LinkedIn is a powerful tool for building brand awareness and reaching your key market. While LinkedIn may have begun as a digital resume, it has expanded into a social network for every type of professional. It is now an excellent place to interact with your target marketing and build new connections.
Each and every connection is an opportunity to open a new door. However, social selling requires a social component. To build relationships with your connections and turn leads into customers, you’ll need to earn their trust.
Today, we’ll share some of the key strategies you can use to earn your connections’ trust on LinkedIn.
Create Valuable Content
One of the best ways to gain trust with your audience is to help them. On LinkedIn and other social platforms, helping often comes in the form of your content. Create valuable content that your connections will find helpful. There needs to be a purpose behind your content and your audience needs to have a clear understanding of what they will get from consuming it.
As you create and curate content, do so with your audience in mind. Maybe there is information you already know that they may not. The purpose of your content is to provide value to your audience, so don’t create content that’s only valuable to you.
There are many ways to determine what content is valuable to your audience including:
- Ask your connections what they need help with or what they would like to see from you
- Generate ideas from FAQs, reviews, testimonials, etc. What are common questions or misconceptions you see?
- Browse relevant groups. For example, a doctor would want to find a group filled with patients to see what they may need help with.
- Look at engagement. Which of your content pieces perform the best? What are some of the top posts you see in your feed? Learn from works well.
Don’t Constantly Pitch
If every post, message, or piece you share is a sales pitch, you will lose the trust of your audience. People do not want to be constantly bombarded with sales copy and a push to buy. If you try to sell, sell, sell without providing value, then you will turn off your audience. There is a time and place for sales pitches, but it’s not every LinkedIn post.
Share valuable information and help your audience before trying to sell them anything. You need to establish credibility, build a relationship, and demonstrate your trustworthiness before selling. Even when the time comes to sell, it shouldn’t really feel like a sales pitch, it should feel like a solution to the problems you’ve already been helping them with via your content.
Talk About More Than Yourself
Trust is built when someone can relate to you, and you need to communicate in a way that resonates with your audience. If you only talk about yourself, people will struggle to relate to you and they will quickly become uninterested.
Expand your content to touch on a variety of issues. Sometimes, it’s okay to share a personal experience or business update, but that should only be a portion of your content. You’ll want to share content about other topics that your audience may be interested in. Some other things to talk about include:
- People who inspire you
- Those you have learned from
- Industry news, updates, and insights
- Questions you’ve seen your audience ask
Building a relationship is not a one-way street. To earn the trust of your connections, you can’t just talk to them, you need to talk with them. You must establish two-way communication. The best way to do this is with engagement. Engage with your users. Respond to their direct messages, comment on their content, like their posts, etc.
The key is to also provide value with your engagement. First and foremost, you must always respond to direct messages promptly. With a DM, your audience is opening the door wide for communication and engagement! Even if they send a simple compliment, try to facilitate a conversation.
Don’t just send a thumbs up or smiley emoji, respond thoughtfully. Add value to their post or content with an insightful, encouraging, or inquisitive response. If your connection shares something really great, repost it with credit and your added insight for the rest of your audience to see.
People will quickly catch on if you are being phony. Posting content that does not align with your brand or beliefs is a surefire way to destroy the trust with your connections. They will believe that you are not genuine and cannot be trusted. Once you lose this trust, it will be very hard to earn back. The best option is to be authentic from the beginning.
Stay true to yourself and post authentic content, especially when posting from your personal account. Don’t share something that you don’t believe in just to get likes.
LinkedIn shouldn’t be a highlight reel. If you’re looking to gain peoples’ trust, you need to be real with them. It’s tempting to hide failures and only talk about success, but don’t! Be transparent with your community. Talk about your failures, struggles, and mistakes, not just your wins.
Your connections can learn a lot from your challenges and mistakes. They will appreciate the openness and honesty, your willingness to talk about hard times. Revealing some of your challenges takes a certain level of vulnerability that is crucial for building meaningful relationships.
When you share your challenges, do so with a purpose. Explain your previous misconceptions, lessons you learned, and other helpful insights.
Show What You Know
People will trust those who demonstrate knowledge and industry authority. Show them what you know and the value you can offer.
Don’t be afraid to reveal your tips & tricks online. Showing your audience what you know is a great way for them to see that you are an expert in your field.
This is crucial for earning their trust. Imagine someone tries to present a solution to you. If that person has not demonstrated any knowledge in that area, you won’t trust their recommendation. Showing what you know builds the foundation for social selling later on because people will believe that you know what you are talking about.
Building trust with your connections on LinkedIn is vital, but it does take time and effort. You must consistently provide value, interact, be authentic, and more. While it may seem like a lot, it will pay off in the form of valuable relationships and quality leads.