If you were an artist and you wanted to sell your paintings, would you rent a booth at a pharmaceutical convention or at an arts and crafts show? Of course, you’d select the arts and crafts show. Because it’s where your buyers hang out.

The same principle applies to selling your personal or corporate brand to prospects in order to generate leads or develop new business. Today, social media is the best marketplace to display your products and services. In fact, the Pew Internet Project and Nielsen report that 74 percent of internet users are on social networking sites. Also, about 46 percent of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision.

Among social media sites, LinkedIn has emerged as the most effective platform within the business community. And the Marketing Funnel is the best system for moving prospects from being strangers to becoming customers through LinkedIn.

Here’s an overview of the Marketing Funnel process:

  1. STRANGER: Set up your online presence to attract the right people
  2. LEAD: Use content to move leads down the funnel
  3. OPPORTUNITY: Close more deals and meet your quota faster
  4. CUSTOMERS: Delight your customers after the sale

STRANGER: Set up your online presence to attract the right people

To reach your desired audience on LinkedIn, you need to professionally present your brand on the social network. This means developing a complete profile that showcases your experience and enhances your credibility.

Developing an effective profile includes a number of steps. They include uploading a professional photograph and writing a descriptive headline, which includes terms people use in searches. Your next step is writing a 200-300-word summary, which explains what makes you and/or your business unique.

In your profile, be sure to add the most important keywords associated with your organization, so you will be easier to find. In addition, include professional endorsements from past and present customers.

LEAD: Use content to move leads down the funnel

To effectively reach your prospects, you need to create content that’s relevant to the needs of your audience. In other words, your content must tell your audience what products or services you have to offer that meets their needs and desires. In addition, your content will be most effective if it includes a personal touch. For example, you might include details that make you or your company special or unique.

OPPORTUNITY: Close more deals and meet your quota faster

Sharing valuable content about your business through your LinkedIn site is the easiest way to cast a wide net and offer solutions to your audience. The key to social media is that your buyers do their own research, and seek you out via your profile. If your products or services – as well as the brand image you project — are what buyers want, they’re likely to contact you and start a conversation.

Also, even if you do not create blogs, you can share helpful articles from others. Doing so shows your audience that you understand the industry as well as your prospects’ needs and desires.

CUSTOMERS: Delight your customers after the sale

Once you’ve gained a happy customer, you need to keep that customer happy. There are unlimited opportunities to sell more to your already happy customers, increase upgrades or even reduce churn. If you’re successful, your customers will become promoters for your brand on social media. As such, they help you generate even more leads and sales just from their referrals. Make sure you watch these conversations, so you can share them on your personal social accounts and spread the word.

LinkedIn Targeted Sales Generator: Proven and effective lead generation

What we just described is a small part of our lead-generation, client acquisition system. To find out more, you need to check out our LinkedIn Targeted Sales Generator™ from Spearhead Sales & Marketing. This relationship-building and sales system works by implementing programs that are technology enabled, creatively executed and strategically deployed. Visit the LinkedIn Targeted Sales Generator now.