Having a great LinkedIn profile is critical if you’re going to use LinkedIn to support your business objectives in even the smallest of ways.
For the sake of this article, I’ll assume you’re already convinced of the need to have a great profile and jump straight into the “how to” component.
Let us first get some clarity on the key tools in play here Persuasion/ Influence/ Ethical Persuasion. These have been used by marketers for years, used correctly they’re a great tool to get people to be more compliant OR simply increase the chances people will move to a favourable decision. I don’t consider the use of these strategies, in the way I have shown here, to be manipulative, underhanded or unethical. This is why I often call these strategies “ethical persuasion”.
Using a PERSUASION strategy in your LinkedIn profile is a great play to help increase the ease at which you can connect with, start conversations and build a professional brand with. Let’s look at the 6 Principles and some profile examples.
One of the most common play’s on LinkedIn is the authority play. Founder/ Author/ Speaker/ CEO are all using authority as a key part of their LinkedIn experience. It’s hard to beat if you can back it up with substance. (Sometimes that’s a very big IF).
Who other than Mr LinkedIn – Tony J Hughes as a great example. Certainly nails the authority play in spades. 260,000 followers, Author, # 1 Blogger, # 1 Influencer.
Another popular play. The way I like to describe this from a marketing perspective is with McDonalds’ “Billions Served” slogan. The assumption is, if it’s good enough for a billion people, it’s good enough for you too. Don’t miss out. Another way to explain it is as professional FOMO.
A really nice example is my friend, Andrew Ronald from BSM. His business moves LOTS of freight 10,000 shipping containers every week in fact. This is a great play because if your business moves freight internationally then Andrew could probably help you with a few nuggets of information on logistics. Equally important, is that his profile is compelling to (only attracts) people who move international freight, it’s self-selecting, no useless connections = strong network. #winner
We see this used less than most of the others. VIP/ Exclusive are some obvious terms used. The theory is the harder ‘it’ is to get, the more we want ‘it’. One of my pet hates is the word “Elite”. Unless you’re Tiger Woods or Roger Federer I’d give this a miss.
I’ve used Chris “The Mohawk CEO” Reed as an example, he has a very busy LinkedIn profile. He proudly promotes his “only CEO with a Mohawk” I love the angle and branding play (Chris is a genius at this BTW). It’s hard to not acknowledge the massive Social Proof play here with his 500 recommendations.
An underused strategy in my opinion. If you supply goods or services to a specific location, use this as a qualifier and as a disqualifier. The theory is if we are physically close we are more likely to find agreement or be agreeable. The good news about Social is that proximity is easy to highlight on social. “Hey, we are connected to 56 mutual connections, we might as well be connected anyway, let’s connect”. On the profile front, here is a good example of proximity, (profile needs some work), no one does it better than real estate agents and here Tom is having a crack at two ‘proximities” – Love it.
The act of giving with the expectation of receiving something in return. I love the example of waiters giving us mints or chocolates (or limoncello) when they present us with the bill. Scientific research is clear that we leave a bigger tip when we get a penny’s worth of mints for free. It doesn’t make sense, yet it works, every time. The question is, what do you have to give, that has a high perceived value, yet costs you very little?
A great example is Australia’s Mr Reciprocity himself, Dean Mannix’s profile. Download my Free ebook here. Perfectly played.
Liking is where things like compliments, referral and groups (similarities) live. Easy to incorporate in your reach outs a little harder to use in your profile. Here’s where I think Liking comes into play in your profile development. Groups. If you’re in a couple (or even more) of the same groups as your perfect prospect then the similarities of interests, personality, professional interest and style is implied. The trick is highlighting this to your prospects and customers to bring you ‘closer’.
Ok, there are some examples for you to ponder, but why do they work? See a full explanation here. In short, they work because our brains follow tried and tested decision-making pathways. Pathways which have proven to be successful and free of risk previously. When presented with a similar decision-making situation we tend to choose the path we know is the safest. A business referral is a very good example, the trust (lack of risk) is transferred from one person to another through the mutual association. The process in your mind is X says Y is a good person to deal with, I know/ trust X, therefore Y is also trustworthy/ worth knowing. Simple?
As always a big thanks to Dr Robert Cialdini for making these strategies so easy to understand and digest (referencing the good Dr is actually an authority play BTW). As well as Dean Mannix for helping me to implement.
What persuasion strategy are you using?
If you find an excellent example of a profile leveraging any of these 6 principles, please let me know and I’ll update this blog as I go.
As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 Ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or firstname.lastname@example.org for a discussion around sales growth, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness.
Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes