How to Find Marketing Partners through LinkedIn
When it comes to marketing on LinkedIn, your strategy will typically involve more than just you and your business. Part of the success of marketing through LinkedIn is finding the right marketing partners to help you with your goals and take you to the next level.
After all, you’re connecting with like-minded professionals who have skills similar or complementary to yours, which helps you and them achieve your goals. Here are some tips to help you find marketing partners:
Pay attention to people’s titles: In the past, you might searched for someone who works at advertising sales for a major radio network. Today, with LinkedIn, you can look for an Advertising Sales Manager at Clear Channel Communications. Search for who you need to know, specifically, and LinkedIn will show you whether that person is connected to you by one, two, or three degrees.
Join the LinkedIn groups that would appeal to your business: One of the quickest ways to signal your interest and find like-minded businesspeople is to join a LinkedIn group that’s relevant to your industry or niche. You can then search group members to find potential partners. Also, because your groups are listed on your profile, joining a group means that you’ll have a lasting reference on your profile that will let people know that you identify with this group.
Search LinkedIn Answers for people with similar situations as yours: You might find someone at a similar company who looked for an SEO expert and asked the community for help. The people who responded might give you insight on whom to choose and to add to your network.
Odds are, you won’t have all the answers when it comes to your strategic plan, marketing plan, or maybe even your business direction. Thankfully, when you’re using LinkedIn, you’re definitely not alone. LinkedIn allows you to tap the collective knowledge of its community, enabling you to performing market research on a variety of topics and get real- time answers without involving think tanks or putting out thousands of dollars in fees.
The key is to be honest, transparent, and (as odd as this might sound) grateful. After all, you are asking people’s advice and thoughts, so don’t expect them to write a 30-page market analysis for you for free.
Share your goals and intentions, get people discussing the idea and each other’s comments, and be ready to listen. The best research results from the community’s exchange of ideas, with a bunch of voices chiming in to validate or discount the theorem of the moment.
Ask targeted questions on LinkedIn Answers and follow up with people who left the best answers: LinkedIn Answers provides an excellent and free way to tap the knowledge base of the community, in an abundance of categories. Although you can post a general Where do we go from here? question, you can also ask a targeted or focused question concerning one element of your research and then gauge the response.
Don’t forget to start a dialog with your most enthusiastic responders: They already demonstrated interest and knowledge.
Watch your Question thread closely (through the My Q&A tab) and provide clarification or responses whenever needed: Some people just throw out a question on LinkedIn Answers and then sit back and wait for the genius to flow in. More often, however, the discussion that ensues on the Answer thread may veer from your intended topic, or the responses completely miss the mark because they don’t interpret your question accurately.
You can add clarification to the original question, or add your own reply in when needed. If nothing else, reply with a thank you for a very good answer and encourage others to keep that answer in mind.
Keep the conversation open and continuous: Try to leave part of your question open-ended so that the people answering it can discuss their theories and you will have a more natural reason for follow-up with them individually. Sometimes, keeping the door open is as easy as ending your post with something like, If you think you can help with this situation, let me know.
Set up a LinkedIn Group that speaks to your target audience and your company’s (or your) capabilities: For example, to cite a tried-and-true example, say that you’re trying to reach accountants for financial services companies. To get the ball rolling, you could start the Financial Services Accountants Group, spread the word to your target audience, and stay in touch with that audience via this group whenever you want to know more about your target audience.