Are you a business person or a freelancer? Do you have a profile on LinkedIn? LinkedIn is one of the world’s top online platforms to build and manage your professional identity.
But if you are new here, everything happening around you may seem too fast for you to catch up. You may have a lot of questions. How to use LinkedIn to enhance your business? Can you reach out to influencers through this platform? Right. This is when a piece of expert advice comes in handy. We have here the most ideal person to guide you through your LinkedIn journey: JoAnne Funch.
Funch is a marketing consultant and digital marketing strategist. She works with individuals and companies who want to leverage LinkedIn to manage their reputation, build a personal brand, and find and engage prospects to build value-based relationships. Tune in to learn more about using LinkedIn to the maximum potential to enhance your profession, with Joanne Funch.
00:08 – Introduction.
03:01 – Right way to approach people.
06:19 – Generating inbound inquiries without outreach.
12:04 – Being engaging.
13:07 – Spending time on LinkedIn.
18:35 – Is it worth using LinkedIn Navigator.
19:57 – Future of social selling and the evolution of LinkedIn
23:20 – LinkedIn shutting down accounts
Special thanks to JoAnne Funch for joining this amazing episode. This is incredibly advantageous if you have your own podcast to promote, since the audience is already listening to podcasts, meaning they’re much more likely to subscribe to your own podcast.
Joanne FunchLinkedIn Trainer, Strategist
Joanne Funch is is a LinkedIn trainer, strategist, Author and a Public speaker.
RK: All Right! . Welcome my dear audience, my guests and, you know, my listeners, viewers. I have with me here, Joanne Funch. She is a LinkedIn trainer. She’s a strategist. She’s a speaker. She’s an author, you know, and she’s one of my very first mentors, I can if I can call that, you know, and she, she works with individuals, companies who want to leverage LinkedIn, to manage the reputation to build a personal brand and find and engage prospects to build value-based relationships.
Actually, I met Joanne, three or four years ago through a mutual friend called Roy Meyer and we also help the launch her webinar that time ever since we’ve been staying in touch and I really enjoy reading her emails, and each of her emails professes one thing, which is a value-first philosophy.
When I met Joanne A few years ago, I was so excited about learning new tactics and new shiny objects and things like that. And just one call, you know, that took me from believing that, you know being tactic and tools oriented. And at the end of the call, you know, Joanne made me realize that in tactics comes and goes, but then if there is one thing that always remains it is building relationships, building long-lasting and meaningful relationships. So I have to give that credit to Joanne to have opened my eyes to that.
So over to you, Joanne, to talk about LinkedIn or beyond LinkedIn, how to create a standout personal brand, building an influential network and how to drive more sales through social selling.
JoAnne Funch: Yeah, thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. Look forward to having this conversation.
RK: Absolutely. Joanne pleasures, all mine.
RK: Great. So I want to ask you this question for a very long time actually. You know, I’ve been on LinkedIn for more than a decade now, and then I’ve built about 15,000 plus contacts or connections on LinkedIn. And, you know, I get a lot of messages on LinkedIn, which either asked me to schedule a time with them to, you know, go over a call or, you know, for me to read their email, I mean, reader, you know, they go to the landing page or join the webinar and whatnot. And, you know, the more and more I see like, every day, I get at least a dozen of them in my account because I have such a big network.
And I don’t want to be seen like all of them, you know, when I approach someone I want to approach in a very, you know, unique way You know, when I shouldn’t come off like spamming or I should not come off like I am trying to sell something. And one of the things that you told me is also about how to approach Right, right? So can you tell me and my audience, what is the right way to approach people on LinkedIn?
JoAnne Funch: Well, I think the first thing is you come from a perspective of it’s about them not about you. So regardless of Well, let me back up a second because I think it’s important that we have a goal. What is your goal? For your network? It could be that you want to build brand awareness, It could be that you want to connect with an influencer, It could be that you’re prospecting could be a lot of things, right? So I think you need to understand those goals first.
Because once you know what your goals are, you absolutely know who you want to connect with, and what you want to say. So using that as an example, let’s say that you just want to build and expand in a certain industry.
Say, and so you want to invite somebody that you see who might be influential in a particular industry, you simply have to say to them, first of all, you always send a personal message always.
And secondly, in that personal message, you want to tell them why they’re interesting to you. Why do you want to connect with them? mentioned something that you’ve read in their profile, or you want to make sure that you have learned about this person before you make the ask because first impressions are everything, everything!
And so that first impression of saying something like, you know, I have seen your work in the industry, I admire what you’re doing. I would really be honored to have you part of my network. That would be a first outreach right. And if they Except you want to start nurturing that the same way by adding some value by commenting on their posts, you have to earn the right to take it to the next level and the next level being right.
JoAnne Funch: A phone call a take it offline kind of communication you have to earn that right.
RK: Wow. So earning that right. Absolutely, absolutely. So, the approach really matters once you actually think about this approach, right? You will… no one will actually bother about what templates to use and you know, things like that, isn’t it because this is completely anti template? anti? You know, so. So when you take time Yeah, absolutely.
So to summarize what you just said, Joanne. If you have to approach someone in a very authentic and genuine relationship-building manner, it should be first and But understanding your own goals, which is why do you want to reach out to them and you know, first in first place, then take the set, take some time to learn about that person, write and send out a message which creates a really good impression, first impression. And then start nurturing by adding value commenting on their posts. And one thing which I really liked that you said is earned the right to communicate with them or earn the right to associate with them. Yeah, is that right?
JoAnne Funch: Yes, you have to earn that right.
RK: Perfect, so I really love that answer. Anything else you wanted to add on to it?
JoAnne Funch: Well, I can’t stress enough that first impressions matter whether they’re digital and so first impressions have gone digital, and we’re here telling you about them, right. So whether it’s LinkedIn or any social platform, how are you showing up? How are you presenting yourself now by in that way One or two sentences? Have I impressed you enough that you would want to know who I am? Those are the things you need to think about. It’s not a numbers game, right? You want to align your connections with your goals. Right? So,
RK: Absolutely! Very well said.
JoAnne Funch: It’s not about quantity, right? So I would encourage you to go through your connections and remove people.
RK: Oh, yeah, doing something which I’ve never even thought of. Maybe… Maybe I will, you know, start removing connections. Those are not Yeah.
JoAnne Funch: Connections are really important to get the right network. Because when we talk about having a network and you’ve got LinkedIn, they’ll show a percentage of that network your posts. So think of it this way. Do I have a network that I want to see my friends So has that changed over the years? And if it has, you should clean up your network.
RK: Right. Absolutely. Absolutely. Great. Thanks. Thanks for that. Joanne. Yeah. So how can I generate inbound inquiries without ever having to outreach? Have a?
JoAnne Funch: Well, I wouldn’t say ever but what I would say how I would answer that is to tell you that the number one thing you can do is improve your profile. So having a really awesome profile will attract leads and clients organically if it says the right thing.
So again, think digitally, right, if I came to your profile, what am I going to see? I’m going to see that the first thing I’m going to see is your name, your photo, your headline, and that banner image if those Things immediately aren’t attracting me, I’m gone. So that’s where it starts. You want to make sure that that your headline has some keywords, but also has a compelling statement about, about what you do or who you serve. Okay, so it’s not enough anymore to put a title because it doesn’t tell me anything.
Right. And then the last piece is that header image that is valuable real estate and I can’t believe how many people leave that default blue image on the top that you know you’ve got a big bill there to advertise anything. I mean, if you’re a business owner, you would want to make sure you have your company branding. it’s a message board. So Absolutely, that’s number one. And, and then following that, if that’s impressive enough, I’m going to scroll down.
And the next thing I’m going to see is the about section, which used to be the summary. And you have 2000 characters to tell your story. And when I say tell your story, you know, this should include keywords, because LinkedIn is a search engine, but it also needs to be interesting and compelling. And why do I? Why do you want to do business with me? So it has to be client-centric. So written from the client’s perspective, not yours. That’s what resumes are for. Yes, totally different. But, but having getting back to why it matters. You’re also going to enhance your own professional reputation.
So that’s big, right? If I’m searching for people in an industry, I’m looking at someone who’s credible, who, who has a great reputation. Having also this profile establishes trust a lot faster. So if it’s completed properly, and it really tells your story, you’re creating trust media. It absolutely can facilitate relationships with decision-makers because your profile is saying, here’s what I do. Here’s who I serve. Here’s results. I get for people and here’s what you can expect working with me. And here’s how to contact me. If you don’t have all those components that will help you attract people organically.
RK: I see. Perfect, perfect and on top of that JoAnne and profile optimization, the Help, you know, asking questions on groups or answering being helpful on groups? Will will that help generate inbound inquiries?
JoAnne Funch: It can although groups have become really stagnant in the last few years. Yeah, they’re not very active in groups. But this way, think of it differently. If you’re engaging with your network, meaning people are posting content on the homepage. And if you engage, intelligent comments, people are naturally going to click to see who you are.
JoAnne Funch: Profile!!
RK: Perfect. So more than focusing on groups it makes more sense these days to focus their efforts on the feeds, right, the LinkedIn feed
JoAnne Funch: Content! It’s all about content!
RK: Absolutely. Great.
RK: Great. So, which leads me to the next question, which I would ask you, which is, do you recommend spending some time every day on LinkedIn? So do you have any kind of ritual that you recommend my audience to follow, you know, to get out maximize their, their ability to, you know, create more impact, you know, on LinkedIn?
JoAnne Funch: Yes. So consistency is key. I’m glad you brought that up, because the more consistent you are your training LinkedIn algorithm to show that basically, so here’s what I would do and here’s what I do every day. Number one, I always open and scan the newsfeed which is the homepage and I look for opportunities to engage with people, both them I know and that I don’t know.
Oh, here’s what I mean by that to break that down further.
Number one I am, I look for my clients. Okay, I’ve tried to show them that they’re seen by me comment on their posts, I helping them. Okay.
Number two, I scan quickly to see if anybody asks a question. I can answer a lot of questions for people. That right. That might not be my expertise. But somebody might say, Does anyone know a graphic designer in Minneapolis? And I can chime in and say, yeah, here’s why I recommend, be helpful. That’s tip number two, find ways to be helpful.
And number three is The third thing I do is I scan for conversations where I can share my expertise. Okay! I do that in a couple of ways. I can either search hashtags to find conversations, I can jump in. Or as I scan that feed, I look for conversations I can add value to
JoAnne Funch: So, I do all this in about 10 minutes. Okay, this is not a big time-consuming. Instead, I do it every day,
JoAnne Funch: The second thing I do after I scan, the feed is I, I click on the activities, Notifications tab to see what’s happening in my network.
So LinkedIn does help you, right? You just need to go to the notifications, see what’s happening in your network. See if someone responded to your post and you respond back see what’s happening. So I’m I always look at notifications. And the third thing I do is I look at my invitations. Now, here’s a tip on going back to your previous question. Um, if you didn’t send me a personal invitation, I skipped all of those first.
RK: Wow, okay. Okay. Okay. So just a note, right? Yeah. If I don’t leave a note, okay.
JoAnne Funch: You don’t leave a note. My feeling is I’ll get around to you at some point. But you’re not a priority to me because you didn’t take the time to even leave me a note. So I scan first for the invitations where people wrote me a note and I respond to them. Right away. Right. So it depends on how many connections I get. I mean, if you’re getting 15 a day, that’s a lot of people to sift through.
JoAnne Funch: So I Do these activities that I just mentioned those three things. I usually do them first thing in the morning, and I also do it in late in the afternoon. Okay.
JoAnne Funch: But I do it every day.
RK: Perfect. So so for someone.
JoAnne Funch: Yeah, I was gonna say what happens is, people will say to me, Joanne, I see you everywhere. It’s not that I’m everywhere. It’s that you’re not. See my point? So I’m showing up LinkedIn is showing my stuff because they see I’m active all the time. It does pay off being consistent.
RK: Absolutely being visible, right. That’s why a lot of people attend a lot of networking events and things like that, you know, and after attending a dozen network interview, the one that you’ve been seeing all the time they buy from you finally so with LinkedIn, you can actually, you know, shortcut bypass all that flight time and paying for hotel expenses and paying for the tickets and things like that and get the same result by being present.
JoAnne Funch: I had somebody reached out to me yesterday that I last time I talked to her five years ago. And she remembered me she sees my things and she reached out to me for some help. So visibility does create opportunity.
RK: Alright, so for someone who invests that much of time and effort in LinkedIn, it’s definitely worth upgrading to Sales Navigator. Is that right?
JoAnne Funch: Um.. not necessarily. Here’s why I want to say that, okay. I find that most people I work with have not even exhausted the free version. So, here’s what I would say to you get good at using the free version before you pay. You know if, if you’re, if you’re doing a lot of searching, yes, at some point, LinkedIn is going to kind of slap your hand and say you need to upgrade your account.
Right But I know that’#8217;s a training, companies right and I asked people how many get that and nobody does this because they’re not using the free version. I don’t pay for something you’re not using.
RK: Wow. I’ve been paying for their Sales Navigator without even you know, utilizing the ability of the free version, you know, but in it. This is a good conversation. JoAnne, I really enjoy it.
RK: So, here is the, you know, the most important question. Okay, after today, the future of social selling. Okay, we are approaching 2020. Do you know where LinkedIn is evolving to in 2020? What are your predictions about LinkedIn and where it is evolving?
JoAnne Funch: Well, I don’t have a crystal ball. So let me preface that. Here’s what I think is constant. Okay, first of all, LinkedIn is not going away. It’s just going to grow.
Of course, Number two. I think they have no competition. If you really look at the social platforms that are 100% focused on business. It’s LinkedIn hands down.
So number three people go to LinkedIn for business. They don’t go for the same reason. Since they would go to Facebook. So all of that said, What do I think they’re going to do? I think they will continue to, you know, add features. I will say this about them. They’re behind all the social platforms in terms of functionality of their features. That probably won’t change, because they just move slow. Right there constant. So what is the future of social selling? I think to answer your question, the future is, isn’t going to change in my opinion in terms of how we build lasting relationships. It’s a tool it’s just a tool, right?
To find people that you want to build relationship with. The bigger piece here is the tool will probably get better and more refined. But what are you going to do with that tool? Right, Marshall selling piece is? How do I learn about people? I want to get to know that I can build a long term relationship with that influence way I can explain that.
RK: Absolutely. I actually expected that you will talk about InMails and things like that. By which by the way, I don’t like the concept of in mail that much. They only give you very little InMail and you can’t upgrade I mean, you cannot buy more of them. Or even if you do InMail, I mean, the results from that as you know, and there is the sponsored InMail inside LinkedIn paid feature even that I get a lot of messages but I hardly take action on them. You know, so anyway InMail, I think needs some refining. In terms of its functionality.
JoAnne Funch: I think there’s a lot of things that need refinement on LinkedIn. But, you know, I’m not one of those LinkedIn trainers that bashes LinkedIn. I think it’s a great platform. It is what it is.
RK: Absolutely, absolutely.
JoAnne Funch: You either can criticize or leverage there
RK: Absolutely, absolutely. Yes. Great, great. Great. So I was also, you know, getting a lot of news on LinkedIn about LinkedIn coming down hard, you know, on people who are using automated tools and things like that. And also LinkedIn sending out email notices to people who share their LinkedIn credentials for others to use, you know, on their behalf. So these two other things which have noticed very recently that LinkedIn has taken very seriously, what are your take on that?
JoAnne Funch: I think you’re right. I think they have taken a serious stand on third party platforms that people use to auto search and auto invite people to their network. Yes, against their terms and conditions, number one, and number two, they’re starting to crack down on if they hadn’t for a long time. Yes. But you and I have had this conversation before. I’ve never been a fan of third party tools, because I think you can’t outsource building real relationships.
Right, and, you know, it takes time and it takes effort and it’s a long term strategy. So I think you are going to see more accounts getting shut down. I’ve heard some of my colleagues Tell me they’ve had clients whose accounts are getting shut down, using automated tools. So that’s not going to go away. I would tell you if you are using them, your time is coming where you are going to get in trouble for that.
RK: Absolutely. But we know the cracking down on sharing your credentials with a VA or your personal assistant, you know, that is not warranted, isn’t it, like some force for a very busy executive to delegate that task of, you know, responding or something like that to their personal assistant? That shouldn’t be a
JoAnne Funch: With that because I, well, you know, one of the things I do in my businesses is, I create and write people’s profiles for them, and I have to log into their account. That could be a problem for me in the future. And yes, I don’t agree with that either. I think I think that’s a bad policy on their part. Because I don’t disagree either with having a virtual assistant, for example, doing some things for you. I don’t have a problem with that. And so
RK: I think connections and, you know, sending birthday, you know, wishes, or thank you notes or whatever it is, you know, like that shouldn’t be too bad, but still, you know like it is what it is. At least they don’t shut the account down, they just send the warning email.
JoAnne Funch: Yeah, I’m not very happy about that, either. So we’ll see where that goes. I think I think the best thing that those of us can do is to message LinkedIn and tell them, you know, give them some feedback that you know that you disagree with that. That’s the best
RK: Things we could do. Absolutely, absolutely. Great. So Joanne, what I’m going to do is I’m going to create a checklist For an actionable checklist, you know that our audience can download based on the conversation because sometimes it is so easy to listen to this podcast on it while traveling in the car, and things like that. But I just wanted to say that to all my audience here that you can come back to this episode, and you can download a checklist. And you can, you know, take them off and make sure that you implement the advice that Joanne has shared with us and take action and, you know, how can my audience reach out to you in case they have questions?
JoAnne Funch: So they can go to my website, which is linkedInforbusiness.net. Okay, they can find me there. They can find me on LinkedIn that Joanne Funch, and they can certainly email me at [email protected].
RK: Perfect, perfect and would you like to give away any special gift to our audience? If they want to,
JoAnne Funch: Yeah, I did create a really great resource. And I think it’s a great resource that would be helpful to them. And it’s, it’s all about seven ways to transform your network from a database, two valued relationships. And they can find that at linkedInforbusiness.net/podcast.
RK: Perfect, but I’ll for sure, leave the notes in the show notes, you know, below the episode. And I can’t thank you enough Joanne for being such a great guest in this podcast, and also for being such a wonderful mentor to me and so many others who are trying to crack the LinkedIn code. Great.
JoAnne Funch: Well, thank you for that RK, I really appreciate chatting with you. And that’s very nice of you to say that.
RK: Absolutely. Thank you so much. And I hope that our paths will cross in future. Thank you.
JoAnne Funch: Absolutely.
Here’s a gift for everyone from JoAnne.