3 LinkedIn Mistakes for Social Selling Plus How to Fix Them

Want to speak to serious leads and book more sales meetings? Avoid these LinkedIn mistakes for social selling to improve LinkedIn lead generation.

3 LinkedIn Mistakes for Social Selling Plus How to Fix Them

Become a LinkedIn Social-Selling Expert to Book More Sales Meetings by Avoiding These Mistakes

So you want to start social selling on LinkedIn – or maybe you’ve tried and it’s not quite working – and you need some tips to transform your profile into a lead magnet.

Let’s walk you through what social selling is, why it works and how you can leverage it as part of your own LinkedIn sales strategy.

What Is Social Selling?

Social selling is a sales strategy that involves building relationships through your social media platforms using a combination of content creation (basically, posting to LinkedIn) and engagement (responding to other peoples’ posts on LinkedIn). By engaging with your audience, you’ll build trust, establish credibility, and ultimately, drive sales.

Why Does Social Selling Work?

Think of social selling as a way to warm up multiple leads at once before engaging in personalized conversation.

If you’ve already started selling, you already know that it takes time to bring clients around to a sale. They need to trust you as a person before they trust you with their money or problems. And nobody is handing over that trust on their first encounter with a stranger.

Social selling makes you a familiar face and name up front, easing the skepticism that comes from working with a stranger. It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and personality, two key players in forming relationships with prospects.

It’s also low pressure for your prospects. Instead of answering your messages to learn more about you and your service or solution, they start to passively absorb what you have to offer, learning from you without an immediate pressure to buy.

If you’ve ever thought “If they would just give me the time of day to show how I can help!”  – social selling is the answer to your woes.

Top LinkedIn Mistakes for Social Selling

So what are the top LinkedIn social selling mistakes, and how can you fix them?

  1. You have a lackluster profile
  2. You’re not building community
  3. You don’t have an outreach strategy

1. You Have a Lackluster Profile

Your profile is a great way to advertise who you are and what problems you solve while bringing value to prospective clients. If you haven’t filled yours out completely, you’re already setting yourself back.

And yes, it matters what you fill your personal profile with.

A profile that translates to a never-ending sales pitch about what you do and how it performs isn’t as convincing as you might think. Exclusively pitching your product breeds mistrust and turns away prospective clients.

How do you write a LinkedIn profile that actually sells?

For starters, you need to fully fill out your profile. Effective profiles include strong LinkedIn summaries and headlines peppered with keywords about what you do.

You may be tempted to use a flashy marketing headline like “Invest in your future with confidence”. But this title is unclear for both readers and the search algorithm. Use keywords like “financial services” or “financial planning” to optimize your profile for humans and search engines alike.

To increase your credibility, by ensure your work history includes highlights of what you’ve accomplished in past roles. A list of jobs with no accomplishments to show for it isn’t overly compelling. A history with examples of measured success positions you as a leader in your industry.

And finally, make sure you consistently post valuable content.

To create valuable LinkedIn content, figure out what your audience needs. Then share posts that provide insights, solutions or thought-provoking questions for your target demographic.

If you’re not able to create your own content right now, post questions, insights, articles etc… that support your audience’s needs.

By continuing to add value to your profile, you provide adequate opportunities for your audience to engage with you while building your reputation as an expert in your field.

2. You’re Not Building Community

A lot of sales advice for financial advisors focuses on content you need to be creating. Write LinkedIn posts, share ideas, update your profile.

But sales is an exercise in building relationships. Social selling – a sales strategy where you use your social presence to bring in sales – involves building a community on LinkedIn.

How do you build a community?

Start engaging with your audience. Part of this means responding to questions, comments and feedback on your posts. You can also post polls or questions to encourage your audience to engage with you.

But you should also be going out of your way to engage with other peoples’ content. Respond to both prospective clients and thought leaders in your space. You can provide thoughts, answers, or pose new questions.

Being seen offering advice or thoughts outside your own page is an essential part of your overall LinkedIn social selling strategy. It helps establish you as a helpful member of a community, rather than a walking sales pitch. It’ll also give you more exposure to potential clients while keeping you aware of what problems and topics are top of mind for people.

3. You Don’t Have an Outeach Strategy

It’s true that sales is a numbers game. You’re not going to win 100% of your prospects, and the more people you reach out to the more opportunities you create to make a sale.

Another truth? Time is money. And a weak or poorly-targeted sales pitch is a waste of your time.

If you’re sending messages to just anyone, or you’re sending the same message to everyone, you need to improve the strategy of your approach.

How do you improve your response rates?

To start, target a specific audience with personalized messaging.

To narrow down your target audience, consider who you can provide the most value to. Based on your rates and scope of work, what size of business makes sense for you? What industries are you most knowledgeable about? Where are you currently able to offer your services?

Use your answers to these questions to come up with the parameters of your searches on LinkedIn. If you feel like your audience is broad, consider creating a few specific audience groups.

For example, you may offer services to businesses of all sizes, but the financial pain points of a 10 person company will be different than those of a 1200 person company.

Once you’ve established some audience groups, use what you know about that audience to personalize your messages.

For example, if you work with three main industries, create templates that outline your understanding of the financial pain points that industry faces and how you can help them.

Short messages work best, and there’s a few different approaches you can take for the structure. LinkedIn has 5 templates for sales messaging that you can follow to test different approaches in your messaging.

For a more detailed breakdown on mastering your outreach, we’ve written 7 tips to improve your LinkedIn cold outreach strategy.

Make Your LinkedIn Social Selling More Efficient

So now you know what to do to become a social selling expert. But how can you optimize your time?

When you’re busy making calls, answering emails, prospecting clients, and creating great content, it’s important to create efficient processes.

To start, brush up on what makes a good business development representative. Sharpening your skills like prioritization and communication will give you the best return on investment for your time.

Next, clean up your LinkedIn feed so your homepage is brimming with the right engagement opportunities. While it’s great to connect roommates from college, they probably aren’t your target demographic.

Unfollow people on your feed that aren’t part of your selling community (either thought leaders in the space, or current/potential clients) and spend some time following people who are. Don’t worry about hurt feelings or missed networking opportunities – you’ll remain connected with people you unfollow.

Finally, consider what tools are available to create a more efficient process for your outreach.

We talked about how targeted and personalized messaging yields better results from your InMails. But it can be time consuming to categorize your audiences and send out initial and follow-up messages.

One of the best ways to optimize this process is with a LinkedIn AI tool like CoPilot. It’ll help you send out personalized messages to more clients in less time, while supporting your follow-up efforts. That way, you can focus more of your energy on talking leads over the finish line.