business for years and have finally hit your plateau.
The tactics you’d implemented for your customers aren’t working as they’ve used to. You feel like your business has fallen out of the spotlight and now you’d have to settle for any business you get. It’s how businesses work, right?
The truth is that some brands will fade off the business world–while others will adapt well and continue to grow. You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself for where your business currently stands. After all, you’d kept applying tactics that provided predictable results.
Instead, decide to not settle for average results and spend more time building your brand. To make your business stand out from your competition, you need to be unforgettable. But how can you?
In this article, I’ll cover timeless tactics that have worked for other businesses. If you apply these tactics correctly your competition won’t be able to copy them. Here’s how to brand yourself and make your business stand out:
1. Win Your Audience’s Hearts with Authenticity
The truth has always shined.
Even without the technology we have today, people always had a way of finding out if someone was lying. And, with everyone engaging in social media today, it’s hard to hide from the truth. Yet, this seems to be what many businesses fail to do.
For example, companies like Listerine have been fined for lying. A quick buck today won’t be worth it in the long run. Instead, practice being authentic to your customers and they’ll eventually rely on you.
Allow your customers to buy your products with a money-back guarantee – then deliver on your promise. Be consistent with the content you provide and stay true to your brand.
For example, if you provide coaching services for entrepreneurs, don’t sponsor irrelevant brands. If you stop caring about your brand’s mission, your audience will notice. They’ll question your integrity with your business and stop trusting your brand.
But if you gain your customer’s trust, you’ll start standing out from your competition. Your customers will feel safe purchasing from you since they’ll know you’re honest.
2. Share a Story No One Will Be Able to Copy
A few decades ago, a brand would’ve gotten away without being unique. That’s because back then starting a business was not accessible to most people. You’d either need enough money to launch your business or have the credentials. And even if you had all these qualifications, you needed to get past the gatekeepers.
Today, technology has disrupted many of the barriers that were present a few decades ago. For example, today a college student can launch a Podcast within a week. He can create a website in a few hours and record a few Podcast episodes. If he’s persistent, he can build a large following overtime and get paid by sponsors.
This is great news for aspiring entrepreneurs but there’s more competition than ever. You can only do so much before other businesses begin to copy you. But what no business can copy is your story.
That’s why you need to share your story with your audience.
For example, if you have a money blog, share how you’ve overcome your financial struggles. If you run a freelance writing business, share how you’ve overcome writer’s block. The more your audience can relate to you the better.
Without a story, your business won’t stand out. And if you copy what’s working for other businesses, you’ll experience short-term success.
Take some time to share your story with the world, your audience will love you more for it.
3. Stop Reinventing Every Single Thing
“Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.” – Anthony J.D’angelo
You may have heard that being original is the way to stand out. While this is true to an extent, you also shouldn’t be original when something is already working.
For example, if your competition has a successful Podcast in your field, then so can you. Don’t search for better alternatives to a Podcast if it’s already working.
Because this is a waste of time. Instead, copy what’s already working and make it your own. If your competition has a Podcast, figure out which areas you can improve and tailor it around your brand.
Knowing this you can now spy on your competition and determine which areas you can improve. But, know that it also works the other way around. Others will view your business and copy what’s working for you.
That’s why it’s important to stay true to your brand and be authentic with your audience. When you do, your competition won’t be able to copy your unique traits. Have an abundant mindset and feel confident for what your business has to offer.
4. Shine Because of Your Uniqueness
Stop trying to help the entire world and focus on helping a specific group of people instead.
I get it, you’re willing to help almost everyone because you want to bring in more business. But the truth is that if you resonate with everyone, you resonate with no one.
Take, for example, a marketing agency that helps businesses promote their product. This business doesn’t speak to anyone but gets occasional sales throughout the year.
But what if there was a similar marketing agency dedicated to helping real estate agents? If there was a real estate agent looking for help in marketing–who do you think they’ll choose? That’s why niching down is necessary if you hope to stand out from your competition.
Determine which customers you enjoy working with the most and determine which customers bring in the most revenue. Once you’ve gathered enough data, focus on servicing your ideal customer.
Don’t expect immediate results since this won’t be an easy transition. If you’re currently helping a narrow audience, slowly transition into a niche audience. Niching down is crucial to building raving fans.
5. Be the Brand Everyone Can Depend On
Being the brand your customers can depend on is important. How many times have you bought a product that’s failed on its promise? Or have settled for an average service?
Exceeding your customer’s expectations is a sure way to make your brand stand out. In the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, studies on human psychology prove that when you give to others, they’ll reciprocate. Offer your customers free consulting, a free ebook, or free quality content. Eventually, they’ll be happy to reciprocate after receiving value from you.
View what your competition is doing and surpass their offers. For example, if your competition offers a free 15-minute consulting call, offer 30 minutes. When you focus on helping others more, your customers will notice.
Make it your mission to serve your customers first and then worry about making a profit. Other ways for your business to be reliable is by inspiring your customers. That’s right, a business isn’t only about selling, it’s also helping customers achieve their goals.
For example, you can write content that will inspire your audience to take action. You can interview guests that will push your audience to break bad habits. Get creative and look for more ways in which your audience can depend on you with.
The Bottom Line
Imagine serving fewer customers and getting paid more than ever.
Despite the fierce competition, you’ve got fans wanting to buy your products and services. Although this may seem impossible right now, it’s not. If other brands have been able to stand out in a crowded industries, why can’t yours?
The truth is that standing out from your competition isn’t easy. There’s no secret formula that’s available to the rest of the world. The trick is to do what most brands are unwilling to do.
Many businesses don’t want to niche down because this will mean a loss in sales. But that’s sacrificing short-term gains for long-term success. Niching down is necessary to build a brand your customers will love.
Many businesses will spend a lot of money looking for ways to innovate, but won’t apply what’s working. But, not you.
You’ve got what it takes to stand out from your competition. Start slowly and master each principle covered here. Now go and make your business stand out like never before.
More Resources About Entrepreneurship
- 20 All-Time Best Entrepreneur Books to Make Your Business Successful
- Feel like Giving Up? 16 Way to Help Entrepreneurs Stay Motivated
- How to Start an Online Business That Will Grow and Succeed
- 12 Foolproof Tips for Entrepreneurs to Be Successful in a New Venture
- How to Start a Successful Business and Increase Your Profits
- How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur (15 Powerful Actions to Take Today)
Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com
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