Target Audience Mistakes: Why LinkedIn Has Been Driving Me Crazy

By Eugene Farber | Small Business

Target Audience Mistakes: Why LinkedIn Has Been Driving Me Crazy image target audienceTarget Audience Mistakes: Why LinkedIn Has Been Driving Me CrazyI’m a huge fan of LinkedIn. If you’re in the B2B space, it is definitely a social network that you want to be active on. And I’ve been quite active…driving plenty of traffic and leads from the network.

But to get leads, you need to know who your potential customers are; who your target audience is. Otherwise it’s a huge waste of time…for everyone involved.

I mention the idea of a target audience in the first part of my free mini-course. And you’re about find out just why it’s so important…and how you can avoid annoying people. And even better…how you can attract people that might actually buy from you.

No use in spending time and money marketing to people that are never going to buy from you, right?

The Recent Issue

A lot of my activity on LinkedIn is sharing content in groups on LinkedIn. For example, I share my CSH posts in small business groups. I share content for my accountant-focused business in groups for accountants. You get the picture.

But by gaining exposure on LinkedIn I’ve been exposed not only to potential clients, but also other marketers.

When people request to connect with me, I normally accept. And as of late, a large portion of these new connections have been promptly followed by a pitch.

Now don’t get me wrong. I completely understand the need for sales. But there’s a right way and wrong way to do it. And my gripe isn’t even in the fact that these “marketers” are approaching me with bad pitches…

…My issue is that they are pitching me in the first place!

This is a common mistake that applies to all marketing; not just marketing on LinkedIn. So take note and avoid making this mistake…

Example 1: Misguided or Lazy?

The first example of a bad approach wasn’t really a sales pitch…it was an invitation to a group. Let’s take a look…

Target Audience Mistakes: Why LinkedIn Has Been Driving Me Crazy image target audience mistakeTarget Audience Mistakes: Why LinkedIn Has Been Driving Me Crazy

The headline isn’t too shabby. The word “important” sounds…well…important. But if you’ve spent any time on LinkedIn (or anywhere online, really) you are going to be skeptical before ever opening the email.

But to make things worse, the body of the email doesn’t follow though on the promise. I’m sorry…but nothing about this invitation strikes me as important. Maybe it’s important to the group manager. But why should I care?

Lesson: focus on what is important to your potential customers, not to you.

This invitation seems misguided. Or lazy. You decide…

It is for a group on LinkedIn which promises to give me SEO tips to get more traffic for my business. I don’t really need this group. In fact, I should be the one sharing tips in it.

And if this group manager had taken a moment to look at my profile, he would have seen the words “SEO” right in the headline. Not much research necessary.

To be fair, maybe that’s exactly what he wanted…for me to join the group and share some content that might help others. But that’s certainly not the way this came across. And if that’s the case then this is just lazy. It doesn’t take much time to come up with a second generic invitation (because that’s what this is) for people you would like to add as contributors.

Mistake: Not knowing that I’m not his target audience or being to lazy to approach me in the appropriate manner.

To be honest, I’ve been more open to accepting the generic, pre-populated invitations.

Example 2: Ok…this is a joke right?

I guess I should start off by saying that this approach wasn’t all bad:

Target Audience Mistakes: Why LinkedIn Has Been Driving Me Crazy image terrible target audience mistakeTarget Audience Mistakes: Why LinkedIn Has Been Driving Me Crazy

Let’s begin with what this approach doesn’t do bad…

1. The subject line is a decent one. Even knowing ahead of time that this is something that is most likely not going to interest me, I’m likely to open it just to see what it says.

2. It doesn’t start off “pitchy” and is somewhat personable.

3. This is the big one: he doesn’t push the “opportunity” right down my throat but rather asks me to respond if I’m interested. That way when he does give me the pitch, I asked for it. This is definitely the right approach.

Unfortunately there was one glaring issue with this invitation…

After a minute (probably less) of “research” on Google, I found out that this is going to be a pitch for the Empower Network. This is the same MLM network that I called out for being a scam in this post.

Mistake: As one of the biggest opponents of the Empower Network, I am probably not his target audience. Oops.

How to Minimize Mistakes in Your Marketing

I understand that these approaches will happen. Honest mistakes are unavoidable. And that’s ok.

But I have been bombarded with these types of invitations over the past few months. And in many cases it’s clear that these “marketers” have not taken the time to figure out who they are targeting. Or at the very least, they haven’t taken the time to notice that I don’t fall into their target audience.

Figuring out your target audience doesn’t just help you avoid annoying people, but it also helps you convert more of your target audience into leads…and then customers…by speaking directly to them. All the while spending less resources on efforts that aren’t going to pan out.

I show a prime example of how I did this, and why you should too, in my free marketing strategy mini-course.

The right approach can make all the difference. After all, if the group invitation had come from a different angle, I may have joined. And groups always need quality content to stay active.

Once you’ve figured out your target audience, your next job is to turn them into leads. In my new [CSH] Premium newsletter, you will get actionable advice on how to do that from the very first issue. Pick it up here.

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