Unlike popular social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, LinkedIn is a networking platform designed to help you build and expand your professional network. With LinkedIn, making professional contacts is easier now than ever before, whether you’re looking to build your career with a company or build your own business with freelancing.
Using social media to find clients is a powerful way to meet and engage in conversations with others. However, with LinkedIn, the audience you are speaking with is much different than audiences on Instagram and Facebook. Here are a few statistics of the LinkedIn audience:
Think of your LinkedIn profile like your Facebook business page. It’s a place for potential clients to come and find out about you and your business, and also look for positive feedback and reviews.
Lastly, make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete. Be sure to fill in relevant professional experience, any volunteer work you have done, your skills, and attach any other work that is relevant to your credibility. The more information you have on your LinkedIn profile, the more reputable and trustworthy you will seem to potential clients.
One of the most important things to do when trying to find clients on LinkedIn is to clearly define exactly who you are and what value you provide, along with very clear pricing on your services. Exceptional clarity in your message, your value, and your services can go much further than any other attempts at expanding your network. Take the time to get clear on your message so you can take focused, intentional actions with your network, versus merely casting a wide net across LinkedIn.
Who is your ideal client? What weaknesses do they have, what areas are they struggling in, and how can your service and expertise fill in these gaps for them? Answer these questions beforehand and deliver this message to your ideal client when you meet them.
Don’t forget that not all businesses and connections on LinkedIn are across the world from you. Many of them might be in your own city a short distance away from you. Don’t forget local meetups, groups, and other activities on LinkedIn that could help you meet new prospective clients. Search out locals who might be in need of your service, and engage with them when appropriate.
Lastly, many times you are able to see who has viewed your profile on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to reach out and connect with these people as well. Take the time to message them and ask to connect in your professional network. Even if they don’t respond, know that you’re reaching out and taking action in your business as an entrepreneur.
One powerful feature on LinkedIn is the ability to publish content. Using the blog feature, you can write articles or mini blog posts about any relevant topic to your industry. As well, you can use hashtags to target your content in front of a specific audience. Tagging individuals is another feature you can add to your content, for notifying anyone who you think might be interested in your content. Each of these features encourages people to engage with your content and share on their own timelines.
Types of content that do well on LinkedIn are mostly informative and engaging, such as reviews of your business & testimonials, client’s case studies, business news/updates, and projects you’re currently working on. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn is very business-centric versus influencer-centric. Your audience is more likely to read through your professional content than posts on Facebook.
Finding clients on LinkedIn depends largely on how you engage with the right people. Join LinkedIn groups where your clients are likely to hang out and make meaningful connections with them. Don’t self-promote – instead, focus on building the value and reputation of your online business.
Engage with sincerity. Like their posts, comment meaningfully, share your content (in the right place at the right time, not for self-promotion), and share your business news, updates, and events when it’s relevant and helpful for others.
Simply put, if you want more clients, you need to make more connections! Making more professional connections on LinkedIn affects your ability to be seen for many reasons. Making more connections means:
Making new connections on LinkedIn isn’t as scary as it was trying to make friends in high school. You also don’t have to feel pressured or obligated to connect with someone you have nothing in common with. In 3 easy steps, you can start making connections every day with LinkedIn:
STEP 1: Type in the occupation of your ideal client into the LinkedIn search bar (ie, florist).
STEP 2: Filter the search results to ‘People’ and then filter it even further by selecting ‘Connections’ > 2nd and filtering by ‘Location’ too.
STEP 3: Connect with anyone that has a profile picture.
Try to create as many connections as you can, but only with people you want to connect with. Avoid networking with people who are not your ideal client or don’t work in your industry. The ultimate goal is not a high number of connections, it’s actively engaged network connections.
When someone has accepted your request to connect and they become your new connection, be sure to send them a simple message such as, “Hi [name], Thank you for accepting my request to connect! Tell me something interesting you’re working on right now :)”. This can be the beginning of a meaningful conversation with your new connection where you can in turn build trust, value, and a good reputation with them.
If you're an online entrepreneur and run a small business, you can't afford not to be on LinkedIn! Unlike other social media platforms, there are an endless amount of potential clients who are purposefully looking to make professional connections. Start today by getting your profile completely set up and commit to consistently and authentically engaging with others on LinkedIn for 10-15 minutes per day. Track your results (comments, messages, likes, new connections, etc.) on a weekly basis to see what works and what doesn't. This type of data can help optimize how you use your time on the platform.
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