5 Unique Ways to Prospect on LinkedIn

Selling is a social process – people do business with other people. And LinkedIn is one of the most valuable social tools in a sales professional’s toolkit. In this week’s Tactic’s Thursday video, learn 5 unique ways to prospect on LinkedIn. If you find the video valuable, I highly encourage you to check our brand new Leveraging LinkedIn for Manufacturers 2nd Edition eBook. In the eBook, you will learn: the essential elements of a LinkedIn profile, how to increase recommendations & endorsements, ways to growing your network, content marketing on LinkedIn 101, and how to sell better with LinkedIn!
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5 Templates to Connect with Someone on LinkedIn That You’ve Never Met

The secret to getting strangers to connect with you on LinkedIn is your introduction. 

It is imperative that each connection request is customized to make a strong first impression. In this week’s Tactics Thursday video, learn 5 different angles you can use to personalize your LinkedIn connect request and improve the likelihood of a stranger accepting your request!

 

1. The Expertise Angle 

The example uses below uses the expertise angle. By sharing that you were looking for someone with their specific experience, I’m showcasing that you did your homework on their profile and how it made them successful. 

“Hi [Name], 

We’ve never met but your profile came up when I was looking for top engineers at HP. I’m impressed by your background and would love to learn what drew you to work at HP I’ve been especially impressed by HP’s innovation in 3D jet fusion. Can we connect? -Your Name”

 

2. The Project Angle 

In this approach, you highlight a particular project or accomplishment mentioned on their profile. Then, share how it connects to something you are working on. 

“Hi [Name], 

I found your profile when I was looking for people with experience utilizing HubSpot. I just started using it as well and would love to learn more about ways to better utilize the sales tools. I would love to add you to my network. Best, [Your Name]”

 

3. The Point-of-View Angle 

In this example, you ask to connect with someone by seeking their perspective on a topic related to a skill set you both share.

“Hi [Name], 

We’ve never met before but your profile came up when I was searching for like-minded 3D printing industry professionals in Cleveland. I wanted to get your perspective on polymer 3D printing. Can we connect?

[Your Name]?

 

4. The Admiration Angle 

This approach is best when you are reaching out to someone that you admire who is light years ahead of you in your career.  

“Hi [Name], 

We’ve never met but I found your profile when searching for leaders in the 3D Printing Industry. Given you’ve been working in this space or 10 years, I was hoping we could connect. I’d love to learn more about the trends you’ve been seeing in AM. Can we connect? – [Your Name]”

 

 

5. The Mentor Angle 

This approach is essentially a way to say thank you and explain to someone how their work has shaped you or taught you something in your career. 

“Hi [Name], 

I’ve been following your content on LinkedIn for the last year. Your wisdom has helped me advance my knowledge of powder bed fusion. Your recent article on 3D Printing Trend Predictions for 2020 was your best yet. Can we connect?”

 

Interested in learning more about LinkedIn? Looking to improve your personal brand, grow your following, and use LinkedIn more effectively as a B2B sales tool?

Register for LinkedIn 101 for Manufacturers Webinar on July 9th, 2020!

How to export contacts from LinkedIn for ultimate sales opportunities

You probably spend a lot of time cultivating valuable connections by prospecting on LinkedIn but how do you take it a step further? How do you take those contacts from LinkedIn connection to engaged prospect and ultimately, close them as a customer? In this week’s Tactics Thursday video, I walk you through the steps of exporting your LinkedIn contacts to an Excel spreadsheet. Then, I give my best practices for how and when to enroll those prospects in automated marketing emails so that you can close those prospects as customers quicker and more efficiently.

Google Chrome Plugins I recommend in the video:

Hunter 

Contact Out

Interested in learning more about LinkedIn strategy? Register for our upcoming LinkedIn 101 for Manufacturers Webinar below!

Register for LinkedIn 101 for Manufacturers Webinar on July 9th, 2020!

5 Components of a Stellar LinkedIn Recommendation

How to Write a Great LinkedIn Recommendation

Most of us have worked with great bosses or colleagues that we would happily recommend on LinkedIn if ask. The problem is, the idea of writing a recommendation can seem overwhelming to people who aren’t natural-born writers. I’ve taken this daunting task and turned it into a simple 5-step, 5-minute process so you can write LinkedIn recommendations like a pro.

Step 1: Start out with a grab-your-attention sentence

“I would describe Lola to others as the glue that holds our sales department together.”

“Few people have the opportunity to report to a manager who is also a trusted mentor and friend—but I did when I worked for Jeff.”

“Unbelievably efficient is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about my time working with Susan.

 

Step 2: Describe the relationship between the recommender and the person being recommended

“I had the pleasure of working with Francesca on the ManufacturingWorks Resource Development Committee for the last 3 years”

“I hired Eleanor and the team at ABC Agency after seeing her online portfolio, and she’s completed several flawless projects for me since then.”

“Juan has expertly filled the role of National Sales Manager and streamlined our sales efforts between both inside and outside sales teams for the last 2 years.”

 

Step 3: Showcase a special trait

“I was impressed by Leslie’s ability to handle even the toughest clients. That skill typically takes years to develop among customer service professionals, but it seemed to come naturally to him.”

“I always admired Aretha’s ability to command a room and get people on board with initiatives–even the most strongwilled individuals who were initially on completely different pages.”

“Christian’s ability to project manage and handle strenuous deadlines was unlike any I’ve seen before and made a dramatic difference in the productivity level of our team.”

 

Step 4: Highlight their personality

“Paul always made sure that Monday morning sales meetings were never without donuts and coffee. Talk about a great way to motivate a team!”

“Frieda is a champion for women and makes sure that all the young women on her team are mentored and encouraged to take on leadership opportunities at our company.”

“No matter how tense a meeting, Reggie made sure that everyone’s opinions were heard and that nobody left the meeting without a smile.”

 

Step 5: Close with your final recommendation

“Vanna would be an asset on any team.”

“Any employer would be fortunate to have Lincoln on their sales team”

“Ruth is an incredible leader and team member. I can recommend her unequivocally!”

“I found Matthew to be friendly, articulate & a great person to work with & would recommend him to anyone.”

 

Have a great LinkedIn recommendation you’d be willing to share? Post it in the comments below!

Yes, we're ready for marketing for manufacturers.

How to develop strong downloadable content offers that generate leads

Conversion is the key to return-on-investment that your manufacturing website may be missing. Your manufacturing website needs to have more conversion opportunities than your ‘contact us forms’, as many people on your website are not in the decision-making process where they are ready to talk to a sales representative at your company.

In order to have optimal lead generation opportunities on your website, you need to have great downloadable content offers on your website that people will be willing to fill out a form in order to read. That way, your company is not missing opportunities to nurture prospects through the sales cycle with email automation and great content.

In this week’s Tactics Thursday video, I give 3 strong manufacturing examples of downloadable content and give my tried and true tips to work toward the goal of having 2 great pieces of downloadable content on your website.

Request Your Free Inbound Marketing Assessment

Tactics to Increase LinkedIn Endorsements and Recommendations

linkedin-recommentations-linkedin-endorsements

In today’s digital world, having reviews is essential. Reviews help us determine if the restaurant down the street is worth a try, if the latest app really lives up to the hype, or even just to see what people are saying about the newest iPhone release. So while we often look to review platforms such as Google and Yelp for this information, why is it many neglect to see the importance of reviews for themselves professionally?

linkedin-for-manufacturers-ebookMost people know LinkedIn is an important tool for staying connected with professionals in your field of work, but what few realize is the necessity of utilizing the endorsements and recommendations features available on the site.

Both the recommendations and endorsements on LinkedIn allow users to give people an accurate depiction of what they do. Though it is essential to utilize both features, they do work very differently within LinkedIn. In this week’s Tactics Thursday video, I break down the importance of recommendations and endorsements and my tips to get more of them on your LinkedIn profile.

How to Create a Successful LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategy

What to Share on LinkedIn 
Many manufacturers we meet are nervous about what to post on LinkedIn. They don’t know even where they should start. Post industry news, case studies/customer success stories, infographics, blogs, and the list goes on and on.
Remember the golden rule. 1 out of every 4-5 posts should be company content, the rest should be what we
marketers call “curated” content, or content from sources other than you.

How Often to Post

There is no set amount of times you should post a week. However, I think 2x per week is an attainable goal that you can aim to work toward. The most important thing is to create a consistent stream of content. You never want to go weeks of posting great content and then not post for 2 weeks. That doesn’t make a great impression on your network.

The Value of LinkedIn Pulse
If you have expertise in a certain area, we suggest writing a Pulse post, which is essentially LinkedIn’s version of articles, that can be self-published by members. 500-750 words is the perfect word count. Any more than that and your connections won’t read on.

linkedin-for-manufacturers-ebookBy using appropriate keywords and hashtags, you can attract a much larger audience to your Pulse article, your personal LinkedIn page, and the company page. Recently the president of Felber PR & Marketing, Rob Felber wrote a Pulse post and the majority of his readers were 2nd connections! So it just goes to show that Pulse is a great way to expand your audience and build credibility and respect in your industry.

Social Selling on LinkedIn

Once you start to create a consistent stream of content, review the likes and comments you are getting. Reply to commenters on your posts and send connection requests to people who have liked or commented on your posts. If you have people that are constantly liking and commenting on your posts, ask them if you can add them into your database to keep them in the loop on what’s going on at your company. Don’t miss out on the chance to build deeper relationships with those engaging with your content. Keep the conversation going!

Register for How to Get the Industrial  Media to Pay Attention Webinar

 

Easy Steps to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Looking to improve your LinkedIn presence, increase profile views, and connection requests? In this week’s Tactics Thursday video, I delve into some easy steps to perfect your LinkedIn profile!

The Basics

Current background photo– No other people, plants, or pets in the background. Waist up or headshot only!
Background image– Change the boring blue patterned banner to a product photo or your logo and tagline to add some interest to your profile.
Targeted description line– If you don’t create a description line, it will default to your job title and company. Here’s a great example of a description line that makes you want to click on the profile from my boss Rob Felber! Example: “Owner and Marketing Executive that fights fires, literally. Marketing for Manufacturers”
Contact Info– updated email, phone, and website link to current company

linkedin-for-manufacturers-ebookThe summary

This section is an excellent place for you to make a knock-out first
impression.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider.

Do: Discuss the capabilities and products marketed by your company.
Don’t: Write paragraphs about yourself. One short paragraph and bullets will
suffice (let’s face it, people don’t have time to read anymore)
Do: List past clients you’ve worked with or verticals you serve (e.g. agriculture,
metalworking, aerospace, etc.)
Don’t: Include your life story, how many kids you have, or your political views. Focus solely on your career. Leave personal information to your private personal social media channels!
Do: Highlight experience on professional boards, volunteer experience, awards, and certifications!


Register for How to Get the Industrial  Media to Pay Attention Webinar

Do’s and Don’ts When Working with the Media

In this week’s Tactics Thursday video, I share some of our best media relations tips and tricks.

Media Do’s

  • Be respectful of deadlines
  • Be available when you launch your press release
  • Provide materials in a timely manner
  • Seek media training

Media Don’ts

  • Burn bridges
  • Pitch more than two angles
  • Pitch multiple reporters at the same pub
  • Attempt to buy with gifts or lunch

You’re on MUTE!

The most common phrase since the beginning of the pandemic and the use of video meetings such as Zoom is “You’re on Mute!”

You’re excited to contribute to the conversation, it’s your 6th video call of the day, and all people see is our lips moving and hands waving. Then you hear it, someone informs you that your microphone is not on, “doh!”. 

Comic relief famous internet in-person conference call spoof

Throughout this global crisis, companies have had to make tough choices. Do we forge ahead or tighten our belts? Do we protect our employees and assets at the expense of future growth (and maybe our very survival)? Sales and marketing almost always take a budget hit during a recession which seems counterproductive. Companies develop products and services and selling and marketing those products is part of the fabric of any business. Without sales and marketing, there simply is no business. My favorite saying is “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.” Contract manufacturers do not build without an order and raw materials are not requested without a production need. So the question begs, why stop promoting your company? 

In May 2020 as I am writing this article,  unemployment had surged to 14.7%, and 20.5 million jobs were lost. Salespeople and marketers need to be sensitive and empathetic to their customers and prospects during this uncertain time in our economy. One of the partner companies we’re proud to be associated with is HubSpot. See how they approached this crisis. 

Recently, I was speaking to a sales representative in my network, one of the few still on the road visiting and working with customers, and he mentioned he’s seeing signs posted “Absolutely No Sales Calls.” While the safety of our people should be the number one priority, what are business development people to do if they cannot sell? As doors open, will the signs come down? If not, how will they market and create deeper relations with customers? Fortunately, there’s inbound marketing. Our free eBook on the subject can be found at this link. Professionally and compassionately, you need to come off mute. 

 

Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t want, inbound marketing forms connections they’re looking for and solves problems they already have.

 

So how do you move beyond definition and theory and create meaningful campaigns? Allison Miller recently wrote: How to Discover Content Ideas Right Under Your Nose

It is the questions your prospects ask, it is the new concept R & D is talking about in company meetings, it is the case study on the great job your team did on a particularly challenging project. You have the content, you just need to develop it into a format that allows salespeople to sell and marketing people to market…enter the writers. 

Keeping your brand relevant and authentic is the topic covered in the entreprenuer.com article Best Practices for Marketing During and After CODID-19  by Andrew Reid, CEO of Rival Technologies. This is a playbook on balancing caring with sales growth. 

How will you “come off mute?” Drop us a comment below. And, if you need help, we’re only a Zoom away.