If you are selling products through a drop shipping business on eBay or if you’re selling a digital product as an affiliate, then it is absolutely crucial that you build a relationship with your potential customers before you try and sell to them.
This is something that a lot of sellers and marketers just don’t understand and ultimately it is to their detriment as they end up missing out on the opportunity to sell. Read on to see exactly what this means and why it is so important…
The best way to explain this is with an analogy, or two. Imagine for a moment that you see an attractive lady or man at a bar and you want to get to know them a little better. So what you do, is you go up and you ask if they’re come home with you tonight.
What do you think happens next? Most likely you get a firm slap in the face – and this is more than fair enough!
The problem with this approach is that the person doesn’t know you yet. They don’t know what you’re like and if they’re likely to have a good time with you and more importantly – they don’t know if they can trust you! You might be dangerous as far as they’re concerned!
Another scenario is someone trying to sell a watch. Imagine they come up to you in the street holding a watch and ask if you want to buy it for $2,000. What do you say? Again, you’ll probably turn and run. No one would spend that much money on something without knowing anything about it and without having any form of ‘come back’ in case the deal turns sour.
How Businesses Make This Mistake All the Time
Both these examples probably seem absurd to you but this is essentially what many businesses are doing all the time. If you have a website that tries to sell a product as soon as anyone lands on it, then you’re going to drive people away before they have even had a chance to read your site.
They may well be interested in what you’re selling but if they don’t know your brand and they don’t know your product, then they won’t want to buy right away. And if all you’re interested in doing is selling to them with tons of pop?up ads, then you’re going to drive them off – it will look like spam!
Now consider the alternative approach: they land on your website and they find tons of great content that’s well written, free and informative. This allows the visitor to form a positive opinion of your business and hopefully to become interested in the products you’re mentioning.
And as a result, they’re much more likely to want to buy from you in future. So instead of focussing on making a sale, focus on making a fan. Push them toward a mailing list instead and invite them to come back. That way, the sales will come to you!
Your phone and/or tablet probably have an application dedicated to Facebook or twitter and you have probably never thought of downloading LinkedIn. Turn to your left and ask Tom and Dick if they have LinkedIn on their phones and their situations will be similar to yours. Harry is probably off somewhere playing Angry Birds as you read this.
Many other business owners have also decided to overlook LinkedIn and focus on other social networks. These people do not realize that LinkedIn can provide the best opportunities for business owners and is the most professional social platform that small businesses can use. This is because it connects professionals with like-minded people.
Unlike Facebook or Twitter, individuals on LinkedIn never post selfies accompanied by all sorts of hash tags.
People interacting here do so in a professional setting and for business purposes only. Why do you need to join the herd? LinkedIn helps you reach your online marketing goals and places you before a larger audience. How to get started? Read on to find out.
Why small businesses need to say yes to the best
Small businesses are doing it all wrong by ignoring LinkedIn. Business owners are failing terribly by thinking about Facebook and Twitter as the only platforms to use for social network marketing. In truth, these two social giants are the biggest networks worldwide, but LinkedIn has something they do not.
It allows an individual to connect with many like-minded professionals that will enable them to work with result-oriented people, grow their network and be amongst other professionals. Most business owners find that this is easier said than done. The task of setting up a profile seems a Herculean task that is better substituted with blog posts and tweets.
Individuals spend too much time thinking about how involving and time consuming LinkedIn is, instead of spending those resources on actually setting up their profiles in the first place. Being on LinkedIn is like being in a candy shop with the knowledge that everything there is free. There are potential clients, prospective business partners and many service providers.
It can help you with recruiting talent and services from other individuals. You will be able to use it as a blog, access expert advice from others and use it as a website promotion tool. Give and find recommendations, start and join groups and practice SEO.
LinkedIn here I come!
Setting up an account on LinkedIn is easy. They provide a step by step guide starting from filling in your personal details, addresses, company name, etc. There are also 3 different packages to choose from: Business, Business Plus and Executive. Each of them has their own benefit to you and your company. However, the Executive package provides the best range and costs the most.
After joining the LinkedIn family, businesses need to focus on customizing their page. After all, this is where partners, clients and job seekers will get to see’ you. Various areas such as your profile, creating groups and the like all need to be maximized on. Each of these areas determines how effective a business’ marketing campaign is.
Do not worry that you are doing a particular thing right or wrong. LinkedIn has a to-do list that will show you what is remaining and what is already done. Working on LinkedIn is not similar to your Facebook or Twitter profiles. Here, every single interaction is a business oriented one starting right from your profile. Your profile is your business card.
Business owners need to fill in only the relevant material on their profile, including their other social media accounts, websites and/ or blogs and any other important details. Your dog’s birthday is not something you include on your profile. When it comes to creating a company page, LinkedIn has a wizard to help you do it. Think Merlin, but for LinkedIn.
Begin by keying in basic info about the business such as a description, number of workforce and the particular industry it serves. Keep all this as brief as a paragraph. You need to be smart here. Take advantage of your SEO knowledge by using keywords relevant to your industry. This will help your LinkedIn page have a higher ranking whenever a curious customer looks for services related to your industry.
The LinkedIn wizard will then prompt you to upload your logo, location(s) and your blog’s RSS feed. Once you have completed all its commands, your page will be ready to be viewed by anyone on this platform. This is when things start to really get fun on LinkedIn. All your information is analyzed and displayed making you visible in their search engine, in your industry and to potential clients and partners.
How small business reap rewards from LinkedIn
A platform where they can post their products and services LinkedIn allows small businesses to post products and services they offer, thus exposing them to a larger market. This social platform has a separate tab where they can post their products and share them on other social media networks. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
Gain business partners
Gaining new clients and partners is a definite thing on LinkedIn. Once your account is up and running, you will be exposed to more professionals who will be interested in what you offer.
The Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn
There are things that will absolutely help your progress on LinkedIn while others will kill it. The things that help your success include:
- Answering business related questions. Do it to show your knowledge and not how better off you are than everybody else.
-Link status updates to other social media accounts
-Write recommendations for others
Major NO-NO’s include:
Avoiding questions or using them to promote yourself Being personal. Share the cat videos on Facebook and focus on intellectual discussions. Deciding to use LinkedIn may be the best awakening small business could ever have. There are tons of other benefits in addition to those already discussed above. Just like all other things in life, this social platform needs work.
If you are willing to put in time and effort into creating a LinkedIn page that stands out, you will have endless possibilities. Those that cannot begin to fathom the work that needs to be put into this may consider hiring experts to do it for them. The right social media consultants are expensive, but worth every penny. So start right now! You, as a business owner, know how critically time and money relate.