Ask me what I think about LinkedIn and you’re likely to get a very different answer depending on the kind of day I’m having on the platform.
Good day? I probably just finished reading a valuable article about marketing, business, or maybe personal development.
I caught up with old friends. Made new ones. And learned something new.
Bad day? My inbox looks like a spam folder filled with requests, sales pitches, and the worst culprit of all… sales pitches secretly disguised as connection requests. Like a lion hiding in the tall grass waiting for the perfect moment to strike and hit me an offer that I simply “can’t refuse”.
Hard pass. But thanks.
The reality is if you want to learn how to actually use LinkedIn to get clients then it helps to know what marketing and business development strategies are actually working today, and which ones are just a waste of your time, money, and energy (…and may even be damaging your personal brand or business in the process).
After all, when it comes to getting more clients and growing your business, it’s clear that LinkedIn is the major business player in the social media space.
And yet, much of the advice and strategies that are still being suggested today are hopelessly outdated, ineffective, and sound like they came from a high-pressure sales managers playbook from 1987. Gross. No thanks.
The point is, LinkedIn can be one of your business’s highest quality lead and client generating sources, but, you need to make sure you’re doing a few very simple, but very important things right.
So let me show you how it’s done starting with one of the most basic, but equally important elements of all, your LinkedIn profile.
Optimize Your Profile
For as long as there has been social media marketing there has been the most basic and powerful element of them all, the personal profile.
A spot to showcase and highlight your skills, talents, experience, interests, and in the case of LinkedIn, broadcast to the world exactly what kind of people you can help, and what kinds of clients you’re looking for.
This is why, though you’ve probably already heard the advice to optimize your profile, it’s worth repeating here.
Even LinkedIn has publicly declared that pages with complete information get 30% more weekly views.
And 30% more views means 30% more opportunities to connect with clients.
So here’s where to start.
First, get a good picture. Probably smiling, and not one that looks like you cut out your ex from the photo.
Next, make sure your title is clear and compelling and avoid filling it with alphabet soup.
I mean, sometimes, credentials are important, like if you have a relevant Doctorate degree or PhD, but for the most part, unless they’re mandatory they just look messy. And confusing.
But what’s the best way to make a video ad?Well one option is to join the “just wing it crowd” by jumping in front of a camera and hitting “record:. But rarely do you just want to jump in front of a camera without a plan because more often than not you’ll find yourself a little bit tongue tied, or worse, starting to ramble with whatever pops into your mind. Freestyle video ads may make for an interesting and entertaining video but the odds of it converting into leads, clients, and sales, is pretty slim.
So let me show you how it’s done using my proven 4-part Facebook video ad framework.
So, find out what are the common terms for your title or position, use those. You’re much better off being clear, rather than creative. Now is not the time to get cute and clever.
The reality is that LinkedIn still very much acts like a search engine. Where people type in different keywords, categories, or industries and are then presented with people and posts that match what they were looking for.
Not only do you want to include these relevant keywords in your title and bio, but also in the content you create.
According to the content marketing institute, 96% of B2B, or business to business marketers now use LinkedIn to distribute their content.
LinkedIn suggests keeping things short and sweet. 150 characters or less. But look around and see what others in your industry are doing and use that as a better example to build off.
And if video is your thing then try going live.
Go live on LinkedIn and get 7X more reactions and 24X more comments than just posting a video. — LinkedIn
In fact, if I had to name the strategy that has provided the best “bang for my marketing buck” over the years it would be without a doubt, content marketing.
It works on LinkedIn (…and everywhere else too).
Make a Power List
One of the best ways to get more clients on LinkedIn is to actually be clear about who you want to attract in the first place.
Now, if you’re in a B2C or business to consumer business then making a list of all of your ideal clients would be nearly impossible, so you typically rely instead on a composite or a fictional representation that embodies the characteristics of your best customers.
B2B businesses on the other hand have the advantage of typically serving fewer, but larger clients and accounts. This is why a good step at this stage is to really deep dive into your clients and create a list of your top 100 clients.
Ideally, these would be individual people at whatever business you’re hoping to acquire, but they don’t necessarily need to be the founder or business owner. They could be the CEO, CFO, CMO, CTO, or a director, manager, or even a well-connected employee.
The point is, you need a goal, a target, and a list of people to pursue.
LinkedIn is, after all, a social media and networking platform. So let’s talk about the right way to do that next.
Make Industry Connections
One of, if not the most important element of LinkedIn is in making connections. This is important because often it can lead to a conversation or opportunity, but it also makes your connections more likely to see your content and updates which keeps you top of mind and more likely to be referred or recommended.
So let me share with you some of my top tips for making connections now starting with making sure to personalize your connection request. Look at their profile, read some of their articles or posts, and try to be human about the whole thing.
The reality is though, most of the people you’ll eventually want to connect with are busy, and probably inundated with connection and message requests.
For example, even though I don’t own any leather-bound books or live in an apartment that smells like rich mahogany…
I still have pages and pages of connection requests that I simply never had time to respond to.
It’s not that I’m not friendly, but most connection requests are kinda rough. They either contain a sales pitch right in the connection request itself or, the second I hit accept, I get pitched immediately in my inbox.
This got so bad that I eventually had to turn off messages in my LinkedIn account.
Part 4: Call To Action
So, if the person has connections enabled, then make sure to do a little bit of research and personalize your request.
But what can you do if they don’t have connections enabled? Well, first off you can follow them.
Then, good old-fashioned content marketing works like a charm here. So post content, engage with others’ content, and try to be present and active on the platform. Even 5–10 minutes a day is a great place to start.
So who should you connect with then?
Well for starters, people in your industry are great. Not only will they be the ones most likely to refer and recommend but you also already share a common bond.
Also, don’t be afraid to reach out and make connections with your Power List. It might take some time but the reality is that if you continually show up, engage, create good content, and offer value you will eventually end up on their radar.
All that said, there’s another entire section of the market that you may not have considered before. So let me share that with you now.
Capitalize on the Creator Economy
More people are leaving their jobs and striking out on their own than ever before. Don’t ignore them.
In fact, this new economy, known as the creator economy which is made up of social media influencers, bloggers, and videographers is the fastest-growing type of small business.
And more kids today would rather be a YouTube star than an astronaut. (…which is crazy, cause astronauts are cool!)
But it’s not just kids that are responsible for the growth of the creator economy.
As this study from the tilt shows that the bulk of the economy is being driven by Gen X, followed by Millennials, then Boomers, and lastly Gen Z.
Side note, most, myself included, don’t actually like the name influencer, as most are building real businesses, and not just earning money by doing silly dances on video.
Which is a good thing, because If I had to earn my living by dancing I’m pretty sure I’d starve to death.
Fortunately, on LinkedIn, there is no dancing required. Just good communication skills and the ability to show up and provide value. Something anyone can do. Anytime.
🚀 P.S. Before tactics and tools can work, the single most important thing is to get your business’s overall marketing strategy right. This One Page Marketing Cheatsheet will help.