A question I hear quite often is "Can LinkedIn be used to effectively sell domain names?". The answer is absolutely!
You can think of LinkedIn as a kind of business oriented Facebook, and although social elements have become a bigger part of the feature set over the years, I've found that it's always been most effective as a networking and marketing tool. This means it's a great way to find what some would call "end user" buyers for your domain names. Personally I like the term "Strategic Buyer" since it more clearly outlines what type of buyer it is you want to find; One that would receive strategic benefit through ownership.
Since I've had some success though a few strategies I've developed, I thought I'd start sharing them on this blog for anyone who might find them useful in their sales efforts. This first post will be on how to find corporate prospects for your premium domain names.
Mining Corporate Prospects
There are other strategies for developing leads outside of LinkedIn that are more effective, but you can leverage the great search tools and deep corporate database to find prospects that might not be apparent through other methods. Plus, any you do find should have a list of high level contacts attached making the outreach that much easier.
Your goal is to find an evangelist within a prospect company that matches your target profile, and then help them justify the spend by communicating value. But you need to compile a list of target companies first.
Although the sales cycle can be longer, you'll receive the highest offers by finding large companies who have existing revenue streams that would benefit through use of your domain, and the prerequisite budget to make a big purchase. In order to find qualified prospect companies, the first thing you want to do is establish what relevant key phrases the particular domain name you're going to market consists of.
First, start by looking at the actual terms in the domain name itself. If it has more than one word you can work your way from the whole text of the domain right down to the individual word components to see what makes sense. Sometimes the individual words, especially the latter ones, aren't relevant to the term itself. Make sure to use your judgement when reviewing each.
Another strategy I employ is to use keyword research tools like Wordtracker to find related terms to include as part of the search. I’ll use one domain I’m currently marketing as an example: Chisel.com
Potential Search Key Phrases:
- "small chisel plow"
- "cold chisel"
- "chisel sharpening jigs"
- "corner chisel"
- "air chisel concrete"
- "chisel sharpening system"
- "mortising chisel and bit"
- "chisel mortise"
- "wood chisel sharpener"
Once you've decided on your list of relevant terms, use the search tool at the top of the page to start mining prospects. Make sure to compile results from each relevant key phrase, and then sort by how many employees they have as a loose gauge on how big the company is. It's always helpful to use some type of CRM solution to help manage and organize outreach. Salesforce and the like can always be adapted for use.
Tip #1: After you complete your first search, use the filters in the left sidebar of the search results to remove results for everything but "Companies" or "Groups". Individuals are rarely willing to pay market value for a personal name. Also, if your name is geocentric you can restrict results to specific locations.
Tip #2: New products and services are a much harder sell than a company who already has an established revenue stream that would be enhanced by your domain. Trying to pitch a company on creating a new product / service line is a rabbit hole that can use up significant resources and time with little likelihood of success.
- Establish your list of relevant key phrases based on the words in your domain and what products or services it could relate to
- Use LinkedIn search for Companies and Groups
- Focus on companies with established revenue streams that your domain would enhance.
This is the first in a two part segment on using LinkedIn to sell premium domain names. Make sure to check out thesecond post here.