5 Ways to Maintain Cash Flow For Your Struggling Business in 2021

5 Ways to Maintain Cash Flow For Your Struggling Business in 2021

On top of everything else, 2020 has been a tough year financially for most individuals and businesses around the world. Many small businesses have lost the fight to stay open amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and several larger organizations have had to make serious budget and staff cuts to survive. This has all led to many companies leaning heavily on their emergency funds and perhaps you as well running extremely low on your line of credit.

It all started off simple enough—stay at home, operate as best you can, or take a brief break while we flatten the curve. However, as the months have drawn on and life has not returned to normal, it’s become harder and harder for many businesses to keep their doors open. The second wave of the pandemic certainly hasn’t helped.

However, it’s not the end of the world if you’ve reached the end of your credit. There are many ways for you to maintain cash flow for your struggling business in 2021, and even fund it’s growth!

#1: Make Strategic Budget Cuts For Your Line of Credit

If you haven’t started tightening your belt, it’s time to do so now. You need to see how your company can survive on less money each month. 

The first step is to draw up an extensive list of regular expenses so you can see where your money goes, and where you can cut costs. 

The biggest damage to a company’s profit margins doesn’t come from once-off expensive items—it comes from the regular payments that could be reduced. Look at items you can remove entirely, such as subscriptions to services that are nice to have but not essential. These can always be reinstated when cash flow improves. Then look at where you can reduce costs; for example, switching to more affordable coffee and cleaning products. It’s time to make concessions, and this means pinching pennies.

#2: Put A Spending Structure In Place

This is the kind of policy that a business should have in place regardless, but it may need to be tightened up a little bit if your credit has run dry. You need to be very strict with what can be expensed to the company, and what is for personal expenses. However, explain to your employees why you’re making these changes, how making them will help them keep the company alive, and how they contribute to ensuring their jobs stay intact. Without employee’s support and understanding, your efforts will probably look draconian and very demanding.

When changing your spending structure, focus heavily on why the changes are being made, and how you hope they’ll only be temporary. Then make sure that the changes are clearly spelled out so that there are no mistakes that could cost money you don’t have. This step will also help to give you clarity on your monthly budget for expenses, giving you a better understanding of what you’re dealing with.

#3: Clarify Your Payment Policy With Clients

Again, this is a policy that should already be in place. However, it’s well worth reviewing and ensuring that you, your employees, and your clients are up to speed–and that your payment policies are suitable for the current economic climate. This way, the people expected to pay you know what to do, and those who are following up on payments will have a straightforward procedure to follow.

When you are in a situation where businesses are operating on a knife-edge, it’s even more essential to ensure that invoices don’t go unpaid, or payment gets delayed. Having no line of credit as a backup means that each payment coming in on time is crucial.

Your payment policy should cover:

  • Payment deadlines–you should always follow the same deadlines for each invoice. They should be on a specific date or by a specific length of time. Having the same conditions for each client across your company makes tracking invoices much easier.
  • Penalties and fees–it’s essential that you spell out what the penalty is for late payments and how it will impact the invoice. 
  • Terms and conditions–this shows that the deadlines and penalties are something you’ve instituted company wide, and not just for a specific client. Using the right language here will also illustrate that your policy is non-negotiable, and that you will not give any client special treatment.

In addition to reviewing your policy regarding payment terms and penalties for late payments, you can look at offering incentives for early payment. If you know you need to get cash into your business because you have no credit left, you can offer customers the option of a small discount for quick settlement terms. This is a great way to help keep your cash flow looking good, it encourages loyalty with existing clients, and may even earn you some new ones. Customers may well need the break of the reduced rate as much as you need the income in trying times.

#4: Investigate Business Loans And Investors

A line of credit is not your only source of extra income for a business. You can look at getting a loan from a bank or some of the less traditional (but still safe) lenders. Crowdfunding is another great way to bring in income if you’re struggling with cash flow, as is looking for investors to help you stay afloat.

Credit running dry doesn’t have to be the end of your business. It’s all about finding the right way to bring in extra funds. Ensure your business plan is watertight, your financial records are in order, and your business is a solid investment, then approach lenders for assistance. Even a short-term loan could be enough to see you through a rough patch, or to facilitate the growth you need to keep pivot your business and keep generating profits. 

Remember, a lack of credit isn’t the end of your business. It’s a push you need to investigate new ways to cut costs, streamline expenses, reaffirm payment policies, and seek alternative avenues of funding. 

SOLUTION: Shift your focus from credit to getting creative with what you’ve got.

#5: Try Bartering to Reduce Out of Pocket Spending

One creative solution for your struggling business when cash flow and credit runs dry is the age old currency of bartering. Coming up with new ideas is one way to think outside the box, but sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. 

You can simply do what our forefathers perfected and trade your services for goods and services you need. There are various bartering networks you can google. One we recommend is Better Business Barter Club. You can contact the member chairperson at BucksContractors@gmail.com.

QUESTION:  Which of these tips could you implement IMMEDIATLEY to maintain cash flow for your struggling business? Share with us in the comments below!

How Leaders Can Change Lives Of Others

Effective Leadership for Business Owners Can Change Lives

An effective leader knows that inspiration works better than demands, and people respond more positively to change when they understand the goal. 

Demands can lead to resistance, while transparency and a sense of purpose can inspire people to follow willingly. 

Anyone who has worked for a demanding boss understands the impact it can have on one’s life, both inside and outside the office. 

Effective leadership for business owners who cultivate healthy and mutually respectful relationships with their people, make the work more enjoyable and fulfilling for everyone.

 

Confidence and Courage

For a team to be successful, its members need to have confidence in their abilities and know that they are making a positive contribution to the effort. That confidence may come from being allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, without fearing career-ending consequences. 

Enabling people to spread their wings not only builds self-confidence, but the courage to take on new challenges and share their ideas. These strengths will serve them well throughout their careers. Thus creating a stronger leadership for business owners

 

Support and Development

A good leader will recognize the potential in others. They will see beyond the tasks on a person’s job description, provide the opportunity to develop their skills and support their career growth. In return, they will have gained a lifelong ally. 

Though it’s easier to limit a person to the role you hired them for, a good leader will nurture an employee’s growth, even if it means that they might eventually move on. Interacting with people as individuals and trying to accommodate

their unique personalities and styles of communication is an essential skill for an effective leader. 

They must possess the necessary people skills to handle any situation professionally. Developing effective leadership habits takes commitment. It also takes time, effort, and real-life experience. Building a leadership for business owners

will not be easy and will take perseverance.

 

Empower and Encourage

Mutual trust is critical within a successful team. Effective leaders demonstrate that trust by allowing people to do their jobs without micromanaging them, which encourages them to take ownership of their work and responsibility for it. 

They empower people by giving them the latitude to make decisions and then trusting their judgment. Successful leaders are as transparent and honest as possible with their people and stand behind them.

 

Vision and Purpose

Leadership for business owners is great, but when a team that is led by someone who is committed to their life’s purpose, it can bring about positive change in both its members and society in general. 

Effective leaders inspire people to share their vision and a sense of purpose. As a result, they will strive to achieve your mutual goal because they want to. 

People who learn to approach their work in this way are more likely to become future leaders who will have the opportunity to bring about positive change. 

 

Strength and Honesty

 Leadership for business owners know adversity requires both strength and honesty. If a company has hit a rough patch, the employees usually know it, so telling them everything is just fine may result in a lack of trust. 

If a situation is dire, an effective leader will be as honest as possible about what it could mean to the team and how leadership plans to reach a solution. Armed with the truth, people will usually help to put things right, and they’ll do it out of loyalty.

Effective leadership for business owners can make life better for those who follow them by providing opportunities to learn and grow. Showing confidence in people will help them to have more confidence in themselves and encourage them to keep striving for more knowledge and improved skills. 

If people understand a leader’s vision, values and purpose, they will be more likely to follow willingly. And with a common goal, the journey can be a lot more rewarding. 

Leadership for business owners skills are not always innate and may require some additional study. Whether through instructor-led courses, books or with a mentor, acquiring these skills is an important part of effective leadership. The tools are available. It just takes some practice and commitment.

 

 

Outsourcing Marketing vs Hiring a Marketing Team

Sigh! It can be incredibly frustrating to feel like the vision you have for your business is moving excruciatingly slow.

You have zillions of brilliant marketing strategies. The problem is there is never enough time in your day to execute or manage it all especially without a marketing team.

I have found the biggest cause is from something called the Marketing Strategy Execution Gap. You need more soldiers on the ground to deploy multiple marketing strategies to free you up to shine as Chief Visionary. You need a marketing team.

“Without vision, the people perish.” ~ Proverbs 29:18” “Without marketing, the vision will perish.” ~ Yoon Cannon” Click To Tweet

You probably already tried outsourcing to a marketing agency only to be disappointed with the results. According to digital.com, 76% percent of small business owners report facing marketing challenges.

The core challenges of marketing fall into these 5 areas:

  1. Generating traffic and leads
  2. Training your team to generate traffic and leads
  3. Lack of resources (budget / people / time)
  4. Hiring talented people
  5. Social media

I mean, starting a business is hard enough. Can’t these leads just come you? You have a great business idea, right? You should be overwhelmed with leads, right?

Wishful thinking.

After All, There are amazing musicians who, based on their genius of talent, should be worldwide superstars. But instead, they starve and struggle for decades because they were never ‘discovered’ by record labels who can market the heck out of them.

Your genius business idea is no different. Doing all the marketing yourself should no longer be an option.

As the visionary, how will you close that ‘Marketing Strategy Execution Gap’?

  • Option 1: Outsource your marketing to a bunch of freelancers or to a marketing agency.
  • Option 2: Hire your own in-house marketing team.

Which is better for you? …

Hear From 11 Entrepreneurs On Outsourcing or Hiring In-House Marketing Team

 

I’ve rounded up 10 small business entrepreneurs to weigh in with their opinion on this decision. Find out the pros and cons they have experienced with outsourcing vs hiring an in house marketing team. At the end I will also share my own experience from everything I have tried over 26 years of being an entrepreneur to help you make a more informed decision for yourself.

  1. When you know it’s time to outsource your marketing

    Kymberlie Dimoz, CEO Of Lighting Rod Agency
    Outsourcing is perfect when your business is making a healthy profit margin Click To Tweet

Kymberlie Dimoz shares “outsourcing is perfect when your business is making a healthy profit margin but you haven’t quite yet realised your potential..”

 

  1. Benefits outsourcing your marketing can offer.


    Ambroise de La Gorce, CEO/Founder Of Openinno
    @OpenInno Outsourcing at the very beginning of the business can offer more flexibility. Click To Tweet
     

Ambroise de La Gorce, CEO/Founder Of Openinno shares, “Outsourcing and in-house marketing both have their pros and cons. Each option can be better than the other in different situations depending on numerous factors, including type of management, marketing tools used, sprints management, business stage.

In my opinion, outsourcing at the very beginning of the business can offer more flexibility. Recruiting in-house is necessary when the product/market fit is validated, to give more stability to the business. Then outsourcing 20% of the team or so when scaling the business can be interesting to gather the resources we can hardly find on-site.”

  1. Advice on hiring in-house marketers.

    Kerry Maybank Owner Of Strategic Links
    Have team members that are great at marketing.. Click To Tweet

Kerry Maybank shares, “I mostly do my own marketing, but I have team members that are great at marketing and create more of the significant pitch documents for us.  I also have gotten free advertising by doing interviews with the media.

My company does not have employees.  We have team members.  People come onboard with exceptional talents in particular areas of the business that significant interest at the time.  Sometimes we provide equity if the need is that great or we barter and provide their companies something in return based on our expertise.  It keeps costs down, and creates mutually beneficial relationships, while increasing the exposure of our firm.”

David Shares, “We keep our marketing in-house because it allows us to harness our own data and learn to understand how our customers interact with our business. Combining marketing customer data, building segments, and then activating those segments in your communication is something that really draws growth.”

  1. Hiring in-house marketing employees is a lot to manage.

    Peter Rigas Founder Of Fini Cutlery You need both Click To Tweet

Peter Shares, “You need both. You need in house because no matter how much you pay an outside agency or group of freelancers, no one will care about your business or know your products/services better than you and your staff. However, there is so much to manage and oversee that you need outside agencies that specialize in the various verticals.

  1. How we balance both outsourcing and in-house marketing team

    Mark Walerysiak Jr. Founder Of Giverrang

    @marktuff Have someone inside the team and as close to Don’t try to do all your marketing in house the product as I am. Click To Tweet

Mark Walerysiak Jr. shares, “I’m early stage, and do all the marketing myself (at the moment). I could see the benefit of outsourcing particular tasks related to content / SEO. The more weedy stuff. But when it comes to telling compelling on-brand stories I would prefer to have someone inside the team and as close to the product as I am. When you eat, sleep, and breathe a product (and not worrying about other clients), you can communicate much more passionately about it in just about any form, and I think the audience can pick up on that. So the preference would be in-house if it’s doable.”

  1. Don’t try to do all your marketing in house

    Laurie Kessler CEO Of The Celebrity Source
  2. @celebritysource Outsource for marketing tactics outside of our areas of expertiseClick To Tweet

Laurie shares, “Our marketing needs are managed with both internal and external resources. Our internal team has a great deal of experience in marketing and PR – so we can typically tap into our own knowledge and experience for basic initiatives like drafting corporate communications and pitches, social media posts, email marketing, etc.

We outsource for marketing tactics outside of our areas of expertise, or if our bandwidth is tight – such as more complex social media campaigns, SEO and digital advertising.

Gary Shares, “I’ve always done my marketing in-house. I’ve only worked in or ran marketing companies, so outsourcing my marketing would be really weird, lol.The one piece of advice I would give entrepreneurs that feel weary about or otherwise unable to fully carry out marketing duties, still be involved. As a consultant, part of my job is to learn as much about my client’s brand as possible because the person or people leading the business know the most about their brand. I can help a client focus. I can help a client develop. However, no one can create someone else’s brand on their own.”

 

Staci shares, “As a new one-woman consultancy, I’m doing it all right now — marketing and business development as well as everything else involved in the business!

Honestly, while that requires more time and effort from me, I think it actually helps build trust and is part of my business values. With me, it’s personal, and my clients know that they can trust Blue Moss for personal dedication and utmost quality.

 

 
  1. We do all the outreach to prospects.

    Keith Kirkpatrick Principal & Founder of 4K Research & Consulting 

Keith shares “I generally do not outsource marketing, as I find it easier to directly reach out to potential clients. Additionally, much of my work comes through referrals, anyway.”

 
  1. Just because you know how to do marketing, doesn’t mean you should all be done by you..

Yoon Cannon Founder, Paramount Business Coach Host, Biz Growth Doctors Show

@yooncannon Make sure your marketing project manager is a well-trained Full Stack Marketer. Click To Tweet

I have done all three options throughout my 26 year  journey owning 4 different businesses. I once did all the marketing myself. But I quickly found that not to be the best use of my time as the Chief Visionary and Strategist. Just because I know how to do the marketing, doesn’t mean I should be the primary person executing it all. So, then I spent many years outsourcing to freelancers.

While it’s a good choice for one time projects,  the danger is you end up spending way too much time vetting and project managing freelancers, which prevents you from acting as the Chief Visionary and Strategist. The other common pitfall with outsourcing is the temptation to hire the lowest priced freelancer. Like with anything else … you get what you pay for.

You risk super sloppy mistakes and oversights that cost you your brand’s reputation. Here’s an example a realtor friend of mine forwarded me. She subscribed to be on an email list from a marketing provider in her industry … to her surprise here’s what the email read:

 

My realtor friend was so confused! …. Here she thought she was signing up to let this marketing company do her social media posts and email marketing for her.  Instead of getting info about the done for you marketing services she was expecting, an email template and an email from a weight loss company came instead. Certainly people do make mistakes. But, when you outsource to the cheapest provider, sloppy mistakes just seem to occur in high frequency.

Marketing is not a mindless task any monkey can do.

When I exhausted my patience for chronic sloppy mistakes from outsourced VA’s and freelancers I decided to let go the reigns and hired a marketing agency to take care of it all A-Z. I hoped outsourcing the majority of my marketing to an agency would remove the project managing off my plate.

I hired Several different agencies, but in each experience I didn’t see the ROI to renew. Instead, I discovered the project managers who were assigned to me were skilled at project managing (which is a good thing), but so many critical details got missed because they weren’t skilled enough in all things marketing. [CONTEXT] There are many great marketing agencies out there who have highly skilled marketers as project managers, but these agencies are often geared to Enterprise size clients, not so much for the SMB community.

What I do now, and my advice to other SMB’s (small-medium business owners) is the 70-20-10 mix.

  • 70% of our core marketing is done in-house
  • 20% is outsourced (one time projects or a specialty area we don’t have in house yet)
  • 10% still is done by me (like recording videos, giving interviews)

I finally found the key to taking project managing off your plate as a small business owner is to make sure the project manager is a well-trained Full Stack Marketer.

Conclusion

Ok … there you have it. You just heard from 11 of us about our experiences and opinions on whether it’s better to outsource your marketing or hire your own in-house marketing team.

Whether you decide to outsource or hire in house, the next set of decisions you’ll need to make are things like:

  1. Who should you hire first?
  2. What’s the going rate for this and that?
  3. What is the best marketing strategy they should be implementing for your business?
  4. Where can you go to find marketers who know what they’re doing?
  5. What should you look for when hiring your marketing person/team?

My answer to all of the above questions is this: 

It depends.

I would answer all of these questions differently depending on each unique business owner, bandwidth, budget and brand. If you want to get clarity on best way for you to eliminate the marketing strategy execution gap in your business why not take me up on my free offer? For a limited time, I am offering a FREE 45 Minute Strategy Call to help you work through this.


FREE THE WIZARD


Click the link below and Eliminate Your Marketing Strategy Execution Gap!

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QUESTION: What other questions would you add to the list of 5 above? Share your comments and questions below.

5 Ways to Build Your Digital Presence During Covid-19

It’s a scary time for everyone during Covid-19. We all know this pandemic has forced a lot of business owners to go out of business. 😢😧

If you are blessed to be among the lucky group who are NOT facing going out of business here’s a short video that shares 5 free effective ways to build your digital presence, so you can boost more visibility for your business during and after covid.

We are also offering free help, guidance, feedback, support for business owners on Tuesdays from 12noon-1pm EST on Zoom through the end of April.

Just comment below “Business Owner Public Service” and we’ll message you the link to join.

Don’t Let FEAR Keep Your Business Stuck in a Fog

Don’t let FEAR keep your business stuck in a FOG ….

As a special public service in response to #Covid-19 I’m offering a FREE 6-week digital marketing coaching clinic series on Tuesdays 12-1pm EST March 24-April 28th on Zoom.

This is exclusively for small business owners, so just comment below “Business Owner Public Service” and we will send you the link to join.

Stay healthy. Stay positive. #Keepthefaith

https://youtu.be/JbupSwSnsQ4

11 Great Tips to Generate Leads on LinkedIn for 2020

When I launched my first three businesses I did so with a sizable budget to fund my startup costs. But, when I started my consulting business back in 2007 I found myself in a very different situation. For the first time in my life I had no income coming in.

My husband was in the midst of a long season of unemployment after I had already sold my previous businesses. We had three hungry mouths to feed at home, so I was determined to launch my new business leaner than ever before — like as close to zero startup costs as possible.

That’s when I decided to figure out the LinkedIn thing.

LinkedIn is an incredible free tool to market your business. Once I invested the time to figure out how to get better at using it, I was able to track 6 figures of annual new business all came from LinkedIn.

So, if you want to start monetizing LinkedIn here are 9 tips to help you start generating leads for your business:

Lead Gen Tip #1. Have the Right LinkedIn Success Mindset.

Your diamond clients aren’t hiding in mystery marketing land. They’re on LinkedIn. You just need to dig for them Click To Tweet

Thousands of business owners are killing it with LinkedIn, but new clients aren’t going to come flooding in if all you’re doing is logging into LinkedIn to accept connection requests and post a few comments here and there.

LinkedIn will work for you if you put forth the right consistent effort.  I love this famous quote:

“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas. They are in your own backyard,  if you but dig for them.” ~ Russell Conwell

If you’re not sure whether your target market is on LinkedIn watch this video where I share 5 reason why you should be marketing your business on LinkedIn.

Lead Gen Tip #2. Craft a Stellar LinkedIn Profile for Instant FIND-ability and GET-ability.

Keep in mind the user experience on LinkedIn. People will land on your profile in 2 ways. Direct search and an indirect search. Direct search is easy low hanging fruit because they are typically ‘buy intent’ – ‘hire intent’ searches. Potential clients search LinkedIn for the type of person they are looking to hire.  This is why you want your profile to be SEO optimized for the right keyword phrases. Your LinkedIn profile should also have a professional looking photo of you. Most people skip profiles where there is no picture or only a logo.

RELATED: LinkedIn Marketing Tips – Is Your LinkedIn Photo Costing You Clients?

Indirect search can happen in many ways. For instance, let’s say you post an update on your personal LinkedIn profile and you share a few tips about a frequently asked question you get. Let’s say you currently have 1,200 1st degree connections and 45 of those connections liked or commented on your post.  Not only does your post get seen by your 1st degree connections, it also gets eyeballs from the connections of the people who commented on your post. So if your 45 comments each had an average of 1,200 connections then your one post can also reach 54,000 2nd degree connections. You’re bound to get some of those people who saw your content click on your profile to find out what exactly you do. They will skim your profile for all of 3 seconds. If they don’t immediately get what you do, they WILL MOVE ON to find someone else.

So, you don’t want to miss out on this EASY passive lead generation opportunity simply because they don’t get what you do.  That’s why it’s so important that your LinkedIn profile captures an immediate GET-ability (and wow factor).

Naturally, you want to have the updates you post on LinkedIn reach more people. So, be sure you develop the habit of sending targeted connection requests to grow your 1st degree connections.

Lead Gen Tip #3: Create Customized Connection Requests

When searching for connections on LinkedIn, you are given numerous filters to choose from. This allows you to get really strategic with your search.

You are able to drill down to where someone lives, where they went to school, what their interests are, and so on. With this information, you can take it and personalize your connection requests.

Lets say, For Example, you search for CEO’s and filter by 2nd degree connections located in Philadelphia. Instead of sending a pre-baked template to someone, study their profile and find a way to insert a question about their city in your request.

You can also ask about things like the weather, their sports teams, and much more.

By creating customized connection requests, you break the ice and open up an easy dialogue with the other person.

Lead Gen Tip #4: Don’t Spam Connections. Talk to Them.

Don’t spam your LinkedIn connections. Talk to them. https://bit.ly/2NfUfxB Click To Tweet

When it comes to messaging your connections on LinkedIn there are two common pitfalls occur. Pitfall #1. You send out tons of requests to connect, but then fail to talk to them after they accept. Pitfall #2. You blast straight into a sales conversion. From its inception LinkedIn was not built to be a marketplace to bombard members with advertisements and solicitations. LinkedIn was designed to foster relationships.

If you use LinkedIn to blast straight into solicitation messages to cold connections, you’re just going to burn through those connections.

Instead, just follow the natural sequence of relationship building when having 1-1 conversations on LinkedIn. For instance:

  1. Customized invitation
  2. Welcome / build rapport message
  3. Engage message
  4. Give value message
  5. Value follow up message
  6. Invitation to call, coffee, interview, etc

If you have a well written profile and tagline often times you can go from step 2 straight to step 6, but it’s good to have a 6 step sequence like this to continue the conversation for people who aren’t ready to be a client of yours.

If the idea of messaging people individually feels too daunting, I use a tool called Auto Text Expander to speed my responses to FAQ’s when I’m on desktop.

When I’m messaging people from my mobile I just use the keyboard shortcuts on my iPhone which functions the same way as Auto Text Expander. I can reply 10x faster when all I have to do it type in 2 or 3 letters I set up.

Lead Gen Tip #5: Use Trigger Events to Engage and Re-Engage

Not all of your prospects will be ready to talk about your services immediately. However, they may be ready in 6 or even 12 months from now.

Your goal is to remain in their minds, meaning you’ll need to continue engaging them.

Fortunately, this can be done easily with trigger events. These are situations that will provide a comfortable way for you to re-engage with someone if they’ve shown no interest in your solutions so far.

These situations include:

  • they engaged on one of your posts (liked, commented, or shared)
  • they viewed your profile
  • they’ve published an article on LinkedIn
  • they’ve posted a status update on LinkedIn
  • they had a job change
  • they were promoted
  • they engaged on one of your posts (liked, commented, or shared)
  • they or their company were mentioned in the news
  • they’ve published an article on LinkedIn
  • they’ve posted a status update on LinkedIn

By re-engaging in this manner, you are more likely to stay on their radar and be top of mind when the time comes that they need the solution you offer.

Related: Attract Clients on LinkedIn! 12 Things You Can Do in 15 Minutes

Lead Gen Tip #6: Use hashtags to get discovered

When you’re posting an update, whether it’s a simple text update, a picture, a video or audio LinkedIn allows users to follow various hashtags. This way, they can get content on a topic in their feed, even if they don’t follow specific influencers for it.

Additionally, when you post an update, LinkedIn will auto-suggest hashtags, which can give you some inspiration for what to include.

You can also do a quick search a topic in LinkedIn and you’ll be able to see the number of followers on that hashtag.

Lead Gen Tip #7: Use Native Videos

@neilpatel 84% of buyers reported that they had been convinced to buy after watching a brand’s video https://bit.ly/2NfUfxB Click To Tweet

Here’s an excerpt from SEO expert Neil Patel where he shares the importance of posting videos on LinkedIn to grow your business.

Advantages of Video

Neil Patel, Generate Leads on LinkedIn

Native videos are videos that are uploaded directly to LinkedIn or created on the platform itself, as opposed to embedding videos from other sites, such as Youtube, Vimeo and more.

There are numerous advantages to using native video. According to Neil Patel, “A staggering 84% of buyers reported that they had been convinced to buy after watching a brand’s video.

And that same study found that 97% of businesses believe that their video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.

That means the right type of video will help you sell and engage more.”

How to Upload Native Videos

To upload a Native Video, go to your feed, and you’ll see a button with a camera icon next to “start a post.

Upload Native Videos to Generate Leads on LinkedIn

From here, You can directly upload a video between three seconds and ten minutes in length. This will appear directly to your update feed, allowing your audience to start watching your content immediately.

The dimensions of a native video can be from 256×144 to 4096×2304, and the orientation can be Horizontal or vertical, though vertical videos will be cropped into a square in the feed. Native video’s will also loop automatically.

Using Analytics

Another advantage of Native Videos is that, Once you post a video, you are able to see detailed analytics. This includes things such as the number of views, likes, and comments your videos are receiving.

Additionally, you can also see audience insights, including top companies, titles, and locations of your viewers.

You can find these insights in the dashboard section of your LinkedIn profile. This works on both mobile and desktop.

Click the drop-down that says “Me” and scroll down until you see “Posts and Activity.”, which brings you to a feed of every post you’ve ever uploaded to LinkedIn.

At the bottom of each post, you’ll see a breakdown of it’s likes, comments, shares, and views.

Use Video Analytics to Generate Leads on LinkedIn

With this information, you can begin to understand if you’re reaching the people and companies that matter to your brand.

Lead Gen Tip #8: Get to the Point Quickly in Your Videos

On Social media, attention spans are short, so there’s no time for you to waste. This means that you need to hook your viewers by getting to your point quickly at the beginning of your video.

LinkedIn themselves recommend capturing attention with a hook in the first 0 to 3 seconds.

From there, seconds 3 to 15 should be used to identify the problem or opportunity, and should address one of the biggest pain points of your potential customers, in order to really draw them in and entice them to watch the rest of your video.

After you have successfully hooked your viewers and drawn them in, seconds 15 to 50 should be used to describe the solution. Explain what you’re offering and why it’ll help your viewers.

Lead Gen Tip #9: Use Closed Captions for your videos

Up to 85 percent of social media videos are played with no sound bit.ly/2NfUfxB Click To Tweet

When a video comes up on your feed, it begins playing automatically. However, it is also muted by default.

It’s estimated that up to 85 percent of social media videos are played with no sound.

This makes adding closed captions/subtitles to your videos essential.

Even if your video isn’t heavy on speech, doing so will make them more accessible. LinkedIn even has a closed captioning feature, making it easy to implement.

To add captions:

  • Click the video icon near “start a post” and select the video you’d like to upload.
  • When the preview shows up, click the edit icon on the top right to see the video settings and then click select file to attach the associated SubRip Subtitle file.”
UploadNativeVideos
VideoSettings
Adding an SRT Caption File

Lead Gen Tip #10: Make Use of LinkedIn Showcase Pages

@SpielCreative If you have multiple target audiences or brand personas, you need Showcase pages. https://bit.ly/2NfUfxB Click To Tweet
Darren Travers

What are LinkedIn Showcase pages?

Let’s ask Darren Travers, who shares, “Showcase pages are add-ons to your LinkedIn company page for highlighting a specific business unit, initiative, product, service, or for targeting unique demographics. They are standalone pages, meaning people can follow them without following your main page.

If you have multiple target audiences or brand personas, you need Showcase pages. With them, you can avoid over complicating your main page and creating confusion for your audience by spreading out your offers and messages across multiple pages.

To create one, simply click ‘Admin tools’ on the right of your company homepage and select ‘Create Showcase Page’ to get started.”

Lead Gen Tip #11: Make Use of Sponsored vs Targeted Updates

If you have a LinkedIn company page, you are able to take advantage of Targeted Updates and Sponsored Updates bit.ly/2NfUfxB Click To Tweet

If you have a LinkedIn page for your company, then you are able to take advantage of two powerful features. Targeted Updates and Sponsored Updates.

With Targeted Updates, you can target your content to a specific audience. This is useful for many reasons, such as if you want to show specific content to your investors, and other content to your consumers. However, the segment you are targeting must have at least 300 followers for you to use this feature.

Sponsored Updates: Sponsored updates are paid posts that allow you to reach a broader network. If you would like some content to get even more visibility, or if you want to get your content in front of people who aren’t following your Company Page (or your employees) you can pay to sponsor it.

To use targeted updates:

  • Click on start a post from your Company Page
  • Click on “Anyone” and you’ll be taken to “Who can see Your Post?”
  • Click on Targeted Audience and you’ll be able to customize what audience you want the post

While Targeted Updates can be used to build an organic following, Sponsored Updates allow you to pay to get your posts in front of a larger audience to further build your following.

These will appear in the your audience’s feed and look like a normal post, the only difference being a “sponsored” label next to your company name.

You are also able to target specific audiences just like you can with Targeted Updates.

To use Sponsored Updates:

  • Post an update to your company page and click the “Sponsor Update” button.
  • Within the Campaign Manager, name your new campaign.
  • Target your campaign by choosing Location, Company, Skills, etc.
  • Choose Your payment option. You can select either Cost-Per-Click (CPC) or Cost per 1000 impressions (CPM).

Conclusion

So, there you have it. I just shared 11 tips to help you start generating more leads on LinkedIn. If you’re starting at zero, don’t be overwhelmed by trying to implement all 11 by tomorrow! Bookmark this page to review it each day and decide to implement one at a time until you add all 11.

If you’d like to nail down your LinkedIn profile faster check out our free and paid LinkedIn Profile Makeover services for you here:

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QUESTION: What’s one thing that’s been working well for you on LinkedIn? Share With us in the Comments below!

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