Having a profile that’s not completed on Linkedin can stand in your way of getting clients. Shirley Anthony, who is an author, speaker and owner of Marketing Breakthroughs, a marketing consultancy operating for over twenty years, says it’s not that difficult to get your first client on Linkedin.
She advises that entrepreneurs actively spend 10 minutes daily on Linkedin, the social media platform for professionals and businesspeople.
Here is Anthony’s marketing strategy to get your first client on Linkedin:
1. Put together a good profile
– You’re more likely to be found on Linkedin if your profile is completed. Fill in all the different areas of your profile, because Linkedin will rate you for doing this. The (profile strength) levels you’re rated for are Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert and All-Star. If your profile strength is All-Star (the best level), Linkedin will make it easier for people to find you.
– Make use of commonly searched words keywords; the words I use are branding strategy and marketing because people are most likely to search for that if they’re looking for someone with my expertise.
2. Use a professional photo for your profile
– You shouldn’t have a profile without a picture.
– Don’t use a social snap – rather use a professional picture. On Linkedin people want to see a professional image of you. The front cover of my book is my profile picture because I want to punt that I am an author.
3. Get endorsements for your skills, ask for recommendations
Connect with clients, former colleagues, and people in your industry. Write a good letter of recommendation for a few people, then send it to them. Ask them if they could do the same for you. If you get your skills endorsed by others, it carries far more weight than what you say on your profile. It gives a good impression.
You also need recommendations from clients. I’ve got nine recommendations and 34 people have endorsed my skills.
4. Join industry or interest-related groups
On the right corner of Linkedin – under “Work” category is “Groups”. Find a group and see who is in the group, scroll to see the comments in the group, and see what you can write about to make yourself relevant. An American entrepreneur did this where he went into private groups to be helpful to people, when people are asking questions he responded to them. That way people see what he was skilled at. People like people who serve them first.
5. Regularly publish content on your news feed
Publish at least two or three posts a week, even if it’s content you’ve read. People get to see your visibility. It would be good if you write and publish your own articles, that way you become an authority.
6. Make use of the premium package (if you have it)
You can buy the premium package from Linkedin. If you have the premium package, you can for example, search for people that can help with your business. Let’s say you have a packaging business, search “packaging directors South Africa”.
You can send them a private message and start building a relationship. Firstly, introduce yourself and ask them if you can if you could add them on your newsletter list. Later, take the relationship offline, offer a free strategy session.
7. Start building online connections
– When you introduce yourself for the first time, say something like “Hi, I see we both know John Jeffries…”
– At the second introduction you can then say “I have a newsletter on marketing, could I send you my newsletter?”
8. Take online connections offline
After speaking to them online a few times, ask them for coffee or tea or offer a free strategy session. People will feel like they know you well because of online connections.
9. Make the most of the notifications
You can be clever with the notifications you get. Linkedin has predicted text, but rather try to personalise the messages you send. If someone got promoted, congratulate them or if it’s their birthday, say happy birthday.