For most of us, LinkedIn acts as a secondary conduit to otherwise primary business operations, accompanying a company’s narrative rather than leading it. For Daniel Disney however, LinkedIn is the primary operation. Here, the Best-Selling Author, International Keynote Speaker and LinkedIn Trainer explains how small digital steps lead to global success in the LinkedIn arena.
Your book The Ultimate LinkedIn Sales Guide tells us how to transform LinkedIn into a revenue stream, so firstly: why LinkedIn?
It’s worth noting that I’ve never been a social media type of person. I was around 18 years old when Facebook became a thing, and having lived most of my youth without social media I didn’t feel much need for it.
However, I was very focused on my job, climbing the corporate sales ladder and being as successful as possible. Then, around 8 years ago, while I was working full time in corporate sales, I got an email one day from one of my customers telling me they wanted to connect on something called “LinkedIn”. I followed the link and setup a profile. It didn’t take me long to find that other customers of mine were using this platform, and prospects that I was working on as well. The more I used it, the more different ways that it could be used became apparent. I could find people, connect with them, message them, get value from content, give value through content and so, so much more. The reason I took to LinkedIn was because it wasn’t just another social network, it was a PROFESSIONAL social network, one that I could use to generate success from at work.
It does take time; it does take hard work and more importantly it takes consistency
What advantages and challenges does the immediacy of LinkedIn make for branding oneself?
The advantages are huge, people and businesses can create monumental success and revenue from LinkedIn, some building 6 and 7 figure businesses completely from LinkedIn. You create brand awareness, grow audiences and help people all over the world. It can help you secure your dream job, or launch/grow your own business. The challenge as with anything is the time and effort required to achieve it. It does take time; it does take hard work and more importantly it takes consistency. This is one of the reasons I wrote “The Ultimate LinkedIn Sales Guide“, to help map out the process and make it as simple and easy to follow as possible. I know how challenging it is for people to find time to do something new like using LinkedIn, and I know how difficult it is learning how to use something new. But I also know there are a lot of struggling businesses and salespeople out there that could find a lot of success by using LinkedIn properly.
What common pitfalls in personal representation on platforms like LinkedIn do you see most often? How can these be rectified for the future?
The biggest pitfall is people treating it and using it the same way they use other social media networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Each social network should be treated individually, as they are all very different and operate very differently, and LinkedIn is no exception to that. That doesn’t mean don’t share personal content or stories on LinkedIn, you should absolutely do that, but often people treat platforms like Facebook in a very different way. The best way I can try and explain it is the difference between what you would say or talk about with your friends and family at home or out socially, compared to the conversations that you would have in the office at work. Both are often very different, and that’s how Facebook/Instagram compare to social networks like LinkedIn. You can still share personal stories, but they will be work relevant ones. The other big pitfall I see many struggling with is taking way more than they give. A lot of people are always asking for something, or always trying to sell something. The key is to do the opposite, give way more than you take. For example, instead of sharing a company blog about how great your product is (which no one is going to want to read), share a list of 10 expert tips that your target customers will actually get value from. Give first and you’ll get way more back.
Give first and you’ll get way more back
Can you explain why ‘organic’ growth specifically is the most valuable form of engagement progression, and how it reflects the individual achieving it?
Organic growth is the single biggest reason people and businesses need to jump on LinkedIn as soon as possible. That sounds dramatic, but let me explain why. Around 10-15 years ago, organic growth was huge on Facebook, and early adopters benefited hugely from this. They were able to reach super large audiences, grow super large networks and generate a lot of business without having to pay a penny. Try and do that now and Facebook and you will need to spend tens, maybe even hundreds of thousands of pounds to do it. Right now, LinkedIn is where Facebook was 10-15 years ago. The organic (free) reach is incredible, but it won’t stay like this forever. I can spend 5-10 minutes writing a post or sharing a photo on LinkedIn today and could reach anywhere between 100,000 – 250,000 people.
Companies will see the power in empowering their team to build personal brands
What do expect to see for the future of LinkedIn, going beyond the end of pandemic and into the future?
LinkedIn is going to continue to grow at a very rapid pace, and will continue to evolve and introduce new features. They’re already making it a better place for content creators and individual brands, and this will continue. The people that are using it well now, building their audiences and brands, will be the ones you’ll see dominating the platform over the next 5-10+ years. I believe LinkedIn will integrate with more external tools and platforms, and will continue to push video content, messaging and communication. I also believe companies will see the power in empowering their team to build personal brands as even greater than marketing corporate brands on LinkedIn, and this will become standard practice for employees.
Daniel Disney is a Speaker, Trainer and Author of The Ultimate LinkedIn Sales Guide and The Million-Pound LinkedIn Message