I had been actively using LinkedIn for over a year before I even knew I had a LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI). When I first checked, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a 73. However, being a competitive person when it comes to test score, it wasn’t enough. I poured myself into learning what determines the scores and what it really means. I hope you’ll find this as interesting as I did.
LinkedIn SSI is built on four pillars, each worth 25 points of 100. Without LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it’s not possible to achieve the top score in each category. I have Premium Career at the moment, so was relieved that my 73 was really almost the same as a full score considering my access. Although LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an excellent tool, it’s not right for everyone. I’m still a solopreneur, excited for the day my business is large enough to handle the business I believe LinkedIn Sales Navigator could bring to the table; but currently, I couldn’t handle all the business I think it could bring. Keep this in mind when you’re evaluating your own score, how much does your LinkedIn SSI score actually affect your LinkedIn marketing strategy?
Let’s move on to the 4 pillars:
Establish Your Professional Brand
Find the Right People
Engage with Insights
Of course LinkedIn wants us to be successful and LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a great tool for managing and generating leads, but we can do a lot on LinkedIn organically too. Here are a few things measured in each pillar that we can improve without Sales Navigator.
Establishing your professional brand is based on the strength of your profile and the quality of the content you share with your followers. Make sure you are always relevant and educational in your posts. Also, there are many aspects to your profile, missing just a few small pieces can make a big difference.
Connecting is what it’s all about, so LinkedIn SSI Pillar 2 is really important. Many people ask me, “Should I connect with just anyone?” The answer to that depends on your strategy, but in general the answer is no. LinkedIn SSI reflects how quickly you find quality prospects. The best way to do this is advanced people searches, viewing 3rd degree connections and making connections from interactions with your posts. Also, you can’t find and maintain good connections if you’re not active, LinkedIn SSI will consider this as well.
Now that you have solid connections, engage with them. LinkedIn SSI Pillar 3 is all about engagement – share, like, comment. This isn’t enough though by itself, you also need to follow hashtags and join groups. Of course, LinkedIn SSI also likes to see that you’ve saved accounts and research views, but you only have access to this through Sales Navigator.
Lastly, build relationships. That’s what it’s really all about. LinkedIn SSI Pillar 4 considers the total number of connections, VP level + connections, internal connections and connection request acceptance rate. Personally, I don’t have that many connections but the ones I do have are high quality and high level prospects, so that keeps my score at full 25. I also make sure to withdraw unanswered connection requests after a certain point.
As you can see, there is so much you can do even if LinkedIn Sales Navigator isn’t for you. The first question you should ask is what is your capability? Can you handle the business LinkedIn Sales Navigator might bring you? If you decide against LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can still reach high profile clients with the right messaging strategy. Either path you choose though, LinkedIn SSI is a great benchmark for measuring the strength of your LinkedIn profile and activity.
This article only scrapes the surface of ways to improve your LinkedIn SSI and how to use it in your marketing strategy. Over the last year, I’ve invested a 100+ hours in LinkedIn training, research and strategy development. If you’d like to learn more about this topic or other organic LinkedIn strategy, I have condensed most of my findings into a 2 hour, interactive group workshop offered several times each month. I also offer private strategy training if you’re interested in a more customized solution. Seeing the success of my clients, I’m excited to share my knowledge and strategy with more people. Book your session today and watch your LinkedIn leads snowball!