It has moved from being just a job-seeker platform to a marketing powerhouse. Businesses of all sizes and types are taking advantage of LinkedIn to promote their offerings, connect with potential customers/partners, and grow sales.
If you’re like most business owners, creating a consistent inflow of new leads is your top priority. But you can’t successfully do this on LinkedIn unless you have a well laid out strategy with specific lead generation activities that you’re regularly implementing.
In this article, you’ll learn actionable insights that you can start applying right away to turn LinkedIn connections into clients easily.
You might be wondering if LinkedIn is everything it’s touted to be. Can it get your business those precious leads you’re looking for? How effective is it compared to other social media marketing channels or Google Ads?
Studies have consistently shown that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at B2B lead generation than Facebook and Twitter. Also, LinkedIn boasts over 90 million senior-level influencers, with one-third of its members in upper management positions, and more than 63 million users who have authority to make company-related decisions.
Advertising on LinkedIn can enable you to reinforce brand credibility, distribute relevant content, strengthen your online reach, boost awareness, increase traffic, and drive sales from your website. And by following guidelines like the best times to post on LinkedIn, you give yourself a chance to reach the right people at the right time.
This shows that there are many opportunities to turn LinkedIn into a lead generation machine for your brand. If you just focus on building relationships with the right people, you can keep your sales pipeline full of high-quality leads that can be converted into loyal customers.
Attracting clients on LinkedIn can be quite tricky. You want to grab their attention without appearing overly promotional or spammy.
Here’s a five-step action plan that can help you draw in premium prospects and turn those connections into meetings and new business.
Once you know who you’re trying to attract, you have to look for Linkedin members that match that ideal customer profile and go after them.
You can discover prospects by leveraging your network to gain warm introductions from people you’re already connected to or by checking your notifications and activities pages to see who has been looking at your profiles recently, as well as other profiles they viewed.
This neat trick will unearth a good number of new leads for your business.
Joining and participating in groups where your target audience likes to spend time is another way to land quality prospects on LinkedIn. Give thoughtful, valuable, and interesting responses to questions and opinions in the group, and share great content to get other members to notice you.
Check out the skills endorsements and recommendations section of your prospect’s profile and take note of the people who endorsed them. Those people will likely be their colleagues, business partners, and acquaintances who share their interests or work with companies that fit your client profile. And just like that, you’ve got a bigger pool of relevant prospects.
Also, you can use the advanced search filter to find prospects that match highly targeted criteria like specific locations, languages, industries, or even people who work for a particular company.
Don’t forget to spy on your competitors’ networks and try to flip their clients.
Prospective clients won’t automatically sense the value you can provide them or magically realize that you want to do business with them. You must make a move to establish rapport and set the stage for conversion by sending a connection request.
If you want to make a good impression and get them to accept your request, send a personalized invitation or message. Give them a reason to want to network with you.
Start by going through their profile to learn as much as you can about their professional and personal lives. Where do they work? What’s their job title, skills, interests, academic background?
Check out the content and updates they’ve shared recently, the people they follow, or the groups they belong to. That’s how to get clients on LinkedIn – it’s the one place where being a stalker pays off.
Use the insights you learn to craft a message that feels personal and encourages them to accept your request, rather than sending a generic message that will likely end in rejection or, even worse, in your profile being reported as spam.
For instance, you could mention something you find interesting about the prospect or comment on something specific from their profile, like where they studied if you happen to share the same alma mater.
Your job doesn’t end after your connection request is accepted. You must keep engaging with them, learning more about them, and providing value to strengthen the connection.
You can send them a welcome message to thank them for accepting your invitation, ask a question, compliment them on something in their profile, comment on a status update…anything that starts a conversation.
Leave meaningful and valuable comments on their posts, endorse their profile, congratulate them on important milestones, and offer help when they need it. This will ensure you stay on their radar and move them to interact with you.
Another way you can engage with your connections is to ask for their feedback and opinion on a new product or service. It’ll allow them to get to know more about your brand while you gather useful insights that’ll help you improve.
Remember, there should be no strings attached to the things you do at this point. Don’t try to directly sell them anything yet. Asking for a prospect’s contact information or making an offer too early could make them reluctant to take action. Just focus on educating clients, creating dialogue, boosting engagement, and strengthening your rapport with them.
This is where most businesses fall short – not building upon the connection after the connection has been established. Avoid making this mistake. Now that you have their attention, show them your experience, and help them see how you can solve their problems by sharing valuable and relevant content.
Give an industry update related to their business or share a reflection on your industry’s evolution through the years. Send a quick message with a link to an article or post they might find useful. Share a case study about a project you did and how your products or services helped others. Or send them an invitation to your next webinar.
Your goal is to create sufficient trust with your new connection that paves the way for a sales pitch down the line and increases customer retention. You want to add value to their lives and businesses so that when the time comes for you to suggest a meeting or phone call, they won’t think twice about accepting.
Before sharing content with potential clients, think about their interests, things that are important to them, and the challenges they currently face, then tailor your content accordingly.
Keep in mind that your personalized messages must not include a sales offer or pitch. Don’t try to advertise your products and services, or you’ll risk destroying the relationship and losing the connection.
Additionally, don’t constantly message potential clients with content, so you don’t end up annoying them. Only send such messages when the content is highly relevant.
LinkedIn is excellent for finding and getting to know potential clients, but it’s not where you close sales. You need to get the prospect to engage with you via an in-person meeting, video chat, or phone call. This is how you can successfully turn them into revenue-generating leads.
Never keep a relationship with a prospect solely on LinkedIn. Once you’ve provided value and built enough trust in your brand, many prospects will be happy to have a sales-oriented offline conversation with you.
It’s through this offline discussion that you’ll come to better understand their challenges and how your products or services can provide solutions for them, and ultimately, where you’ll seal the deal.
As you can see, the process of sourcing and winning clients is not as complicated as you think. All you have to do is play the right cards to get in the door and have the prospect’s ear, so you convince them to patronize your business instead of that of your competitors.
Search for your ideal clients, reach out to them with customized and targeted messages, build your connection by providing value, engage them with relevant and exciting content, and move them offline to finalize the sale.
Now that you know how to turn LinkedIn connections into clients, invest your time and energy in these five steps – results will be sure to follow.If you’re not already using LinkedIn for your business, you’re missing out on a ton of leads and revenue, so sign up and get active.
Mark Quadros is a SaaS writer and marketer that helps SaaS brands create and distribute rad content. On the personal front, Mark is a digital nomad who’s been traveling the world since 2018.