Your 10-Step LinkedIn Daily Action Plan

linkedin daily checkHabits help us do the same thing every day without fail. Waking up, brushing teeth, showering, exercising and so on. It’d be worth adding LinkedIn to the list because it helps grow your business. I know – it’s just another thing you don’t have time for, right? Start small. Try it once a week, then twice until you reach a comfortable pace.

The results might surprise you that you’ll be compelled to do it four or five times a week. If once or twice a week works better, then you can do most of these for longer stretches. The only exception is birthday wishes as you’ll want to send those on the person’s birthday, or close to it.

Here’s your 10-step LinkedIn Daily Action Plan.

1. Check Inbox for messages.

- Respond to inquiries.
- Set reminders for follow-ups.

2. Do follow-ups.

- When someone tells you about a project or big event, follow-up to see how it went.
- After meeting someone at an event, send a resource or something of value.

3. Accept new connections.

- Tag the connections you’ve accepted. Suggestions:

  • Where you met the person. Event, company, party, trade show, social media, etc.
  • How did you meet? In-person, online, phone, etc.
  • Type of relationship: Customer, prospect, group member, coworker, vendor, friend, relative, fellow alumni and so on.
  • Strength of relationship on a scale from 1 to 5 with 1 being weakest and 5 is strongest.
  • What do you want to do with the person? Meet in person, build relationship, maintain relationship, grow relationship, reconnect, etc.
  • Location.
  • Industry.

- Send a personalized welcome message to new connections. (When you accept someone else’s connection and vice versa.) Suggestions:

  • Briefly describe what you do for clients.
  • Mention your email list, why it’s valuable and how to subscribe.
  • Send a link to download a free guide or resource of value.

4. Check Keep in Touch or daily email from LinkedIn Updates.

- Send birthday wishes.
- Congratulate on promotions, job changes and news. (Verify the dates because sometimes it looks new when it isn’t.)
- Traveling? Find contacts in the area where you’ll be to see if they want to meet.
- Share an interesting resource.

5. Post a status update on your home page. Suggestions:

- Interesting articles along with a short comment.
- Inspirational quote.
- Tip based on your expertise.
- Statistics.
- Powerful, professional images.

6. Check your notifications.

- Respond to comments on your blog posts, group posts and status updates.
- Send connect requests to people who engage with your content.

7. Send five to 10 connect requests to people who fit your criteria.

- Check your saved searches.
- Run new searches.

8. Check one or two groups.

- Comment on discussions.
- Answer questions.
- Share content relevant to the group and write a question to use as the title.

9. Check your activity feed.

- Review news.
- Read updates.
- Like or comment on info shared by people you want to nurture.
- Share anything interesting related to the update.

10. Filter a tagged list in Keep in Touch.

- Open the profile page of anyone you want to nurture to endorse them for one skill.
- Send a message.

Try it and let us know how it works for you. What suggestions do you have for this list?

Best 5 Blog Posts: Social Selling

social media sellingSocial media is far more than a distraction or even a networking tool. Your network may be one of the most valuable resources you have, and it’s time to dive into the realm of social selling (if you haven’t already!). Odds are you’ve been doing social selling for some time, even if you haven’t realized it. Harnessing social media to reach out, share your expertise, and touch your prospects is a phenomenal method of marketing and nurturing.

Here are our top 5 blog posts on social selling:

Social Selling: Step Up Your Game

Social Selling: 1 Big Idea to be 38x More Effective

A Foolproof Approach to Social Media Selling

Social Selling for Sales Leaders: How Social Selling Works

1 Hour a Day = Social Selling Success!

Best 5 Blog Posts: Traditional Sales Funnel vs. the Customer Decision Journey

sales funnel customer decision journey CDJ“Is the traditional sales funnel dead? Is it obselete? Is there even a structure to follow anymore?”

The old sales funnel may not be recognizable, but there’s still a framework for marketers and salespeople to use as a guide. It is important to understand that the thought process a potential customer goes through is no longer one directional and linear, but rather a web of potentiality.

To start off, here is a useful tool we’ve found:

The Customer Journey to Online Purchase

And here are our pick for top 5 posts on the subject:

You Can’t Own Your Customers’ Decision Journey, But You Can Try

The Dim Light at the End of the Funnel

The Sales Funnel is Dead

The Buyers’ Journey Demystified by Forrester

Social is Responsible for 57% of Your Sales Funnel

And finally, here is our take on it:

How Social Media Affects the Customer Decision Journey

Time to Nix the 40-Hour Work Week?

40 hour work week job sizingHow many hours do you work in a week? Most likely at least 40 considering many businesses have the standard 8-hour working time with a half hour to an hour extra for lunch. This could be 7 am to 4 pm, 8 am to 5 pm, 9 am to 6 pm, or somewhere in between. Who takes a full hour for lunch? 10 minutes? Are you even away from your desk? And do you really only work 8 hours in a day?

With computers and devices connected 24/7, most of us don’t work 40 hours. Working more than 40 hours a week has even become a badge of honor. Or has it? One of my colleagues admitted that in the first years of her career, she’d stay in the office later in hopes it would win points with the boss. It never did. Raises and promotions didn’t come faster either.

The start of the 40-hour work week

So where did the 40-hour work week come from? According to “Bring back the 40-hour work week,” Henry Ford set up eight-hour shifts at his plants in 1914. He did it because research showed productivity peaked after eight hours. Simply put, the longer you work past eight hours, the slower and less effective you become.

In “Why Working More Than 40 Hours a Week is Useless,” Jessica Stillman writes, “On average, you get no more widgets out of a 10-hour day than you do out of an eight-hour day.” By the time Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal came out in the 1930s, decades of studies and data led to the 40-hour work week becoming standard.

A look at research

Let’s put this in perspective. How would you react if you see a surgeon or a pilot drunkenly stumble on their way to the operating room or airplane? You’d want him or her to go home and recover, right? Nelson B. Powell, DDS, MD, co-director of the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Center, has found that the performance level of the sleep-deprived matched those who have blood alcohol in their systems.

Powell’s study compared people who have sleep apnea with those who slept well for three nights. Researchers took a baseline of those in the latter group. Then, they had well-rested group drink alcohol, stopping at three different set blood alcohol levels.

The researchers compared the two groups on seven measures. The sleep apnea group performed as bad as or worse than the legally drunk group on three measures. This is just one study. Search for others and you’ll find more with similar findings.

Doesn’t it make more sense to check out of the office on time, enjoy your time after work, get a good night’s rest, and return the next day fully charged ready to put in a solid day’s work? This as opposed to stretching your days to more than eight hours, constantly tired because you rush home to do your personal tasks that eat into your critical sleep time.

Why do we need a 40-hour work week?

Research shows that working more than 40 hours doesn’t make sense. But what about the “standard” 40-hour work week? Do most jobs really take 40 hours per week to do? Maybe not.

What if we were to size jobs differently?

Suppose we said a “job” was 20 hours a week …

As an employer or project manager, when you change your approach to size jobs based on your current needs you gain access to a large, talented workforce whose needs are not met by 40-hour work week jobs. You save money when you build a pool of high quality, loyal talent and tap into their services when you need it.

A full-time, 40-work week experienced marketer could earn $60,000 per year (rates differ by location, etc.). Some projects may not take 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year (taking a standard two weeks for vacation). A small business may not need a full-time employee to do marketing. A $60K annual salary equals $1,154 per week or $28 per hour. That doesn’t include benefits, such as insurance, 401K, paid vacation and sick days.

But what if you only need marketing services for an average of 10 hours a week? Instead, you could hire a highly qualified marketer who charges $50 an hour.  It costs you $25K per year and zero for benefits. This is less than half the cost of a full-time employee with benefits. Even someone with a $100 per hour rate can be cheaper than a full-time employee.

People who work the hours that best fit their needs are happier. Happier workers mean better quality deliverables. They’re hired to deliver exactly what you need without wasting a single second.

Maybe we should reconsider the 40-hour work week, and start thinking about what exactly needs doing and how long it takes to get it done.

Build Trust Online

building trust onlineBuyers don’t just look for a solution. They’re also looking for a business partner and someone they can trust.

The foundation of any business relationship is trust. It’s easier to build trust when you can look someone in the eye and shake hands. It’s harder to do online.

But there are techniques you can use online to make it easier to build trust and develop a deeper relationship. When you do those things systematically and strategically, you can arrive at a position of trust faster. Making the effort to do this will bring a big difference to your business success.

Three things make up the basis for trust. You want to show people that you are:

  • Reliable,
  • Likeable and
  • Competent.

Most people emphasize the last one, but the world is full of competent people. It’s being reliable and likeable that really makes the difference.

Of course, you need to be authentic. If you aren’t actually reliable or competent, you don’t want to pretend you are. (We know you’re likeable!)  But assuming that you are competent, reliable and likeable, how do you show that? How can you make it easier for people to see that you are trustworthy online?

Here are five ways to build trust online:

  1. Make and keep a promise. This is a simple way to get a relationship off to a strong start. Don’t just promise you’ll call or email. Add specifics to the promise – and then follow through. This shows you’re reliable.
  2. Use social media. Social media provides a forum for showing others you’re the kind of person they want to do business with. Transparency is one of the building blocks of trust, and social media — with its history of your actions and interactions with others — makes it possible for people to see at a glance who you are and get comfortable with you.
  3. Stay in touch. Staying in touch in a predictable and personal way allows you to make strides to build trust online. It can be done simply and inexpensively, without investing in pricey marketing automation platforms.
     
  4. Show you care about them. No doubt, you want to make the sale. But pushing hard to close can backfire. When you show you care by taking a genuine interest in their work initiatives, favorite sports teams and hobbies, you let them see that they matter to you as an individual, not just one step towards a quota.
  5. Make them (your clients and prospects) look good. If someone compliments you in front of others, doesn’t it make you feel warmer towards them? You can do little things like forwarding recent news about a competitor that they can share with their coworkers and bosses. It’ll make them look good.

Some people use trust as a tactic, but it won’t come across as sincere. Buyers can sense a difference between someone whose main objective is winning and someone who puts the client’s interest first. “When your only focus is to win, customers become objects, tools for achieving that goal. And customers don’t care to be treated that way,” writes Charles H. Green, author of Trust-Based Selling.

If you follow the steps above, in an authentic way, you’ll find it easier to build strong business relationships online, and easier to make sales and get referrals.

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  • Why this Blog?

    I have been running a marketing and PR firm since 1994. I love marketing and I love helping people grow their businesses. This blog lets me share what I've learned about marketing to help you generate more leads and sales for your company.
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    View Judy Schramm's profile on LinkedIn
    Email: jschramm@proresource.com
    Phone: 1-703-824-8482
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