LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools you have access to as a business owner. You can leverage the platform to connect with prospects and generate leads.
But to do that, don’t you need a ton of connections?
People often vastly overestimate how many connections they need to be successful on LinkedIn. In short, quality matters even more than quantity. You don’t need nearly as many connections as you may think!
Read on to find out how many connections you actually need on LinkedIn and why this answer may surprise you.
1000 True Fans
Kevin Kelly, the founding executive director of Wired Magazine, first published an essay on the 1000 true fans concept in 2008. It has since been rewritten and updated, and the new version is featured in Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of Titans.
According to Kelly, successful creators do not need millions of clients, dollars, customers, or fans. Instead, creators must have only thousands of true fans to make a living with their creations.
He defines a true fan as someone who will buy anything you produce. A true fan isn’t someone who just follows you on social media or who bought that one thing you made that one time.
A thousand true fans are enough for you to make a living, provided that you can make an average of $100 from each of your true fans.
Making enough profit per fan is also dependent on having a direct relationship with them. If they can pay you directly, then you get to keep 100% of the profit produced by their support, which is the key to making a living.
The article 1000 True Fans presents creators with a more logical approach to success that is less frightening and gives you a solid strategy for achieving success.
You don’t need to be super famous to be successful, and you don’t have to appeal to everyone, but you must have your own small crowd of true, dedicated fans.
How does this relate to making sales on LinkedIn?
Consider this: what if you, as a salesperson, are also a creator?
Growing your business is a creative process as well, also benefiting from Kelly’s idea of 1,000 true fans.
The BEEP Method
Understanding the idea of having 1000 true fans is the basis of having the right mindset as a creator. The next step to use this to make sales is to have a strategy that you can use every day.
The BEEP Method is a strategy made up of four steps that can provide structure to how you use LinkedIn for your business.
BEEP stands for Build, Engage, Educate, and Promote.
You should use BEEP tactics on an ongoing basis in parallel instead of as a one-time, linear process.
The amount of time spent on each step should not be perfectly equal. Thinking of the BEEP Method as a pyramid structure will help you visualize the appropriate amount of time for each part of it.
The Build phase is located at the very bottom of the pyramid.
Building your network and your connections should be at the foundation of everything that you do. It is an ongoing process, and none of your other efforts can succeed without it.
If you do not continue to make new connections, you will miss out on business opportunities because you will have a more limited network.
On LinkedIn, you don’t have to connect only with people within your network who you have met personally or who you know very well. With the degree of separation basis, you can exponentially grow the number of connections that you are able to make if you actively connect with 2nd-degree or 3rd-degree connections.
The Build phase is all about making new connections aware that you exist. They may not know you yet, but at least they know of you.
After building new connections, you can enter the Engage step.
With engagement, the main goal is to build rapport and develop genuine relationships with your connections through regular conversations and friendly communications.
Don’t place the focus on selling when engaging. The biggest danger you face during this stage is to adopt a salesperson persona and create only surface-level connections.
When all of the focus is on selling a product, you are much less likely to be able to build rapport with your contacts.
Engage daily with the people within your network and show them that you are a real person who cares about them to truly begin to build your group of solid, reliable clients.
People want real and genuine connections. The goal of engagement is to add value so that your connections will start to truly like you rather than just know that you exist.
After you Engage, you can start to Educate.
The main goal during this stage is to create content that will show your network what you are capable of and what your credibility and expertise is.
Since this stage is higher up on the BEEP pyramid, you should spend less time on it, but the level of effort you spend on it shouldn’t be any lower than the other stages.
One of the most effective ways to regularly communicate with your connections is by posting to LinkedIn.
Creating and posting content that has value will show your network that you are capable of solving the problems that you claim to be able to solve. They can learn this from your content and begin to trust you instead of just know or like you.
At the very top of the pyramid is the Promote stage of the BEEP Method.
While this entire process is promotional, there are specific strategies you can execute during the Promote stage in order to encourage your contacts and connections in your network to proactively become clients.
Most people do not spend time on LinkedIn just to hang out, connect, create, and engage as a form of entertainment. The platform is used for commercial purposes and, therefore, is promotional.
As your network grows to know, like, and trust you, new business opportunities will come unexpectedly in a process that is almost magical. This is the power of creating genuine, natural connections.
Your LinkedIn page acts as a billboard for your business and the products and services that you provide.
As more contacts look at your profile and spend time viewing what you have to offer, they will naturally begin to reach out to you directly when they have a problem that they know you can help solve using your services.
Growing Your Brand on LinkedIn
Our method relies on a system where you grow a network of people who like and trust you. With this, you can support your business goals, but only if you can commit to building genuine relationships, making consistent connections, and following through on a long-term basis.
By approaching your business strategy as a creative process like the one described in the 1000 True Fans theory, you can create genuine connections and increase the organic growth of your group of true fans.
The BEEP Method pyramid puts these ideas into a strategy that you can put into action as soon as possible.
Follow our strategies for LinkedIn success to see how you can make the 1000 true contacts that will take your business above and beyond and help you make a genuine impact. If you need further help with actually implementing these strategies, check out LinCredible. We help you build a credible LinkedIn presence with our done for you service.