How ZenMaid Used LinkedIn Groups to Double Monthly Growth in Less Than 20 Minutes a Week
One of the things we love is when our students and alumni discover awesome ways to further their growth. We’d love to share these processes with you based from their own experiences. Here’s the amazing process that Amar Ghose does to make ZenMaid grow further.
We spent over a year building an amazing product, ZenMaid, with the help of The Foundation. The problem was that after a year we found ourselves struggling to find qualified maid services to use our software. That was until we discovered the power of groups on LinkedIn and began to effectively market our business daily.
Now, we consistently bring in new business to ZenMaid while generating more referrals, speaking engagements, and becoming a household name in our industry.
In fact, due directly to our activity on LinkedIn groups, we:
- Connected and partnered with the top industry consultant, who referred us to half of our first 50 customers
- Drove 200-300 targeted views each and every time we created new content
- Doubled our sales and growth in a consistent, systematic way
Now, what if I told you that all this takes me less than 20 minutes PER WEEK to manage?
The Action Plan: How to Make this Happen in Your Business
Let’s start by going over why you should be considering LinkedIn when Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest have groups or fan pages of some kind. Why, then, should we use LinkedIn?
All the platforms are great for different reasons, however LinkedIn has some distinct advantages/important differences.
One of the biggest differences between the two is professionalism, particularly when you're visiting profiles.
Step 1: A Professional, business-focused Profile
Let’s say I go to a maid service group on Facebook. I do all the necessary steps (which you'll learn about in this article) – I dig through a group and find people asking questions. I give high value answers to all their inquiries.
As you can see, my Facebook profile doesn't make it immediately apparent how I can help a maid service – they'll just see my name and profile picture.
Unless I use my personal profile to promote my business, I won't be driving potential customers to my website (unless they're will to do a lot of extra work to find out what I do).
Now, I definitely don't recommend a photo of a monkey sitting on your shoulder as “professional”. This is a personal decision I made as I like my personality to show through (and I don't really like the idea of people being “professional” at the expense of being true/human)
(Plus, it's also a consistent conversation starter on the phone.)
On the rest of my LinkedIn profile, they will see my tagline “CEO at ZenMaid.com - Specialist in Business Systems, Marketing Funnels and Outsourcing”.
They also have a way of contacting me directly via the “Contact Info” button. This immediately tells them what I do and prompts them to scroll down to view my profile.
As visitors scroll down my profile, they’ll see ZenMaid's most popular lead magnet to download: “The 47 keywords every maid service MUST know Google AdWords and SEO.” When they click on this link, it brings them to my website and prompts them to enter their email for the free download.
Approximately 1 out of 3 emails we collect for ZenMaid end up trialing our software so turning my profile views into leads is very important to the business.
Compared to other platforms LinkedIn makes it easy to do just that.
Your Profile – Just the Basics All you need at the moment is a tagline that says what you do, how you help your potential customers, and a link to your website somewhere on your profile. Really easy, simple stuff. For now, you don’t need to worry about lead magnet links or your profile or anything fancy like that if you're not there with your business yet.
It’s of course a good idea to list the skills you bring to the table for your target market.
In my case, I wrote more about my experience at ZenMaid for a potential employer (not sure why) but quickly found that people would ask me about the responsibilities listed even though I wasn't doing those for maid services.
We regularly get approached now via LinkedIn for AdWords services, web design, and marketing. As long as you show you can help people succeed with their businesses you'll get some traction. Of course, the easier you make it for them, the more people you’ll get.
Step 2: Join all the LinkedIn groups related to your industry or that include your target audience
After you get your profile in shape, the next thing you need to do is go to LinkedIn and find the groups related to your industry. Use the search bar to find the groups. Click the dropdown and limit your searches to “Groups”.
Use your niche keywords to find the right groups.
Another great way to find groups is to look at the profiles of your current customers and connections and see which groups they're in. Chances are at least half the groups they'll be in will include similar professionals on LinkedIn for you to discover and share your solution with.
For ZenMaid, I focused on maid service groups such as for the industry association (ARCSI) or those run by consultants in the industry, such as Sharon Tinberg's Rags To Riches group. I started with just 5 groups; some were pretty large (15k-30k members) and some were small (100 members). I’ve found the smaller groups are actually more active than some of the big ones. I eventually worked my way up to 15 groups.
This is an excellent example of a great group to join. It’s active (8 new discussions), has a good amount of people (15k members), and is directly related to a need our target market has – finding community among maid service owners.
Step 3: Respond to Tons of Questions and Give Tons of Value
Once you've joined a few groups in your industry to get started, you'll want to start contributing as much as possible to members of each. Try to identify questions when you join each group that you can answer thoroughly to assist your potential customer. Here’s one we found:
This is a great opportunity for us to give value and gain a potential lead, even though the question has nothing to do with our software. In this case I was able to reflect on my personal experience running a maid service with a similar client and assist Amber that way.
A few hours later I got a notification that she had viewed my profile and joined our email list.
Don't worry if you're not an expert in your industry yet, Google is your friend. Often times people will ask questions that a quick search can answer, sometimes you can even find threads on the same topic in other groups to find answers.
The goal here is help people in your target market and build your reputation. Sometimes, like in the example above, the person you help will simply check your profile, then your website. Oftentimes however it takes them seeing you a few times around LinkedIn before they'll check out what you have to offer.
How to manage this process weekly in less than 30 minutes Every week you should be checking the groups you’re in for new discussions you can participate in and questions you can answer. The more often you get on LinkedIn and contribute the better results you'll see, however I realize (from personal experience) that checking 15 groups daily can be very, very time consuming.
There are two options I've found to work effectively:
- 1) First, you can check the groups weekly and batch your work. Instead of taking 30 minutes a day you can likely knock this out in an hour or two period each Sunday.
- 2) Second, you can hire a virtual assistant to handle 90% of this process for you.
Now, if you remember, I said this process should only take 15-20 minutes a week to complete. There's where my virtual assistant (VA), Mary, comes in.
She doesn't post answers to the questions for me (as she isn't an industry expert), but she still manages to save me a ton of time and headache. Once a week she puts together a spreadsheet of all the new content posted to the groups including direct links to the discussion and summaries.
She even highlights the posts of anyone asking directly about software so I know who to help first. You can read more about my Group Posting Engagement Process here and even download it here free.
After answering questions, you have the option to start posting content of your own to groups. It really helps when other active people in groups recognize your name before sharing and hence you’ll find you get more likes, comments, and website visits if you apply what we’ve shared in this article BEFORE applying other LinkedIn strategies like content sharing…
Conclusion When we started marketing on LinkedIn groups we had no idea how effective they could be for our business. Once our systems presented here were setup we spent 20-30 minutes a week max on managing everything and we consistently see new business from the platform.
If you're already on LinkedIn start by joining some groups then joining the discussions. If you have content you can share it there as well to start getting some views to your website.
Once you have LinkedIn working for you business you can conveniently outsource a good portion of the work to continue getting results in a fraction of the time.
Finally, LinkedIn offers multiple other ways to get you in front of your customers, such as outbound messaging and paid advertising. Each of these is enhanced by your LinkedIn group activity and enhanced reputation.
If you intend to implement the strategies shared here today I highly recommend checking out our article and free resource on how to use a VA to do this in 30 minutes per week.