E-commerce Link: Are You Qualified?
My wife always says, "Don't you have any tact?!" It's not what I say, it's how and when I say it. Ever have a moment like that? Where a relationship went terribly wrong—or right? In the end, how and when we choose to say words (to the other person) makes all the difference.
LinkedIn profiles and group discussions work the same way. Your success doesn't hinge on what you say. Success depends on how and when you say it. What follows is an effective way to get more qualified leads by using LinkedIn to your advantage, in four straightforward steps. In my opinion, this is the fastest, most practical way to: 1) Attract prospects inside LinkedIn groups; 2) become trusted (using a helpful piece of content); and 3) get response (convince prospects to become leads).
Step 1: Write a Magnetic Headline
Everyone is suffering from information overload—and everything online is being reduced to a headline. LinkedIn profiles and group discussions are filled with headlines.
There are two kinds of headlines: Attention-grabbers and everything else. Effective headlines get right to the point. Ineffective headlines waste time. They try to be cute. The trick to writing magnetic headlines in groups (or on your profile) is simple: Appeal to emotional and tangible desires of prospects in ways they cannot resist acting on.
Jot down three pains, fears or frustrations your target market suffers from, or jot down a goal they're striving to achieve. This is where to start with writing a headline that has magnetism.
Take each topic and write a killer LinkedIn discussion headline—one your prospects will find impossible to resist. They will see your headline, click to read your first paragraph and feel compelled to respond. As responses continue inside the discussion, you will open the door to generating a relationship—a business lead.
Just follow the 4 Us. Print these off and hang them on your wall. Make sure your headline is:
- Useful: Is the promised knowledge valuable to the reader?
- Urgent: Does the message make the reader want to read it immediately?
- Unique: Is the promised message compelling and remarkable?
- Ultra-Specific: How relevant is the knowledge or message being presented?
This formula will help you write headlines prospects cannot resist clicking on.
Step 2: Get Right to the Point
In the first paragraph of your LinkedIn group conversation-starter, get right to the point. Don't ramble. Proclaim your big "aha" insight, fix or better solution.
Tell readers you've got valuable stuff they haven't heard before. Most importantly, be sure it shows prospects how to improve something important to them.
A useful how-to discussion is one of the most effective, easy and fun ways to generate leads on LinkedIn. For example, I recently chose the title, "Why isn't LinkedIn generating leads for me?" This title plays on my target market's frustration and suggests a solution could be hidden inside the discussion. Feel free to be more direct in your title.
Here are six tips for writing effective conversation-starters that get attention (and ultimately help you generate leads on LinkedIn):
- Limit your discussion-starter to 100 words.
- Immediately offer a useful and/or provocative point of view.
- Keep it action-oriented (problem-solving or a way to achieve a goal faster).
- Explain the key to experiencing more success at a high level.
- Conclude it by inviting all forms of discussion (disagreement too!).
- Avoid talking too much about your product/service.
Step 3: Create Hunger for More
The best part of this strategy is how prospects respond to it. What's the magic here? Answering questions in ways that encourage prospects to ask more questions. Ninety percent of "what works" is based on this simple idea.
When starting your LinkedIn discussion—and continuing it—be sure to focus on creating hunger for more details. Present the solution clearly, but do so in ways that make prospects curious about all the details inside your solution.
Here's how to create that hunger: 1) make your words specific; 2) be action-oriented; 3) but be incomplete. Give away enough how-to knowledge in the discussion to create hunger for a short-cut—a faster, easier way for prospects to get all the how-to details, skills, knowledge, tips or shortcuts in one fell swoop—for example, an ultimate guide ebook, video tutorial, handy checklist to get something done more effectively, etc.
Go slow with revealing all the moving parts of your solution, lesson, "better way" or fix. Always have something more to share with readers. Find ways to allude to the benefits of whatever that something is without actually getting into the details of it. Create hunger for your giveaway (lead generation tool) as you go along.
Step 4: Make a Call to Action
The benefits of this approach rely ultimately on making a call to action (CTA) that doesn't chase everyone away. The CTA should be when you invite prospects to become leads in exchange for "packaged-up" content (an ebook, video tutorial, etc.).
Your CTA asks buyers to trade insight on who they are in exchange for a faster, easier way to access what they want—a shortcut or "better way."
You can't force that courtship too quickly. You've got to prove yourself a bit first, before prospects will consider your CTA appropriate in the context of how the discussion has flowed.
Think of it as teasing prospects, slowly, with your knowledge. This will help create hunger for your call to action. This way, when you make the suggestion to take a shortcut to where prospects want to go, they are highly receptive to the idea.
What you're asking them to do is suddenly less about giving away their names and email addresses, and more about getting what they want from someone who's already demonstrated he or she can deliver.
Jeff Molander is the author of "Off the Hook Marketing" and adjunct faculty of digital marketing at Loyola University. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and read his blogs at www.jeffmolander.com/blog and www.makesocialsell.com/blog.