Participate in network discussions and publish useful information. If you are offering solutions to the weak points of your network, you should also position yourself as someone knowledgeable in it. Share information regarding your sphere of work, useful tips necessary for your target audience, write LinkedIn articles and comment on posts related to your knowledge and expertise. – Anna Khachatrian, Business Development Executive at CodeRiders Software Development Company
Before starting the interview, let's give short background information about Authority Magazine and Anna Khachatrian.
About Authority Magazine:
Authority Magazine is aimed at sharing interesting “thought leadership interview series” featuring people who are authorities in tech, pop culture, business, wellness, social impact. It draws out stories that are both empowering and actionable.
About Anna Khachatrian:
Anna Khachatrian is Business Development Executive at CodeRiders software development company. She is a digital marketing expert with 6+ years of experience in business development, partnerships, client communications, and lead generation. Anna took part in several events as a speaker — both local and international; and one of her recent speeches was about professional women in a digitized economy during a conference by Women Impact Network (WIN). She also gave interviews to several media and event organizers, as well as writes articles for international media (like Clutch, The Entrepreneur), CodeRiders blog, and her own blog on Medium.
- Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
- Thanks for this opportunity to share my knowledge about the LinkedIn platform and its capabilities. It’s already 6 years since I am in the sphere of digital marketing. For the past 3 years, I am specifically working in business development. Social networks and especially LinkedIn are the tools I use daily to keep the communication with my network, read industry-related news, as well as get qualified leads.
My story of becoming a business development executive and communications specialist starts with my first job as a journalist. I was still a student when I started my career in that field, learning and practicing the ways to communicate smoothly and effectively with people, inviting them to answer my questions sincerely. I also learned data journalism and data research related to it, which later on helped me to conduct effective research to find the leads that can become prospects in the future.
- Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
- Communicating with clients from different nationalities is what I do every day, and of course, this makes so many interesting stories. My main language to communicate in is English, although I also speak Russian, besides my native language. One of my clients is from Ukraine, and she sometimes sends me messages in Ukrainian, forgetting that I don’t understand it. Every time I translate her messages to understand her properly and ask her to send me messages in English or Russian. Nevertheless, she keeps sending me Ukrainian messages from time to time. I believe at the end of this project, I’ll be able to smoothly communicate in Ukrainian as well, haha.
Intercultural communications are what I love, and this example is one of the reasons I love speaking to different nationalities and sharing cultural experiences.
- Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
- Oh, I just recalled one story. It seems funny now, but I was so embarrassed at that time. I am usually very attentive to details, especially when sending business-related messages to my leads. However, I failed once.
I sent a LinkedIn message to someone named Phil and accidentally called him Peter. The response I received was quite a cold shower for me, “Hi Sylvia, my name is Phil. I help companies meet the right people to grow their business and not make silly mistakes in the beginning …if you are going to cold call message some one then at least get the name right…”
I was both ashamed of my silly mistake and worried that I could accidentally underrate my company authority with that mistake. It was a lesson for me to be much more attentive to details before hitting the “send” button while messaging. It also taught me to be tolerant of messages that may contain some accidental mistakes. During my career path, I myself received such messages from representatives of other businesses and kindly answered them to improve their mistakes. After all, mistakes are not for demotivating, but for learning and improving.
- Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?
- The main social media platforms I use are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Each of them has its unique purpose. If we are speaking about lead generation, networking, and communicating with industry professionals, of course, LinkedIn wins all. If we are speaking about audience informing and news sharing, we use Facebook. If we talk about company branding, team atmosphere, and what it means to work in our company, we use Instagram.
LinkedIn is the platform that suits best with increasing business revenues. Most of the LinkedIn users keep it professional in that platform and network with others on business-related topics. LinkedIn has its unique culture that is different from other social media platforms. This makes it stand out from other social media platforms as a great tool for increasing business revenues.
- Let’s talk about LinkedIn specifically, now. Can you share 5 ways to leverage LinkedIn to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.
- Sure, to improve your business through LinkedIn and get new prospects, you should organize optimized outreach campaigns. Each campaign contains a few parts you should pay great attention to.
1. Improve your profile. Your network is going to get your first impression from your profile look. So, if you have an incomplete profile or if it serves a different purpose than your LinkedIn outreach campaign, you are not going to win your network’s attention. Start with your profile and cover images. Show your professional profile image, not a selfie or a low-quality photo, and correspond your cover image to it. You can also use your company cover photo. Next, rewrite your headline and describe how you can help your network with on-point reasons. Rewrite your profile description and tell in more detail how you can help your network solve a specific problem with your company. Provide useful links and contact information. Update your work and education sections. Ask your clients for reviews of their cooperation with you.
2. Learn how to use LinkedIn search. LinkedIn has a great built-in search tool, which provides quite enough search options for finding the best-fitting leads. The basic free version of LinkedIn search is also enough for having a small or medium outreach campaign. However, if you are going to start a large campaign, you may have to buy LinkedIn Sales Navigator to work more effectively. It helps filter your search in an as detailed manner as possible, ensuring that you get only the results that match your search the most. When typing keywords for searching, try to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. What would they write in their LinkedIn headlines and titles? What would they post about? What groups would they use? Answers to questions like this will help you conduct a better search campaign. Let me share one tip if you are using the free version of LinkedIn search and are worried that LinkedIn may restrict your search results. When opening one of the profiles that match your criteria, LinkedIn usually offers similar profiles in the right column. Many business developers tend to skip that section and do their research-based only on specific search results. However, my experience shows that those profile suggestions are quite relevant and can serve you as a great help.
3. Personalize each message. No one likes receiving mass messages sent to everyone. Remember that the purpose of your campaign is to convince your network that your services and solutions can be a great help for them. How is your network going to believe in you if you do not even take time to explore who they are and what problem they have to offer them custom solutions? Your outreach message should contain their weak points and your personalized solution for them. Messages like this gain the most open and reply rates.
4. Create a well-defined follow-up strategy. Your network may accept your connection request, but miss your initial message. Due to heavy schedules and busy timelines, they may forget to get back to your message. To avoid situations like this, each outreach campaign requires a well-written and examined follow-up strategy. There are two things one should avoid — sounding too needy and following up too late. In both situations, you would lose your lead. Follow-up messages should not be just reminders but also provide more value to your initial message. The average practice is to send at least 3 and a maximum of 6 follow-ups. However, each campaign has its unique strategy, so the number of follow-ups depends on the research.
5. Participate in network discussions and publish useful information. If you are offering solutions to the weak points of your network, you should also position yourself as someone knowledgeable in it. Share information regarding your sphere of work, useful tips necessary for your target audience, write LinkedIn articles and comment on posts related to your knowledge and expertise.
- Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
- Free and accessible education for everyone, definitely. Imagine how many talents are skipped and underrated because they didn’t even have the chance to get educated due to money matters. Well, school education is free in general, but still, it is not available for everyone due to so many reasons, like location, lack of teachers, lack of books, poor Internet availability, etc. Higher education is much more inaccessible in many countries. A very small percentage of students actually get free higher education. So, the movement I would inspire and lead is definitely related to accessible and quality education all over the world.
- Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
- Joanne Rowling, the author of the “Harry Potter” series. I can say I grew up with the Harry Potter series and the characters in them. In my childhood, I have always imagined that the wizardry world actually exists and that one day Hagrid will visit my place too to take me to Hogwarts, haha. Now it would be a pleasure to meet the woman who stands behind this story of my childhood and talk to her about the little details and inspirations connected to it.
- Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!
- Thank you too, Candice. It was a pleasure answering your questions. I hope my tips will help and inspire someone to succeed in their LinkedIn outreach campaigns.
Source: Authority Magazine
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