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How to effectively use LinkedIn for business

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Worker checks his LinkedIn on a tablet
LinkedIn was launched in 2002 in California, USA.

No matter if you are a business owner, actively looking for a new job, or have been happily holding on to your dream position for the past 10 years – and is not intending to move to a new challenge anytime soon – LinkedIn is the place to be to network and learn.

In fact, it has been a while since the platform, launched in 2002, stopped merely being a place to host your digital CV. The more it grows, the more LinkedIn is becoming a place to socialize and engage, rather than a HR database.

So, how can businesses take advantage of a platform with over 700 million members that is comfortably positioned as the most trusted social network in the U.S?

Here, entrepreneurs share their key lessons and tips on how to effectively use LinkedIn to get an advantage for your business.

 

Joining LinkedIn groups and staying active

“Joining LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your target demographic is a tip I often give to small business owners. Not only is this a fantastic way to ‘listen in’ to what your target audience is talking about, but also provides small business opportunities like interacting or offering them their advice. So, LinkedIn can be a marketing service. More significantly, even if you aren’t related, you can message members of groups you’re in. Since LinkedIn InMail costs money, this is a perfect way to save money while developing relationships with potential clients.”

Lee Grant – CEO at security and privacy management developer www.wrangu.com

 

Look for your network

“The most effective way to use LinkedIn for your business is to look for your network. You don’t have to wait for the network to come to you; instead, you can go to the network. You can search LinkedIn’s database of over half a Billion (with a B) users for people who work in the industry you are targeting, work for the companies you want to sell to, and so forth.”

Benjamin Rose – Co-founder at www.traineracademy.org

 

Engage before pitching

“When approaching a potential client, you have to be casual and conversational. People love to talk about themselves. So, get them talking by asking questions. By the time they are done they will ask you what you do, and now you have permission to pitch them.”

Peter Burstyn – CEO at marketing agency www.burstynconsultingllc.com

 

Be honest and upfront

“The worst thing about LinkedIn is all of the messages from people asking how you’re doing and if you have time for a chat next week. So many people use these annoying approaches to try and grow their business. I have even seen unrelated people who are using the same introduction scripts to message me. Everyone is trying to do their best, but it is annoying and gets ignored.
If you want to get traction on LinkedIn these days, be honest and direct about what you’re doing.

Jim Miller – Author and personal finance expert at www.iamjimmiller.com

 

Combine different strategies

“I use LinkedIn for business promotion in several ways. First, when people include me in their expert interviews, I promote their articles to my LinkedIn wall. This gives them the motivation to include my insights again, bringing me more links to my site and boosting my SEO. So, this approach gives me exposure on Google.

Also, I promote in LinkedIn groups that are relevant for my niche using hashtags that LinkedIn recommends. I always use my brand’s hashtag as one of them. All these methods help me receive offers and opportunities on LinkedIn.”

Janice Wald – Blogging Coach and freelance writer at www.mostlyblogging.com

 

Be creative to stand out

“Add something to your name that stands out to your target audience.
Instead of ‘Martina Cooper’, write ‘Martina Cooper – Helping Online Marketers
Grow Their Business’.
You can use Sales Navigator to effectively connect with your perfect client. This extension allows you to filter by niche, number of employees, location, and profitability.
Even though it’s super professional and mostly B2B, it’s a social platform.
Build relationships, engage and provide value. The ROI of those relationships won’t be instant monetary checks but seeds that will turn into flowers in the long-term.”

Martina Cooper – Editor and digital marketer at www.brutallyhonestmarketingreviews.com

 

Leverage the Live video tool

“LinkedIn Live video interviews with those who have a consistent show and following demonstrates our thought leadership, increases our reach and allows people to connect with us on a more personal level. They often follow up with connection requests and messages. These are all organic strategies that build trust, strengthen our brand, and make genuine connections.”

Daniel Snow – Co-founder at digital marketing agency www.thesnowagency.com

 

Have a clear target

“Our company recently started using LinkedIn to promote our video production service through paid advertising. In less than three months, we gained 300 followers and 104k post impressions. Our goal has been to get new leads through LinkedIn. It has been a slow process but we’ve noticed LinkedIn is targeting the markets we’re looking for, rather than just leading everyone and anyone to our page.”

Tyler Mose – CEO at full-service video production agency www.e3mcreative.com

 

Build your tribe

“LinkedIn has become a platform where likeminded business people want to connect, engage and learn from others. One of the most important things to do is build an engaged network (a tribe) by commenting regularly on other people’s posts, being visible in groups, and posting valuable content regularly on your page. People do business with others whom they like. Business is about relationships. Build the relationship first and people will want to work with you.”
Gareth Bain – Director at growth Marketing agency www.gotlegsdigital.com

 

And coming up text  …

Professional networking site LinkedIn has recently announced plans to launch their own gig marketplace. It will be similar to the already established Upwork and Fiverr, allowing professionals to post projects and hire freelancers to work from home. The new platform, to be called Marketplace, will primarily focus on jobs such as writing, marketing, and consulting. Microsoft—the parent company of LinkedIn—is also focusing their efforts on creating a digital wallet that will be compatible throughout several of its platforms.

 

Business

Eight Secrets to Closing the Sale

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Listening and building meaningful relationships will help you to sell to the right customer

As an entrepreneur, one thing I struggle with is selling. And yet…that’s the very thing we all need to do every single day. Otherwise…poof. Bye-bye business. So, how do we overcome the fear of selling, particularly as women? How do we take the ick-factor out of it? And, most importantly, are there hidden secrets to closing the sale?

If you are like me, money conversations can be tricky.

I grew up as poor as a church mouse and for years, I just didn’t think I had the right to ask to be paid what I was worth. Even if I was providing a killer service. Not only that, I didn’t have the vocabulary to conduct such conversations.

My journey into entrepreneurship has been unexpected, as it is for a lot of us. Selling is everything. So, how do you sell, if you don’t know how to sell? And how do you sell when everyone else around you is selling too?

Here are eight entrepreneurs who sell every single day. These are their eight secrets to closing the sale:

 

1. Listen, listen, listen

“In my intro calls, I focus on listening to what my potential client is struggling with. It sounds so simple but most of us just want to be heard and often we are not. From that conversation, conversion to client will mostly flow easily, as they realise you genuinely care and can help. I have a personal policy that I only work with clients that I feel confident I can help. So I go into sales calls knowing that it needs to be a win-win match rather than a sale to everyone.”

Jo Morrison – Career specialist and personal coach at Go Go Mojo Coaching

 

2. Use the 80/20 rule

“I used to hate selling. It made me feel sleazy and opportunistic. But then I stopped seeing it as “taking” and started to see it as “serving”; as finding out what the prospect actually needs in order to solve their problem.

In practice, to actualise this, I follow an 80:20 ratio on my social channels. So, 80% of my content is free advice and tips, and only 20% promotes me/my services. I like to show the value I can add, by giving something for nothing, and I find that this keeps me top of mind without forcing me to ask for a sale.

People remember how you make them feel, so try to convey the authentic sense that you could potentially be a partner for the entity, group, brand, or even individual person you’re pitching to, into a long and happy future.”

Tiffany Markman – Copywriter, SEO specialist, and writing trainer at Tiffany Markman Copywriting

 

3. Connect with joy and purpose

“The part about “selling” that doesn’t jive with me is if it 1) isn’t something I truly believe in and 2) feels like I’m “pushing” something. It has to be genuine!

Where selling comes naturally and feels good is when I’m talking about something I’m truly passionate about and making an opportunity visible. When I can connect with it with joy and purpose. That genuine passion comes across and does all the “selling” without so much “convincing” needed.  If I can connect my offers back to free content and tips and value and not always be directly focused on “sign up for my course” that feels better.”

Katie Anderson – Leadership coach, consultant, speaker, author at Katie Anderson Coaching

 

4. Value yourself

“When I first started coaching, I really struggled with selling, I gave so much away for free and became the freebie queen.

When I moved to online business coaching and I worked with clients on their sales blocks and helped them put themselves out there I started to connect the dots differently.

Helping them helped me realise that when you come from a place of abundance and you realise the value you have to offer (actually mapping this out), suddenly selling has a different feeling. You can still offer massive free value, but valuing myself and the difference I make means selling took on a new positive meaning.”

Emma Sidney – Business coach and mentor at Emma Sidney

 

5. Raise your rates (yup!)

“When I started out in business, I was charging a similar amount to what I was paid as a supply teacher. I got great feedback from clients, but I didn’t get much work. It turned out that I was massively undercharging, which meant that people thought they’d get a below par service. When, after seeking advice, I tripled my price to the going rate, I got more clients!

Raising my price didn’t come easily to me, even though I knew I was still offering great value. However, with comments from clients telling me I’m so much more than a copywriter, telling me that working with me has transformed their business and how clear and confident they now feel about their message, I’ve realised that charging the going rate is the way to find and help the people that need my services.”

Sarah Davis – Copywriter at The Parenting Copywriter

 

6. Build relationships

“What I’ve learnt is that selling is much more than asking for a sale and promoting yourself. It’s about building relationships, making other people feel good and helping others to achieve their goals.

If through my online presence, I can show I have the right expertise, I understand my ideal client and my solution to their problem works, the sale comes naturally.

With the right groundwork in place, good relationships turn into good clients.”

Becca Clark – Copywriter at Powered Up Content

 

7. Avoid selling

“I focus on helping people when I’m speaking with them – how I can help them and the value they’ll get from working with me. I explore any reservations they have around the process and their commitment to it but never discuss a fee or cost. In most cases, by the time we get to the end of the call, they will usually ask how much I charge and I will state my fee confidently and without apology or explanation. If they don’t I’ll end the discussion with a statement of my fee. I will say it and then remain silent. It’s is then up to them to decide if they will get value for their money.”

Debbie Lucas – Coach and NLP specialist at Maximise Life

 

8. Pretend it’s someone else’s business

“If you were representing someone else’s business you’d have no problem praising their services or products. So in your head pretend you are talking about someone else’s services or products and notice how much more confident and enthusiastic you are when describing the benefits. The best way to sell is to always tell the story “Be the Feature, not the Ad”. This way you’ll draw people in, not frighten them away. You’ll encourage conversation and interest which will build loyalty, community, and the all-important know, like, and trust factor.”

Triinu Holman, Instagram Coach and Jeweller at Creative Puddles

Secrets to closing the sale (my thoughts)…

You are your business. There’s no one else like you on the planet. Isn’t that incredible? Use that in your content creation and your marketing. It’s gold. In fact, of all the secrets to closing the sale, it’s probably my top one.

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PayPal now allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrency in the UK

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Customer using PayPal Crypto
The UK became the first international expansion of the company's cryptocurrency offering outside of the United States

Paypal has announced the launch of a new service enabling its customers in the UK to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency through the platform.

Users can start by buying as little as £1 of cryptocurrency and are able to choose from four types of cryptocurrency – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. By accessing their PayPal account via the website or the mobile app, they can view real-time crypto prices, access educational content to help answer commonly asked questions, and learn more about cryptocurrencies, including the opportunities and risks.

The UK became the first international expansion of the company’s cryptocurrency offering outside of the United States.

“The pandemic has accelerated digital change and innovation across all aspects of our lives— including the digitisation of money and greater consumer adoption of digital financial services. Our global reach, digital payments expertise, and knowledge of consumer and businesses, combined with rigorous security and compliance controls, provides us the unique opportunity, and the responsibility, to help people in the UK to explore cryptocurrency. We are committed to continuing to work closely with regulators in the UK, and around the world, to offer our support – and meaningfully contribute to shaping the role digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.” – said Jose Fernandez da Ponte, Vice President and General Manager of Blockchain, Crypto and Digital Currencies at PayPal, which is available in over 200 markets.

Customers can also choose from pre-determined purchase amounts or enter in their own purchase amount, before following the prompts to buy the cryptocurrency of their choice. Customers will be able to fund their PayPal account for the purchase using their bank account or debit card. If customers choose to sell cryptocurrency with this new service, funds are normally available quickly to spend in their PayPal account. There are no fees to hold cryptocurrency in a PayPal account. There are transaction fees and currency conversion fees for buying and selling applicable cryptocurrencies, though.

In addition to providing these cryptocurrency services, PayPal has been exploring the potential of digital currencies through partnerships with licensed and regulated cryptocurrency platforms and with central banks around the world. For the past five years, PayPal has increased its focus on, and invested resources in, its internal blockchain research team. They have done this to explore the next generation of digital financial services infrastructure and enhancements to digital commerce.

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Illy coffee gets exclusive position at Summer at The National Gallery

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Young man drinking coffee in a yellow mug
The year-long partnership sees Illycaffè support the Gallery's Contemporary Art Programme and summer pop-up catering | Photo: Chris Benson

Visitors to The National Gallery will be able to enjoy Illy coffee at the Illy Espresso Bar inside the Gallery until 30th September 2021. The opening of the café coincides with the launch of an outdoor exhibition in Trafalgar Square showcasing over 20 life-sized replicas of some of the most famous and treasured paintings in the National Gallery‘s collection. Running from 3rd of August to 2nd of September 2021, the open-air exhibition will be part of London’s Inside Out Festival – a celebration of art and culture to encourage visitors back into London’s West End.

The range of beverages to be served will include Illy’s Cold Brew, a 100% Arabica coffee cold brewed for 12 hours, which is naturally sweet, thirst quenching and offers a uniquely refreshing taste.

As part of the partnership, Illycaffè will also be supporting the upcoming Kehinde Wiley exhibition, scheduled to run from 10 December 2021–18 April 2022.

“Through this new partnership, Illy extends its commitment to promote beauty in all forms, especially through contemporary art. For over twenty-five years, the company has sustained art and culture, supporting artists, institutions, and international exhibitions. Sponsoring The National Gallery’s Contemporary Art Programme is a source of pride for us.” – says Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO at illycaffè.

To find out more information on Illycaffè and The National Gallery, click here

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