The LinkedIn Marketing Guide For IT Companies
Best practices and need-to-know tips for generating leads and gaining clients on LinkedIn.
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I Had a very promising call yesterday with a LinkedIn Lead (thanks to Ulistic) with a company who perfectly fits our vertical and 200 computers! Ulistic for the lead!!
The Power Of LinkedIn
Did you know LinkedIn has more than 722 million users?
That’s a lot of potential clients, and even more potential leads. Hundreds of millions of users that are connecting on a platform specifically designed for business networking, and all of them are ready to hear about your IT company.
And yet, so many people write it off. They assume it’s just for job hunting. They assume it’s just a waste of time.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
LinkedIn is better prepared to connect you with ideal clients (business owners, IT managers, etc.) than any other social media platform. All you have to do is learn how to use it, and invest a little time to put it to work for you.
The sooner you do, the further ahead of your competition you could end up being. Remember, marketing and sales are largely numbers games — you need to take advantage of any and all opportunities you have to reach new contacts and generate new leads.
If you don’t, you may as well be leaving money on the table.
Must-Haves For An Effective LinkedIn Profile
Let’s start by building your profile the right way. Whether you’ve got an old profile, or are starting fresh, here are the necessities:
- The Right Profile Photo: Don’t underestimate the power of the first impression. This is where potential future clients are going to look first, so make sure you have a photo that’s professional, in focus, likable, and simple.
- Align Your Bio With Your Brand: Sorry to break it to you, but people don’t really care about your favorite foods or bucket list items. Counterintuitively, your bio should be less about you and more about your company and the role you play in it. Exemplify how your approach to business reflects your company’s approach to service.
- Back Up Your Claims With Social Proof: Make sure to include recommendations and endorsements. Any testimonials or insight you can get from current clients or business contacts will add legitimacy to what you’re presenting. Full-length case studies are even better. Without this type of content, you’re just talking about yourself — make sure to back it up.
- Choose An Engaging Header: The header takes up a fair amount of space on your profile, so don’t settle for any old image. You want one that’s bright, dynamic and engaging. If it’s a photo, make sure it doesn’t get pixelated when blown up to fill the larger space.
- Align Your Content With Your Brand: Just like your bio, any blogs or posts added to your profile should be consistent with your brand. This isn’t Facebook, where you can share content about your politics and your hobbies — stick to blogs that are related to your core business messaging.
- Address Your Visitors In Your Headline: Along with the photo and header, the headline is one of the first few components a visitor will see on your profile. Make sure it addresses the core problem you solve, or highlights the unique quality or selling point you have to offer.
5 Best Practices For Growing Your Business Through LinkedIn
Now that you have a profile, it’s time to start connecting with other members, generating leads, and growing your business.
1: Know Your Niche
Don’t make the mistake of trying to be everything to everyone. IT companies like yours have much more success in increasing revenue by specializing.
That means figuring out your niche. Do you specialize in compliance across industries? Do you work only with financial services firms, or only with healthcare organizations? Do you have a key offering that applies just to startups or specifically benefits nonprofits?
The bottom line is that potential clients aren’t looking for a jack of all trades. They want someone that knows their primary problems and can solve them.
2: Don’t Overcomplicate Your Brand
Developing effective and clear messaging may as well be a form of art, as far as marketers are concerned. The more concise you can be, the better — that way, you limit your risk of losing a potential client who gets tired of reading the manifesto you drafted about your company’s mission statement.
In as few words as possible, your messaging should achieve the following:
- Demonstrate that you understand a core problem your potential client is struggling with
- Explain that you have a proven solution to that problem
Anything beyond that is just dead weight. The idea is to get your foot in the door, after which you’ll have plenty of opportunities to go into further detail.
3: Put In The Work
This is where the effort takes place. If you want to be successful on LinkedIn, you have to set aside time on a regular basis to seek out prospects.
Schedule a certain amount of time on a weekly basis to focus specifically on exploring networks, checking out other profiles, and finding the people you want to work with. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator can help you do so by filtering prospects according to whatever specific qualities you select.
Bottom line — LinkedIn will not generate nearly as many incoming leads for you compared to the leads you can generate by seeking them out. Put in the work and start finding your prospects.
4: Start Connecting
It’s finally time to start reaching out. You’ve got your prospects, you’ve honed your messaging, and you’re ready to introduce yourself.
Start sending out connection requests to the contacts you’ve found in your weekly LinkedIn research sessions. Make sure to include a personal note along with each connection — just a sentence or two. It’ll take you a little extra time, but it will vastly improve your chances of a fruitful connection.
5: Develop, Develop, Develop
From here, it’s up to you to turn that prospect into a lead, and that lead into a client.
Connect with them on shared interests, invite them to webinars or events you’re involved with, and set 1-1 meetings to learn about their organization and talk further about how you can solve their problems.
Remember, you shouldn’t be focused on closing a sale right away — develop the relationship first, establish yourself as an asset, and the sale will come in due time.
Don’t Overlook The Power Of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an undeniably valuable resource to IT companies like yours. It’s popular, it’s designed to facilitate marketing efforts, and it’s free.
The question is: why aren’t you using it yet?
At the end of the day, what you get out of LinkedIn will depend on what you put into it. It’s not an automated service, so it won’t do the work for you. But if you make a habit of using it to find new prospects, you’ll soon start to see returns firsthand.
Need expert assistance?
Ulistic is here to help — we have years of experience in using LinkedIn to both grow our own revenue, and do the same for our clients in the IT world.
We can help you too — to get started, simply get in touch with our team to book a no obligation consultation.
Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.