How Mirna Bacun used LinkedIn to Make Almost $50K of recurring revenue, get over 10,000 high quality leads, without spending a dollar on ads
When I enrolled in the Foundation in November 2014, I put all of my savings for the first month of The Foundation, decided to follow my intuition, chase my dreams and give it all I’ve got. From here, I was able to create Greenpie.
However, after a year, I was struggling with getting Greenpie off the ground. Coming from a small country - Croatia, I faced every single roadblock that you can imagine while trying to build my first business internationally:
- I had no community or an e-mail list to ask about the problems, do Idea Discovery with or Validate my product.
- When I validated the idea and pre-sold it, I still had no money to pay for traffic or ads.
- When I fundraised money from a European accelerator, I only had a tiny budget for marketing, but no marketing or sales experience and for that reason - no ROI.
I was in an entrepreneurial hell and I felt like quitting every single day.
I had a SaaS that took months to develop, the business didn't have revenue, and I owed my investors money.
Then I discovered how to successfully use Linkedin for my business, and everything changed.
Yes, that “boring and un-engaging resume site, where people just leave their CV’s”.
Unlike what most people think, people don’t go on LinkedIn to just to find a job. People go there to DO business, and here are 7 reasons why you should use LinkedIn for your business too.
- Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, LinkedIn is a BUSINESS social media network, and every person that cares about their business is on LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn is the biggest business online social media with over 400 million people that are ready to talk about business, do business or find work.
- 25% of adult Internet users in the US are on LinkedIn.
- 40% of LinkedIn users check LinkedIn every day. 76% of those users are executives.
- LinkedIn has the most affluent demographic (and that is a fact!)
- LinkedIn has 2x faster active user growth that FB or Twitter
- Only on LinkedIn, will a big CEO hotshot, for example, will give you the time of the day.
How did LinkedIn change my business and my life?
Back in 2014, I subscribed on a webinar where this marketer was talking about LinkedIn and was explaining how LinkedIn Groups work.
My head exploded.
Did you know that as a LinkedIn Group owner, you could send one announcement to all the members of the group per a week with just one click of a button? And it will go straight to their inbox. Imagine that!
You can’t do that with a Facebook Group. You just post like crazy, engage with people, get them to respond, and hope they will comment, share, reply and visit your site.
Having your own LinkedIn group is almost like having your own e-mail list that you can email once per week.
Some people prefer Facebook groups and their target market is on Facebook, and that’s fine. Facebook groups are, by default, more “engaging” groups than LinkedIn Groups, because that is the nature of Facebook.
The mistake that people make is they expect a LinkedIn group to have the same rules and dynamics like a Facebook group. They don’t take into consideration some of the unique features LinkedIn Groups have and that LinkedIn, as a social media platform focused on business has a 400 million member business network. This is where the big difference lies.
And as I discovered, this “boring” site not only helped my business, it enabled me to make almost $50k of recurring revenue without spending a dollar on ads, in just about a year.
How to set up your LinkedIn Group for Lead Generation
Set up your own LinkedIn Group to position yourself as an expert, build trust and collect high quality leads - on autopilot. However, it’s not as simple as pushing the “Create Group” button.
STEP 1 – Do your research and choose the right name for your Group
I knew that pushing the “Create Group” button would be the easiest thing in the world, but to do it right and prepare the group in the right way would be more challenging.
When I started my LinkedIn Group, I knew that I needed to name the group in a way that would be interesting for my target market, but also resonating with my product and what I wanted to do.
Now, this is where most people get it wrong (so, DON’T DO THIS).
They call their groups by their product or their business, thinking it will help them in their branding.
Seriously - who in the world would want to join a group called Greenpie?
I suggest you do some research on LinkedIn and figure out what would be interesting for your target market BEFORE you click on that ‘CREATE NEW GROUP’ button.
Search LinkedIn to see in what groups your target market is right now, and then join these LinkedIn groups before you create your own.
Research and compare the name of those groups, see the dynamics, look at how many members those groups have, how the group owners positioned their LinkedIn groups in front of their members, are the members active or not...
That will give you an idea on what your target market is interested in, and it is a great starting point to understanding how you need to name and position your LinkedIn Group.
For Greenpie, my target market were nutritionists and dietitians and this is what I knew they’d be interested in:
- Networking and communication
- They didn't care about software
- They are afraid of technology
I also knew that there is a difference between a nutritionist and a registered dietitian, but they all are nutrition health providers, and call themselves that way. Both of these niches were my target market, and I wanted them all in my Group.
So, I searched for term “nutrition” on LinkedIn and clicked on the groups to see what’s already out there.
First instinct would be to call my group, “Networking for dietitians”. Not bad. But upon doing my research, I decided to call the group “Nutrition Health Providers and Professionals.”
There are two main reasons why I did that:
- I would get my particular target market in the group, and no one else. This is fine because I don’t want anyone, except dietitians and nutritionists in my group. I don’t need people who are not my target market because they will never buy my products, they are not my potential customers, and I want to focus my time and efforts only on high quality leads.
- I could get nutritionists, dietitians, chiropractors, wellness coaches (and others) into my LinkedIn group whether they work in a hospital (nutrition health providers) or are business owners (nutrition health professionals).
Take these into consideration when you name your group. This is very important. Your group name needs to:
- talk to and be relevant to your target market
- resonate with your market (NOT YOU)
- communicate the problem that your product is solving
- show people the benefit of joining your LinkedIn Group just by reading its name.
Once you’ve factored these in and have a name that you think will work, then, it’s time to push the “Create Group” button.
What about keywords in the group name?
When you are getting started with your LinkedIn group, you will need to manually invite people to join your Group until the Group starts to grow virally. What I mentioned above should be your focus.
Keywords in the group name will play a role when you are looking to scale and grow your LinkedIn Group. Keywords in the Group name will help you to appear higher in the LinkedIn Group search.
STEP 2 – LinkedIn Group settings: Group Summary or Mission, Group Description, and Group Rules
Mission Statement in the Group Summary
Do you know that there are 30% bigger chances that people will join your LinkedIn group if you have a clear mission statement for the Group?
Well, don’t be a loser - write one before you make your LinkedIn Group.
What should be in your Mission Statement?
If you want to enable people from your target market to network, write that in your mission statement. If you wish to just talk about the problems they have in certain areas of their business, write that.
For example, mission statement for “Nutrition health providers and professionals” is:
Mission: We believe Nutrition Health providers are doctors of the 21th century. That's why the mission of this group is to find and brainstorm problems in professional nutrition niche until we find smart and fun solutions.
Make sure to put the mission statement in your Group Summary section, so that it will appear in the LinkedIn Groups search results. This will also make a big difference when you start growing it.
The mission statement doesn’t have to be perfect, just have it. And put in the word, “Mission:…”, because it works.
Next, fill in the description of the Group. It should be complementary to the mission statement. Describe what this group is for. This will appear in the Group itself.
The last thing you need to add in are the group rules. These are guidelines for what can be done / posted in the groups.
A Few Reminders:
- Remember not to get blinded by keywords. For example, I don't focus on keywords at ALL, but I focus on my target market, and that's why the group grows.Now the keywords that my target market is searching for is a result of me focusing on THEM instead of how Google or LinkedIn will interpret my Group.
- Remember that humans will join your Group, not robots, and your job is to build authority and make them like and trust you.
- Remember to address expectations and give them a reason to join before they do – and a mission statement is great for that.
There are so many groups out there, everywhere. People want to know what they’ll get if they join your Group.
STEP 3: Set your Group for lead generation
Take your best lead magnet and put it as a featured discussion in the group, so anyone that joins your group will see this first.
This will enable you to get people in your LinkedIn group and out of the LinkedIn Group – and into your funnels as soon as possible.
Never sell in your LinkedIn Group in the beginning, especially in the featured discussions. Use these featured discussions to build trust, credibility and position yourself as an expert in your target market.
Provide value first. You'll have plenty of opportunities to sell your stuff later on.
Providing value is what will get you subscribers and appointment calls, and this is the most important thing.
Don’t turn your LinkedIn Group in your sales-fest, because you’ll lose all the credibility and trust in your market, and once that happens - it's going to be extremely hard to get that trust back.
STEP 4 – Grow your Group
Be sure you don't make A HUGE mistake I did. I created my LinkedIn Group and just left it like that. I prepared everything for my group, pushed the “Create Group” button, and I didn’t do anything to grow it for almost six months.
I thought the group will figure itself out.
Such a rookie mistake.
When I finally realized the Group is not going to grow magically by itself, I decided to start inviting my connections and target market in my LinkedIn group (duh!).
There are a couple of different ways you start growing your group, but I suggest you send a message to your existing connections and ask them to join.
As soon as you connect with someone, ask them to join your LinkedIn Group as well. Make sure that your invite contains these two things:
- Link to your Group
- Mission statement – this is really important
Doing this, I get about 30 – 40% of people joining my group. Once you have your 'invite group' message template completed, start sending it to your connections.
You can outsource this messaging process to your VA, in 40 minutes she can send out 100 Group invite messages, and you can have around 30 people per day joining your LinkedIn group.
So, to recap.
- Connect with as many people in your target market as possible
- Send them a message to join your group, but do not go overboard. LinkedIn will freeze your account for a couple of hours if you 'overuse' it.
- Incentivise the new members to download your lead magnet and read your featured discussions. Send announcements with a strong call to action
In just a month, with focused and consistent work, I was able to grow my group to almost 1000 people, and all of them were my target market – nutritionists and dietitians.
I now have the community that I nourished. I have a traffic source for my company – automated and for free. As my LinkedIn Group grew, the more high quality leads I got on my e-mail list, my webinars and on my sales pages. I was able to position myself as an expert among nutrition providers (without being a nutritionist myself) and grow my connection base from 1,000 to almost 10,000 connections.
And I never looked back.
After your LinkedIn group reaches a couple thousands of people, and if you regularly maintain it, it will start to rank higher in the LinkedIn search. This is where the real LinkedIn automation happens.
The bigger your group is and the more people start to interact with it, it will be easier for people to find it in the LinkedIn search – and they will ask to join your Group.
The process not only gets automated but that your LinkedIn group will start to grow virally, instead of you having to grow it by yourself, giving you a lead generation machine that is filled with your potential clients.
Those warm leads will perceive you as an expert, and you’ll have a lot of leverage when it comes to getting them into your funnels and converting them to paying clients.
Today, my group is growing by itself. I don’t grow it manually anymore. And the lead generation is completely automated for my company.
I am finally in the position where I don’t need to chase my target market frantically, but they are coming to me, asking questions, connecting and looking for my services.
The options are endless.
All you have to do is start.
If you want to find out more on how you can utilize this process, check out the Link Lead Generation Formula here.