In the simplest terms, LinkedIn is a network of professionals. Whether you’re a seasoned CEO of a major company or just starting out in your career, it’s a great medium to connect with other professionals across various industries. Think of it as an online “networking event” – much like the ones you might attend in-person to meet other professionals. It’s an opportunity to chat (via online message) about what you do and your profile serves as a type of business card, outlining all of your professional achievements in one handy location.
Since LinkedIn connects you with other professionals across different industries, it’s also an excellent prospecting tool. In one spot, you’ve got access to people and organizations who can benefit from what you offer. With a little foundational work, using LinkedIn to find new clients is a breeze. Here are some tips to help you land new clients on LinkedIn without spending a lot of money or stressing out.
1) Reach Out to People Who Visit Your Profile
On a daily basis, check who has viewed your profile and reach out to connect with them. Also, when you are sending out invites, always write a personalized message and don’t just send out the generic one. Think about mentioning something you have in common (same field of work or same university), why you want to connect, or where you’ve met before. Just be short and sweet – you’ve only got 300 characters to make your request.
2) When Making Connections, Don’t Be Sales-y
Do not try to immediately make a sale. Like above, try to connect with people by referencing something interesting about their profile. For example, this was the first connection message I sent to a CEO that eventually resulted in closed business:
I came across your LinkedIn profile and wanted to connect. I am a fellow vegan who offers social media marketing to eco-conscious entrepreneurs. Hope to chat soon. Have a great week!
3) Consider Maximizing Your Search with a Premium Account
While you can still do some great searching while using a free account, using a Premium Account has some more benefits depending on what you may be searching for. For example, Sales Navigator allows you to target more specific prospects. You can even save your searches which is useful.
4) Who Do I Search For?
If you don’t know where to start, search for people using keywords from your niche like e-commerce, realtors, etc. For example, if you are doing lead generation for gym owners, focus on that.
5) Don’t Ghost After Connecting
After someone has connected with you, write back and say thank you. I say, “Let me know if you need help professionally in any way or want to chat about Facebook ads.” I never directly put my scheduling link because I think this is too pushy. I sometimes just ask them how their week went to start a conversation.
6) Keep Posting Content
Making connections won’t matter very much if you aren’t posting any updates on your profile from time to time. Send out helpful news, articles, and useful content to people in your network and post updates regularly. LinkedIn is great because if one of your contacts likes your update, their network may possibly see your posts.
7) Repurpose Your Content
Re-use your blog posts with LinkedIn Pulse. Think of LinkedIn Pulse as the newsfeed of content that you see when you log on to LinkedIn. If you have just posted something on your website, wait two weeks to repost it again to not mess with your SEO. You can write out a good chunk of the blog post and have “click here for more” that takes someone to your website. End the blog post with a call-to-action, like a strategy session offer.
8) Don’t Rush to Buy LinkedIn Ads
I have tried LinkedIn ads but have found them to be really expensive and ineffective. I tried offering strategy sessions through InMail ads and have never had anyone bite. I want to try sponsored posts to see if that may be different, but I find the other prospecting tools to be more effective.
9) Ask for Recommendations
As you build and update your professional profile, it’s important to ask for recommendations. These recommendations are the “street cred” you need to show that you can deliver on what you offer to potential connections. If you’re asking for recommendations, you should be prepared to offer them to other connections as well.
10) Strive for Authenticity
Overall, be authentic, helpful and not sales-y. Authenticity will take you far on LinkedIn. Comment on other people’s posts to gain exposure and don’t try to push yourself on other people. Also, if you help make an introduction to someone from your LinkedIn community, they may do the same for you.
LinkedIn gives you a unique opportunity to connect with a variety of other professionals online. Using this professional network to find new business prospects isn’t a difficult process if you keep consistent with your posting and networking. Happy prospecting!
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