Wouldn’t it be great if you could reach your target market and scale your business without spending any money? Charlotte Carter, founder of Mad As A Box Of Frogs – a company specialising in social media strategies for the trades – looks at why one particular platform could offer that missing link.
In my experience, LinkedIn is an increasingly effective tool to assist in both B2B sales and marketing. But what exactly is LinkedIn and how can it help you grow your business and achieve company goals?
LinkedIn is essentially a social networking platform with over 660 million users across the world. The key to cracking this particular platform is to pick a strategy and be consistent with it.
It’s well known that, as a nation, the British struggle with receiving compliments. We’re renowned for being too polite, never complaining at restaurants (even when the food is awful) and generally being far too apologetic. Indeed, receiving a compliment can often turn one red in the face, with no other response than a coy ‘thank you’.
It’s no surprise then that many individuals struggle with singing their own praises, especially when society has taught us that we must be understated and quietly confident rather than bragging.
But, if you don’t tell people what you do well, how will they ever know?
A large portion of SMEs grow their client base through recommendations. This is associated with less risk, but it can also be a slow process. If you’re looking to scale your business and grow your turnover, stop waiting for Joe to tell Harry about you. You must tell Harry yourself!
Typically in B2B sales there are four types of customers: price buyers, value buyers, relationship buyers and poker player buyers. All fairly self-explanatory.
If you could only pick one, I can guarantee the majority of SMEs would choose either relationship buyers or value buyers every time. The benefits are obvious but the difficulty comes, of course, in demonstrating why you’re the best value option for them, especially if you’re not the cheapest.
And what about relationships? When you have a multitude of jobs to complete and multiple customers to keep in touch with, managing relationships effectively can be a struggle to say the least.
Wouldn’t it be great then if there was a way to:
1. Keep customers up-to-date with your latest projects
2. Let them know about the services you provide
3. Connect with new end users and main contractors as well as accessing decision makers
4. Keep up-to-date with their businesses and spot opportunities for you to help them
Is it all really possible though? Alongside running your business, you still have to find the time to eat, sleep and walk the dog.
LinkedIn is a great solution to this need and can be used for multiple purposes, including: as a research tool, a communication platform, a window to display your work, a platform for customers to actively endorse you, and somewhere for you to showcase your skills and knowledge to a wider audience.
So, when the time comes and your ideal customer has a project looming or needs a maintenance engineer, you’re the first person they reach out to.
Five steps to help you get started on LinkedIn
1. Visit www.linkedin.com
2. Create your account
3. Spruce up your profile
4. Connect with others
5. Share your stories!
Connect with Charlotte on LinkedIn here