“Help the people in your network, and let them help you” – Reid Hoffman, founder of Linkedin.
“James, please add me to your Linkedin network”
Why do I keep getting these requests from people?
I finally gave in and signed up for a Linkedin profile.
I just sat there, blankly looking at the screen like someone was trying to explain astrophysics to me. I just didn’t get it.
Is this like a new facebook? But it’s for business right?
I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do with it. After some reading and research it finally started making more sense.
It was originally created for job seekers and has evolved into a tool for any business owner.
Some of the biggest companies in the world are using it as a major part of their social media and recruiting campaigns. It has become the biggest social networking site that is strictly for professionals.
You use facebook to connect with your fans, twitter to connect within your community, but you use Linkedin to connect with your client (B2C) and other businesses (B2B).
Linkedin For B2C Marketing
Most people only think of Linkedin for B2B marketing and connecting with other professionals.
However there are ways to use it to market to customers. If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it 1000 times, “content is the new currency”. Linkedin provides a great platform for this because you can use it as a method to post blogs.
Imagine that you are regularly generating content for your current patients that are following you on your facebook page. Why not use the same posts to engage with possible new customers?
There’s a higher level of trust when potential customers are reading your posts on Linkedin because it is THE social media platform for professionals.
Another interesting statistic is that 41% of internet users in the U.S. that are on Linkedin have an average income of over $75,000. So guess what?, they can afford to come in for a Massage.
But remember, don’t just use it for self promotion also look into groups to see how you can be of help and provide service.
Linkedin For B2B Marketing
Linkedin is different than using facebook and twitter.
Although facebook does have the option of business pages, those are meant more to engage with your customers. Twitter is meant more to engage with your community.
Linkedin is all about business.
According to this graph, hospital and healthcare make up 8.2% of the users on Linkedin. As we try and use Linkedin for B2B (business to business) marketing this is valuable information.
While 8.2% may not seem like a big number, their membership has grown consistently from 37 million in 2009, to 380 million in 2015. That’s over 31 million members working in healthcare.
This creates a huge opportunity for referring and getting referrals in business.
If you haven’t started creating relationships with other practitioners, here’s your chance. Use Linkedin to do a little bit of a background check on some of the Chiro’s, Physio’s, AT’s and other complimentary therapists in your area.
If you see some that are close to you or one you seem to have something in common with, start reaching out to them.
Ask them some questions about issues one of your patients is having and see if they come back with any recommendations. Ask about their treatment style. Ask what they would do to help.
Start building a bit of trust and then send one of your patients their way. Don’t be afraid to break some new ground being the one who is reaching out to others.
Using Linkedin To Get Referrals
If you look at your Linkedin profile (assuming you are using it, if not start) you’ll see that some in your network are 1st, 2nd connections etc.
Too often people think they should just reach out to people who they know directly (1st connection) instead of others who are also in their industry or similar to their industry (2nd connection).
Linkedin is there to be used, so use it to leverage yourself and start generating referrals.
Think about what happens if you were looking for someone to refer to and they only had a handful of connections. You’re going to question if they’re actually worthwhile doing business with, especially if you’re considering referring one of your value patients to them.
Open up and add as many people as possible, grow that network. Once you do it will help you to be found more often when people are doing searches.
As you begin to grow that network you will start to see other people who maybe you didn’t realize were on the site. Also having more connections makes you more approachable for those looking to network and so does the more recommendations people have made about you.
I used to think it was redundant to hit those endorsement buttons for my connections. But each time you do that (or someone does it for you) it increases your credibility. If someone is looking to refer to you and a lot of your connections have endorsed you, it reflects to the person looking at your profile that you’re good at what you do.
Start building up that network so people can refer to you. Build your business.
The Ultimate Pyramid Scheme
Connecting with people on Linkedin is kind of like a pyramid scheme or similar.
I tried one of these things in my early 20’s.
All I had to do was get ten of my friends to sign up to a company and use their long distance services.
Then get ten of my friends to sign up ten of their friends to sign up ten of their friends and so on. I went to some of their conferences and tried to drink their Kool-Aid.
I hated it.
But Linkedin is a place where this could actually work (and it’s legitimate). Think of each of your 1st connections as ways to develop relationships with 2nd and 3rd connections.
Looking at the above example, for every 6 connections you have on Linkedin there is an opportunity for them to introduce you to 6 more people (36 second connections) and for each one of those, they could introduce you to 6 more people (216 third connections) and so on.
I’m not sure that you could get down to a 13th level of connections, but you get the point.
While your 1st degree connections are important, they’re not as important as those 2nd and 3rd degree. You’re already doing business with your 1st degree connections, so you want to dig deeper and create more business opportunities further down the line.
You need to develop relationships with people outside your direct network in order to increase your Massage Therapy business.
Remember it’s all about networking and that is the essence of the value in Linkedin, networking with other professionals.
Linkedin Profiles For Massage Therapists
You want to make sure that your profile is going to be seen by as many people as possible.
Do a quick google search of the top Registered Massage Therapists on Linkedin.
What do these profiles have in common?
Each one has a welcoming picture (except one) of the therapist, which is immediately engaging for anyone who is doing a search (possible potential clients). When someone does a search they don’t see your complete profile, they see an abbreviated one like the ones in the link. You have to try and engage right away.
They each have a great headline that represents them and their purpose well. Notice that they all have specific keywords related to Massage Therapy which increases their visibility.
Each one has at a minimum which province they are in, but even better is to put which city you’re in. This is crucial as it helps to narrow down searches when someone is looking for a Massage Therapist in their area. They also have the name of the clinic they work at listed making them easier to find.
Do an advanced search on Linkedin and see who comes up as the top Massage Therapists and use their profiles as a guide to setting up your own profile (just click on “advanced” beside the search box).
There’s a reason they’re ranking high in searches.
Linkedin is the place you want to start making business connections. Use it to start connecting with other businesses and practitioners in your area to generate referrals and build relationships. Unlike other social media applications this one is truly about generating business, so make sure your profile is easy to find and engaging for anyone who is searching. Just don’t try and convince any of them to sign up for long distance phone plans.