14 Ways to Get Free Advertising for Your Business

When you work at a small business with a limited budget, it’s not really possible to shell out $340,000 for a 30-second TV commercial, or $10,000 for an email marketing campaign.

It can be frustrating when your budget dictates how many people your business can reach.

Surprisingly, there are a lot of free ways to supplement your paid advertising efforts. By incorporating free advertising tactics into your strategy, you can remove some nonessential costs and dedicate your budget to deeper, more longterm plays.Click here to take inspiration from the most remarkable campaigns we've ever  seen.

In fact, we suggest some of these methods regardless of your budget.

To help you spread the word about your business without breaking the bank, we’ve compiled 14 ways to get advertising for free.

1. Use Google My Business to Optimize for Local Search

One of the most powerful free ways to advertise your business is through Google My Business, which enables companies to manage their presence on Google Search and Google Maps. The tool can bolster your rankings in local search results. Ranking high in local search shows you’re a legitimate and relevant company: you wouldn’t rank #1 in Google for “pizza places near me” if you’d closed down six months ago. Plus, if you rank high in local search, more consumers will choose your business over a competitor’s. In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is key.

2. Check Out Yext

The more places your business is listed online, the better your chances of showing up in search results, and the easier it is for potential customers to find you. To ensure great local SEO, the details of your listings on every website and online directory need to match up. For instance, if your website lists your company’s new phone number, but Yelp lists your old one, this inconsistency could hurt your SEO. Yext scans the web to find every place your business is listed, so you can tweak your listings to guarantee accuracy.

3. Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs

There are a few major advantages to guest posting for a well-established blog. You can benefit from connecting to that blog’s audience, and you can also start establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Since guest posting on a popular blog allows you access to an established audience and high domain authority, this practice can sometimes be more beneficial than posting to your own blog. Plus, you can link back to your own website from your article, giving you an inbound link that boosts your domain authority and can increase your own website’s ranking in search engines.

4. Answer Quora Questions

Writing content for Quora can expose your business to a large audience: TechCrunch reported that some of Quora’s active contributors receive more than 30,000 monthly views. Besides the large built-in audience, your business can answer direct questions from prospective customers. This lets you interact with high-quality potential leads and establish yourself as an expert in the subjects that matter most in your industry.

5. Publish Content on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an platform to connect with professionals, which is why it’s also a great place to share business-related content. LinkedIn’s blogging platform lets you demonstrate your expertise within your industry. Your connections and other LinkedIn members will engage with your posts and share them, doing the free promotion for you. With almost half of all social media traffic coming to B2B company sites from LinkedIn, it’s a missed opportunity if you don’t publish and promote content on LinkedIn.

6. Offer to Do Interviews on other Business’s Podcasts

To figure out which platforms your team should priortize, it’s important to diversify your promotion platforms to discover where your audience is already consuming content. Some of your audience might prefer listening to podcasts over reading articles. To reach those people, contact a few businesses with podcasts and pitch interview ideas.

7. Promote Your Website on Your Email Signature

With all the emails you send every day, it’s a shame if you aren’t taking advantage of the promotional potential of your email signature. Your email signature can also be unexpected property to promote a sale, contest, event, or even a new blog post. Add a link to your business’ website on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles, as well.

8. Send Email Newsletters

An email newsletter can be a useful vehicle to promote content, share business-related news, and build deeper relationships with both potential and existing customers. There are plenty of free tools out there that assist you in designing, sending, and optimizing your newsletter. With the right time investment, an email newsletter can be the perfect place to share quality content with leads and potential consumers, establishing your brand as helpful and informative.

9. Network at In-Person Events

Connecting with fellow professionals at industry networking events is a great opportunity to meet potential consumers in a place where they are eager to discuss your business. The niche topics of networking events ensures you’re meeting high-qualified leads. For example, a “Best Technology Startups of 2018” event will primarily be filled with participants who are interested in technology and startups. Particularly for small businesses looking to make their first connections, networking is a chance to get your name out there, meet potential partners, and find opportunities for growth. Plus, it’ll keep you up-to-date on trends in your industry.

10. Speak at an Event

Similar to networking, speaking at an event about a topic related to your industry is another way to exhibit your expertise. Giving a thought-provoking and powerful speech will draw attention to you and, by association, your business, which can increase brand awareness and prove your business is qualified to tackle consumer’s challenges. To start, brainstorm different topics and volunteer at various upcoming networking events and trade association conventions. If you’re afraid of public speaking (don’t worry, a lot of us are), you could enroll in a local Toastmasters chapter to improve your game.

11. Do a Free Product Giveaway or Contest

A product giveaway or contest is an easy way to incentivize new viewers to check out and subscribe to your social media channels or website. Plus, handing out inexpensive branded products like t-shirts or mugs is a good way to spread your brand name. Word of mouth is alive and well — and a little swag can go a long way.

12. Put Up Brochures or Flyers

Putting up brochures or flyers in local libraries, coffee shops, and businesses is a unique way to market to offline locations where people spend a good deal of their time. You can create free brochures and flyers on PowerPoint. Depending on your industry, it might even help you reach an ideal clientele: if you’re a physical therapist, for example, perhaps you could hand out brochures to local gyms or nearby hospitals.

13. Create YouTube Videos

YouTube has more than a billion active users, which accounts for almost one-third of everyone on the internet. Plus, 59% of executives — i.e. decision makers — go to videos before written content. Creating engaging and informative YouTube videos is one of the most efficient ways to sell your brand. If done right, your YouTube videos will entertain viewers enough to seek out your website.

14. Take Advantage of Your Partnerships

Partnerships are an opportunity to offer supplementary services that you don’t provide. For example, a web design company and a copywriting agency might choose to partner together, so when a client requires written content for her web pages, the web design company can offer copywriting services from their partner. This increases consumer satisfaction, and it also provides exceptional advertising opportunities. When your partner’s consumers need your services, your partner will point them in your direction.

marketing

 
Best Mktg and ad campaigns

When you work at a small business with a limited budget, it’s not really possible to shell out $340,000 for a 30-second TV commercial, or $10,000 for an email marketing campaign.

It can be frustrating when your budget dictates how many people your business can reach.

Surprisingly, there are a lot of free ways to supplement your paid advertising efforts. By incorporating free advertising tactics into your strategy, you can remove some nonessential costs and dedicate your budget to deeper, more longterm plays.Click here to take inspiration from the most remarkable campaigns we've ever  seen.

In fact, we suggest some of these methods regardless of your budget.

To help you spread the word about your business without breaking the bank, we’ve compiled 14 ways to get advertising for free.

1. Use Google My Business to Optimize for Local Search

One of the most powerful free ways to advertise your business is through Google My Business, which enables companies to manage their presence on Google Search and Google Maps. The tool can bolster your rankings in local search results. Ranking high in local search shows you’re a legitimate and relevant company: you wouldn’t rank #1 in Google for “pizza places near me” if you’d closed down six months ago. Plus, if you rank high in local search, more consumers will choose your business over a competitor’s. In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is key.

2. Check Out Yext

The more places your business is listed online, the better your chances of showing up in search results, and the easier it is for potential customers to find you. To ensure great local SEO, the details of your listings on every website and online directory need to match up. For instance, if your website lists your company’s new phone number, but Yelp lists your old one, this inconsistency could hurt your SEO. Yext scans the web to find every place your business is listed, so you can tweak your listings to guarantee accuracy.

3. Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs

There are a few major advantages to guest posting for a well-established blog. You can benefit from connecting to that blog’s audience, and you can also start establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Since guest posting on a popular blog allows you access to an established audience and high domain authority, this practice can sometimes be more beneficial than posting to your own blog. Plus, you can link back to your own website from your article, giving you an inbound link that boosts your domain authority and can increase your own website’s ranking in search engines.

4. Answer Quora Questions

Writing content for Quora can expose your business to a large audience: TechCrunch reported that some of Quora’s active contributors receive more than 30,000 monthly views. Besides the large built-in audience, your business can answer direct questions from prospective customers. This lets you interact with high-quality potential leads and establish yourself as an expert in the subjects that matter most in your industry.

5. Publish Content on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an platform to connect with professionals, which is why it’s also a great place to share business-related content. LinkedIn’s blogging platform lets you demonstrate your expertise within your industry. Your connections and other LinkedIn members will engage with your posts and share them, doing the free promotion for you. With almost half of all social media traffic coming to B2B company sites from LinkedIn, it’s a missed opportunity if you don’t publish and promote content on LinkedIn.

6. Offer to Do Interviews on other Business’s Podcasts

To figure out which platforms your team should priortize, it’s important to diversify your promotion platforms to discover where your audience is already consuming content. Some of your audience might prefer listening to podcasts over reading articles. To reach those people, contact a few businesses with podcasts and pitch interview ideas.

7. Promote Your Website on Your Email Signature

With all the emails you send every day, it’s a shame if you aren’t taking advantage of the promotional potential of your email signature. Your email signature can also be unexpected property to promote a sale, contest, event, or even a new blog post. Add a link to your business’ website on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles, as well.

8. Send Email Newsletters

An email newsletter can be a useful vehicle to promote content, share business-related news, and build deeper relationships with both potential and existing customers. There are plenty of free tools out there that assist you in designing, sending, and optimizing your newsletter. With the right time investment, an email newsletter can be the perfect place to share quality content with leads and potential consumers, establishing your brand as helpful and informative.

9. Network at In-Person Events

Connecting with fellow professionals at industry networking events is a great opportunity to meet potential consumers in a place where they are eager to discuss your business. The niche topics of networking events ensures you’re meeting high-qualified leads. For example, a “Best Technology Startups of 2018” event will primarily be filled with participants who are interested in technology and startups. Particularly for small businesses looking to make their first connections, networking is a chance to get your name out there, meet potential partners, and find opportunities for growth. Plus, it’ll keep you up-to-date on trends in your industry.

10. Speak at an Event

Similar to networking, speaking at an event about a topic related to your industry is another way to exhibit your expertise. Giving a thought-provoking and powerful speech will draw attention to you and, by association, your business, which can increase brand awareness and prove your business is qualified to tackle consumer’s challenges. To start, brainstorm different topics and volunteer at various upcoming networking events and trade association conventions. If you’re afraid of public speaking (don’t worry, a lot of us are), you could enroll in a local Toastmasters chapter to improve your game.

11. Do a Free Product Giveaway or Contest

A product giveaway or contest is an easy way to incentivize new viewers to check out and subscribe to your social media channels or website. Plus, handing out inexpensive branded products like t-shirts or mugs is a good way to spread your brand name. Word of mouth is alive and well — and a little swag can go a long way.

12. Put Up Brochures or Flyers

Putting up brochures or flyers in local libraries, coffee shops, and businesses is a unique way to market to offline locations where people spend a good deal of their time. You can create free brochures and flyers on PowerPoint. Depending on your industry, it might even help you reach an ideal clientele: if you’re a physical therapist, for example, perhaps you could hand out brochures to local gyms or nearby hospitals.

13. Create YouTube Videos

YouTube has more than a billion active users, which accounts for almost one-third of everyone on the internet. Plus, 59% of executives — i.e. decision makers — go to videos before written content. Creating engaging and informative YouTube videos is one of the most efficient ways to sell your brand. If done right, your YouTube videos will entertain viewers enough to seek out your website.

14. Take Advantage of Your Partnerships

Partnerships are an opportunity to offer supplementary services that you don’t provide. For example, a web design company and a copywriting agency might choose to partner together, so when a client requires written content for her web pages, the web design company can offer copywriting services from their partner. This increases consumer satisfaction, and it also provides exceptional advertising opportunities. When your partner’s consumers need your services, your partner will point them in your direction.

marketing

 
Best Mktg and ad campaigns

Facebook Will Limit Data Available to Advertisers

Facebook announced yesterday that it will be shuttering Partner Categories: the product that allows third-party data providers to supplement advertisers with targeting information directly through Facebook.

In the announcement, Facebook noted that “this is common industry practice,” but will still shutter the product to “help improve people’s privacy on Facebook.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 1.05.09 PM

Source: Facebook

For Facebook and marketers alike, the announcement is what ProPublica reporter Julia Angwin called “a big deal.” Here’s what’s going on — and why it matters.

Where Facebook Advertisers Get Their Data

Prior to these recent changes, advertisers on Facebook had a few primary sources of user data that they could use for targeting purposes, including data that Facebook itself has from what users provide on their profiles, as well as their activity on the network. It’s not entirely unlike what’s available in your downloadable Facebook data archive file, which I wrote about here.

That data could be used in combination with other sources of information that the advertiser might have on its own, like email contacts or survey responses.

Finally, there are the third-party data providers, which are the ones Facebook has severed ties with. These companies possess and provide advertisers with data that are often based on non-social-media activities, like shopping history and income — which is part of what Angwin and her team discovered when ProPublica started investigating the breadth of Facebook user data in 2016.

The data from these providers are often synthesized in tandem with information that Facebook has from user profiles, helping to match (or target) promoted content to the most relevant audiences. It’s a powerful combination that could be at least partially responsible for Facebook’s growth as a valuable advertising platform — to the point where 98% of its 2017 global revenue was rooted in advertising.

And again, as Facebook said itself, these practices are not limited to Facebook advertisers, and are frequently promoted as a value-add by some of the larger data providers involved, like Experian and Acxiom. The latter calls it a “data package” that can help advertisers “accurately identify relevant audiences for all of your media campaigns.”

It’s no secret, then, that providing these services is a source of revenue for the data providers, too. According to the Wall Street Journal, Acxiom stands to lose $25 million in fiscal 2019 revenue and profit. And while it seems possible for advertisers to still independently enlist these third-party services, a barrier to access is now in place that was previously removed by direct data availability through Facebook.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 2.24.45 PM

Acxiom’s stock price at 2:25 PM EDT March 29, within 24 hours of Facebook’s announcement. Source: Google

What This Means for Marketers

But how much do advertisers stand to lose from these changes? Well, that depends who you ask. When I first tweeted this news after it broke last night, one of my followers suggested that he’d be losing a major source of information for his work.

The extent of the setback to marketers and advertisers also depends on the industry — those who depend on a consumer’s shopping habits and history, for example, could potentially lose out by not having access to detailed, third-party data on it.

But keep in mind that Facebook has quite the cache of user data entirely on its own. Remember that downloadable data file I alluded to earlier? Have another look.

The file shows that Facebook possesses a decent — if not confusing — amount of information on users’ interests and activities. And where that data really comes into play for most advertisers is in its own ad-targeting platform.

That doesn’t necessarily reveal individual user data, but it allows advertisers to customize promoted content audiences based on it — interests, location, and so forth. Here’s a page from my own file with some of the “interest” data Facebook uses to help target ads:

Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 1.02.50 PM

That data isn’t exactly minuscule, and some advertisers could still be able to effectively reach audiences with it. “The reality is that Facebook’s targeting tools are so powerful,” says Henry Franco, HubSpot’s Social Campaign Strategy Associate, “some analysts think this change won’t make much of a difference in overall targeting capabilities.”

Why Is Facebook Doing This?

Here’s the thing about the user data in Facebook’s possession (the kind that’s used within its own targeting tools): Advertisers aren’t supposed to have direct access to that information in a way that attaches it to specific people.

Instead, it’s supposed to be anonymous and general enough that, for example, an advertiser can target Boston-based women in a certain age bracket who are interested in KitchenAid and BarkBox — but not be able to do is know who, specifically, the women are within that targeted audience. 

And as Google Product Manager Michael Sayman explains, that’s part of what helps Facebook earn such revenue through advertising: by requiring advertisers to use that platform to reach the right audience by leveraging a targeting system based on Facebook’s (proprietary) user data. If Facebook didn’t keep that information to itself, he explains, advertisers wouldn’t need the platform to accomplish their goals.

But that’s also part of what got Facebook into this situation in the first place. Previous policies allowed third parties like app developers and academics to access user data for things like research purposes — but prohibited them from transferring that information to others. But when it came to light that one app developer may have violated that policy by supplementing data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica with that information, the social network began making changes to the availability of and policy clarity around user data.

The suspension of direct access within Facebook to data from third-party providers is just the latest in a series of changes. “More than anything else, it looks like Facebook is trying to clean up its act in the wake of the recent data scandal involving Cambridge Analytica,” says Franco. “While this change might be a little reactive, it’s a step in the right direction for a company of Facebook’s stature.”

Facebook isn’t alone in its recent onslaught of privacy and other policy changes. Companies ranging from Apple to Venmo have also been notifying users of modifications, at least partly in response to the heightened scrutiny of Facebook and some of its Big Tech counterparts. (In addition to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, chief executives from Twitter and Google have also been asked to testify before Congress in the wake of these ongoing events.)

But it may not be entirely in response to this particular situation. On May 25, which is less than two months away, the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) comes into force and will impact the way organizations obtain, store, manage or process the personal data of EU citizens — which some believe is also behind these recent policy changes and notifications.

But all things considered, this is likely not the last policy change expected from Facebook. And as the story continues to unfold, I’ll be monitoring it. Questions? Feel free to weigh in on Twitter.

Facebook announced yesterday that it will be shuttering Partner Categories: the product that allows third-party data providers to supplement advertisers with targeting information directly through Facebook.

In the announcement, Facebook noted that “this is common industry practice,” but will still shutter the product to “help improve people’s privacy on Facebook.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 1.05.09 PM

Source: Facebook

For Facebook and marketers alike, the announcement is what ProPublica reporter Julia Angwin called “a big deal.” Here’s what’s going on — and why it matters.

Where Facebook Advertisers Get Their Data

Prior to these recent changes, advertisers on Facebook had a few primary sources of user data that they could use for targeting purposes, including data that Facebook itself has from what users provide on their profiles, as well as their activity on the network. It’s not entirely unlike what’s available in your downloadable Facebook data archive file, which I wrote about here.

That data could be used in combination with other sources of information that the advertiser might have on its own, like email contacts or survey responses.

Finally, there are the third-party data providers, which are the ones Facebook has severed ties with. These companies possess and provide advertisers with data that are often based on non-social-media activities, like shopping history and income — which is part of what Angwin and her team discovered when ProPublica started investigating the breadth of Facebook user data in 2016.

The data from these providers are often synthesized in tandem with information that Facebook has from user profiles, helping to match (or target) promoted content to the most relevant audiences. It’s a powerful combination that could be at least partially responsible for Facebook’s growth as a valuable advertising platform — to the point where 98% of its 2017 global revenue was rooted in advertising.

And again, as Facebook said itself, these practices are not limited to Facebook advertisers, and are frequently promoted as a value-add by some of the larger data providers involved, like Experian and Acxiom. The latter calls it a “data package” that can help advertisers “accurately identify relevant audiences for all of your media campaigns.”

It’s no secret, then, that providing these services is a source of revenue for the data providers, too. According to the Wall Street Journal, Acxiom stands to lose $25 million in fiscal 2019 revenue and profit. And while it seems possible for advertisers to still independently enlist these third-party services, a barrier to access is now in place that was previously removed by direct data availability through Facebook.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 2.24.45 PM

Acxiom’s stock price at 2:25 PM EDT March 29, within 24 hours of Facebook’s announcement. Source: Google

What This Means for Marketers

But how much do advertisers stand to lose from these changes? Well, that depends who you ask. When I first tweeted this news after it broke last night, one of my followers suggested that he’d be losing a major source of information for his work.

The extent of the setback to marketers and advertisers also depends on the industry — those who depend on a consumer’s shopping habits and history, for example, could potentially lose out by not having access to detailed, third-party data on it.

But keep in mind that Facebook has quite the cache of user data entirely on its own. Remember that downloadable data file I alluded to earlier? Have another look.

The file shows that Facebook possesses a decent — if not confusing — amount of information on users’ interests and activities. And where that data really comes into play for most advertisers is in its own ad-targeting platform.

That doesn’t necessarily reveal individual user data, but it allows advertisers to customize promoted content audiences based on it — interests, location, and so forth. Here’s a page from my own file with some of the “interest” data Facebook uses to help target ads:

Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 1.02.50 PM

That data isn’t exactly minuscule, and some advertisers could still be able to effectively reach audiences with it. “The reality is that Facebook’s targeting tools are so powerful,” says Henry Franco, HubSpot’s Social Campaign Strategy Associate, “some analysts think this change won’t make much of a difference in overall targeting capabilities.”

Why Is Facebook Doing This?

Here’s the thing about the user data in Facebook’s possession (the kind that’s used within its own targeting tools): Advertisers aren’t supposed to have direct access to that information in a way that attaches it to specific people.

Instead, it’s supposed to be anonymous and general enough that, for example, an advertiser can target Boston-based women in a certain age bracket who are interested in KitchenAid and BarkBox — but not be able to do is know who, specifically, the women are within that targeted audience. 

And as Google Product Manager Michael Sayman explains, that’s part of what helps Facebook earn such revenue through advertising: by requiring advertisers to use that platform to reach the right audience by leveraging a targeting system based on Facebook’s (proprietary) user data. If Facebook didn’t keep that information to itself, he explains, advertisers wouldn’t need the platform to accomplish their goals.

But that’s also part of what got Facebook into this situation in the first place. Previous policies allowed third parties like app developers and academics to access user data for things like research purposes — but prohibited them from transferring that information to others. But when it came to light that one app developer may have violated that policy by supplementing data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica with that information, the social network began making changes to the availability of and policy clarity around user data.

The suspension of direct access within Facebook to data from third-party providers is just the latest in a series of changes. “More than anything else, it looks like Facebook is trying to clean up its act in the wake of the recent data scandal involving Cambridge Analytica,” says Franco. “While this change might be a little reactive, it’s a step in the right direction for a company of Facebook’s stature.”

Facebook isn’t alone in its recent onslaught of privacy and other policy changes. Companies ranging from Apple to Venmo have also been notifying users of modifications, at least partly in response to the heightened scrutiny of Facebook and some of its Big Tech counterparts. (In addition to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, chief executives from Twitter and Google have also been asked to testify before Congress in the wake of these ongoing events.)

But it may not be entirely in response to this particular situation. On May 25, which is less than two months away, the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) comes into force and will impact the way organizations obtain, store, manage or process the personal data of EU citizens — which some believe is also behind these recent policy changes and notifications.

But all things considered, this is likely not the last policy change expected from Facebook. And as the story continues to unfold, I’ll be monitoring it. Questions? Feel free to weigh in on Twitter.

Social Media Cold Outreach: How To Send a LinkedIn Message to Anyone on LinkedIn

Can you remember the first time you cold-called someone? Just thinking about it makes my palms sweaty. My heart was pounding out of my chest as I dialed. And I tried to think ahead to how I would introduce myself and make a connection, but the nerves just clouded my mind. Each ring of the phone … Continue reading “Social Media Cold Outreach: How To Send a LinkedIn Message to Anyone on LinkedIn”

The post Social Media Cold Outreach: How To Send a LinkedIn Message to Anyone on LinkedIn appeared first on Wicked Baron's Emporium.

Can you remember the first time you cold-called someone? Just thinking about it makes my palms sweaty. My heart was pounding out of my chest as I dialed. And I tried to think ahead to how I would introduce myself and make a connection, but the nerves just clouded my mind. Each ring of the phone … Continue reading “Social Media Cold Outreach: How To Send a LinkedIn Message to Anyone on LinkedIn”

The post Social Media Cold Outreach: How To Send a LinkedIn Message to Anyone on LinkedIn appeared first on Wicked Baron's Emporium.

Social Media Cold Outreach: How To Send a LinkedIn Message to Anyone on LinkedIn


social media cold outreach

Can you remember the first time you cold-called someone?

Just thinking about it makes my palms sweaty.

My heart was pounding out of my chest as I dialed.

And I tried to think ahead to how I would introduce myself and make a connection, but the nerves just clouded my mind.

Each ring of the phone just made the anticipation grow.

And then:

*Beep*

I got sent to voicemail.

That first experience sticks with anyone who’s ever cold-called someone, and in some ways, it creates an aversion to any type of cold-messaging.

To be fair, cold outreach is a difficult task to master.

You probably don’t necessarily relish getting messages from people you don’t know, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective.

And there are methods that allow you to cold-message effectively in ways that bring in new business or create opportunities.

I’m talking about LinkedIn Messaging, which has been proven to be three times more effective than email.

I want to show you how you can use this powerful tool to reach anyone who has a LinkedIn account.

I believe that once you know how to do this, you’ll never fear cold-messaging ever again.

Let’s start by introducing you to this tool and how much it can help your business.

Why use LinkedIn Messaging?

LinkedIn currently boasts more than 500 million users.

Want to know a big secret?

You can send a direct message to every single one of them.

So needless to say, LinkedIn’s messaging platform has taken the business world by storm in recent years.

InMail’s response rate averages three times higher than a normal email, which means the potential for networking is incredibly high.

And that’s vital because 80% of LinkedIn members consider networking to be a large part of their professional success.

It’s a proven site for lead generation.

And almost all of the sales teams of B2B companies rely on LinkedIn InMail and messaging to generate leads.

It’s the perfect platform for sharing content, creating connections, and closing business deals.

And LinkedIn’s Smarter Messaging is designed to help you do exactly that.

The overall goal of LinkedIn is to help you build business relationships with other users.

When you do that, your growth opportunities (and hopefully your revenue) will expand exponentially.

Which means your next sale, job, or project is just around the corner on LinkedIn.

But don’t take my word for it.

Digital marketers everywhere are praising the virtues of LinkedIn’s messaging capabilities:

linkedin message

Chris reported a 20% response rate and high conversions when using LinkedIn for cold messaging as well.

Do you see why this platform can be so powerful for you?

All you need to do is find the right person to connect with.

And LinkedIn allows you to search for individuals with an incredible amount of precision.

So let’s get started on how you can start messaging others on LinkedIn.

To kick things off, I want to familiarize you with what your LinkedIn messaging area looks like:

messages

It looks pretty basic, right?

I would imagine it’s similar to your email account, and that’s the beauty of it.

It’s designed to be easy enough for anyone to jump in and use effectively.

And if you want upgraded features, like the ability to send InMail to people who aren’t a connection, you’ll need to upgrade to LinkedIn’s Premium services.

Activating it is easy, all you have to do is select a plan.

I let mine lapse, so I was actually offered a free month.

linkedin messaging

But normally, you can sign up for as low as $79.99 per month, and it’s totally worth it.

Go ahead and activate the plan you’ve selected.

linkedin messaging 2

Input your payment information and start using your new features.

Now that you’re ready to message, let’s start looking at ways to find and message the right people.

To get started, we’ll look at the anatomy of a message that will help you connect.

Then, I’ll show you how you can start finding anyone who has a LinkedIn profile.

The anatomy of an impactful cold message

Effective cold messages aren’t created in a vacuum.

You need to take a carefully calculated approach in order to weave a message that warrants a response.

Most marketers who have spent time sending out cold messages agree on some rather important traits, such as:

  1. A narrow target audience
  2. Short and simple
  3. Fosters connection
  4. Positive
  5. Testable

But what does that look like in application?

Well, here’s a perfect example of a cold message that not only engaged its target but also landed the sender a job.

good linkedin message

Notice all of the elements I’ve highlighted.

It’s personal, gives context, shows genuine interest, and isn’t longer than three paragraphs.

More importantly, the intent is clear.

The writer wants to find a way to help the company “reach and exceed” its current growth goals.

How do you think this compares to your cold messages?

Are you clear, concise, and engaging?

And this approach isn’t just one I’ve made up.

Here’s another example from Dude Robe founder Howie Busch:

improve reply rate

This message has the exact same elements as the first example.

Want to know how well it performed?

Busch got a staggering 75% reply rate.

He kept it short and to the point, and created an interest in his audience that prompted curiosity and action.

So I hope you see that messaging matters, even when it’s on a cold lead.

Take all of the elements I’ve shared here into account before you start sending out your cold LinkedIn messages.

How do you create these connections on LinkedIn?

I want to show you LinkedIn’s messaging process now, which will allow you to send a message to anyone who has a profile.

And first up is a group of people you already know.

Message your connections

Some cold campaigns don’t have to start with a cold message.

In fact, with LinkedIn, many of your “cold” messages shouldn’t be all that cold when starting out.

Hopefully, you have an established group of contacts on LinkedIn that you can reach out to so you can get a little bit of momentum.

And you can leverage your existing connections to build inroads into their networks.

That is exactly what networking is in real life.

It’s an introduction from a mutual acquaintance, a handshake, and a conversation.

So this approach means messaging your first-degree connections on LinkedIn first.

Thankfully, messaging connections is simple. It doesn’t require InMail, and it allows you to tap into your network with ease.

The easiest way to send a message to a connection is to simply open up the messaging tab on your feed.

messaging

You’ll be sent to the messaging page we looked at earlier.

From there, you’ll want to compose a new message.

message connection send 2

Add the contact you want to reach out to in the address bar.

message connection send 3

Type in your message and then send.

It’s quick, easy, and can help you build a new connection or gain momentum for your campaign.

But that’s not the only way to send a message.

In fact, I don’t really think it’s the best way, and you’ll see why later.

To use the second method, simply go to the profile of the individual you want to connect with.

message connection

As you can see, one of the very first elements that stands out is the blue “Message” button.

When you click it, a pop-up messenger box will appear, and you can send your message accordingly.

message connection send

Type in your message and hit send.

Now, all you have to do is wait for your response.

Like I mentioned earlier, you can use this method to collaborate, get feedback, or to ask for an introduction to a second-degree connection.

However you use it, just make sure to follow the same procedure on your actual message.

You’ll be one step closer to building your network and warming up a potentially cold outreach.

And that brings me to the second group of LinkedIn users: second-degree connections.

Messaging your second-degree connections

A second-degree connection on LinkedIn means both parties are direct connections of the same person.

In plainer terms, this is when you have a mutual acquaintance or connection with someone who acts as the bridge.

A “friend of a friend” if you will.

Which means you’ve finally reached the point where your cold outreach actually starts.

If you’ve already asked for an introduction, that’s great.

But if you don’t have time for your mutual connection to help create a link, it’s possible to send a message directly.

The easiest way to message these types of connections is with InMail.

Start by going to your first-degree connection’s profile.

2nd and 3rd

Notice in the top right corner that you can opt to see their connections.

This is where you’ll find all of the second-degree connections you share with this person.

If you have a large group of first-degree connections on LinkedIn, you could potentially have tens of thousands of second-degree connections.

Go ahead and click the link to see the full list of second-degree connections.

2nd degree

Now, you’re given page upon page of potential connections that you can connect with.

If you want to become a first-degree connection, simply hit the connect button next to their name.

However, in most cases, you’ll likely want to opt for a simple cold message.

Find the contact you want to message and click on their profile.

2nd degree inmail

This page looks a lot different, doesn’t it?

Instead of being able to just fire up your messaging, you’ll have to send an InMail.

Depending on which type of premium service you’re using, you’ll only be able to send a certain amount of InMail.

That means finding the right connection to attempt is an important part of your considerations.

Once you find the right contact, click the InMail tab to pull up the messaging tab.

2nd degree inmail message

Type in your message and then send it.

Now that you’ve learned how to find and message first and second-degree connections, you should have a massive pool of potential connections to make.

But there’s still one more step you can take before you’re close to exhausting your LinkedIn search.

Messaging your third-degree connections

Third-degree connections are people who are connected to your second-degree connections.

These are individuals who are just one link further away from your active network.

While they might not be the most attractive potential prospects, this is usually where the cold messaging has its most significant test on LinkedIn.

And because LinkedIn is constantly changing their platform, the process to connect with a third-degree connection is a little tougher too.

You used to be able to view a second-degree connection’s pool of contacts to find a mutual link, much like I showed you in the previous section.

But recent updates have changed that.

The new process requires a manual search for people, and you won’t be able to know where your potential connection comes from.

First, search for People in the search bar at the top of the page.

search for people

Once you click on this, you’ll see a page that has a list of first and second-degree connections.

To change it to third-degree, you’ll need to click on the “Connections” filter and select the “3rd+” option.

3rd degree search

This sets the search results to only give you third-degree connections.

And you’ll be a little overwhelmed by the extensive list of results.

3rd degree search 2

The biggest issue here is that it doesn’t tell you who the mutual connection is through, which makes it harder to spin your message in a way that allows you to connect.

You can send an InMail message like you did with your second-degree connection, but without knowing more about your prospect, it’s just a shot in the dark.

So like I said, the true test of your cold message happens at this level.

And there is still one more group of people that you can reach out to with this method that might give you better results.

There are individuals on LinkedIn that you probably don’t have any mutual connections to that can still provide value to your business.

How do you reach those people?

That’s what I want to look at next.

Messaging individuals with no connections

If there’s an individual on LinkedIn that you have no feasible connections to, they’ll still appear as a third-degree connection, but there’s an easier way to find them.

To connect with such an individual, provided they have a LinkedIn profile, you’ll have to input a direct search of their name.

Let’s say, just for example, that you have an idea to pitch to Conan O’Brien.

How would you find him?

Simply type in his name on the search bar.

search for person

Once you find him in the search, you can click through to view his profile.

Now, you have a few options.

third plus

Your first option is to try to connect.

I don’t recommend this though because, when you’re pitching a complete stranger, they’re more likely to ignore this type of message.

And if they disregard your invitation to connect, your message gets deleted with it.

So personally, I recommend you save your InMail credits for this type of targeted approach.

Remember that a specific audience is an important part of creating a message that yields results.

While these might be a little harder to land, you’re still able to find and connect with anyone who has a LinkedIn simply by knowing their name.

And that means you should now be able to contact literally anyone on LinkedIn, cold or hot.

But that doesn’t mean you’re done with potential avenues for connection.

There’s one more way to reach influencers and try to improve your cold outreach.

Messaging LinkedIn Group members

Last but not least, a method I like to use for LinkedIn cold outreach is to find influential and active Group members.

This method is also great because it doesn’t require InMail, which means you don’t need a premium account to use it.

Anyone can join groups and send direct messages to other group members.

Which makes this an ideal way to reach out to influencers and cold prospects.

Here’s how to find and message individuals who are in your Groups.

Start by clicking the “Work” tab on your menu and then clicking the “Groups” option.

group messages

From here, you’ll be taken to your Groups homepage.

You’ll want to click the “My Groups” tab to get a better breakdown for our purposes.

my groups

Once you do, select a group that matches the demographics of your target audience.

select group

Find the summary of the Group on the right side of the page.

It will look like this:

message group

As you can see, this Group has 1.8 million members.

You can message every single one of them too.

Click on the link to see a full list of everyone in the Group, then find the connection you want to message.

message group result

In these instances, I typically recommend doing a bit of research before you pitch.

Contacting active members will be way more profitable than simply blasting a message to everyone in the Group.

You can click on the profile to learn a little more about your potential lead.

Then once you’ve made a decision, click the message icon.

You’ll be taken back to the LinkedIn messenger.

send message

Which means you’ve now just expanded your free pool of potential prospects by however many individuals are in the Group.

In this case, you would now have 1.8 million potential cold prospects to message.

And that means you’ll need some help sending all of those messages.

Save time with automation

Thankfully, if you build up a massive list of prospects to send a cold message to, it won’t take you an insane amount of hours to send them all your message.

That’s because there are tools like the LinkedIn automation tool Recruiter Nerd.

linkedin autoamator tool

It’s a Google Chrome plugin that allows you to send mass invites and messages with ease.

It even integrates with LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool to help you quickly analyze and contact potential leads.

To use it, simply add it to your Chrome extensions.

Then, you’ll be able to add different leads to a list of other similar prospects.

add to group

Once you do this, you can send a mass message to each of these leads in one simple window.

send a personalized message

Once you’ve sent it off, all you have to do is wait for a reply.

It’s a simple and convenient tool to help you increase your sales and broaden your social network with personalized cold messages.

Conclusion

Hopefully, by now, your palms are a little less sweaty when you think about sending a cold message.

Because I’ve shown you how to find anyone on LinkedIn and send them a personalized message that has a great chance of being read.

Start with your first-degree contacts. They know you and can foster a connection with colder leads.

If you can’t do that, move on to your second-degree connections. While they’re still a cold lead, your mutual connection is a great starting point for building a professional relationship.

Once you’ve exhausted your second-degree connections, move on to the third-degree. There are millions of potential leads just waiting for you to find them here.

And if you have a specific lead you want to contact, reach out personally with an InMail.

If you want to find leads from a specific industry, consider finding active Group members who would be interested in what you have to say.

With Groups, you won’t have to pay for InMail, and your mutual interest will foster connection.

And finally, don’t neglect automation techniques. They will save you time and ultimately help you make money on your cold-messaging efforts.

Your success with cold messaging on LinkedIn depends on the effort you put into it.

But thankfully, the odds are in your favor.

And you have millions of options to choose from.

What methods have you used when prospecting leads on LinkedIn?

The post Social Media Cold Outreach: How To Send a LinkedIn Message to Anyone on LinkedIn appeared first on Neil Patel.



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