Posted by: waynebreitbarth | September 26, 2010

Using LinkedIn to Educate Your Customers (Part 2)

Welcome Back, Professors:
 
I hope you had a great week. 
 
I addressed you that way to remind you that this week’s tips are a continuation of the idea of educating our customers using LinkedIn.  When I heard the statement “People buy from those who educate them” from Stephen Jones, an instructor from the Social Media Magic University [www.socialmediamagicuniversity.com], it really hit me that this concept is getting to be more and more important as the whole idea of marketing seems to be shifting from an “advertising type” focus to an “expertise/education” focus.  LinkedIn is one of the tools that can really help you accomplish this with your intended audience. 
 
This week’s tips will give you my concluding thoughts on those tools and how you can make them work for you.

•  Join and be active in groups.  This is probably the easiest way to talk to a large targeted audience about the educational information you have with the least amount of cost and money.  Just think – if you are in the right type of group, you can share an article, website or event with an audience that might be right on the “bull’s eye” of your target customer.  As effective as a targeted industry can be to help educate, do not minimize the idea that you can also be educating a broader market or group on what you do at a higher level by doing the same things in what I like to refer to as the “regional super groups,”  like Link Up Milwaukee, the Green Bay Packer group, etc.  Remember – you join these groups for the raw numbers that you can hit in your communication and searching.

•  Start a Group.  This is one great way to be the educational  “go to” person in your space.  Think of an industry niche or area that doesn’t have a LinkedIn group and start one, but don’t do this unless you are committed to be on the lookout for information on an ongoing basis that will be helpful to that group, and it doesn’t have to be limited to information that you and/or your company have authored.  Be the clearinghouse for that niche, and people will come back time and time again.  If this group is local enough to have real live events, I would encourage you to go to those events and see that “guru” status of yours go to the next level.

•  Events.  Like the applications mentioned above, this is another application on LinkedIn that you have to download into your profile by accessing the “More” button on the top right of the toolbar on the top of your LinkedIn page.  Use this not only if you are hosting educational events but also to say you are attending an event that is hosted by someone else of an educational nature.  Whenever you say you are attending or interested in attending, that event shows up on the home page of all the people in your network on the day you register, but it will then be carried on your individual profile until the event date passes.  This is a great way to show you are continuing on your journey to be an expert in your field, and people respect people who are students of what they do.

•  Amazon Book List.  This is another LinkedIn application that can educate people.  You can post the books you are reading along with your detailed review.  Not only do people see that you are staying on top of your industry, but you can share the book/review with people in your network.  This is a great way to pass along your thoughts on a book you have read to another industry professional, and those thoughts show them you are “on top of it.”  The last two books you post actually show up on your profile; so, if you are trying to increase your educational position in the marketplace, you may want to make sure that you don’t post and review the last two “Twilight” books unless your expertise is vampires.

•  Websites.  You can use a direct link to another website that has an educational component, like watching an instructional or presentation video, or a signup to join a mailing list to periodically receive educational information.  Think creatively, and make sure you use all three of these “hotlinks.”  Don’t forget to use the 26 available characters to describe the site or hotlink so that the reader is encouraged to click on.

•  Summary.  Use this section to describe and direct people to the other places on your profile that provide educational content (all of those mentioned above).

•  Pay it Forward.  My final thought on how LinkedIn can help you continue to educate people on what it is you do well is to take time and help someone you know who is either just starting on LinkedIn or is struggling to figure out just how to make it work for them.  Since you have had over 50 weeks of tips & helps, you are one of the area’s “resident experts.”  So make that knowledge work in moving along a relationship in a different way.

Well, you are now armed with the information you need to get your LinkedIn profile and activities going in terms of your showing you are the “professor” of the industry and/or market you serve. 

Miscellaneous News and Notes– 

  

 

Some of the other resources I provide are:

•       Customized corporate training classes
•       Keynote and workshop presentations for conventions and association meetings
•       Corporate social media strategy consulting
•       For Sale:  LinkedIn training DVDs for beginners and intermediate users
•       For daily tips, follow me on Twitter at:  http://twitter.com/WayneBreitbarth

Here is my upcoming schedule for teaching/speaking so you can share with friends, relatives and business associates.  Follow link or paste into your browser for additional details and registration information.

Wed Sept 29, 2010  Wayne’s Power Formula for LinkedIn Success Training for Beginners
                                  M&M Office Interiors; 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM
                                  http://budurl.com/hnfh

 

Sat Oct 16, 2010  Wayne’s Power Formula for LinkedIn Success Training for Beginners
                                  M&M Office Interiors; 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM
                                 
http://budurl.com/kkat
 
Mon Oct 25, 2010  Wayne’s Intermediate Power Formula for Linkedin Success Training
                                  M&M Office Interiors; 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM
                                 
http://budurl.com/xq2a

Have a great week as you educate your market, and keep this statement in mind: “People buy from those who educate them.”
 
Wayne
 
Wayne C. Breitbarth
President
M&M Office Interiors, Inc.
W233 N2833 Roundy Circle West Suite 100
Pewaukee, WI  53072
 
office 262-781-2600
cell 414-313-7785
 
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