You know they’re out there – new clients who would benefit from the service or products your company offers. But where are they, and how can you meet them? Good news! Social media connects thousands of new clients to companies every day. The question remains: how do you stand out in that endless crowd? Even social media newbies can use LinkedIn to build a bigger client base.
Push your LinkedIn experience to the next level with these ACTIONABLE steps:
Step 1: Milk Your 2nd Degree Connections
2nd degree connections are one small step from your door. Invite them in with a clear, compelling invitation to connect. Don’t rely on the pre-fabricated template LinkedIn offers; use those 300 characters wisely. “I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” Versus “Hello Barbara, my company helped Jeff Barringer decrease his invoice processing time by 40%, and I know we can help you, too. Let’s connect!” Which is more compelling?
Step 2: Watch your Newsfeed and Act Quickly
Did one of your connections just recommend someone you’d like to meet? Pounce! Ask for an introduction right away before the lead gets cold. Has an existing lead just connected with someone sharing your job title in a company similar to yours? Pounce! Don’t miss pitching to a prospective client right as that other guy steps up to the plate. Adjust your settings from “All Updates” to just “Connections” - this streamlines what and whom you see.
Step 3: Research Past Clients
Your past clients loved your business, right? See what they’re up to now. What LinkedIn groups are they in? Who is in their network? What are their current job titles? Mind their groups, networks and profiles – each kernel of information helps you craft your ideal target client based on what worked in the past with satisfied customers.
Step 4: Use Advanced Search to Focus on the Best Leads
Once know what you’re looking for, advanced search helps you find it. Searches can - and should - go beyond postal code. Use the “Advanced” search (located just to the right of the magnifying glass icon) to dig in deeper. Premium LinkedIn membership gives you better options here, but even a basic membership can add industry criteria, current/past companies, and non-profit interests to improve your hunt.
Step 5: Engage Your Network with Status Updates & Valuable Links
You’ve now built a rich network of leads – now engage them! Craft meaningful status updates a few times each week, keeping your name in front of connections via the newsfeed and weekly updates. Your status updates can highlight recent achievements (Another win for Johnson, Inc. – a recent client just told us our product increased her website traffic by 30% in 2 months!) or start a conversation (Really keen on this new technology [insert link] – could completely change home sound systems). Keep it conversational, and put the social back in LinkedIn’s social media.
Step 6: Communicate with Truth & Vigor
Each time you connect with a lead, make it count. From your invite email to your status updates, from free webinars to your pitch – every communication matters. State facts and results instead of mere promises. Avoid clichés and gimmicks. Be honest, and don’t waste anyone’s time. Adopt a similar style across all social media platforms so your client recognizes you no matter where they see you. LinkedIn is a powerful resource but only for those bold enough to maximize it.