December 6, 2021
LinkedIn is an effective platform for discovering and engaging potential clients. LinkedIn is unrivalled when it comes to developing professional connections.
With nearly 800 million users, LinkedIn is an effective platform for discovering and engaging potential clients. Compared to other social media platforms, LinkedIn is unrivalled when it comes to developing professional connections. Making it perfect for promoting your business/service and also nurturing potential clients.
And while it is true that LinkedIn can be a great platform for lead generation and client acquisition, many agencies and freelancers still struggle.
If you also find it difficult to take full advantage of LinkedIn for building your clientele, don’t worry. In this article, we’ll see actionable tips on how you can use LinkedIn to get new clients.
Let’s get started.
The first step to attracting new clients on LinkedIn is identifying who your ideal client is. Most people will start with creating a LinkedIn profile, but how can you attract the right clients if you don't know who they are?
Understanding who your ideal clients are will help you determine the skills you need to provide and showcase.
To help you analyse who your ideal client is, here are some questions you should answer:
Creating your ideal client profile will also help you determine:
With a client profile, you will have a good picture of who your target audience is and how to search for them on LinkedIn.
Your profile page is the foundation of your brand on LinkedIn. First impressions matter. So before you even have a conversation with prospective clients, your profile should showcase your skills, expertise, and achievements.
And, since you are researching ways to get new clients, you are either an agency or a freelancer. This means that your target audience is different from people just looking for a job. Your LinkedIn profile should appeal to prospects. For people who are just looking for a job, their target audience will be hiring managers and recruiters.
So as an agency or freelancer, the core of your LinkedIn profile should be showcasing how you’ve helped businesses and clients similar to your target audience.
So here are some tips to help you create a professional LinkedIn profile.
Your profile picture is the first chance to make a good impression on potential clients. It's a key element of your LinkedIn presence. Research also shows that LinkedIn profiles with a picture are 14 times more likely to be viewed than profiles without one.
The type of picture you use also matters. LinkedIn is a professional platform, so it's important that you use a professional image. Consider hiring a professional to take a recent headshot of you with proper lighting.
However, if you don't want to spend on hiring a professional, you can use a good smartphone. The key is to take the picture in soft, natural light. Here are some other tips to help you choose the right picture:
Your background photo is the second visual element and it is found at the top of your LinkedIn profile page. Use it to grab the attention of prospects. With the right background photo, you can make your profile stand out and also support the written section of your profile. For instance, you can use the background photo to highlight your achievements and show social proof.
Here is a good example from Austin Belcak of Cultivated Culture.
He uses his background photo to show some of the brands he has worked with.
The recommended background photo size is 1,584 x 396 pixels. Your photo should also maintain a 129:8 aspect ratio with a maximum file size of 4 Mb.
Note that LinkedIn will crop the side of the background photo on mobile and the top and bottom part on desktop.
So ensure that you keep the most important aspects of the photo in the middle so you won't lose a lot of information.
Your LinkedIn headline has a big impact on how people perceive your brand. Just like a blog headline, your LinkedIn profile headline should entice prospects into reading the rest of your profile.
Your potential client is most likely skimming through different profiles looking for who to work with. So your headline should tell them who you are and the service you offer off the bat.
Your LinkedIn About summary is your chance to fully sell your services to prospects. Use the About section to show off your personality, display your skills, and highlight your biggest achievements. LinkedIn allows up to 2000 characters so use it to make a good impression.
Here are some great examples of LinkedIn profile summaries.
#1. Karen Abbate
#2. Gijo Mathew
#3. James Alan Hatch
Including keywords increases the chances of your profile showing up in LinkedIn search results. Important places to include relevant keywords is your LinkedIn headline and About summary.
Include the keywords your prospects will be looking for. The service you offer is the most relevant keyword, followed by other keywords in your industry.
The more connections you have, the more likely you are to attract new clients. Here are some ways expanding your LinkedIn connections can be useful:
Now that we've seen the benefits of growing your LinkedIn connections, here are two ways you can go about the process:
When sending a connection request on LinkedIn, you will increase the chances of the recipient accepting by adding a personal note.
Even LinkedIn advises you to add a personal note to your connection requests. To do this, go to the profile of the person you want to connect with and click on the three dots above the About section.
Next, click on Personalize invite.
Then write your personalised message and send the invitation.
Note that if a recipient decides to ignore your request, they also have the option to choose “I don't know this person”. And if your profile gets a lot of “I don't know this person” reports, your account will get restricted. This will limit your ability to connect with other prospects.
That is why a personalised message connection is important. It gives the recipient a to accept your request.
Here are some tips to help you write a good connection request message:
Here is an example a connection message:
Dear Erin Holt,
I’m a college senior interested in working in marketing. For the last year, I’ve been following your work for Bryan & Associates, and it’s really impressed me. I particularly loved your recent campaign in The Atlantic—that multimedia component was totally unexpected and really effective. If you ever have 20 or so minutes, I’d love to hear more about how you started working in the field and what skills you believe are most relevant to the profession.
Thank you so much,
It's easier to connect with warm leads than cold leads. A warm lead is someone who has prior knowledge of your brand or the service you offer. A warm lead can be a referral from a friend or someone you met at a conference or a work event. Send these leads a connection request with a personalised note on how you met.
One of the best ways to connect with potential clients and position yourself as an authority on LinkedIn is by sharing valuable content on the platform.
Some other benefits of sharing content on LinkedIn include:
Here are some ways you can distribute content on LinkedIn.
Along with being a social media network, LinkedIn also has a publishing platform. The publishing platform allows members to write, edit, and share articles on LinkedIn.
To write and publish articles on LinkedIn, use the article publishing tool available on the home page. Note that the publishing tool is not available on the mobile app.
The key to publishing on LinkedIn is choosing topics that your target audience will find valuable. Write on topics that demonstrate your skills. For instance, you can create content on the main challenges that your potential client faces in your industry. Clients will most likely reach out to you when they see that you have a good understanding of their challenges as well as solutions to the challenges.
Also, use a compelling cover image and a strong headline in the post.
This is another creative way to share content on LinkedIn. Stats also show that videos on LinkedIn get 3 times more engagement than text posts.
You can either publish a pre-recorded video or record live video content on LinkedIn.
To upload a video on LinkedIn, click on ‘Video’ on the status box and select the video you want to share.
If you want more interactive sessions with your audience, you can use LinkedIn Live.
Status updates are the quickest way to consistently deliver value and stay in front of your target audience. When you share an update, your message is broadcasted to all your network connections.
You can also choose who can see your post. To significantly increase your reach, select ‘Anyone’.
You can share links to articles, attach documents, or talk about an event you are attending. If you have something brief to say, you can use a status update instead of the full LinkedIn publishing platform.
Also, remember to use hashtags in your content. Hashtags make your content more discoverable.
💡 If your content marketing efforts on LinkedIn are working and you see an increase in connection requests and direct messages, ensure that you strike up a dialogue with these new people. By interacting with them, you can uncover new opportunities for collaboration.
LinkedIn groups are great for interacting with potential clients. The key is to choose groups where your target audience most likely hangs out.
You can find groups by searching for a keyword on the LinkedIn search bar and selecting the Groups option.
To know if a group is quality, check how many members it has and how active the members are. If the last post on the group is from months ago, then don't bother with it. Look for a group with regular interaction between its members.
Once you join a group, check out the rules of the group. This will ensure that you don't do things that will cause you to be removed. For example, you are not allowed to promote your services in the Content Marketing Institute LinkedIn group. The group is mostly for sharing tips, insights, and best practices.
The best part is that you don't even need to promote your service in a LinkedIn group to generate leads. As long as you are delivering value in the group, clients who need your service will reach out to you.
Some ways you can demonstrate your value is by commenting intelligently on posts and sharing content that shows you are an expert in your field. These two actions can help build your authority and boost your brand.
If someone has viewed your profile or viewed/commented on your post on LinkedIn Pulse, they are essentially warm leads. Go through the list of viewers and proactively reach out to the individuals that fit your ideal client persona. LinkedIn will even tell you where the viewers work and their job titles.
You can see this information by going to the private dashboard in your profile.
Checking frequently ensures that you do miss opportunities to interact with potential leads. Remember to always send a personalised message when connecting with people.
Note that with a free account, you can only see the last five people that viewed your profile. To see the full list, you will have to sign up for a LinkedIn premium.
Recommendations are a great way to boost your reputation on LinkedIn. They serve as endorsements and build your credibility.
Even if you showcase your experience and skills in your profile About section, you still need something to differentiate you from other people who offer that same service.
Imagine that you are choosing between two different products that you haven't used before. Won't you prefer to choose the one with reviews over the one without? The review will help you make an informed decision. That is the same way recommendations work.
Recommendations are like word-of-mouth but on LinkedIn. It allows past clients to testify of their experience working with you. If a client were to choose between two freelancers with similar skills, the recommendations on their profile will serve as reviews. Not having a recommendation might cause you to lose potential clients.
The easiest way to get recommendations is by sending a request to clients you have impressed in the past. Go to the profile of the person, click on More and select ‘Request a recommendation from the drop-down menu.
Next, establish the relationship you have with the recipient of the request.
After this, write a recommendation request to the recipient. The default “Hi [name], could you write me a recommendation?” on LinkedIn is very impersonal. So, make sure you personalise the message.
Here is a LinkedIn recommendation request template you can use instead.
It’s been a while, hope you are well? Would you be up to leaving a recommendation about when I was [role at the time]? I’d love to hear what you thought about my skills when we worked together.
After you have successfully received a recommendation, always send a thank-you note.
Thank you very much for leaving me a recommendation. Please let me know if you would like me to return the kindness. I’ll gladly let people know how great it was working with you at [company].
Trigger events are situations that allow you to naturally engage with potential and existing LinkedIn connections without it feeling pushy or forced.
Not all the clients you approach on LinkedIn will be ready to work with you immediately. Some clients might not be ready because they don't need your service at the moment or because they don't have the budget to work with you. That doesn't mean you should abandon them. You must continue to engage with them. Trigger events make it easy to do so.
Here are trigger events that you can use to start conversations on LinkedIn:
This is the first opportunity to engage potential clients that you haven't connected with before.
And if an existing connection checks your profile after a while, it might mean that they are in the market for someone who offers your services. Take this as an opportunity to say hello once again.
One of your LinkedIn connections changing jobs can indicate a potential client for you. For example, if your connection has a new role as a social media director and you are offering social media management services, this will be a good time to say hello. Reach out to the connection with a personalised congratulatory message. Do not use LinkedIn's default congratulatory message.
Also, pay attention to the relevant job changes in your network. Monitor when an old client moves onto a new role or moves to a new company. They might be interested in using your services once again.
If a connection mentions you on their LinkedIn post or comment, this can open the door for a more in-depth conversation between you and the person. Always respond when someone mentions you in a post. You can send them a short message thanking them for the mention.
Your connection or their company being mentioned in the news is a good trigger event. Reach out to them with congratulations or a relevant comment depending on the type of news. It’s also good to include where you saw them mentioned and add the link when possible.
Using trigger events ensures that you continuously engage with prospects. This will allow you to build trust and stay on their radar. When they finally need the service you offer, you will be the first to come to mind.
In this article, we have seen how you can use LinkedIn to get new clients.
The eight tips in this article are easy to do. But what’s most important is that you are consistent on the platform. Potential clients will want to work with people that they trust. This is why it is important that you continue to engage with your connections on LinkedIn. Also, give them reasons to want to work with you by demonstrating your value.
Finally, when running any form of marketing strategy on LinkedIn, it’s important that you measure your performance. To do this effectively, you will need social media analytics software like Iconosquare.
Iconosquare offers in-depth insights into your LinkedIn page and the performance of your content. You will get data on important content metrics like impressions and engagement. The detailed post metrics provide data so you can know if your content is resonating with your target audience.
If you want LinkedIn analytics you can trust, then check out Iconosquare. Start your 14-day free trial.
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