LinkedIn’s inmails are amazing things. They allow you to target anyone on LinkedIn that you’re not connected to with a focused message. Many people think that they need to write an essay or try and sell people on LinkedIn. That won’t work. The objective of LinkedIn is merely to get a meeting or skype call with a target. Then it’s down to you as to whether you can close your deal.It’s a common misconception that inmails on LinkedIn are monthly. They aren’t they are weekly. I’m not sure why LinkedIn gives the impression that inmails are monthly but I and all my clients use the Sales Executive Package which gives you 25 inmails per week in the first month, up to 50 per week in the second month and up to 75 per week in the third month and every month afterwards.
The data on LinkedIn allows you to create up to 10 target lists to send mails to. The fantastic thing is that these target lists renew on a weekly basis. LinkedIn tells you each week who has joined each list. Who is new who fits the criteria. These could be new people just joining LinkedIn or people who have changed jobs or changed industry or some other criteria. Either way it’s a great way of enabling you to have first mover advantage to target these people with inmails.
These lists allow you to target existing targets or new targets. The trick to inmails is to send them out on a regular basis. Every eight days you should calender the need to send out your newly refunded inmails to your targets. Every day delayed means that you lose a day in your ability to message people. Everything is there on LinkedIn, it’s just down to you whether you maximise its use or not.
Many people say to me that they don’t generate any business through LinkedIn. I have a simple reply. You’re doing it wrong. Here are five best practices to make the most of LinkedIn and achieve your business goals using inmails:
If you have a half complete LinkedIn profile, no summary, no job description, no photo, no company page, no content updates on either your personal page or your company page then don’t be surprised when you get no engagement on LinkedIn and your inmails don’t work.
2. Fixing your personal profile.
Add in a summary section, add in a simple but interesting description about your job and your company and add in some visual content/YouTube/pdfs/website links to bring your profile to life. On LinkedIn pictures do say a 1,000 words. Make your profile stand out. If you don’t your competitors will.
3. Fixing you company page.
I am still amazed at the amount of companies (both SME and MNC) that either have no company page or have nothing more than a brief description of their company and have no showcase pages.
It’s a free marketing channel that’s wasted. It’s a free way of marketing yourself to 300 million professionals and you have either outsourced it to HR or just prioritised something that no one visits over a platform where there are 300 million potential customers already there. Why build from scratch when you have a platform with all your targets/stakeholders on it?
The more shocking thing is where you see a company page has thousands or even tens of thousands of followers but no content updates or content updates from months ago or just jobs jobs and more jobs. What a shocking waste of engagement opportunity.
Think about it for a minute. 20,000 people have said that they want more information about your company, your products/services and it will appear in their content feed and you can’t be bothered to update them. That is 20,000 brand advocates that you have not engaged or empowered. If you don’t inspire them your competitors will.
4. Create a content marketing plan.
Everyone has one. If you do nothing your plan is reactive. If you share content you should be thinking about what, when and how it reflects on you, your personal brand and your company brand. If you write your own content as LinkedIn now allows you to do on its platform think about what you are writing, what you want to say (not just about your own business) and how often.
It’s better to have a proactive content marketing plan and engage potential customers than to wave goodbye to another opportunity to win new business through content engagement. Again it’s a free marketing tool. Use it or your competitors will.
5. Sending it out.
Then and only then, when you have done all of this is it time to start sending out new business inmails. Then and only then is it time to create a target list from LinkedIn’s excellent data analysis tool. Then create a very simple, to the point inmail that reflects your business in easily digestible form.
If you’re trying to sell people on an inmail you’re wasting your time. The objective of the inmail is simply to gain a meeting or skype call, no more. Two paragraphs maximum or one with some bullet points and that should be enough. If you can’t pitch your service in that simple way in those 30 seconds that your target may look at your mail if you’re lucky then you’re doing it wrong.
The way that you do this is a short and simple inmail with a short and simple interesting headline that captures the imagination and communicates key points about your services.
What will happen next?
The recipient will look at your profile, if that is incomplete your inmail will fail. The recipient will then look at your company page. If that is incomplete, has no showcase pages and more shockingly no recent content updates then your inmail will fail.
If both of these are active, full of life and exciting then your inmail stands considerably more chance of being read and from there it’s down to you and your business. LinkedIn is not rocket science but too many people make it look that way. Keep it simple and it will work for you too
How do you use LinkedIn for your business?
If you’re looking for more LinkedIn tips, check out Chris’ previous post: 15 Reasons to Invest in Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn
About the Author: Chris J. Reed is an official LinkedIn Power Profile. He is also a serial entrepreneur having created marketing businesses in both Europe and now in Asia Pacific with Black Marketing – enabling LinkedIn for you which now has offices in Singapore (HQ), ANZ, North America, China and Hong Kong, and the UK.