Interview: Using LinkedIn To Sell Yourself
Date: June 10, 2016
Meet Ian Preston, a speaker and LinkedIn trainer and coach who is passionate about coaching companies and individuals to improve their online presence.
With an ever-growing digital world we live it, it’s increasingly difficult to use social media to stand out from others; you follow the Facebook and Twitter manual, but when your accounts flop, you are speaking to an empty canva.
When speaking to a crowd about your specialised subject area, your words can motivate others, so today Ian shares his best tips on bringing your personality to LinkedIn and how to sell yourself without it seeming like you’re, you know… really selling yourself.
As a keynote speaker, what are some topics you cover?
How to Get More Business Through Your Use of LinkedIn
How to build a powerful profile and proactively find, connect in the right way and engage easily with your ideal contacts – missing out the gatekeepers! Imagine – no more cold calling and unanswered emails.
Selling is a skill like any other. It needs familiarity with the requirements and lots of practice to be proficient at it. Learn some tricks of the trade about the art, science and psychology of selling, learned in over 30 years of being out on the road, leading sales teams, and training and coaching others.
Is this the best use of your time right now?
Your time is your most important and valuable commodity. You can never get it back. Learn how to master your time, not let it be the master of you!
My audiences are never bored and I take the time to understand the client and the audience to ensure my presentation adds value and syncs with the theme of the event.
What are some general pieces of advice about LinkedIn you give to your clients?
- Their headline should say what’s in it for the reader
- The LinkedIn profile should tell people what they can do for their clients, not just what they do
- It should prove their credibility
- They need to get more connections
- They need to garner recommendations, particularly video ones
Describe yourself in three words.
Passionate, enthusiastic and methodical.
You host seminars and conferences to help companies improve their communication in group talks. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see companies making in meetings?
There is no objective that is communicated up front. The main decision maker/line manager leads the meeting/session. Subordinates are therefore less keen to open up.
There is no structure or obvious connection between the sessions.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
To make today better than yesterday – for me and my clients. Live every day like it’s your last. One day you’ll be right.
What do the next five years look like for you?
To continue developing as an individual.
To help individuals and companies be the best they can. To continue building a successful profitable business that can manage without me.
Describe your first public speaking experience.
I do recall quite early on having to stand in late on for someone who hadn’t turned up and I had to use their material about a subject I knew little about.
There’s nothing worse than when the audience knows more about the subject you are talking about than you do!
What’s the best thing about being a speaker?
Engaging, informing and entertaining an audience. I never quite made it as a rock star so speaking is the next best thing!
As a conference host, you take the time to get to know a company’s culture and message. What are some ways you do this?
Engage with the conference organiser. Understand the objective and message of the conference (if they have one). Research the company, particularly around history, recent news and successes.
Review other speaker’s profiles and their presentations and topics etc.
How important is it for a company to have an online presence on LinkedIn?
Absolutely crucial. LinkedIn is a formidable and focused marketing tool, yet it is habitually underused.
A well-crafted LinkedIn profile is vital for individuals and companies to be found, and to build authority, credibility, trust and desire in them and their brand.
Used correctly, LinkedIn is the most powerful platform for bypassing the gatekeepers and establishing direct connections with typically hard-to-reach decision makers.
And powerful it is. With over 433 million members and growing, you really cannot afford to neglect your profile and miss connecting with potential clients and event managers.
In addition to Ian’s great points about using LinkedIn professionally, here are a few of our own:
- Use your profile like a person and don’t only see it as a platform for selling something
- Be current. Nobody likes dated content and posts about something which happen five days ago
- Use the blog space to encourage connections to check back on your profile regularly. Take care with grammatical errors and quality as it’s a reflection of you and your talents