Why Direct Sellers Need LinkedIn
By Charlie Moss
Using Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are no-brainers when it comes to promoting your direct sales business. But when it comes to LinkedIn, a lot of us tend to push it to the side with the idea that this social media platform doesn’t really apply to us. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
These days, LinkedIn is quickly becoming an invaluable tool that’s being embraced by the direct sales community because of its ever-expanding set of robust social networking and business-oriented capabilities.
Betsy Hindman, founder of the B2B digital marketing firm The Hindman Company, agrees that Linkedin is on fire right now with its newsfeed views up 60% from one year ago and engagement up 50% in the same period. “These huge increases speak to the fact that Linkedin is no longer where people go only to look for a job, or to fill an open position,” she says. “Globally Linkedin users now number north of 600M, and they tend to be more educated, business decision makers with disposable income. And changes to LinkedIn’s algorithm means that when you spend time on Linkedin you can learn new skills and make important connections, not just receive a string of work anniversary and job change notifications.” Hindman stresses that Linkedin has become a strong educational resource, making it possible to learn while you build connections.
Before we list some of the reasons you should use LinkedIn, let us emphasize that, like any other social media platform, you should make sure your profile is complete and updated. John Nemo, founder of LinkedIn Riches, recommends that in the case of direct sales you should make your profile “client-facing.” This means instead of it reading like an online résumé, your profile should include the unique value and benefit your products or services bring to your clients and potential customers.
Now, what are some of the benefits of using LinkedIn for your business?
Like Facebook, LinkedIn also offers Groups, which is a great way of networking with others around specific topics. There are a lot of direct sales and product line groups to mingle with. Once you join a group, you can share resources, answer questions, and simply network. As you share great content, people will look at your profile, which might trigger conversations that could lead to valuable business relationships.
When people use LinkedIn to job hunt or for recruitment, one of the most valuable assets to have on your page is a list of recommendations from peers who worked with you in the past. The same thing goes for your business. Much like the Amazon reviews model, potential customers or business partners will scan your profile but it’s the recommendations from others who’ve done business with you or bought your products and services that will really make you stand out on LinkedIn. If you don’t have recommendations, don’t be afraid to ask current or past customers and business partners to write one for you. Remember, the more recommendations you have, the more you’ll stand out.
LinkedIn offers a great way for thought leaders to shine by allowing users to share articles. But more than that, you can also write and post articles directly onto your LinkedIn page to share with your network. You can also include images and hashtags so readers can more easily find your piece by topic. One of the best ways to increase your business is to create brand awareness and market yourself by becoming a thought leader on the services and products you sell, offering tips and advice to potential customers.
Offering a final piece of advice, Hindman says, “As a salesperson, you already know that mindset is important when introducing a new product or idea, and the users on Linkedin are there in a business mindset more so than any other platform. Set aside some of your marketing time to invest in Linkedin. Watch what the luxury retailers are doing as they start testing the waters there. Follow hashtags, companies, and leaders in the direct selling industry. Then listen, engage and build skills and connections that can help you take the next step up.”
Now that we’ve convinced you to join LinkedIn, here’s a great article by John Nemo, who we mentioned earlier in this article. He provides valuable tips and links to tools to help you generate leads and increase your sales on LinkedIn.