The entire concept of “Inbound Marketing” is predicated on others seeking you out. When other professionals look at your profile, it’s an invitation (if not a downright courtesy) for you to check them out. The trick is to get the right people to look at your profile so you can take it from there.
I’ve been testing out the method below for over a month with quite a bit of success. By success, I don’t mean just building my LinkedIn network, but generating actual business. I’m now #1 for profile views for “Professionals like you” and in the top 1% in my own network.
When I get the message that someone looked at my LinkedIn profile, I will ALWAYS look to see who they are. Potential client? Competitor? Secret admirer? Admit it, you do the same thing.
The more profiles I look at, the more people will look back. The more people who look back at my profile, the more likely I am to connect. The more connections I make, the larger my network and opportunities to do business.
This can be done manually, but what you save in money you will lose in time. I came across a software that will automate the process of viewing other people’s profiles for you. You set up your search criterion and walk away. It will spend about 25 seconds viewing each profile and then move on to the next profile until it touches everyone in your search. More on this later…
*Note that the tool I have been experimenting with is in somewhat of a gray area regarding LinkedIn's TOU, however the process works the same if you do it manually.
I run a Digital marketing Agency in Orange County California. We do business everywhere…but I recently discovered that everywhere is a big place. Since LinkedIn will only allow you to view so many profiles per day, I filter my searches by industry or by keyword in conjunction with geographic locations. You can filter it even tighter than that if necessary.
As a Digital Marketing Agency, there are a lot of industries that make good partners for us. Let’s take the Information Technology sector for example. Here is how I filtered it down to under 500 profiles (my maximum per session under my paid account).
The next day I found that I received 31 profile views. The vast majority (not all of them) a potential partner or strategic alliance. So instead of going through 500-800 profiles, I go through just the ones that give me an excuse to connect with them. I just hit the connect button and send them something like this:
“Hi Greg, thanks for dropping by my profile yesterday. I’m Director of a Digital Marketing agency and I'm connecting with IT professionals in the OC area and I’d love to connect with you and stay in touch if you don’t mind.”
Naturally I’m not relegated to IT folks or any particular industry or geographic area. In fact I do something a little different each time. Sometimes I filter by group, or by niche industry across the entire country. Sometimes I do the same search, but shift it to a different geographic area or different seniority level.
Continuing with the soft-sell approach, I would immediately thank them for accepting my connection request. It might go something like this:
“Thanks for connecting with me Greg. If you ever have any questions about marketing on the Internet, or any website related questions, I’d be happy to help, even if it's just asking advice or bouncing some ideas off me. Let's stay in touch!”
If they reply, then we start the dialogue. This often results in a phone call, or a proposal, or occasionally a face-to-face meeting.
I’ve been doing this for about a month, and as you might expect, my network has grown, and I now have bragging rights as the #1 position in page views among “Professionals like Me”. And I am now in the top 1% in my own network.
More importantly I’ve picked up three hi-level strategic alliances that look very promising. Two of them in particular might turn out to be amongst the most valuable our agency has to date. I also picked up 3 potential clients that I’ve been talking with. One of them looks particularly exciting and any one of these will pay for the time and money I invested in this process.
Well, you have to spend a little time and money. I recommend one of the paid LinkedIn accounts so you get an expanded view on who has viewed your profile and have access to some inMails. Here are some important considerations:
After only one month it appears to be the single most effective process we have used to date. But if you’re not going to make it part of your daily routine, then concentrate on something you’re more comfortable with (assuming that’s working).
My theory is that if this results in only one more new client or strategic alliance that moves your business forward, its worth the expense and the time. So far...so good...