LinkedIn is one of the most widely used platforms for professionals looking to connect and engage with each other online.
The platform has changed a lot over the years, with the introduction and growing popularity of it social feed that changes the way thought leaders and professionals are connecting with each other and delivering content to their audiences.
Outside of just another platform to share content and grow an audience (come on, don’t we see enough of that on Instagram and Twitter?), LinkedIn is a great channel for attracting and closing clients.
Whether you’re an agency owner, or a freelancer looking to score your next big gig, LinkedIn can be the place to make your client prospecting dreams come true.
In this short guide, we’ll be covering the steps on how to do exactly that, and get the most out of your LinkedIn efforts.
Why Use LinkedIn For Prospecting
If you’ve spent any time on LinkedIn before, or have heard experiences from others, you may think that it is primarily a tool to use when you’re on the hunt for a job or trying to build up your professional network.
While these are both completely valid uses of the platform, many people miss out on LinkedIn’s incredible versatility in the way it can bring you in leads that match your ideal client on a consistent basis.
When executed correctly and consistently, your client pipeline will never be empty again.
- Update Your Profile to Reflect Your Main Offering
The very first step on your LinkedIn journey to attract more clients is to update your profile to reflect what you’re providing, whether its a service, software product or anything else.
Before you begin any outreach or engage in any other connection strategies, it’s crucial to be sure your profile is fully complete and professional looking.
Don’t bog down your bio with too many buzz words or vague accomplishments. Keep it straight to the point, and clearly state what you do and how you can help them (your ideal client).
In the same thought process, update your job history and endorsements to match what you’re offering. For example, if you’re offering copywriting services, it doesn’t make sense to focus your portfolio around web design and programming, nor should you feature “Leadership” as your most endorsed skill.
Your profile should tell a complete yet concise story of who you are, and the value you can provide.
- Identify Your Target Client
The next step is determining your target client. Because, without knowing who you want to attract, how are you ever going to successfully do that?
What is great about LinkedIn’s search function is it allows you to get incredibly specific with who you’re searching for.
Filter by job title, experience, demographic, and more.
Say you’re looking to target CMO’s in the tech space just in your city to pitch your service to, you can filter search to target those people in the advanced search settings.
Before you begin reaching out, write down your ideal client, including all of the factors like title and experience mentioned above, this will help immensely when you start reaching out.
- Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
Okay, your profile is looking great, and you have your perfect target client in mind. What’s next?
It’s time to start connecting! Browse the profiles you find and start sending connections and engaging with the content of those who match your criteria.
However, be very careful when you start sending out connection invites to not include the default message. If you do, you will get ignored more than 80% of the time as the person you’re reaching out to most likely already received 20 messages exactly the same that day.
So, what do you write?
Be personal and friendly in your connection message, already leading towards the value you’re looking to provide.
ex: “Hey <name>, I just wanted to say congratulations on the recent success of your <company>! From your posts, I can see you’re looking to boost your SEO results, I would love to show you how I 10x’d the search results of my last client.”
- Always Follow Up
Keep in mind that you will most likely not hear back from everyone you reach out to.
However, with the right messaging and profile, you most certainly will get quality leads depending on how much outreach you’re doing.
When you do get a connection accepted from one of your target clients, the next step is crafting a compelling follow-up message.
This should also be short and to the point while reminding your prospect why you reached out to them, and immediately delivering on some of the value you proposed in your invitation message.
- Connect & Engage Across Platforms
While waiting for a response to your follow up message, an easy way to get the attention of your prospect is to connect and engage with them on your other platforms.
For example, give them a follow on Instagram and like a few posts, or respond to a recent tweet with helpful advice. Not only does this resurface you in their mind, but it gives them a chance to check out the rest of your online presence outside of LinkedIn.
- Getting to the pitch
Ideally, at this point, you’ve gotten their email address and or phone number.
If you’re at this point, you know they’re interested in some capacity, so it’s time to craft and deliver your perfect pitch.
If you’re experienced in sales and client prospecting in general, you should have a solid plan in place for closing clients from the lead position in your sales cycle.
Use what has worked well in the past, while keeping the prospect’s individual needs and potential problems in mind. People react exponentially better to sales pitches when it feels like their specific situation is being addressed, instead of just another cold sales email.
- Re-engaging and utilizing referrals
Woohoo! You landed a new dream client!
Whether this is your first or 20th client you’ve gotten from LinkedIn, this should not be the end of your relationship with them.
In fact, it’s just the beginning.
Stay up to date with your client’s profiles and engage in their posts, while regularly offering your advice and assistance when needed. Another highly effective way to bring in even more of your target clients is by asking for and utilizing recommendations and reviews.
Ask your top clients for their recommendations and feature them on your profile. Not only does this serve as validation for potential clients checking out your page, but it can be a greater starter point in a conversation when you want to reference your recent results.
LinkedIn is much more than just a networking platform.
It can be an incredible tool for sourcing and attracting new client prospects when utilized correctly. Wherever you are in your professional journey, it may be a great idea to invest some more time and resources into updating your LinkedIn strategy.