Make Friends, Not Clients

Bullshit: Facebook and WhatsApp are for friends and family only. 

Good news: Social “selling” is happening everywhere these days especially on your smartphone.

This message (picture) from a client means the world. It resonates, because clients always have dreams and vision; your role is to HELP them get there.
Heard the stories about door-to-door salesmen being rejected? People getting scammed online? Just reflexes. Genuine conversations  instill the trust process.
Clients can become your friends, no matter where they from, I believe it’s the ultimate goal!
Please remember 2 things: People buy from their friends first. Money keeps the lights on, but great relationships are everything

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong On LinkedIN

There was a time, not so long ago, before the invention of the internet or  e-mail, when we used to write letters. We used to sit down and write with passion and strong empathy, because we knew that it would take weeks before our correspondents get that mail. When it will arrive? Will they get it? How will they feel when they’ll read it?  The anxiety was real. These are the common things most people do and that will undermine your success on LinkedIN.


Sending too much (not personal) invitations.

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Ever asked your contact to introduce you to another contact and as an answer you got: “I absolutely have no idea who that is!” Social media is not about the numbers it’s about great conversations. I used to think that the more connections I could get, the better. I was totally wrong. People have absolutely no reason to accept your invitation just for the sake of accepting it, the only question they are asking is: will you solve my problem?

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Don’t connect yet!

There are easy steps you can take to maximize your chances of interaction on LinkedIN:
1-Go read their profile: don’t scan it. Read from top to bottom where their interests are.
2-Always send a personal invitation: introduce yourself, the reason you are contacting them, use “you” instead of “I”, add humor in your message, make it short. The next time you see a profile and that blue button “connect” which is screaming for a click, don’t. You have the choice in the app and website to custom your invitation, use it.
3-Say thank you! A person stopped his activity to accept your request, it’s an opportunity to engage. Be thankful!

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Custom it

Wrong answer to endorsements.
Endorsement are powerful on LinkedIN as they validate your expertise, and they are free! But why this is what I get 90% of the time I endorse someone: “Thanks for endorsing me for _________”. That’s it. End of conversation.  Can you do better?


Saying congratulations or well wishes to strangers.
My agency celebrated its 10th anniversary a month ago. That day was fun, I was overwhelmed by the number of messages I received. Thank you! Unfortunately, they were almost all the same: “Congrats on the anniversary, I hope you are doing well.” and I’d go like “Well that’s very nice of you, I’m well thanks! How’s your day/activity going?” Aaannnnd…no answer. Please don’t spam the “Congrats” button if you are not keen to engage with someone. It’s like showing up at birthday party -without a gift 🙂 – and leave in the minute. LinkedIN placed that button for you to use it very carefully.


One more thing: remove some connections.
You can’t please everyone, thank God! Learn to ditch -politely-  your LinkedIN connections. Let them know that you’re still open to conversation by leaving your email for example. Don’t chase people: send one message, wait and set a follow up reminder. If
at the second message they still don’t respond, send them an email apologizing and reminding them that you tried to contact them. After that, don’t be a pest let them go and move on. LinkedIN is about motion.

Of course this is a short list, I can’t wait to learn from you. How do you deal with your social interactions and engagement?  Let me know in the comment section below.
Have a blessed day my friend!

16 Best Practices To Increase Your Social Media Engagement (Part II)

* Read about the ’16 Best Practices To Increase Your Social Media Engagement (Part I)’ in a new tab first


12-Master the hashtags
Hashtag rule Instagram and Twitter. Find what hashtags are running in your niche, and add them to your posts. Don’t put more than two or three hashtags, at the risk of sounding like a presenter on The Shopping Channel.
13-Ask politely
Great appraisals on your work i.e. testimonials, heartwarming messages will come your way. And you’ll want to use them in your social media marketing materials. Nothing wrong about that but ask the person’s permission first. Make sure to hide his/her name and profile pic if you are not really sure of the outcome. It’s common to quote people on Twitter, but not that easy on Facebook.


14-Get those emails
An email is personal, it’s like a phone number. People will stay away from social media for a while but how long can they avoid their mailbox? You need emails to build your list, send invitations, or just say hello. Your marketing depends on it: ask for the emails.


15-You have something to say
Social media is a lot about trials and errors. I think everybody got something interesting to say, I’m a big fan of great stories, so are you. Don’t belittle yourself


16-Pick your poison, to each his own
I don’t like Snapchat, it took me a week to test it and I uninstalled it right after. The app was opening on my face every time, and I always had to shut down the camera to get down to the chat part. My thoughts afterwards: “this is an app for people with big ego”. Maybe I’m wrong. Pinterest? It’s a huge source of inspiration for me and a great mood board. Pick your favorite platform and stick to it.

 

In conclusion, no matter what you do, it’s vital nowadays to keep the conversations going and using the same courtesy rules of the real world on social media. When you’ll stop communicating, you’ll lose your mojo. I like to stay organized and track my discussions by using Nimble. It’s a CRM which keeps all your social media conversations in one place. A great follow up tool!
Your share! Let me know about your tips to leverage your conversations and keep an high engagement level in your social media strategy


About the author:
Lionel Thomas is the founder of KILIFORI, a creative agency dedicated to helping businesses from both Africa and further afield to meet their marketing goals by telling their stories in a simple, uncluttered way that allows the most important elements to rise to the surface. His approach is distinguished by a passion for stories, drawing, photography, design and interactive media. 

5 Reasons Why The LinkedIn Mobile Experience Is Ugly

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People are not buying devices just because they are shiny, it’s all about the experience. How the apps make us feel and how convenient they are. For example, I write a ten lines comment and, as I hide the keyboard to check the previous post I’m answering to, my sentences are…all…gone…disappeared. Oh no! Don’t make me start it all over again! I’m sure the same thing happened to you. Did you find yourself selecting all your comment, hit copy and repeat the same process to every five or ten words you add?

There are 5 things that, according to me, make LinkedIn a painful experience on mobile and tablet:

Updates issues (tablet)
If you want to post an update on your time line, you have to go to the “Home” section -or hit the LinkedIn logo- and you’ll find a speech bubble (tablet) or a pen surrounded by a square (smartphone). Why are they different? I don’t know. Here’s another problem, you can’t attach a picture to your post (tablet) -as if tablets didn’t sport a camera nowadays -you can’t copy and paste in a pic from your camera roll as well-. Let’s say you lack of inspiration, and maybe want to save an update as a draft, and come back at it later. You can’t.

Messaging issues (tablet / smartphone)
It would be really nice to see the previous messages sent to a contact displayed in a different section. Actually, when you respond you can  see the messages you sent earlier -like in an email conversation-. But what if the conversation’s subject has changed? The ability to search through your entire messaging system is gone, on both platform. This is handy when you only remember a word – or a chain of words- you’ve sent previously to a contact whom you don’t remember the name-or vice versa-.

Sharing issues (tablet / smartphone)
Discussions and debate are the heart of LinkedIn. A topic is great when its comments keep coming even months after its publication. Sometimes they are so good that you wish you shared them to your Twitter, Facebook, Google+ friends as well. Unfortunately, you can only like or comment a group’s discussion. Maybe this is why debates in general have have a short life span on LinkedIn. Debating is sharing.

Following and Mentioning issues (tablet / smartphone)
You can follow a discussion on LinkedIn’s website, but only there. How to unfollow it on your smartphone or tablet? Furthermore, here are the instructions if you want to mention properly someone on LinkedIn website:

  • Begin by typing the name of a connection or a company in your status update box or a comment field on the Homepage.
  • Select someone from the list of your connections that appear in the drop-down, complete your status or comment and post it.
  • The person or company* you mentioned will receive a notification alerting them that they have been mentioned.

Dear LinkedIn, the persons I’m interacting with in a group are not in my connections and no drop-down will pop out as a result. Plus, how do I let them know that I’m talking to them and that they just have to touch a notification alert to fall directly on it?


Invitation issues (tablet)
Somebody has viewed your profile and you want to -have to- make a connection. It is politeness. Bad news: you can’t send a customized invitation to him/her. You just hit the “connect” button and that’s it. We know how important invitations are on LinkedIn, and people are more inclined to respond -positively- when they feel they are approached in a more human way. 

In conclusion, I think that this is maybe the reason why few people are commenting on the time line’s posts, responding to the messages: LinkedIn mobile interface is complicated! It hurts and left so many users sorry and frustrated. Furthermore, the tablet and phone interfaces are on the opposite side of the street. It seems like someone didn’t think about tablet users at all!  If I had to choose, I’d take the smartphone -and would write very long comments on it with my thumbs-. Tablets are wonderful and powerful tools for writing and catching ideas on the fly: don’t have to wait minutes for apps to start, it’s all up and running. Plus we can link Bluetooth keyboards up to them.

I wish I could save the most interesting posts of my connexions to my Pocket application for a later reading. Save a discussion to my Evernote, without bothering asking myself: “Hmm what was this conversation about again? A specific comment caught my interest! Where is it? Do I need to flip trough all the notifications archives to find it? We are not only using LinkedIn, we use the social media venue we are most comfortable with. Facebook felt the need to imitate LinkedIn by launching groups features, Twitter did the same and now you can send messages to group members and they don’t even have to follow you or likewise.

Don’t you think that if the tablets sales figures are plummeting, isn’t it because their apps are getting more and more sophisticated, complicated? What are the features you’d like to see on your LinkedIn app, and which will change the experience for the better?

Update: I’ve noticed today that LinkedIn has redesigned its website UI, and that’s a good news. Can we get some mobile enhancements as well please?

The Problem with LinkedIn Connected App

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Every morning the first thing I do is checking my phone or tablet’s notifications. To my dismay, they are all coming from the same app: LinkedIn Connected. Everyday there’s a special event: someone’s birthday, job promotion or job anniversary. “Great! This is the occasion to say hi” you might say. Well, saying hi to total strangers? 95% of my time spent trying to engage them based on this is motivation will always go down the drain.

I realized that -to make this whole LinkedIn experience a success- you really need to know your contacts.
Some people don’t care to be reminded that they are getting older or don’t like their job at all, do you know their frustrations?

It doesn’t have to be physical connections, because endless great conversations will bring you closer to anyone on Earth or on the Moon. Even if formal introductions hadn’t been made yet, don’t worry, they’ll come. Going trigger happy on the LinkedIn’s “Connect” button is dangerous for you and your personal brand. Yes, we all need attention but only from the people we love and trust. The rest can happily go to hell! Select who you’d like to be connected to carefully, read their bios, check their website out, and follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page. Show an interest.

LinkedIn Connected isn’t all that bad, it helps my new LinkedIn contacts and phone’s repertoire play nice together. Whenever I want to send an email for reaching out, I don’t have to start a search on LinkedIn’s site. Are you truly engaging with your prospects or clients on a weekly basis before a happy event happen in their life? If not, these LinkedIn Connected’s notifications are here to remind you that you are missing the big picture.