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Before I blow you away with my LinkedIn growth hack, let me share two more incredible statistics to convey LinkedIn’s dominance as the number one B2B social media channel. The top B2B marketing firms were asked which social media channel produces the most B2B leads. LinkedIn came in at number one by taking 59% percent of the votes. Twitter came in a distant second with 28% of the votes. The other big stat from this survey was that 80% of all B2B leads sourced from all social media channels came from LinkedIn.
The LinkedIn growth hack that I am going to share with you is my most treasured hack of them all. This is a hack that can add B2B clients faster than spending $10,000 on Adwords every single month. If you wanted to, then you could build your own successful marketing firm on this hack alone.
It is so special that I have only shared the secret process with only one of my employees, whose soul job is to execute this growth hack for my highest paying clients. Even though she is my most trusted employee, I still made her sign a special legally bonding document that swore her to secrecy.
In episode 26, I walked you through how to turn your LinkedIn profile into a high converting landing page with a professional headline that will pull your prospects into your sales funnel. In episode 27, I gave you the formula for increasing your connections so that you will be able to connect with virtually any business owner or decision maker.
Now I am going to give you the secret sauce that brings it all together. I am reaching into my Karate Kid analogy box one more time as we embark upon the final chapter of this LinkedIn growth hack. We started with a little wax on and wax off. Then we moved into paint the fence. And now we step into the ocean to master the crane kick. This is the tactic that will allow you to take down Johnny in the final match and win it all.
Let’s go ahead and get started.
You Need to Sign Up for The Paid Job Seeker Plan to Get the Most Out of This Hack
There are three paid plans that LinkedIn offers.
- Job Seeker – $29.99/month
- Business Plus – $47.99/month
- Executive – $74.99/month
The big difference between the three plans is the number of InMail messages that you are able to send out. Since my hack does not require InMail messages, you only need to sign up for the $29.99/month Job Seeker plan. I recommend signing up for the month-to-month plan, as opposed to paying for an entire year.
The Job Seeker plan has three big benefits that play a crucial role in this growth hack.
#1 It Gives You Access to the Other LinkedIn Paid Members – There are over 600,000 LinkedIn members that pay the $29 monthly fee for the Job Seeker premium plan. By being a member, you will be able to customize your targeting to only go after other paying members. A paying member of LinkedIn will convert to a client at a rate of 20 to 30 times greater than a free member.
#2 It Gives You The Ability to Filter Your Advanced Searches – The goal with any marketing channel is to niche down your target audience to the point where only your ideal avatar sees your message. The Job Seeker premium plan allows you to filter your search results down to the groups they participate in, years of experience, seniority level, and the company size.
#3 The “IN” Badge Shows Up Next to Your Profile – This leads to more people clicking on your profile in searches. It also gets your messages read almost every single time. This hack is going to focus on connecting and messaging other paying members. They recognize the “IN” badge as a sign of trust. That trust opens the door to everything.
The small cost of $29.99 is very insignificant in the grand scheme of this LinkedIn growth hack. One new marketing services client will essentially pay for the next 40 years of my LinkedIn monthly membership.
How to Execute an Ultra Targeted Search on LinkedIn
You want to narrow down your search results as far as you in your Linked searches. This is going to save you time, and it is going to increase your conversion rate. The goal of the search is to find decision makers that fall into your ideal target audience.
Here are some of the LinkedIn search filters I use for myself and my clients…
On the left hand side of the search page you will be able to see the advanced filters that you will use to narrow down your search. The first one that you need to select is “People.” If you just do a LinkedIn search without choosing “people,” then you will get results that are filled with company and group pages.
This is what you will put into the search box. This can be used to focus on an industry, title, or occupation. Here are some keyword searches that I have used in the past so that you can better understand what to use.
By Industry – social media, SEO, marketing, software
By Title – CEO, owner, founder
By Occupation – blogger, marketer, lawyer
Since you are looking for decision makers to extend connection requests to, you will select 2nd degree connections in the relationship filter. You will be able to automatically connect with any 2nd degree connection that shows up in the search results.
Depending on the type of service or product that you offer, you will choose the cities or nations where the people are from. It is always best to start with the major cities that are located in the state where you live. These people will convert at a rate of 3 to 4 times higher than people that live in cities outside of your state. I live in Houston, Texas. I start with the Houston Metro Area, and then I work my way out to the other major cities in Texas.
If you are servicing a particular industry, then you will want to use this filter. It works best with larger industries like information technology, marketing, computer software, financial services, and management consulting.
This is the filter that will allow you to focus your efforts on the other paying LinkedIn members that are going to convert at a multiple of 20 to 30. You will click on the groups filter and hit the “Add” link. This will open up a text box to type the group name in. Then type the following into this box.. Job Seeker Premium Group. This is a filter you will need to use every single time. It will save you from having to wade through all the free accounts, which for the most part are about 70% inactive.
#7 Seniority Level
For every product and service, there is a key decision maker and influencers. This filter allows you to narrow down your search to most of the major seniority levels within a company. Some of the levels that work the best are; manager, director, VP, C-level executive, owner, and partner.
#8 Company Size
The company size filter enables you to search for people that have (x) amount of employees. All of my clients have a revenue between $1 million and $20 million. This is my sweet spot because I typically am dealing with one sole decision maker, which can make a decision on the spot. No RFPs, no selection committees, and a sales cycle of 1 to 10 days. That is how I like it. These companies have between 11 and 200 employees. The company size filter helps me focus in on this specific target.
The advanced search filters may sound like lots of work, but it is actually is quite simple. You should already know what your target audience and avatar is. Then you choose the search filters that will produce your ideal target in the search results. After that, you save the url for that specific executed search. This is the only url you will ever need.
Take at least thirty minutes to craft the perfect filtered LinkedIn search. Those thirty minutes will save you hundreds of lost hours chasing down the wrong people.
The Key to Getting Virtually Anyone to Accept a Connection Request
Before you start connecting with decision makers from your target audience, I recommend stopping all other types of marketing that are designed to get connections. Specifically, stop trying to connect with LinkedIn Open Networkers (LIONs). It can get a little confusing if you are spinning those plates at the same time.
In regards to your targeted search, another reason why you want to narrow down your search results is because LinkedIn has a hard limit of 5000 total pending connection invites. If you pump out 500 connection requests per day, then you will hit that limit in a matter of 10 days.
For myself and my clients, I send 50 connection requests on each weekday. That adds up to 250 per week. I am able to send connections for almost five months before I hit the LinkedIn’s cap of 5000 connection requests. Once I hit the cap, I go into the pending invitations section of LinkedIn. Then I choose “sent invitations” in the drop down box. It can be a little difficult to find, so I have included a screenshot to show you how to find it.
Once you get in the “sent invitations” section, you can cancel all of the invitations that you have sent out. Ninety-five percent of all invitation requests are seen within the first seven days. The sent invitations are grouped by day. This will allow you to cancel all invitations that are over a week old.
Another reason why you do not want to send more than 50 connection requests per day, is due to the fact that you will get overwhelmed with leads. With B2B services and products, the most effective way to close sales is with a free 1-on-1 consultation over the phone. There are only so many slots available each week for a phone call, and you want to make each call count.
For my marketing services, an average client is going to bring in $30,000 to $50,000 per year. I do not want to be rushing through a call that could cost me $50,000 in extra yearly revenue. I also do not want leads to go cold because I am booked solid for three weeks out.
Now let’s move into how to execute the perfect connection request.
There are two ways that you can connect with decision makers that show up in your targeted LinkedIn search results.
#1 Clicking the Connect Button that Shows Up in the Search Results – This is the easiest way to connect, but it is not the best practice. If you end up sending all of your connection requests this way, then you will eventually get a warning message from LinkedIn. This warning will state that there are too many people declining your connections and saying that they do not know you. After another 20 or so people say they do not know you, then you will no longer be able to send connection requests.
#2 Click Through to Their Profile and Hit the Connect Button on Their Profile – This is the best practice for three big reasons.
You Show Up in Their Who’s Viewed My Profile Section – This is the most visited page on all of LinkedIn. Everyone is curious to know who has been looking at their profile. If you optimized your profile like I taught you in episode 26, then your professional headline will drive them to read your profile. This is going to increase the chances that they will accept your connection request and read your messages.
You Can Attach a Personalized Note to Your Connection Request – I like to let each person know that we are both connected to a specific person. In addition, I communicate to them that I would like to see the updates they make on their industry and company within my LinkedIn feed. You can work off of a canned message where you drop in the name of the shared connection into the message. This extra step will double the conversion rate of your connection requests, and it will position you perfectly to get your initial message read.
For 50 connections per day, this will amount to about 30 minutes of work. If you do not have 30 minutes, then cut your daily connections in half to make it 15 minutes a day.
How to Get Every New Connection to Respond to Your First Message
For every 50 connections requests I send, I get 30 that accept the request. Each day I review my new connections that are located under the “My Network” tab. Just choose “connections” from the drop down menu. On this page, you will scroll down to a section that shows all of your recently added connections. Then you will choose to filter those by “Connections Only” and sort by “Recently Added.”
This will list our all of your newest connections. You will be able to mouse over any new connection and send them a direct message. The screenshot below shows you exactly what to choose.
Your message will be just like an email. It will have a subject line and a body. The best practice is to come up with a canned message that you will use every single time for the initial message.
The single question message style works best for myself and my clients. The primary goal of this message is to engage the new connection in a conversation. The secondary goal is to use social proof to get them to see you as an expert within your field. The subject line is always about them.
Here is the message that I am currently using to initiate a conversation..
Thanks for connecting. What is the url of your website or blog so that I can take a quick look?
Feel free to send me any questions you have on blogging or how to get more traffic to your site. Last month, my blog received over 2 million visitors from 50,000+ first page rankings on Google.
I look forward to getting to know more about you, and I hope you have a fantastic day!
My Question Message Formula Is As Follows…
#1 The Informal Subject Line
I keep the subject line in lower case so that it comes across as informal. I use “your website” as the subject line because this is one of the most effective ways to get someone to read your message. Keep in mind, that your message needs to be congruent with the subject line. I can use “your website” for the subject line because my message is primarily about their website.
#2 Reminder of Connection
The intro paragraph starts with the sentence, “Thanks for connecting.” This reminds them that they just accepted your connection request, and that is the reason for you are reaching out to them.
#3 Specific Question About Them
The second sentence is the question that asks them for their website url so that I can take a quick look. There are few people that are going to turn down a chance to give out the url of their website.
#4 Offer to Answer Questions
I start off the second paragraph by offering to answer any questions on blogging and how to build their website traffic. At this point, I have shown interest in going to their website, and I have shown that I want to give and not take. This really opens them up to taking in my next sentence, which contains my social proof.
#5 Social Proof
The social proof sentence lets them know why they should take me up on letting me look at their website. It also positions my response message to be eagerly read.
#6 Close on a Positive Note
I close by letting them know that I am looking forward to getting to know them and hope they have a fantastic day.
I have A/B tested over 20 variations of question based messages, and this one outperformed them all. No matter what your service is, you should be able to use your own question styled message with my proven formula to get similar results.
I recommend sending messages to each of your new connections at the beginning of each business day on Tuesday and Thursday. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes to copy, paste, and send out all the new messages. It is easier to batch it all together on two days of the week, as opposed to doing it every single day.
How to Turn a Response into a Scheduled Phone Call
If you took the time to create an ultra targeted search, then almost all of the people you are messaging will be qualified prospects. Still it is worth taking a couple minutes to qualify the person that has responded to your initial message.
I do this by glancing at the current position within their profile and looking at the home page of their website. A person’s website speaks volumes about how successful their business is.
The majority of the responses to my initial message falls into three buckets..
Bucket #1 – The Bare Minimum
This is when they just send over the url of their website with nothing else. These prospects either are really busy or they are not that interested in having a conversation with me. I take a look at their website. I give them a couple of pointers, and I send them to a blog post with a deeper explanation of the tips I gave them. These people are not ready to have a phone call, but most of them will take a moment to read a blog post. At the end of the post, they are introduced to my podcast. This will bring them in as a listener and allow them to gain more value from each episode.
Bucket #2 – The Excited to Get Feedback
These responses will have the url of the website along with a short paragraph thanking me for taking the time to look at their website. For these prospects, I use a hybrid approach. I give them the pointers plus a blog post, but I also open the door to a possible phone call. I end the response message with a simple question, “Let me know if you would like to set up a call to go over some other ways you can improve your website traffic and conversion rates?”
Bucket #3 – The Need to Resolve a Pain Point
This is the ideal response that I am looking for. These prospects will tell me specifically what they are struggling with. Some will go as far to say they are unhappy with the company they are working with right now and would like to make a change. For these hot prospects, I use a teasing sentence paired with a question asking for the phone call. I will let them know I reviewed their site, and I see several ways they can improve their organic traffic and Google rankings. Then I ask them if they would like me to send over a couple of days and times that I am available for a short phone call.
By having three buckets, this allows me to have canned responses for virtually every message that comes through. Each canned response is personalized with one or two sentences directly related to their business or website. For the most part, though, everything is ready to go.
From my three buckets, I have two desired outcomes. I want to get them to read a blog post or schedule a phone call for a free consultation.
As you use this LinkedIn growth hack, always try to narrow down your buckets to 3 to 6. This is going to supercharge your results and dramatically cut down the amount of time that you will spend responding to prospects.
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A Review of the Key Takeaways
#1 Sign Up to the $29.99/month Job Seeker Premium Plan
This will allow you to have more filters for your searches, and you can exclusively target the other paying members of LinkedIn.
#2 Use the Advanced Search Filters to Return Ultra Targeted Results
Go after second degree connections that are located in the major cities within your state first.
#3 Connect with a Maximum of 50 People Per Day
This will enable you to continue connecting for five months before you reach the ceiling of 5000 total connection requests.
#4 Use the Connect Button on the Profile Pages and Not the Search Results
By choosing this path, you are able to send a personalized message and show up in their who’s viewed my profile section.
#5 Send Messages to Every New Connection in the Morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays
This will cut down the amount of time it takes to send messages by allowing you to batch your messaging twice a week.
#6 Use My Question Styled Message Formula for Maximum Engagement
Reminder of Connection + Specific Question About Them + An Offer to Answer Questions + Social Proof + Closing on a Positive Note
#7 Group the Responses Into 3 to 6 Buckets That Have Canned Messages for Each Bucket
The buckets will allow you to respond to prospects, with different levels of interests, using the right style of message. You will either direct them to a piece of helpful content or schedule them for a phone call.
You may be feeling a little overwhelmed right now and wondering if you have the time to do this. The total time that I spend on this LinkedIn growth hack for one of my clients comes out to a grand total of three hours a week. I encourage you to dedicate three hours a week for one month to this LinkedIn growth hack. You will be amazed with the results.
This is not a social hack that is going to increase a few numbers that will make you feel better about yourself. This is a growth hack that can take you from a small business that pays your bills to a 7 figure company that gives you an entirely new lifestyle. It all comes down to taking the time to master the process and customizing it to your specific B2B service or product.
This is my goose that keeps on laying golden eggs, and I am giving her to you. Take care of her, do not get greedy, and she will reward you with new B2B clients for years to come.