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Connect with your audience if they are active on LinkedIn. Have they updated their profiles (do they even have a profile picture?) and if so, when was the last time they posted anything? You’d want to avoid spending time on inactive profiles and make sure you connect only with your audience if they are there

As part of my series of interviews about “How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joyce Ong of Marketing Tech.

Joyce is the founder of Marketing Tech, a Marketing Consultancy that supports small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). Together with technology partners in the UK, they deliver solutions such as App, Web, Search Engine Optimization and LinkedIn Marketing services.

Marketing Tech is more than an app developer, web developer, or SEO provider — they work with the businesses providing 360 degree Marketing Advice to ensure businesses will generate results from their investment.

Joyce has more than twenty-five years of Corporate and SME marketing experience in Singapore, Zurich and London, a passion for marketing technology and uses her experience and skills to champion SMEs and facilitate digital transformation within organizations.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’d been dabbling with LinkedIn for many years, first as a marketing professional working for a global financial institution, subsequently with the two businesses that I’d started since leaving the bank.

It was only in the last two years that I’d learnt to harness the power of LinkedIn properly.

There aren’t always quick fixes to getting LinkedIn to work for your business, but there are a few things I wished I had taken the time to learn and implement, when I first started out on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a marketing channel I use to generate a pipeline of qualified leads for my B2B Marketing Consultancy. I also teach many UK business owners to use it effectively, as I’ve noticed most businesses spend a lot of time on LinkedIn but don’t get the results they want.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Small Businesses quite often work in their own silos and get left behind by advances in technology. This is especially the case with small, traditionally-run businesses who are not online, or do not sell online.

Since the pandemic, this is even more evident as many businesses struggle to survive partly because they’ve not promoted themselves online, and struggle to make sales in a lockdown.

I’ve been talking with some of these businesses helping them to innovate and grow in these challenging times and by doing so, we’ve had to offer new marketing services in order to meet rapidly changing demand

In the wise words of Seth Godin: “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” How true!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I started my Marketing Consultancy, I was invited to an event to talk about Marketing to a bunch of startups. 25 registered to attend the talk

I arrived at the event and there were just three people in the room.

About two thirds through my 90-minute workshop, one person made her excuse and left. I never really found out why. Then another person left shortly after!

At this point I found myself talking to just one person. I was starting to get this sinking, really cringe feeling and wished the floor would just open up and swallow me up.

However, I stayed the course, I soldiered on trying to look unfazed by it all, pretending I was talking to 25 people in the room instead of just one.

Just then, the organizer ushered someone into the room. As it turned out, he was really keen to learn and asked lots of questions which really kept us going. Together with the other guy who was in the room, we managed to finish my talk unscathed. Whew!

Later it transpired that last guy who walked into the room towards the end of the talk was a staff member the organizer dragged into!

Moral of the story? Never agree to hold a free workshop right in the middle of a World Cup match…you’re not going to win.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

LinkedIn of course! Although I like Instagram simply for fun and creativity, it’s also a nice practical way of connecting with local businesses, businesses that we can help. We’ll be doing something soon on Clubhouse to grow our Instagram following.

Let’s talk about LinkedIn specifically, now. Can you share 5 ways to leverage LinkedIn to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

Knowing the demographic of the audience you’re building is a good start. It’s a good idea to run a simple search to see if your audience is indeed on LinkedIn. Which leads me to the first point…

  • Connect with your audience if they are active on LinkedIn

Have they updated their profiles (do they even have a profile picture?) and if so, when was the last time they posted anything? You’d want to avoid spending time on inactive profiles and make sure you connect only with your audience if they are there

  • Proactively build your audience

It’s natural to think that, by connecting with people you’ve met or accepting invitations that come your way on LinkedIn would be enough. But are you really building the audience that you want?

Quite often, you will receive LinkedIn requests from people who just want to pitch at you.

Once you’re clear on who your audience is, doing a simple search on LinkedIn would bring up 2nd and 3rd degree connections, valuable contacts you may not normally come across.

One of the best things about LinkedIn is you can narrow down your search for people you’d like to connect with from specific locations, business sectors, job titles, even alumni or people affiliated with the same organizations as you are. And it’s all free.

I use an automation software to help me build my audience — this isn’t free to use but frees up time for me to do the stuff that will really generate leads

  • Quality versus Quantity

What constitutes quality is a matter of testing, creativity and content planning. I used to think posting anything everyday will work but, save for some vanity likes, all I did was adding to the noise on social media.

If you’re under time pressure, 2–3 times a week of relevant, insightful, helpful posts interspersed with your promotional content works better than just sticking links to articles you’ve read elsewhere, without sharing your insights on that article.

  • How to Engage

Telling your story behind the business, inviting your audience to share their thoughts, discussing a customer pain, posting customer reviews, promoting your own events and collaborations are all good places to start. Comment, like and share in return and make this a habit

  • Start a 1–2–1 Conversation

Here’s where you demonstrate the value you provide to your audience, by offering something free, relevant to your business and of some value to that audience. This can be a download, quiz, video clip or an invitation to your event etc.

Why? At this point, you’d want to take the conversation with a member of your audience who’s responded to the value you provide, and has now become a Lead, out of LinkedIn and onto a call, zoom demo, meeting, app download or email marketing. And continue with a sales conversation.

When you’ve made the above activities a regular part of your LinkedIn marketing, you’ll start to generate leads. This is the first step towards qualifying and converting leads into customers.

If you would like to join our LinkedIn Marketing webinars and join a support group where you’ll get to implement some of the lead generation tactics we’ll learn, sign up here

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

In Sept-October 2020, we zoom-interviewed a hundred Corporate Escapees turned Business Owners (SMEs) in the UK, to hear their stories of success, struggle, failure and lessons learnt. Crucially, we learnt first hand, warts and all about the mindsets and skillsets required to run a business.

I’ve shared our findings in a Podcast and LinkedIn blog, hopefully a TEDx talk in May 2021 so that those making the switch from the 9–5 to running their business in this pandemic will benefit from it. Since the pandemic, there’s been a huge increase in the number of new company formations, many of these are started by people who’ve been furloughed, lost their jobs and now taking a shot at fulfilling their dreams. These are the people I’d love to reach out to.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I’d love to have breakfast with Gary V or Jay Z — they are entrepreneurs in the true sense of the word and would love to get their advice, one-on-one

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!

Joyce Ong On How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.