“Stop Selling. Start Helping.”
The man behind that famous phrase, Zig Ziglar (1926-2012), reached more than 250 million people worldwide with his sales training talks, bestselling books and unforgettable, homespun wisdom on the art of dealing with people.
In fact, many of today’s biggest names in Business, Finance, Marketing and Self-Improvement (including the likes of Seth Godin, Dave Ramsey, Michelle Prince, Bob Burg and many others) credit Zig for their success.
“Zig saved the day. With his relentless generosity, corny stories and down-home wisdom, Zig Ziglar invented modern motivational speaking, and touched the world,” Godin once wrote. “It’s hard for me to overstate how much I owe him. How much so many of us do.”
Talking LinkedIn with Tom Ziglar
An accomplished public speaker, sales trainer and business coach in his own right, Tom Ziglar, Zig’s son, has carried on his father’s legacy as CEO of Ziglar, Inc.
Today’s marketplace and methods of communication are far different than those of Zig Ziglar’s heyday, but, in a testament to his timeless approach of “You can get everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want,” Zig’s strategies apply just as much to social media and online messaging as they do with face-to-face engagement.
With that in mind, Tom Ziglar and I recently sat down to discuss his approach to sales training, and how he aims to reflect the Ziglar values on a social network like LinkedIn.
Here’s a video of our conversation:
Tom Ziglar’s LinkedIn Profile Rewrite + Optimization
By his own admission, Tom previously hadn’t done much with his personal LinkedIn profile, and as a result agreed to let me personally rewrite and optimize it for him.
(Note: You can view Tom’s revamped LinkedIn profile here.)
With 500 million members in more than 200 countries, and with two new members joining every second, LinkedIn has become the best place on the planet to find all the world’s professionals gathered in one place online.
Its aim is to become a “one stop shop” for professionals worldwide, with industry-specific news, a steady stream of original, long-form content from thought leaders and members, online education (LinkedIn Learning), a freelance vendor marketplace (LinkedIn ProFinder) and much more besides job listings and networking opportunities.
Best of all, LinkedIn’s powerful internal search engine allows you to find and engage (often in real-time) with your ideal clients and customers with a few simple keystrokes.
Along with covering inbound and outbound LinkedIn lead generation strategies, Tom and I also discussed the core foundation of any successful LinkedIn lead generation efforts – your personal profile page.
Your LinkedIn Profile = Client-Facing
The biggest mistake many professionals make on LinkedIn is having a profile that reads like a virtual résumé.
“What I liked about my profile rewrite was that it feels more like a handshake now,” Tom Ziglar said. “It’s not just fact, fact, fact … instead, it tells a story.”
I cover this “client-facing” approach in-depth in other places, but the basic idea is simple – you want to make your profile page all about the target audiences you serve, the benefits they receive from working with you and the specific problems your products and services solve for your ideal clients and customers.
In Tom’s case, Ziglar, Inc., helps companies and professionals (especially Business Coaches and Consultants) with sales training, lead generation, marketing and other services that flow from Zig Ziglar’s core focus of serving others first before ever asking for anything in return.
For Tom Ziglar personally, he’s also a sought-after public speaker and trainer.
How To Appeal To Multiple Audiences on LinkedIn
As a result, I expanded Tom’s profile so that he had three separate “job listings” for Ziglar, Inc., under the “Experience” section of his profile.
All three were services Tom and his team provide through Ziglar, Inc., but it’s important to give each one its full due by creating a new “Experience” listing on his LinkedIn profile.
So, instead of trying to jam everything into one single “Experience” listing for Ziglar, we expanded Tom’s provide to cover three key areas: Tom’s public speaking, Ziglar’s core training programs and products for individuals and companies and The Ziglar Legacy Certification program, an intensive, on-site program for Business Coaches and Consultants wanting to operate under the Ziglar brand.
We utilized each of these areas as part of Tom’s profile, giving each one its own job “headline” and unique text.
(You can see how it looks here.)
Doing this not only helps your ideal audience members find more information on the particular product or service they are most interested in, it also gives LinkedIn more content (text, headlines, etc.) to help the platform sort, organize and surface your profile based on the keywords and text you utilize.
On LinkedIn, Keywords Matter
One last tip Tom and I covered in our discussion as it relates to your profile – use keywords!
The easiest way to find out what keywords will work best for you on LinkedIn is to go into the “Skills & Endorsements” section of your profile, click “Add a New Skill,” and then begin typing in the keywords or phrases you want to be “found” for when someone searches on LinkedIn.
Once you do this, LinkedIn, similar to how a Google Search works, will start showing suggested keywords and phrases for you to utilize.
This is very important: Use what LinkedIn suggests!
Don’t get cute or clever.
Simple, direct keywords and phrases are best.
In Tom’s case, we decided to focus on his speaking services: Motivational Speaking, Public Speaking and Conference Speaking.
We then sprinkled those LinkedIn-related keywords into Tom’s profile, in his LinkedIn “headline,” his job titles under “Experience,” in the body text of his profile descriptions, and more.
Now, you don’t want to go overboard and “stuff” keywords all over your profile, but you do want to use LinkedIn’s suggested search terms / keywords in the key places of your profile page as we’ve done with Tom’s profile.
Don’t Invite Others To Your LinkedIn Party Until Your “House” is in Order!
If you haven’t already optimized your LinkedIn profile, you need to before you go out and try generating leads on the platform.
Think of it this way – before you invite people to your house for a party, you want to make sure it’s clean, shiny and ready for guests!
The same strategy applies on LinkedIn, because the first thing anyone you invite to connect will do is go and look at your profile.
Let’s make sure they like what they find!
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.