Anyone can show you how to use LinkedIn.
- Step 1, open an account
- Step 2, fill in your information
- Step 3, connect with others…
You will not get the strategy Professionals use to make money on LinkedIn. That is what this article is all about. How to use LinkedIn as a business and for business.
Today, I am excited to have Sarah Santacroce on the podcast. She is an expert in using LinkedIn.
Sarah is living in Switzerland now, but her husband had an expat job just south of L.A., in California, and they lived there for four years, from 2006 to 2010.
It was an amazing experience and she loved it, because the weather was great. While there, though, she missed the diversity and different cultures of Europe.
Sarah Santacroce is a LinkedIn expert who knows how to use LinkedIn to make money for her businesses.
Watch the Video Interview and Learn How to Use LinkedIn As a Business
How Sarah Makes Money Without Having a Job
Sarah started this journey more than 12 years ago. Her kids were little and she took a couple of years to stay home with them, but she was ready to start her own business.
This was right when social media was becoming popular.
Sarah used social media to start and promote her business, without a budget. Since she did that for herself, she thought she could do it for other businesses as well.
She got started consulting in social media and then niched down to LinkedIn.
Today she does different things. She does company consulting and offers LinkedIn trainings for marketing and HR departments, which are half day or full day gigs.
They pay pretty well, because she has an expertise. It is a referral based business, because once you establish a personal brand, people keep referring to you as the expert in that area.
Finding your niche makes you a specialist. If you are doing everything, your rates can’t be the same. It gets overwhelming if you try to do it all, and you can’t get into the nitty gritty of each platform.
This is why it is good to narrow down your services so there is one thing you are known for.
What Sarah Was Doing Before and How She Became Successfully Unemployed
When Sarah and her husband moved to the U.S., financially speaking, she had a safety net, because her husband was working.
The hard thing was going from being in a corporate environment, where she had a team and worked with a team, moving to a different country, where she had to take care of her kids and make sure they were integrated, and integrating herself at the same time as starting a business.
People coming from the corporate world underestimate that all of a sudden they are standing alone. There is no more brand or title to hide behind.
It is an ego thing, because you are getting paid six figures and all of a sudden you have to make that money yourself by being you. You have to think about who you are and how you can be the person clients want to hire.
LinkedIn for Business Has Changed Substantially Over Time
LinkedIn used to be more B2B, business to business, versus business to consumer.
Now it is more H2H, human to human.
We are living in an age where we are no longer interested in companies or brands, we are interested in the people behind the companies.
It took Sarah a while to see that she is engaging with people and not with companies. How do you talk to a company? A company is made of people. It doesn’t matter that you want a contract from a business, you still are talking to a human being.
How to Use LinkedIn for Rental Properties and Find Coaching Students
It is all about your personal brand, and LinkedIn is a great place to build that brand. A coaching business is about teaching and teaching is all about content. You can’t just say you are an expert, you need to prove it and that is done by sharing content.
It’s the same thing on LinkedIn, except you have more of an audience that has the money to invest. On TikTok or Facebook, there are people there too, but maybe not as concentrated, because LinkedIn is a professional platform.
LinkedIn is a living thing especially for businesses.
You have your profile, which is your mini website, or sales page where you sell yourself as the expert. It is a static thing.
What makes LinkedIn work is the network, so you need have people in your network. The content you share with your network is what keeps them up to date. If you are doing a podcast, share that with them, so they know what you are doing.
There are ways to automate posting content, because the platforms have gotten smarter and can tell that you are using a third party tool.
You are not going to get the same engagement if you automate, because LinkedIn is going to see that it is a little lazy and the algorithm won’t show the content as much.
The best engagement is posting content live, but Sarah also recommends her friend’s tool called Repurpose.
How to Become and Expert on an Online Platform
Who defines an expert? Sarah doesn’t call herself an expert, because she doesn’t know everything there is to know about it, but her clients call her an expert.
You can take courses now and there are classes at universities.
It is all about getting starting somewhere and slowly building up your brand.
It has to do with content and just putting something out there, even if it is just little offers or volunteering to help people with their profile.
Slowly you will build that expertise.
Make Sure You Know the Platform Well Enough
You need to spend quite a few hours on the platform yourself.
There is a lot of content available and you can follow other experts to learn what they are doing. In probably about two months you will have enough knowledge to help others.
You can volunteer somewhere to help them with what you do know.
This is a great way to practice. Once you feel comfortable, you can put an offer out with family and friends and it will eventually grow into a business offer.
Getting the First Client on LinkedIn as A Business
Set up some kind of a webpage, it can be a template, just so it feels legitimate. Put an offer on the website and include a payment option.
The minute people feel like you are an amateur, they may back off and not be interested. It is good to have that confidence to say you have a webpage and there is a payment option.
Do some prep work from the business building side, so when you have that conversation with your first client you feel confident to make an offer.
If you have done the training on LinkedIn, you should have the understanding that you can use LinkedIn to find your clients.
You can approach people on LinkedIn, not to pitch them, but to build relationships.
They will see on your profile that LinkedIn is your expertise and slowly you take the relationship deeper and deeper.
Choosing a Rate to Charge Clients
Look around and see what people with your experience level charge. It is trial and error. If you have very little experience, don’t go in very steep right away, because it will take a long time to find your first client.
However, don’t undercharge either, because it can lead to a frustrating feeling about your business. Go in low and then every time you get a client slowly increase your cost.
If you charge too little, clients may wonder if your service is any good. This can also happen if you offer something for free. If someone has no skin in the game, your help may not be effective.
Over time, you may have too many clients that you have to charge more. At that point, you will also want to come up with creative options to create passive income, like a course or video tutorial that includes an hour of your time.
Come up with creative bundles to increase prices and keep the same value, but minimize your one on one time.
Membership Options for Your Business
Everything that is passive income, or recurring income, is the trendy thing right now. Sarah doesn’t have a membership option for her LinkedIn business, but she is doing that for something else she is working on.
Sarah zoomed in on LinkedIn and now she is zooming out to create something called gentle marketing. This is a general marketing approach, but it touches on the seven P’s of marketing.
She has a membership she is building for that program, because people need ongoing support.
A low-cost membership is a great way to give people support and, at the same time, create recurring revenue for yourself.
Start small and make a name for yourself. When you start growing, you get testimonials and more business.
You can then leverage that and create something bigger and level up.
Getting Testimonials from Clients Has to Do with Confidence
You need to go for the ask right away. The minute you finish working with a client and they say thank you, follow up and ask them if they would mind sending you a testimonial either on LinkedIn, in a video, or some other form.
It helps when you hold their hand and ask if they will touch on specific points based on the results you helped them achieve.
This helps you and it helps the other person, because they know where to start.
Accepting Requests in LinkedIn as a Business
Accepting LinkedIn requests from others depends what you want to do with LinkedIn. If you don’t want to use LinkedIn and make it your number one platform, the contacts in your network are useless.
If you do want to make it one of your main platforms and you are going to use it, look at the requests and see if they are in the U.S. or if they are a decision maker.
If you want to get into someone’s network, make sure to customize your invitation.
If you say you listen to their podcast and you are a fan, you have a better chance of being added to their network.
Advice for People Who Want to Scale Their Businesses
Sarah uses affiliate marketing in her business. This includes any other entrepreneur’s offer that she trusts and wants to share with her clients or subscribers.
Plan toward creating an online course and selling it. This is a great way to scale your one on one time, otherwise you will be in a different kind of rat race running after time.
There is so much talk about online courses and how you can make so much money, but it is a lot of work and it doesn’t always sell. If you want to quit your job, run your idea as a side hustle first to see if it works.
This is what Sarah is doing while she is building up her gentle marketing business.
Help People Realize the You are the Person They Want to Work With
LinkedIn is different than other platforms, because you can research your ideal clients. LinkedIn will generate a list of profiles that fit your ideal client description.
However, the difficulty is how to define the ideal client. In some cases, anyone could be the ideal client.
You may need to start with one industry, like marketing professionals, and create a network to share your content.
The Seven P’s of Marketing
We need to go through each of these in order to market from within.
Human to human is so important. With all of the technology, bots, and spamming going on, we sometimes lose the human connection and we forget we are talking to people and not lead.
Sarah wants to bring the human connection back to marketing.
How Sarah is Making the World a Better Place
Sarah is using her time to resource herself, so she has more to give back. She gives back with her small community of friends, as well as working with foreigners in her community. This means she has to have the resources herself first.
The Type of Legacy Sarah Wants to Leave and How it Would be Written on Her Tombstone
The new gentle marketing business Sarah is building is all about empathy and kindness in the business world. This is her mission and this is what she wants to be known for.
The Advice Sarah Would Give to Anyone Who Wanted to Become Successfully Unemployed
Take yourself less seriously. This seems counterintuitive, but if we take ourselves too seriously, we are too tense. There is a lot of anxiety in young entrepreneurs who are just starting out, because they want to do well. This can lead to burnout and failure, because it isn’t fun anymore. We started the business in the first place because we wanted more joy and fun. Sarah had to tell this to herself.
The Advice Sarah Would Give Her Younger Self
Let go of perfectionism and just do it. Don’t pay so much attention to what other people think of you. Let go of the judgment you think others are going to have toward you.
The podcast is the best business building strategy Sarah has seen. Email lists and LinkedIn challenges were a couple of the best things she did for her business. Collaborating with better known people put her on the same level, because she was able to build professional relationship with other peers. She was able to get her name out there, which helped her launch her business. Collaboration with others is key. You don’t need to do it yourself and it is better when you collaborate with others.
Trello: A project management tool
The Non-Fiction Book Sarah Suggests
Find Sarah Online
LinkedIn: Sarah Santacroce