If you are like most people, you’ve struggled with finding ways to attract more clients with LinkedIn.
If you are a B2B (business-to-business) business owner, entrepreneur, professional service provider or salesperson, LinkedIn can be a goldmine for client acquisition.
Similar to a business-networking event, it allows its users to connect and build relationships in a professional setting. But unlike at an in-person event, users have access to a much larger pool of prospective clients and referral partners.
In fact, LinkedIn allows you to:
- have un-gated access to the decision-makers at the highest levels in a business or organization (CEOs, CMOs, VPs, etc.)
- distribute your content to a global audience
- drive more traffic to your blog and website
- generate more leads – it’s 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook or Twitter.
While this sounds impressive, you may still be wondering why and how LinkedIn is so effective for generating leads, clients and sales in a B2B environment.
It’s simple: LinkedIn is the ultimate relationship-building platform. With such a large number of professionals and executives using the platform, LinkedIn gives you direct access to your target market. It provides you with the ability to find, connect and then build relationships with your prospects. This dramatically increases the effectiveness of your sales efforts and can often shorten the length of your sales cycle.
In this article, I’ll show you eight simple steps to attracting more clients on LinkedIn today.
Follow These Steps to Attract More Clients with LinkedIn
Step 1: Create a professional presence
Having a compelling professional profile is critical to your success on LinkedIn and your ability to attract more clients.
Before you begin any activities that will put you in front of key decision-makers, you must ensure you have a profile that is professional and client-focused.
I cannot stress enough the importance of this step. Consider the fact that many of your prospects will get the first impression of you and your business from your LinkedIn profile.
Ask yourself, what kind of impression does your profile currently make?
You wouldn’t want to meet key decision-makers wearing sloppy or unprofessional attire. In the same vein, you do not want to begin an outreach campaign until your LinkedIn profile represents you in a way that will help – not hinder – your efforts.
Step 2: Identify your prospects
Using LinkedIn for lead generation requires you to have a clear grasp of your target market so you can search for it in the most effective way.
Begin by thinking of common titles your ideal clients would use to describe themselves. This will be a crucial part of finding the right prospects to connect with on LinkedIn.
The titles your prospects use often relate to their vocations. For example, they may use titles such as:
- Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
- Director of Learning and Development
- VP Sales
Once you have a few titles you want to target, you can easily find them using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search.
LinkedIn Pro Tip:
LinkedIn search allows the usage of modifiers to help you get even more targeted results using Boolean operators. This makes finding your ideal prospects on LinkedIn highly effective and very targeted.
Step 3: Send a connection request
When you find a prospect, make contact with them by sending a personalized connection request.
It’s too easy to send the standard connection request on both desktop and mobile versions of LinkedIn.
Don’t make that mistake.
I get it. LinkedIn makes it easy to accidentally send the default connection request, especially on the mobile app. You must consciously avoid sending the default invitation. Take the time to research your new contact and write a personalized connection request.
A personalized LinkedIn connection request gives your potential connection a good reason to click the Accept instead of Ignore button in response to your request. If someone clicks Ignore, they will also have the option to select “I don’t know this person.”
WARNING: If you receive an excessive number of “I don’t know this person” responses, your account could be restricted, landing you in LinkedIn jail. This will destroy your ability to connect with prospects and expand your network.
Many people receiving generic connection requests often ask themselves, “Why is this person trying to connect with me?”
This brings me to the goal of the connection request message. You must have a personalized message that answers that question in 300 or fewer characters.
To write a personalized message, start by viewing the person’s profile to learn what is important to them personally and/or professionally.
If you don’t know what to include in your connection request message, these conversation starters will help:
- find commonality
- comment on something in their profile
- comment on content they have shared
- comment on or compliment their company
- compliment them
Step 4: Send a thank-you message
Once a prospect has accepted your connection request, your next step is to engage in a dialogue by sending them a thank-you message.
The goal of this message is to establish rapport, start a dialogue and request nothing in return.
In this message, in addition to thanking them for connecting, I suggest you find something to compliment them on. Perhaps ask a simple question to start a dialogue.
Be sure to remember that you never, ever want to pitch anything. If you ask the right question, you can be successful at starting a dialogue with them.
Step 5: Follow up again with one or more messages
Keep the momentum going after you send a thank-you message by sending a follow-up message designed to continue building rapport and to provide value to your new connection.
It can be beneficial to reach out with something relevant to their business goals. When done right, it shows you understand their struggles and starts to position you as a potential resource for them. The content you share could be your own or somebody else’s.
When deciding what content to share, you must consider these questions:
- What are they interested in?
- What is important to them?
- What problems do they face?
Again, do NOT pitch anything. Your goal is to begin building a relationship and position yourself as someone who can add value to their business.
Typically, you will send this type of message approximately one week after the first message. You can continue to send more, but space them out so that your new connection doesn’t feel they are being bombarded.
Once enough rapport has been established, you can request to have a conversation with them by phone.
Step 6: Connect and engage on other social media platforms
It can get a bit awkward to consistently message someone on LinkedIn if you haven’t yet made enough progress to engage in a dialogue. Engaging with your new contacts and their content on LinkedIn and other social media platforms can be an excellent option in this case.
Twitter can be a great platform for this because of the relaxed engagement style. You won’t seem like a creepy stalker (nor do you have to become “friends”) if you are interacting with or sharing their tweets.
Always ensure that every interaction you have with your lead is professional and makes sense from their perspective. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the content they post to gain better insights into what is important to them, what challenges or needs they have, and the language they use.
LinkedIn Pro Tip:
Create a Twitter list for your prospects. When you find someone on Twitter who is also your LinkedIn connection, add them to that list so you can keep track of them and engage with them when appropriate.
Step 7: Move relationships offline
This is the most critical step in the social selling process where most people fall short. Without this step, there’s a whole lot of social without any selling. Once you’ve built enough rapport, you have to transition to an offline conversation before you can have a sales conversation.
For most B2B businesses, the only way to convert a prospect to a client is to move the conversation offline.
After establishing rapport and starting a dialogue via private messages, your next goal is to schedule a phone call or meeting.
LinkedIn Pro Tip:
If your prospect responds positively to this message, move right into scheduling that offline conversation. If a prospect responds negatively, remove them from your prospect list.
Those who don’t respond at all will need to be nurtured more over time. Not everyone you consider a prospect is an ideal prospect. And some may just not be ready at this point.
Step 8: Use trigger events to engage and re-engage
The steps above won’t work with some prospects, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on them. Many factors may contribute to why your messages might not generate any interest from a prospect.
Not all your prospects will be ready to talk about your services at this point. That doesn’t mean they won’t be ready in six or 12 months from now. The key is to remain top of mind with these individuals. That means you need to continue to engage them.
You can do this easily with trigger events that will provide a comfortable way for you to re-engage them even if they’ve shown no interest in your solutions so far.
The following trigger events allow you to engage with or send a message to your connections on LinkedIn comfortably:
- they viewed your profile
- they had a job change
- they got a promotion
- they liked, commented on or shared one of your posts
- they were mentioned in the news
- their company was mentioned in the news
- they’ve published an article on LinkedIn
- they’ve posted a status update on LinkedIn
In each instance, you want to ensure your engagement is still relevant to each person and/or circumstance. The goal is to stay on their radar, provide value, build trust, and be top of mind when they finally need the solution you offer.
LinkedIn Pro Tip:
LinkedIn will email you notifications and advise you of a variety of trigger events. For example:
- new professions and professional milestones
- connections in the news
When you receive these types of messages, see if the trigger event represents an opportunity for you to engage with a person identified in these notifications from LinkedIn.
Consistency is the key to attracting more clients with LinkedIn
People buy from people they know, like and trust. Mostly, people buy from people they have built relationships with.
It takes similar time and effort to build relationships online as it does to build them face-to-face. I have provided you with eight steps you can follow to accomplish this. To attract more clients with LinkedIn, you must be consistent in following this process.
If you have been struggling getting enough B2B leads and would like to have a LinkedIn lead generation system that consistently generates new leads and clients every month, let us build it for you. We know what works. We will do the hard work for you and then show you how to deploy your lead gen in as little as 15-30 minutes a day. Learn more here.