Posted 17th February 2012.
I ran a webinar yesterday for members of Momentum Club focusing on practical strategies for winning clients with Linkedin.
If you'd like to get access to the recording (and all the other resources in Momentum Club), you can get hold of it by taking a $1 trial by clicking here.
Here's a summary of the Linkedin Tips we covered:
Strategy 1. Get Yourself a Client Focused Profile
Although I don't believe many clients actively search on Linkedin for potential service providers – they will almost always check you out on there before speaking to you or meeting with you if you connect in other ways.
So having a good linkedin profile is pretty vital.
The mistake most people make is that they treat Linkedin like an online CV. They focus on their jobs, their achievements, the responsibilities they've had over the years.
While that may be the sort of thing that interests prospective employers – it's of no value to potential clients.
My best linkedin profile tip is simple: make your profile client focused.
A client focused profile will highlight who you work with and how you help them. It should be more like the way you introduce yourself at a networking event than a resume.
You want a potential senior client to read it and think “this guy could help us – and I think we could work with him”.
So focus on what your clients get from working with you – and potentially include some testimonial type quotes from them too.
2. Connect Broadly, but with Purpose
When I first started on Linkedin I followed the advice to only connect with people I already knew well.
With hindsight, that was a mistake.
Linkedin can be a good way of starting new relationships – not just maintaining them with people you already know.
Now I'm not saying connect with everyone. But if you get the opportunity to connect with people who may know potential clients for you – then take it. Use it as a chance to start building a relationship with them. Send them a message after you connect and get a conversation going.
After all, if you went to a face to face networking event you wouldn't spend the whole time talking to people you already knew.
3. Use Linkedin to Turbo-Charge Your Referrals
Of all the Linkedin Tips I've given over the years – this one is without doubt the most powerful for getting new clients.
Referrals are pretty much the most powerful strategy you can harness to get more clients. The trouble is, we usually don't know who the people we know are connected to. So we end up making vague requests for referrals to “any small business” or “senior executives” that rarely come to fruition.
But imagine how powerful our requests for referrals would be if we knew who our contacts knew and were able to ask for referrals specifically to the ones that would be great clients for us.
Well, with Linkedin that's exactly what you can do.
You can either start by looking at the connections of people you know well. People you feel confident would give you a strong recommendation.
If you spot someone you'd like an introduction to then give your contact a call or an email (but preferably a call) and gently ask them to introduce you.
Or you can start by doing an “Advanced Search” on Linkedin to look for people in the ideal industry sector for you, with the right sort of job titles, and in the right geography. Or with a premium Linkedin subscription, working in the right sort of business with the right level of seniority.
When the search function returns the list of people meeting these criteria, choose to view 2nd order connections only (i.e. the connections of your direct contacts) and the list will tell you the name of the person who connects you.
If you know them well enough you can proceed as before. Give them a call and gently ask for an introduction or referral.
This strategy, more than any other, is the one that people who are having the most success using Linkedin to win clients are using. But you need to make sure you're connected to all the people you know who themselves are likely to be connected to your potential clients.
4. Use Groups (and Your Lead Magnet) to Turn Cold Contacts into Warm
One little known strategy that is incredibly effective is to harness the feature of Linkedin that allows you to send direct messages to people you're in the same group as even if you're not connected.
That means that if you join groups that your potential clients have joined (even if they're not active in dicussions) you can send them a message.
Now you have to be careful with this. An unsolicited message trying to sell yourself or your services to them is spam. And on Linkedin it feels even worse because it's such an intimate medium with mesages being primarily between people who have agreed to connect with each other.
But if you use the message to offer them something of value (your lead magnet), then it turns a cold contact into a communication the recipient will appeciate.
I recently ran a test campaign using this strategy and over 20% of the people I sent messages to offering a copy of my Pain Free Marketing Blueprint either went off and downloaded it directly, or sent me a message back to thank me and request a copy.
If you know about response rates in direct mail and email marketing you'll know that 20% is an order of magnitude higher than you normally get.
But it only works if you have something of value to offer, not a sales pitch.
Put These Linkedin Tips Into Action
These are the simple and direct strategies I've found to work the best to connect with high potential clients via Linkedin.
If you'd like more details on them and on other high performing client-winning strategies, then you might like to consider the $1 trial of Momentum Club. You'll get immediate access to the Linkedin webinar recording along with all my Core Marketing training on the best ways of getting clients.
Click here for more details.