The harder I work, the luckier I get. Call me Edison or Casey Kasem, as controversial as some of these ninjitsu tactics may be, here are my top 40 wacky, wild and a bit wooly ways to get lucky on LinkedIn. Forgive me as I lift the proverbial kimono but I was inspired after speaking for Oracle in New Zealand today and reviewing for their Melbourne event tomorrow on Social Selling 3.0:
- Rewrite your profile optimized for keyword search but also rewrite it with Purple Cow Power of Wow content. Differentiate!
- Change your headline to something action based that differentiates you, stands out and is value creation focused.
- Launch your own LinkedIn group and host it curating it with great articles and posting provocative questions. Make sure it's a catch name like LinkedIn B2B Mastermind Social Thai Chi Practitioners!
- Use 100% of your InMails. You get 25, write them all. That's less than 1 a day. Not using InMail is just like not exercising or learning. It's the path of least resistance. InMails are a literal gold mine. InMail should be called GoldMail or PlatinumPings!
- Join 50 groups and actively participate in all of them as much as possible with relevant questions to foster engagement. Keep rotating out 2 to 5 of them to make sure every group is packing a power punch.
- Set your settings so that every update you post is visible to "everyone's network." You've gotta be visible if you're going to build the Hyatt Platform.
- Block visibility of your connections from the Settings tab to prevent competitors from poaching clients. You may be in an industry where it's better to be open but in highly contested disruptive startup waters - lock it down!
- Add an email address you're open to sharing in your about section to allow others to freely connect - especially pertinent as an author. Write it as 'tony at RSVPselling' if you're worried about getting scraped! My bio message immediately encourages topics to be sent to me and/or any questions or feedback.
- Publish wild articles in LinkedIn Publisher and push yourself to reach the 1,700 word (7 minute read mark). Think steak and sizzle. Iterate on thousands of topics, pull from that grab bag. Be a student of how-tos, extremes and hyperbole. You'll be told that 200-400 words is ideal for building followers but don't be afraid to polarize your audience... if it's good, keep going. Just be sure to respect your audience; they're smart and don't need you to them what they already now!
- Reverse look-up up valid B2B email addresses leveraging Rapportive. LinkedIn owns this company which pulls from the RapLeaf database. It's not always accurate but it's a good way to at least get a quick read on prospects from inside Gmail.
- Get a subscription to LinkedIn Sales Navigator and launch a LinkedIn War Room. The secrets of Navigator include passive lead tracking, lead serving daily, shares, company updates and TeamLink. In a bigger company TeamLink is a massive edge. You can map how your seat licenses map out to the greater organization and 3 degrees to the target.
- Connect with key influencers in your sector, they're often more open to connecting. Thought leaders are often very open to mingling in social but make it count. Customize and personalize. Add them to a Twitter List and invite them to your personal LinkedIn Group. Follow every thought leader's blog with the Feedly app. RIP Google Reader, how we loved you so, I can't even count the ways!
- Build a custom Twitter list just off your top LinkedIn connections to make sure you're listening to them in TweetDeck or HootSuite.
- Block your visibility when you view people for deep R&D or if you're wanting to be seen, open it up - two very different strategic objectives.
- Build a private mastermind group!
- Find a reverse-mentor to teach you all the cutting edge Social 3.0 techniques. If you're under 35, desperately seek out a mentor to teach you how to actually do SPIN selling, TAS, Solution, Strategic, Consultative, Power Base and BattlePlan. These technologies close million dollar deals and mixed with social are lethal!
- Hit the plus sign on everyone's skills - everyone who deserves it - yes! Hold an endorse-a-thon! I know, it's annoying getting told how great we all are, all day, but so many of us are guilty of it. If you can't beat them join them on this one. LinkedIn is fundamentally sticky for this reason. Buzz the smartphone in pocket.
- Write personalized invite requests from mobile LI and LinkedIn. Get creative and be original. Remember that being likable for likability's sake doesn't always make you stand out. Be yourself and be real. Authenticity and candor are rarer than diamonds on here.
- Sort your feed by Recent Updates versus All so you can retrain LinkedIn's machine learning algorithm to populate ever more interesting stuff. Train your content dragon!
- Publish on Publisher 3 times per day for 3 months at 1,900 words. Super challenging but rewarding! Grew my followers 3X. Secret? Stop watching TV. I pushed myself to the limit and drove 300,000 views and followers to 3X in 60 days: 1,500 to 5,500... even while I was on family vacation in Vietnam... thank you family!
- Go out of your way to actually meeting people in real life - coffee and tea are the best for this especially before and after standard work hours. Never eat alone!
- 99% of just people hit the like button so leave meaningful comments everywhere calling out specifics. Actually read the articles. Get to the end. Mention something from the end. It floors people when you read every word. Most stuff on here is snackable. Go like the materials in the gallery. I'm shocked when top thought leaders gallery section of SlideShares and YouTube speeches is about as crowded as a graveyard. Get in there and make a joyful noise!
- Use the @mention feature to promote people discovering new connections from within your comments. Just hit the @ button anywhere you comment: you'll discover the secret of how this works. Always do it! Discipline yourself to leave a hyper-personalized reply comment on every comment you get. Comments are gold, go add those profiles; study those people and interact meaningfully.
- If you apply for jobs, try to apply to dozens or hundreds just to expand your horizons through weak ties. You'll be amazed the treasures that flow back. Remember your resume is in a pile deeper than the administration's revised tax and expenses backlog.
- Ask your entire network for recommendations.
- You thought you got me and I knew some of you grimaced at that one. 'Don't spam me Tony!' Before you do #25, do the good ol' deleting party so everyone in your network matters.
- Interact with other geographies, fields, cultures and age ranges. You'll grow so much more by embracing a global outlook on the business world. Agism is so passé!
- Keep LinkedIn open 60 to 90 hours per week on mobile LI and in a browser tab to study patterns and improve your content pattern recognition.
- Watch the trending keywords of "most searched" in Top 25 Pulse like Big Ideas 2015 and your write titles based on them. Follow all the thought leaders on a Channel, link in with them on LI and Twitter. If some CEO posts some link bait like: "I'll never hire a salesperson again" take a stand and counter act the post with one directly calling it out. LinkedIn take-downs are like fireworks. Remember debate class and Parliament. Make sure to respect your adversaries. You could start the post with: "Will the right honorable gentleman please hire some sales people."
- Share pictures of great quotes; images get huge interaction. Build-out your own selfie YouTube channel like Tibor Shanto; talking to the camera. Real, gritty and raw is world's more powerful than the 'slick.' I need to get going on video blogging... next phase for me.
- Build an international Twitter & LinkedIn Sharing network where you thunderclap out other people's stuff. It's not some secret cabal conspiring for clandestine Illuminati domination. Instead, it's really just sound business. The law of fellowship and affiliation prevails. Your people retweet and re-share your stuff in social and you return the favor. Make sure to add comments to pass back the Google Juice by making it non-duplicative.
- Newsjack and Ghost-Drive (aka GhostJack). Ghostdriving is the real-time concept of driving other peoples' profiles to see the world from new eyes. I call this pulling a Marcel Proust: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Newsjacking is posting content in response to Google and Twitter trending topics. Hashtag cloud back into Twitter by linking your LinkedIn and Twitter. Remember, mentioning Kim Kardashian in anything defies all logic and reason and outranks everything on the internet instantly. Mash it up! Top 10 Things Kim Kardashian Would Do As A Sales Manager... LOL!!!!
- Create the longest, most over the top, profile ever created. Never worry about being too unique. The extra mile is a lonely road on social. Put every charity, award, society, interest you've ever had out there in full force. Why? Search engines crawl it and eat it up!
- Hub & Spokes - My signature social selling 3.0 strategy - break the mold and move your blog to LinkedIn [hub] - Leverage Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Instagram as the spokes. Become the garden that attracts the butterflies. Stop building bionic nets! I just received 7 friend requests in the past hour. Pull the industry to your doorstep! #attractionmarketing
- Whenever anyone interesting views you, add them back with a personal message. Inbox them when they like your content or comment. Max-out referrals and personalize them all.
- Mash-ups - Fuse the old and the new, the Luddite and the Advanced, the shocking and the mundane. This is akin to Digital Power Clashing, wearing many shades of plaid and argyle to stand out.
- Leverage heaps of humor and satire - B2B is dry and dull, you need to take it up a notch and crack wise. I often blast out satirical political commentary and get awesome engagement. Always, always make fun and lampoon yourself! Share funny YouTubes and use GIFs and mashed up pics. Tweet right at other authors to urge response. Tweet at the media, they'll seldom respond!
- Tell true stories or build B2B Fiction - Get your statistics right so you don't mislead. Extrapolate the future and push the envelope. Build characters in your mind to create allegory.
- Make wild predictions about the future!
- Open source everything. Share every last secret openly. Give software companies and third parties permission (with authorship) to repurpose and remix your content. Remember Seth Godin gave away the biggest eBook of all time. He's still relatively unknown because of it. [NOT!]
- Bonuses...You know me. Tap into alumni networks. Adding alums gets a 95% accept rate when you call it out. Always ask Why when someone disagrees with you??!! Draw it out. Haters are gonna hate so develop a thick skin. If someone attacks you ad hominem do what Tibor Shanto did and eviscerate it, line by line with the precision of a Rhodes Scholar. He warned his frenemy the following: contains facts.
When you accept someone's connection invitation send them a message thanking them for inviting you to connect and ASK them if you can help them in any way. It's amazing how many times it pays off. They then 'really' look at your profile and you get to both start a conversation. - Sonja Firth
Finally, make sure you understand LinkedIn's SSI because those who score well have 50% more likelihood of making their sales target.
I hope you're laughing and also scratching your head! Now it's your turn: What did I miss? What LinkedIn hack works for you? How are you pushing the envelope on here or in social? What has resonated with you the most? Were you offended or did you laugh out loud? Did you hit share? So curious...you remember what happened to the cat. If you've lived 9 lives and are ready for more, count Curiosity as numero uno on this bizarre listicle data dump.
Tony Hughes is ranked as the #1 influencer on professional selling in Asia-Pacific and is a keynote speaker and best selling author. This article was originally published in LinkedIn where you can also follow Tony's award winning blog. Also visit Tony's keynote speaker website at www.TonyHughes.com.au or his sales methodology website at http://www.rsvpselling.com/.
Main image photo by Flickr: Dita Margarita
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