Have you struggled with trying to find new leads and clients in your business?
Perhaps you’ve heard that LinkedIn can be effective yet you wonder why it’s not working for you.
You are not alone. This is a problem faced by many businesses. This problem can be further compounded by the amount of time that you have to spend qualifying the leads that are coming in. This is time that you are not spending on revenue generating activities.
If you are a business-to-business (B2B) business owner, entrepreneur, professional service provider or sales person, LinkedIn can help you overcome these challenges.
With over 350 million members LinkedIn is a social media platform that allows users to build a powerful professional network. Similar to a business-networking event, it allows its users to connect and build relationships in a professional setting. But unlike an in person event, users have access to a much larger pool of prospective customers and strategic alliances. In fact, LinkedIn helps you to:
- Have un-gated access to decision makers
- Distribute your content to a wider audience
- Drive more traffic to your blogs and sites than other social media platforms
- Generate more leads – it’s 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook or Twitter
While this sounds impressive, you may still be wondering just why and how LinkedIn is so effective for generating leads, clients and sales in a B2B environment.
LinkedIn is so effective because it is the ultimate relationship-building platform. With such a large number of professionals, business owners and c-level executives using the platform, LinkedIn gives you un-gated access to your target market. It also provides you with the tools to find, connect and then build a relationship with them. This dramatically increases the effectiveness of your sales efforts and shortens the length of your sales cycle.
With a complete, professional looking profile and a daily LinkedIn lead generation plan in hand, in as little as 15 minutes a day (depending on your industry and goals), you could begin to fill your sales funnel with your ideal clients.
Here are seven steps to help you start attracting more clients on LinkedIn today.
Step 1: Professional Profile
Before you begin any activities that will put you in front of key decision makers, you must first ensure that you have a profile that is professional, search-optimized and most important of all, is client-focused.
I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Just as you would not meet these key decision makers in sloppy or unprofessional attire you must ensure that your profile presents you in a way that will help and not hinder your efforts.
Step 2: Identify Prospects
Lead generation on LinkedIn requires you to have a clear grasp of your target market, so begin by thinking of common titles your market would use to describe themselves. This will be a crucial part of finding prospects to connect with online.
These titles relate to their vocation. For example: CEO, Accountant, VP Sales, HR Specialist, etc.
Once you have a few titles that you want to specifically target for new prospects, you can easily find them using two separate methods:
- LinkedIn Advanced Search
- LinkedIn Groups
Step 3: Send a Thank You Message
When you receive a notification that someone has accepted your connection request on LinkedIn, reach out with a personalized “thank you” message. Don’t pitch your services or self-promote in any way other than adding the URL to your website in your signature.
If possible, find some commonality in their profile that can be used to engage in a conversation. Just like a cocktail party, the only thing you should be concerned about is getting to know that person and leaving a positive impression on them.
Step 4: Send Relationship Building Messages
Set a reminder to reach out to your new connection in a week with what I like to call a “Relationship Building” message. The sole purpose of this message is to provide something of value to that person with no ulterior motive. Giving without the expectation of receiving is a critical part of building authentic relationships with people.
I like to reach out with something relevant to their business goals. When done right, it shows that you understand their struggles and can plant the seed for a future client.
Here are a few examples of content you can share:
- Articles/Blog Posts
- Case studies
Be sure to use LinkedIn’s Relationship Tab to keep your prospects organized when sending your relationship building messages.
Step 5: Engage With Them on Shared LinkedIn Groups
Take a peek at the groups your prospects have joined. If you aren’t already a member of groups that your prospects are part of, start joining the most relevant ones that fit the target audience you are looking for. You can join up to 50 groups.
Not everyone is active on LinkedIn Groups but when you find a prospect that is, it provides an excellent opportunity to get on their radar in a way that’s demonstrating your expertise and credibility.
Step 6: Move Relationships Offline
This is the most critical step where most people fall short. Without this final step, there’s a whole lot of social without any selling. Once you’ve built enough rapport and established your credibility you have to make the transition to an offline conversation.
Remember it is offline that you convert a prospect to a client. Don’t try to sell or pitch anything without having a conversation and getting to know what the problems are your prospect is dealing with. Only then can you offer a solution.
If you’ve followed steps 1-6 properly, your prospect should be open to the idea of speaking offline since you’ve demonstrated:
- Your ability to provide value
Consistency Is The Key
Ultimately your success on LinkedIn will depend on your dedication each day to following the process laid out here. With the consistent addition of targeted connections to your network and building your reputation as an authority in your industry, you will begin attracting a steady stream of your ideal clients through your proactive efforts.