Liking, sharing, and commenting on interesting content is a great way to build your network online. Learn a few steps that can help set you up for success.
- Recently, a friend of mine who I had not spoken to in a while, asked if I'd be up for an introduction to a friend of his that just took on a new sales job. In the email, he shared how his friend was looking to get advice from other sales leaders, and he thought of me immediately because of what I had shared and posted on LinkedIn. This is a great example how through sharing content I was able to build a relationship with the decision maker who could potentially buy the product I was selling one day. This is just one example of how sharing and publishing content can help you expand your reach.
People want to buy from consultative thought leaders, and one of the primary ways you're going to be evaluated by a buyer is the same way that you evaluate them. They're going to look you up on Google, they'll find you on LinkedIn, and they'll look to see what you're saying on social networks, and when they do, they'll make assumptions and judge your expertise and how helpful you might be, even before you've met them. While marketing is not your day job, this is a golden opportunity to capture the attention of your prospect. The amount of information out there means we can't just hide and lay low.
We must lean in and embrace our new world and use it to our advantage, we are all marketers. And from my experience, there are three great ways to become a thought leader in your space through sharing content. The first is being relevant, meaning sharing content that your network would actually be interested in. Any time you share a post on a social network, this is your opportunity to further develop your professional brand. Always remember that not everyone you're connected to is going to have the exact same interest, but it's a good idea for the content that you share to be relevant, to at least a significant portion of your network.
My personal philosophy is that about 70% of what I share is relevant to my buyers and the other 30% is professionally relevant. To clarify, this doesn't mean that the 70% I share is a direct pipeline of content trying to convince you to buy my product. The majority should be industry news, thought leadership on trends or changes, or really anything that you think your buyer might read if they saw it. Another piece of advice is to be consistent. I know what you're thinking, you're busy, this is just another thing to add to your to-do list, but you really need to make this a priority.
Regularly sharing content is such an important part of social selling, and honestly, it doesn't take that long. I've learned a few key tricks to make it easier on myself. The first thing I do is I schedule it into my calendar. I set aside about 10 minutes every day to find content to share. The second thing I do is I leverage the employee advocacy platform that my team uses, LinkedIn Elevate. If your company has an employee advocacy platform, that's a great way to find content and easily schedule sharing.
And if not, you might want to use a free product like Buffer or HootSuite. The last thing I do, is I find a few key sources of content from an influencer, or a colleague that I can go to when I'm looking for something to share. In this case, it's okay to steal. To truly be seen as someone who is a thought leader, you need to contribute unique ideas and opinions and commentary to your industry and community. When you share an article, just don't share the link, but write in your favorite part or why you've shared it.
It doesn't have to be a novel, but write at least a few sentences to show that you have an opinion. Remember, it's not just your network or followers that will see this content, as people like, comment and share, it will be seen by an ever-expanding group of people that will start to see you as the go-to person for your industry, so let's get started. I want you to go to someone's profile that you respect in your industry, look at what they've created or shared recently, and find one article that you like and share it right now across your social profiles.
Really, it's that easy and there's no reason that you shouldn't start now.
- Crafting a customer-centric profile
- Creating a professional brand that expands your reach
- Identifying your ideal prospects
- Understanding what your buyer values
- Knowing when a prospect is ready to buy
- Engaging with personalized outreach
- Asking for an introduction
- Measuring social selling success