The term “sphere of influence” was used prominently to describe international relations between countries. For Example, during the Cold War, the Germans and British signed an agreement that stated that the British wouldn’t interfere in areas influenced by the Germans and vice versa.
Sphere of influence in politics is just as strong as ever, but it’s also a force in business. When we convert this force to a digital platform, it becomes a powerful form of influencer collaboration.
Such collaboration can drive real business and increase sales growth right along with it. Social media platforms, like LinkedIn, can be used to nurture customer referrals and connections.
How a Sphere of Influence is Used in Modern Businesses
Business owners should think of their sphere of influence as the people who trust them. Here’s what a sphere of influence looks like in two sales industries: real estate and insurance sales.
Realtors and Brokers
Realtors and brokers are in charge of helping their clients find their dream homes or low-cost commercial property. When real estate professionals are able to make the agreement quickly while adhering to their client’s specific needs, the client is more than happy to recommend them.
That client becomes a part of the professionals sphere of influence, but it doesn’t stop there. Soon, the original client’s friends and family will start recommending them to their friends and family. The people who work with the agents, like financial advisors, will also issue referrals.
PaperlessPipeline’s guide to LinkedIn real estate marketing goes more in-depth on how to apply these strategies to LinkedIn. It’s much easier to expand your network on social media sites.
When we purchase insurance, it can be hard to know how much we need. It’s also difficult to learn how to find great insurance at a reasonable price, so most customers settle for less.
A trustworthy insurance agent will help bridge the gap, but an incredible agent will listen to their client’s needs and recommend a solution based on them. Here, the agent is building a sphere.
However, unlike insurance agents, insurance brokers will speak to the same few people more than once. This usually means they’ll work harder to formulate and maintain relationships. They may call a client personally to see how they’re doing or if they need to make any changes.
How to Use LinkedIn to Increase Your Sphere of Influence
LinkedIn generates the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, which is three times higher than Facebook and Twitter. So don’t delay; apply the following lead generation tricks.
1. Understand How to Work Your Sphere
LinkedIn has 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree connections. Your 1st-degree connections already trust you and are willing to make an introduction for you. The 2nd degree holds a lot of opportunities and is likely to trust referrals from your 1st degree, while 3rd degree will need a lot of nurturing.
What you’ll do is ask your 1st-degree connection to connect you with the 2nd-degree, and the 2nd-degree can introduce you to the 3rd. If you’re in a business with a longer sales cycle, like real estate or home building, establishing trust with 3rd-degree connections is necessary.
2. Regularly Engage With Your Followers
With knowledge of how to use your LinkedIn connections, you can start influencing them slowly through regular engagement. You can do this by discussing the range of services you offer to your 1st degree, as they may only be aware of the services they personally used or purchased.
All LinkedIn profiles benefit from constant updates, whether that’s from creating content or engaging with other people’s posts. The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more you’re seen. However, you can also use automation tools like Linked Helper to grow your network faster and then engage with it on a whole new level.
Pet insurance like Pumpkin encourages you to stay engaged with their network while also expressing gratitude to your existing clients for entrusting their pets’ well-being to their comprehensive insurance coverage.
3. Ask for Introductions From Other Influencers
Your business shouldn’t wait around and expect to receive referrals. In fact, your clients won’t know you want to hear from them unless you ask. Don’t be worried about bothering the client, either. If you did a really good job, you’ve earned the right to ask for a review or referral.
If you know an influencer in your niche, ask them if they can introduce you to someone they know. Not only is this a great way for the influencer to build their sphere of influence, but you also benefit from gaining another warm lead. In the end, both people win from this exchange.
4. Send InMail Introductions or Follow-ups
LinkedIn InMail has a much higher open rate than email at 57.5% to 21.6%, so you should absolutely utilize InMail to gain more referrals. Once your customer finishes using your services, send them a message asking them for an InMail introduction to another potential lead.
The prospective client is more likely to consider this introduction inviting, as they’re already familiar with your 1st connection. Plus, your client gets to brag they made a smart decision.
5. Build Your Very Own LinkedIn Group
A LinkedIn Group can connect you to like-minded people in your niche. If you add the right people to the group, you can build from each other’s sphere and ask for introductions. You can also share lead generation advice, but you should primarily use groups to build a network.
On the other hand, you could add yourself to established groups that are filled with your target audience. That way, you can promote your services to them or suggest other professionals.