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One Simple Hack For Startups to Crack Engagement on LinkedIn

In this article, we’re going to explore how my team has tested and tweaked a messaging plan to grow targeted, ideal client engagement on LinkedIn by 2x (or more) from our standard process. If you’re a start-up or small business owner looking to grow your influence and authority in your space, this is a game changing technique to leverage your presence on LinkedIn.

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.  ~Stephen Hawking

If you’re using LinkedIn messaging campaigns to get prospects and clients, you know how incredibly effective it can be.

You probably also know that recent changes in the platform (specifically in LinkedIn Groups) have created some new prospect-wooing challenges.

Two specific challenges.

  • First, some of the changes have resulted in groups being less active than they used to be – and because of that, the growth of many groups has slowed noticeably. That puts a damper on your ability to meet new people at the same pace you used to be able to do it.
  • And second – LinkedIn group messaging has changed pretty dramatically. While you used to be able to message anyone within your group as often as you wanted to, you’re now limited to 15 messages a month to group members.


So while LinkedIn groups are still a fantastic way to find and connect with prospects and clients, you have a couple new challenges to overcome to get yourself in front of as many of your perfect prospects as possible.

The good news is that we’ve noticed these challenges, too. 

We’ve come up with a new messaging strategy that’s performing well for us… and today I’m sharing it with you.

We Decided That Questions Were the Answer

The usual method of reaching out to new prospects is to first send out a personalized connection request. When your connection request is accepted, you’d then send out a “thanks for the connection” message and start building your relationship with that connection.

Then about two weeks later, you’d send your new connection a relevant resource or a great piece of content that they’d be interested in and open up a discussion about it.

And, in general, that’s how the relationship building began.

Changes to any social platform are inevitable, and when the changes to LinkedIn groups came, we began to see first hand how the slower group growth and messaging restrictions were impacting our normal messaging strategy.

While it still worked, we were finding that it required more effort with a smaller group of people to get the same results.

So we immediately began looking for a new messaging strategy that would lead to higher engagement.

Our team decided that since relationship building is the core of any successful messaging strategy, that our new strategy should focus on that.

And because successful selling begins with listening, our team decided to focus this strategy around questions. Questions that were relevant to our target prospects.

In short, we decided to make it personal.

A Simple Shift That’s Yielding Big Results

Keep in mind that this strategy is fairly new to us and will no doubt go through some iterations. That being said, we’re already seeing higher levels of engagement and expect that to continue.

While we used to use a piece of already created content to start the conversation in our messaging campaign, the team decided that in order to get a higher level of engagement from those they were approaching, they had to get more personal.

So instead of approaching with an article or resource that already exists, next time, try approaching your prospects in a much more targeted way. Here’s the what we’re doing…

Step 1

After a connection request is accepted, we message back. But instead of sharing a relevant piece of existing content like we used to, we tell them that we’re doing research (conducting interviews, writing a blog post, creating content for LinkedIn Pulse, writing a report) about a specific issue or challenge in their industry.

We tell them that we’d like their take on these issues to use in our finished project. Then we ask the questions.

The key is to wrap your questions (usually 2 or 3 of them) around something significant and meaningful to your prospect – an issue, challenge, or pain point in their industry.

By doing this, you’re accomplishing a few really valuable things at the same time.

  • You’re approaching with a very specific topic that’s personally relevant to your prospect.
  • You’re acknowledging them as an authority and a leader in their industry by asking them for their take on the issue.
  • You’re positioning yourself as a peer and someone who knows and cares about their industry.


Step 2

When your prospect responds to your question, your next touch will be a reply message along the lines of, “This is great, thanks! I’d love to learn more about (the topic). Could you make some time next week to get on a call and go discuss it further?”

For those who don’t respond, you’d reach out again in 2 weeks with a message like, “Sorry we couldn’t connect on the questions I sent you. It looks like you have some great experience in that area, so I’d really like to get your take on this. Would you be able to make some time next week to connect?”

It’s a subtle change to an already effective messaging process that seems to be working well for us.

I say “seems to be” because it’s still new and we don’t have a lot of hard data to back it up yet, but so far everyone who is using this new strategy is reporting more engagement from prospects and is getting more people on the phone.

Several of our account managers are reporting 5 to 10 responses from the same number of messages that used to yield 2 or 3.

From this point on, you’d continue with your usual follow-up messages and calls. For a refresher of a great way to follow up with new connections, check out a previous article, 5 Keys to Turning Networking Calls Into Sales Calls.

You Gotta Roll With the Changes

As change occurs, you have to keep adjusting and testing. This simple adjustment in messaging seems to be making a significant difference for us – so give it a try for a week or two and see what you think. Based on what we’ve seen, you should see better engagement and book more calls.

If you haven’t recently joined us for one of our free Advanced LinkedIn Masterclass sessions, you should really get in on one. It’s a great way to stay up 
to date with the most potent LinkedIn marketing strategies anywhere, and you’ll get an overview of our whole marketing system.

To get more detail on our messaging systems and all our other strategies, take  some time now and apply for our Advanced LinkedIn Masterclass. We hold it regularly, but space is limited, so make time today to find a time slot that works for you.

Now it’s your turn…

Have you noticed a change in your messaging results?

How do you think this new approach might help your efforts?

Let’s chat about it in the comments.

Posted on August 16, 2016

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