LinkedIn can be one of the most effective social networks for your business if you know how to use it correctly. Unfortunately, not many people are using it to its full potential. According to LinkedIn, the platform offers “un-gated access to decision makers.” Whether you want to distribute your content to a wider audience or drive more qualified traffic to your blog or website, LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook or Twitter.
So there are all of these benefits, but how does that apply to a B2B business scenario where you are trying to acquire new clients? The golden moment with LinkedIn is when you connect with someone you know and have access to their web of connections. The key to attracting potential clients are these relationships. With LinkedIn, you have to put the same thinking into building relationships with those individuals as you do with clients.
So where do you start? Here are some tips on attracting potential clients via LinkedIn.
1. First Impressions Are Key
Your profile is the first thing that people see, and you have to take full advantage of that. Don't shortchange yourself. Make sure your personal and business profiles have full descriptions, examples of past projects, photos, and anything else your profile allows you to include. This is your chance to show whom you are without saying a word, so you better make the most of it. You would not show up show up to a business conference looking anything less than your best, so why should your profile?
2. Connect, Connect, Connect
This seems like an obvious step, but it is all about how you approach it. Researching your targets and leading with the right words can make all the difference. What kinds of people are you looking for? What are their positions? What area are they in? Whom do they work for? You should never be going in blind, and putting a little more time into the process makes all the difference. LinkedIn offers a great search function, but the more information that you have to search with, the better it works.
3. Follow Up
Messages get buried, it is a fact of social media. You get a notification, then another one, then another one, and soon you forget the first. Following up will not only bring your message to the top of their inbox, but it will also show that you are putting extra time and effort into reaching them. It happens to the best of us, so take the moment and follow up.
4. Bring the Connection Offline
So you have made a great connection, what's next? Take advantage of it by bringing the relationship offline. Break the barrier between the online world and in-person networking. Invite them into the office for a quick chat or, if you work in a virtual office, initiate meeting up for lunch or coffee. Don't let the connection stop with messages exchanged back and forth.
LinkedIn is what you make of it. Taking charge and going after what you want makes all the difference. It can be the perfect tool; all you have to do is use it correctly.