If you’re at a networking event and you meet three different people and ask them what they do; based on the following responses which person will you most likely wish to engage?
- I am the CEO / President of company XXX.
- I work at company XXX and we manufacture XXX product into the XXX industry.
- I am a mentor and coach to my fellow employees and work on our business everyday to create a better environment for them.
In each case, I could be speaking with the CEO / President of a company, but response #3 will get my attention far easier than the first and second. It also establishes a better groundwork for conversation, and it tells me something about you as a person. Response #3 offers the opportunity to begin a business relationship.
If we can agree that response #3 will most likely get your attention as it does mine, as opposed to the first two responses, why is it that 90% of the people that have a LinkedIn profile list their title and their company name?
LinkedIn is the greatest business networking site in the world. They have one half a million users, and it is growing daily. It is by far your best opportunity to network and grow your business through social media.
Think of yourself in a room full of Presidents and CEO’s. If everyone starts with their title and company, no one has stood out from the crowd. Isn’t that what we as CEO’s and Presidents are always trying to get our employees to accomplish. We ask them how can we as a company stand out from the competition. Well it starts with you. How will you make yourself stand out so that you draw people in and make them want to learn more?
LinkedIn is that room full of people. If you want to stand out, you have to be different than everyone else in the room. Isn’t that how you got to the top in the first place, you stood out.
First let’s look at a few facts:
- 75% of B2B buyers now use social media to research their vendors. They not only research the company, but the people in the company (IDC).
- 57% of the buying journey is done BEFORE a sales rep is involved (CEB/Gartner).
- 90% of decision makers say they never respond to cold outreach (Harvard Business Review).
It is plain that without a great social profile, it will be difficult to stand out and be seen by your potential customers.
You are the President or CEO and it has to start with you. If you have a weak profile, then why should any of your employees be any different. As with all things in a company, people look to the leader as the example. You can’t ask people to do what you aren’t prepared to do yourself.
The facts above speak for themselves, your customers and potential customers are searching for the company to fulfill the next contract. Do you and your employees stand out enough to grab their attention? If not here are a few simple tips on how to develop a better profile and begin the process of standing out:
- Create a header that speaks to who you are, not your title. You want to create a relationship. Think about response #3 at the beginning of this article: I am a mentor and coach to my fellow employees and work on our business everyday to create a better environment for them.
- Develop a summary section that speaks about you and what you can bring to the table for your potential customer.
- Fill out your work history, all of it. Show potential customers you have the experience and background to support their objectives.
- Post articles and educate people on your industry, become an expert in their eyes.
There is more to do, but this is a good start. Social is here to stay and as per the Harvard Business Review, 90% of decision makers say they no longer respond to cold calls. Social is the new norm, don’t get left behind. Develop an enhanced LinkedIn profile, and get networking!