What exactly is LinkedIn Social Selling?

personal branding Apr 09, 2021

The Importance Of Social Selling On LinkedIn For More Sales

So, you want to learn how to social sell on LinkedIn, but don’t know where to start. In today’s post, we’ll dive into what social selling is, why it matters, and how to be successful at it. We’ll even include some top LinkedIn profiles that do this well so you can see it in action.


What Is Social Selling?

Social selling is a sales technique that allows you to leverage your social media network, in this case we’re using LinkedIn, to find your ideal clients, build strong relationships, and drive sales. 

It’s not about merely gaining new contacts to pitch endlessly to. We’re skipping the sleazy, cringey sales tactics and focusing on building actual relationships with prospects so that you can establish trust. Unsolicited messages do not work. In fact, they repel.

Social selling is concentrated on listening and learning more about your target audience so you can find the right opportunity to present them with a solution to a problem they’re having. The goal is to make their life easier.

There are 4 core values of social selling:

  • Personal branding - you already know how we feel about building a personal brand. It’s key to establishing yourself as a go-to expert in your industry.
  • Target Audience - who is your ideal client? You need to ensure that your profile and your content speaks directly to this target audience to make an impact.
  • Data-driven Insights - people love statistics and seeing the analytics to back claims. Share the social proof. 
  • Networking - in order to generate more successful leads, you need to establish real, genuine relationships to build trust, rapport, and credibility.


What is a LinkedIn SSI and why does it matter?

SSI stands for Social Selling Index and is essentially your ranking (compared to other LinkedIners) on a score of 0 to 100 of how well you meet the 4 elements above.

You can check your SSI score for free to determine your starting point. 

You’ll notice that your current SSI score out of 100 and the four components that determined your score on the right. Each of the 4 categories have a maximum of 25 points each. 

As your SSI score rises, so does your sales success. At the moment, the fastest way to boost your SSI is LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator (according to LinkedIn, it can boost your SSI by 20% within 6 months). 

Using the 4 elements of social selling, make sure your profile is answering these sections to work toward receiving the full score:

  • Establish your professional brand - do you have an All-Star LinkedIn profile? Is your profile complete and relevant to what you do?
  • Find the right people - are you searching and connecting with your target audience?
  • Engage with insights - have you been posting meaningful content? Do you provide valuable insights?
  • Build relationships - are you consistently engaging with people? Have you spent time liking, commenting, and messaging individuals?

The higher your SSI, the more likely you’re to get better results. The stats don’t lie:

  • 45% more opportunities than those with a lower SSI
  • 51% of social selling leaders tend to reach their sales goals
  • 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t utilize social media at all


How do you use social selling on LinkedIn?

It all begins with your LinkedIn profile. Make sure that you check off everything you need to build a great LinkedIn sales profile and that you optimize your headline to attract sales. 

Start to grow your connections and simultaneously come up with a content strategy so you can consistently build your personal brand. If you need ideas, we got you covered.

Network and engage with other LinkedIners. It’s important that you mix this group of individuals to be like-minded thought leaders and people in your target audience. 

We recommend prioritizing commenting on other people’s posts as it’s the best way to engage and build relationships. Here’s an example of how to comment on a post:

The idea is to ensure that you add value to your comments and contribute to the conversation. Consider it as a way to quickly network with others!

As you like, comment, and share posts, you will increase your visibility and build relationships with people around you.

The results of working toward establishing a strong SSI score will establish you as a go-to expert and generate more leads!


Some of the top social sellers on LinkedIn

Now that you have all the ingredients on social selling, why it’s important, and how it works - let’s dive into some of the best examples of LinkedIn social selling leaders so you can see it in action.

Here are 6 profiles we recommend looking at:


A little deeper dive of examples to consider:

Strong profile and cover photo

Sarah uses a profile profile photo with a colorful backdrop to help her stand out and be memorable. She provides a strong headline on her cover photo that draws attention to the company she works for, Gong.

Serve value

People love tips that provide value and are actionable. Gabe does a great job of giving his network a tip to be successful on LinkedIn - and as you guessed it, it revolves around building trust and personal connections.


Establish yourself as an expert

Colleen utilizes LinkedIn Pulse to provide her expertise in shareable article content that her ideal clients can read and learn from. Building content assets helps establish your authority and positions you as a go-to person to learn from.

Now, it’s your turn to utilize social selling to generate leads. Use the steps above to establish your personal brand, build relationships, and fully optimize your LinkedIn profile for sales.

If you need additional help, you can work with me 1:1 to help you build your personal brand.


This blog article was written by Jenn Hanft, a personality-driven copywriter for multi-passionate entrepreneurs using high-conversion storytelling to amplify your voice with words that deeply connect.

Latest Posts:

How To Avoid LinkedIn Content Burnout (Before Its Too Late)

Everyone Is Starting A LinkedIn Newsletter - Should I Use This Feat...

The Ultimate Guide to Posting Videos on LinkedIn - What to do Befor...