LinkedIn was designed for businesspeople, and sales are a key part of business. Sadly, most salespeople and business owners don't know how to effectively use LinkedIn, especially groups.
To get the best use of LinkedIn groups, you should have a landing page to send people to and an offer to encourage them to sign up for more emails. Webinars work great for sales offers as they can help to pre-qualify the prospect.
Here are 5 strategies to help you generate more sales with LinkedIn groups.
Strategy #1: Join more LinkedIn groups
I'm surprised at how many people aren't aware of LinkedIn groups. Groups are one of the most powerful aspects of LinkedIn and can benefit you in tons of ways, including:
- Networking (meeting people with common interests)
- Education (learning stuff)
- Outreach (helping other people)
If one group can help you so much, why not multiply that times 50? LinkedIn allows you to belong to 50 groups at any one time, and up to 50 subgroups (a group within a group, usually with a niche focus). Joining this many groups extends your network by thousands if not millions.
If you work with a team, you can multiply this even more by having each person on your team belong to a different set of 50 groups.
Strategy #2: Pay for promotions to groups
LinkedIn Ads can be very effective, or they can be duds. One way to increase the effectiveness of your ads is to target specific groups or types of groups. For example, if you’re in a business related to the publishing industry, there are many groups with that focus. The members of that group will be much more interested in your ads than the general public would be.
Strategy #3: Send cold emails to group members
You can also search through the directory of group members and find the best prospects for your business. While on the group page, click on the number of members (to the right of the group name), and then use the search field to enter the keywords that will best help you narrow your search.
To save your valuable time for working on projects that require your special expertise, turn this into a process and use a virtual assistant. You will probably have to send hundreds of these emails to see a decent response, so is it worth it? Yes, as long as you don't do the work yourself. Create a process, do the work that requires your expertise, and have a virtual assistant (VA) do the rest.
You can find use Upwork or Virtual Staff Finder to find a VA. If you want to discover how a VA can actually make you money and save you a boatload of time on monotonous tasks, check out the book Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker.
For your process, find your best prospects, and then copy their link into a spreadsheet. Include other additional fields for important information, such as their name, a field for the date of each email sent, and if there was a conversion. Keep this on a Google Sheet that you can share with your VA, provide a compelling email template, and then have your VA start emailing prospects.
Here are four tips:
- Keep your message short, conversational, and relevant.
- Don't send mass emails. Send each one individually using the LinkedIn messaging system.
- Don't have your VA send more than 400 messages per day. This will keep LinkedIn from jumping down your throat.
- Stay organized and keep data. Don't ever repeat an email sequence to the same prospect who happens to be in two or more groups you use. Google Sheets can help you look for duplicates.
Strategy #4: Start your own group
It's easy to start a group in LinkedIn, and a big advantage is that you position yourself as a leader in your field, especially to everyone who becomes a member.
You can leverage that perceived leadership to generate a lot of pre-qualified sales calls.
As with the cold email system above, remember to:
- Create a process
- Do the work that requires your expertise (finding the leads)
- Have your VA do the rest.
Remember to use LinkedIn's messaging system, send each email manually, and send no more than 400 total messages each day (including messages sent from your other cold email campaigns).
Create a drip email campaign where you send one message every two weeks. Again, each email should be short and conversational, and it should provide useful and relevant information. On the tenth week, your fifth message, culminate your email campaign with a call-to-action (CTA)—either to sign up to listen to a pre-recorded webinar or to receive a phone call.
Strategy #5: Get direct referrals or introductions
This is a technique you can use for members of groups you belong to or any of your first degree connections. Ask for a referral or introduction to someone that is in their list of connections, but not yours. Don't ask them to do any work, simply ask them if you can mention their name. Here's an example:
Hey, I noticed you were connected to <name>. I was going to reach out to him/her. Do you mind if I mention your name? Hope everything is going well.
This method is a lot easier and more considerate than asking them to go through the effort of making the introduction for you. You should probably only do this once for each person. You don't want to send several of these "ask for an introduction" emails to the same person.
This is a powerful technique because most people will say yes to using their name as a referral. You will also get a very high response rate from the people you ask for connections. Don't send out too many connection requests in one day because LinkedIn will have a hissy fit. Limit this to just a few each day.
You can, however, send out more of these connection requests to members of groups you belong to. Again, click on the number of members = at the top of the group page (to the right of the group name). Enter the person's name to whom you want to ask a connection into the search field. When their name shows up, click on "Send message" under their name.
Commit to doing a handful of these every morning. Over time, it adds up and you'll start seeing the payoff.
Wrapping It Up
First, a disclaimer: LinkedIn can (and does) change their policies without notice. Be sure to check their latest policies to be sure you don't do something that will get you banned from LinkedIn.
As a final thought, consider adding a webinar to your sales process. Your webinar can do a lot of the initial sales work for you, and anyone who responds after watching your webinar is a highly qualified lead. It's also a great step between your cold email and having that sought-after phone call.
LinkedIn has many other opportunities for generating sales. Check out Pulse, and start writing articles to share and further establish yourself as an expert in your field. This is a great addition to your inbound marketing efforts.