Using LinkedIn to Get More Clients
Updated: Dec 14, 2022
Note: transcription provided by Otter.AI, which is a technology company that develops speech-to text transcription and translation applications using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Welcome, everybody to this week's podcast episode for the Financial Freedom for Physicians podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Christopher Loo. And as you know, I talk about the four pillars of freedom: time, location, financial, emotional freedom. And in that light, our podcast started out with a cohort of physicians, guests and audience, which has now expanded. So now we're reaching the masses and helping others. So hopefully, both sides can benefit.
And in that light, I have an entrepreneur based out of Israel. His name is Daniel Alfon, and he's going to talk to us all about LinkedIn. He's a LinkedIn expert and trainer. He's going to talk about building a profile, building a following, how to navigate it to land clients, sales, and even land a job, if that's what you're interested in. So, Daniel, welcome.
Daniel Alfon: Thank you very much, Christopher. I'm glad to be part of your financial freedom for physicians and entrepreneurs.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, I know, what was interesting, we were talking backstage, we met through PodMatch. And my cohort really needs to learn how to use LinkedIn, learn how to use social media, I think for busy professionals, LinkedIn is the best way. But before we get started, tell us more about yourself and how you got started.
Daniel Alfon: Sure, I was a salesperson back in 2006, two years after joining LinkedIn, and I remember Christopher, the day LinkedIn showed me the name of the person I needed to reach out to. And back then, this was like a game changer, because there was no other way for us. A third of my sales cycle was just to find the name of the right person within the organization. So that's the moment I decided to see what's under the hood. And then eventually, I wrote a book about it. And this has become 90% of my business. So it's been a bumpy ride. And since you hit a record 100 people, give or take, have joined LinkedIn, according to July 2022, each second, three people sign up.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Oh, wow. So it's tremendous growth. And it's quite interesting, because the founder of LinkedIn, he came from PayPal. And it's so interesting how you can leverage networks, network science, how you can leverage social media to really amplify your business or establish a brand. So I know a lot of people are interested. So we'll just get right into it.
What are the top three questions that will turn your LinkedIn profile into a lead magnet?
Daniel Alfon: Excellent. So let's decide who's the listener, who's our audience. We could discuss entrepreneurs, or a job seeker. But let's not try to do it at the same time. So if you're an entrepreneur, the question is, who's your ideal reader? And your ideal reader, Christopher, could be your next client. If you're a job seeker, then that would be the new manager you'd like to report to wherever that may be.
Second question is, what action would you like those people to perform? If you manage to make them visit your own profile? So who is your ideal reader on LinkedIn, or can we discuss a real avatar for the show, and pick an example. And let's take it from there.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Excellent. And so those are the three questions that turn your LinkedIn profile into a lead magnet. The other thing that was interesting when I came across your bio, is that you talk about treating your profile like a website and not a CV. What do you mean by that?
Daniel Alfon: Thank you very much for asking this. So just to end a point to the previous question. The third question is, how do we make those ideal readers perform the action we’d like? And most people will say I'd like that ideal reader to reach out to me, whether they're a job seeker or whether they're an entrepreneur. So let's focus on the entrepreneurs. They could be physicians wanting to create a new career or something else.
For their new venture, for their new prospects, they couldn't care less whether the date they worked for xyz healthcare was in 2018 or 2019. So instead, if you're not a job seeker, instead of treating LinkedIn as a place for job seekers, treat it as a website that needs to convert your ideal reader into visiting your website and/or reaching out to you. And that means the headline should not be the default CXO or Dr XYZ at Medical Center ABC, but how you can bring value to your ideal reader.
And a simple way to do this would be simply to visit your own profile, because you've changed and you improved many, many things, and almost all of them are free. So you don't have to pay for LinkedIn, you simply have to think about your profile and the way to turn it into something that would enhance your career. And you have uploaded a banner. And you have tweaked your headline, instead of just having the usual founder and CEO, Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD, you turned it into Baylor Med-Rice U BioE Retired at 38 years old Investor, and then a bunch of other things.
So that is a lot more interesting for the reader than knowing that we are the CEO of our own company. And that's the headline, the headline is the most expensive real estate in terms of our profile, in terms of text. And a formula we will discuss simply, I help X achieve Y. I help BioMed startups gain X. Or I help medical companies achieve Y. And the reader should change it and tweak it based on their own personality and interests.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Interesting. So basically, turning your LinkedIn profile into a lead magnet. Which is a paradigm shift really, treating your profile like a website. And then profile headlines. What are some of the things that you find that separates the best leaders from the rest on LinkedIn?
Daniel Alfon: Well, that's a great question. Leaders are made up of a number of subgroups. So let's take someone who's a manager, it could be a Senior VP or CEO. And the most important action they could perform on LinkedIn is to praise their staff, their employees, their partners and their clients. And one of the simplest ways to do this would be simply to monitor what happens around their brand or their name. And a lot of times their employees, or their partners, or their clients would do something on LinkedIn. And LinkedIn enables you to follow any LinkedIn member, and LinkedIn has close to 850 million users as we speak. And that would mean an increase that you would see in your feed, the exact time that someone you're interested in has posted something.
So let's say I'm interested in CityVest, a sponsor of the show. And I'd like to see what Alan Donenfeld is up to. So I could go to his profile, I could click on more, click on follow, and I would have a bell. When I click on the bell, it would mean that even though we're not connected, each public action the person performs on LinkedIn will be seen through my feet. And why is that important? Because Christopher, that would enable me to act in a time sensitive way. If Alan shares something in 20 minutes, I could be the first to reply, to comment, to like, to reach out, or to share it with someone else.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, that's quite interesting. The other thing that you talk about is picking the right connection strategy. So what are your thoughts and advice on connecting with and growing your network?
Daniel Alfon: So there are basically three ways to look at it. And the question I would ask is, in two years’ time Christopher, would you like to be the best connected or the most connected? And I'm afraid you need to pick one. And many physicians and many entrepreneurs and many people simply hate to choose and they want to have both. But the truth is you can't have your cake and eat it, you have to pick one. Because if you want to grow your network, it means you can no longer know 20,000 people. And on the other hand you should like to keep a quality network, that means you will not have that size of your connection. So pick one, because you could gain either way.
If you have a large following on LinkedIn, if you have 30,000 followers and you post, you have a new product coming up, you have an interesting guest, you'd have a forthcoming conference you're speaking at, then the exposure will be great, because you have 30,000 people. And even if 2% see it, it's still 600 people. On the other hand, if your business is based on referrals, then you could stick to a quality network. Because even if you have 200 connections, but you know them well, you can run an advanced search on LinkedIn, and find five interesting prospects. And the good thing about it is that when you look at the names of the mutual connections, you would know who those people are. And that would enable you, Chris, to leave LinkedIn, to communicate with those people and to ask them, if they feel comfortable enough, making an introduction. And whenever they can, that can bring you either a job interview, or a client, simply thanks to the persons’ name, your mutual connection, because you know that person.
So one is quantity we mentioned, the second is quality. And the worst possible connection strategy, is try to veer between both of them, or try to move from quality to quantity, or vice versa. If you start with a quality network, and you think that you need to grow your network, many people will stop at 2000 or 3000, without realizing that they don't have a significant network. On LinkedIn, 2000 people is not a large network, you will not gain enough exposure. Because again, 2% will see what it is you share, and if you've grown your network from 200 to 2000, only 40 people will see it. So you've paid a very large price. On the one hand, you don't have a significant exposure. And on the other, you water down the quality of your network. So pick one for the long term. And try not to veer.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Interesting. In terms of growing your network, I know a lot of people on LinkedIn look at the wrong metrics. I know you have a way to simplify LinkedIn and to help people stop chasing the wrong metrics. Tell us more about that.
Daniel Alfon: Thank you very much. The way I would treat it is very simple. Forget about the LinkedIn metrics, and try to focus on real life metrics. What do I mean by that? If you're an entrepreneur, there are a bunch of LinkedIn LinkedIn metrics. There's the number of connections you have, the views you post, and the page followers you have from the company, and mentions and endorsements, all sorts of LinkedIn metrics. Forget what I said now, focus on the business metrics. The business metrics are real. That should be revenues. That should be orders. That should be inquiries. That should be demos. And what I mean by that, Christopher, is that LinkedIn should be an engine that helps your top of funnel.
If your business model revolves around having a forthcoming webinar that is free and there you would sell some products. And prior to using LinkedIn, you had 100 people signing up. And you start using LinkedIn. And now you have 140 people signing up and you have maybe 20 additional people who show up to the actual event. Then you Christopher could simply see the dollar amount you're getting for that action. Maybe it's $2,000, maybe it's $50,000 depending on what you're selling. But you don't have to focus on the LinkedIn metrics. You don't go to sleep and say, Wow, I have a gazillion connections. You say wow, I've managed to increase my business and gain a significant new client. Or, my business has improved this quarter 20%, thanks to that action for this performance. So forget about the LinkedIn metrics. The platform needed to serve Christopher and your audience. And not the other way around.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, I like that. Always focus on the numbers and focus on how much revenue you're generating, how many clients are inquiring, how many followers you're getting. So you talk about a lot of interesting strategies. What are some of the five myths about LinkedIn that you can share with our audience?
Daniel Alfon: The top five myths, from my perspective, is focusing on your company page, where you need to focus on your profile; focusing on the quantity of your network versus the quality of your network; treating your profile as a CV, instead of treating it as a website; focusing on advertising on LinkedIn instead of sharing valuable content; and spending dollars instead of investing time.
We did mention the CV and the website, we did mention the quantity and quality. But there are three parameters we haven't discussed at all.
Your profile is way, way more attractive than your company page on LinkedIn. And that is true for 99% of our audience here. Unless your company is a Fortune 500 company and you have thousands of employees, then you need to have a page, but you can forget about the page and every six months, make sure it's okay. Nothing will happen thanks to the page, because most LinkedIn users are not following pages, they're connecting as individuals.
So as an individual, they would look you up. And they would say that they want to send you an invitation request. You, Christopher, follow less than 100 companies on LinkedIn; you follow 96 companies and you’re a heavy user. But on the other hand, you have close to 1700 followers. Notice the proportion. For every company you follow, you have 17 followers on your individual profile. So day to day marketing and lead generation will happen thanks to your individual profile, and not thanks to the page, unless you employ thousands of people.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Interesting. The other thing is, in terms of sharing content on LinkedIn, I know you have thoughts about that, tell us more
Daniel Alfon: With pleasure. So let me share some good news. I think you can relax, and most of the listeners don't have to share often on LinkedIn. If you're used to being on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, then the sheer frequency of your shares is something that is very important. But on LinkedIn, you might actually get penalized if you share too often. And what I mean by that is that, if you post something now, then in three hours time you share something else, LinkedIn will basically say, we're going to limit the exposure of Dr. Christopher Loo’s second post, because that first has yet to get to the end of life.
And you will actually cannibalize your own previous share, because LinkedIn will not share it to more people. LinkedIn will usually show to maybe 10% of your network. And for say, two hours, the algorithm tries to assess whether there are many people who view it, who dwell on it, engage with the content by commenting, liking or sharing. And if they do, then LinkedIn will gradually increase the exposure of that post. So you don't have to share a lot. You do, however, comment. And comment smartly, meaning you add something to the conversation. It could take you even less time than sharing content you're producing. And you are not penalized when you comment smartly on people's posts.
Forget about sharing too often. It will mean that some of your connections, when they see that you always share the same sort of stuff, by the fifth time they say okay, I know what it says. They might become blind to your content. They still like you, but next time they will not check it out, they will not click on it, and the algorithm registers everything. And if they feel that someone is hijacking their feed, they might either unfollow you or even disconnect. So the good news is, it's better to share one meaningful piece of information every month, or even once per quarter. Since you're very busy, like 15 minutes every quarter. If you can't find 15 minutes for your career, then we have nothing to say really. That could be more meaningful than trying to share pieces three times a day that will not resonate with your audience.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Interesting. The other thing you talk about is, exposure is overrated on LinkedIn. Why is that, and what could possibly be more important than exposure?
Daniel Alfon: Thank you very much for this question. So we discussed three connection strategies. Allow me to dwell on the worst connection strategy. The worst connection strategy would be a physician or entrepreneur that started with, say 200 or 500 connections they knew well, and they decided to increase their network without reaching enough connections. And that means they will not have 30,000 connections, they might have 2000 or 4000. The problem with that, as we discussed, is that not many people will actually see what it is that you share. And let's get back to the trust factor. If you connect with people you know well, and you run an advanced search, and you look at the person's name, then you're able to gain a meaningful introduction, thanks to that person's name.
Okay, so let's say I saw Jon Ostenson, and I wanted to reach out to him and I see that Christopher Loo is our mutual connection. Can I reach out to you and ask whether you could put me in touch with Jon? Only if I know you. And that means that if people who have a trusted network, a quality network, run an advanced search and then ask that mutual connection for an introduction, then they will get referrals. And referrals in some businesses, referrals probably constitute 90% of my revenues. I can track almost everything I do, thanks to referrals. People who refer to me. And the best thing about it from my perspective, and I'm sure you could add your perspective to that, is that whenever someone is referred to you, the conversation is a lot easier. They're not price sensitive, they almost come presold, because someone has told them that you need to speak with Christopher Loo.
And when a happy client or someone who knows you well makes that statement, and they trust that person, it means your conversation is a lot easier. And some of those referrals could even end up referring you to new clients thanks to that. So what is more important than exposure, is revenues. Exposure is certainly one way to get revenues. Don't get me wrong. But it would be wrong to assume that it is the only way to get revenues. It is one way if you play the long game, you should do it. But there's an equally excellent way by connecting with people you know well, and having the introduction outside of LinkedIn. That could mean meaningful business introductions, doubling your revenues, or having lots of interviews with qualified companies.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, that was interesting. It's been a fascinating discussion about LinkedIn. LinkedIn is very powerful, it gives you so much leverage, and gives you so much bang for the buck in terms of networking. I used to do all my networking in person at conferences, but with LinkedIn now you can just go online, and it saves you so much time and money and hassle.
So you gave a lot of nuggets of wisdom, and a lot of gems. A lot of people are interested in hearing more about you, finding more about you and working with you. So how can they do that?
Daniel Alfon: With pleasure, all they have to do is go to DanielAlfon.com. They'll find everything there, and I will appreciate it if they visit the website and check it out.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Excellent. Daniel, thanks so much. You really give a lot of insights and wisdom, and we look forward to hearing more about your success in the future.
Daniel Alfon: Thank you very much. It's been a pleasure to speak with you.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Many thanks again for being here. If you’re new, you can find me online at Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD, where I have links to other episodes or links to online resources that will support you on your financial literacy journey. I’ll see you there in on next week’s show. While I bring you thoroughly vetted information on this show regarding a variety of financial topics, I cannot promise you a one size fits all solution. This is why I caution you to continue to learn. Educate yourself and seek professional advice unique to your situation. If you want to talk to me, I welcome it. Please reach out via my website or email at Chris@drchrisloomdphd.com. I read and personally respond to all of my emails. Talk soon!
Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity.