DEA Meeting: Guest Speaker, Terry Sullivan on LinkedIn

Rob Eads introduced our guest speaker, Terry Sullivan.  Rob’s wife, Kip said Terry was one of the highest-rated speakers last year at their national conference and she was so impressed, she hired him to update her LinkedIn Profile.  “I’m thrilled with the results!  After Terry worked with me on my LinkedIn Profile, I felt like I had been through an autopsy!  It hurt, but well worth the time.”

Terry Sullivan, founder of Buzzpro, spoke with us about how to find, connect and develop relationships with your key contacts and prospects using LinkedIn.  Terry invited us to request his free “LinkedIn Tips” ebook and weekly “Buzzpro Tips” and to join his Webinar on Thursday, which is open to the public.

Why social media?  It is all about connecting and developing relationships.  There are 467 million members on LinkedIn.  It is the first place prospects and customers are going to check out your brand.  Your brand needs to be consistent offline and online.

Social selling is all about finding, connecting and developing relationships with your key contacts and prospects.  77% of buyers do research on the internet before buying.  Those who use social media will out-perform those who don’t.

Everyone will be on the new version of LinkedIn by the end of the month.  The Profile tab can now be found under the “Me” tab.  Everything on LinkedIn is now collapsed, so the first two lines of copy in your summary section are more critical than ever before.  The first two lines need to specify who you are, what you do and how you can help:  your 10-second elevator speech.  In the experience section, you want to put your company’s specialties.  You aren’t looking for a job, you are looking for customers; you want to speak to your customer’s problems instead of telling them what you’ve done in your past.  You can see a good example of this by looking at Terry’s profile.

Turn off the next two settings so you don’t get into trouble and so you protect your brand!  From Profile, select Settings & Privacy, shut off “Sharing profile edits”; otherwise, when you change to your permanent job title, all of your personal connections will get a message telling them they should congratulate you for your new job; causes brand conflict.  “Profile Also Viewed” needs to be turned off to make that section go away, so people have no reason to leave your brand.

You want to have 3-5 profile views per day as a goal.  If not, you don’t have a compelling branding headline to motivate people to learn more about you.

Your brand is who you are, what you do, and how you can help.  Your online brand is different.  Your brand begins with you, but start thinking about the terms your clients and prospects are using to find you.

Under your Contact Info section, clean up your vanity URL so there are no special characters in your name; that destroys your client’s ability to find you by your name.  Change your vanity URL to your first and last name; if it is not available, put something at the very end.  Be sure your phone and email are listed!

In the Summary section, write in 1st person.  You aren’t applying for a job, you are looking for clients!  You want it in the same tense as if you were talking to them.  Your first paragraph would be your 10-second elevator speech.

Make sure that your ask for the sale in your profile and put your contact information at the very end of your summary.

Never have more than 4 lines of copy on LinkedIn.  People don’t read the internet, they scan.

Max out your skill section at 50 terms, with your top 15 terms toward the top; the top 3 will always show.

If you want to do business with a company, follow them; like, comment and share on posts.  It is a great way to get some visibility with that company.

LinkedIn Groups: a great place to take this offline discussion online.  If you both belong to the same group, you can directly message 2nd and 3rd level connections, as well, so it is a great way to have conversations with your prospects.  Look at the profiles of some of your clients, see what groups they belong to and join them.

LinkedIn is a great place to meet people, but in the end, nothing happens until you have a sales conversation.  Try to be active on LinkedIn, join groups, follow companies and connect with people.  In the end, it is all about taking your online discussion, offline.

Who should you connect with?  If someone requests to connect with you, open their profile to see if they are a legitimate business person.  You never know who can help you.  If they immediately send you a solicitation, un-connect with them, they won’t know.

How many connections should you have?  You can’t manage more than 50-75 people in your professional network.  It is more about quality than quantity.  However, get at least 501 quality-tied connections; your brand will look better when it shows you have “500+” connections.  You have to start ramping up how many people you are connected with on LinkedIn; when you connect with Terry, for example, he can introduce you to almost 10,000 people who could be your potential prospects.

Pre-write all your scripting and keep it in a Word document.  This makes responses look carefully thought out, but they only take a minute to copy.

Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn takes a long time to set up and think through your brand, but once it is set up, it is easy to work; your posts have a long shelf-life.

The maximum number of groups you can belong to is 50 (Microsoft is expanding to 100), but it is better to belong to 6-12 groups and be active in them.  The posts in groups are private.  Be active in your top 3-6 groups where your prospects are hanging out.  You are all subject-matter experts; show them your stuff.  Over a period of time, you will develop trust in those groups.

To find interesting things to post, go to the website to find top, real-time stories in your field.  Go to your homepage and share these articles.  Do that about once a week.  Generally, post 7-8 posts which are “fun” articles about things that interest you or the Dallas market and then post one about your company or your services.  If you just spam your news-feed about your company and services and your product, they won’t even read it.  Develop trust over time.

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