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7 min read

Why LinkedIn Is The Place To Be And How To Use It To Win Clients

LinkedIn has come an awfully long way in recent years and is growing rapidly. Its users have the highest disposable income of those on any social media channel and it’s where people are used to doing business. 

Sophie Cross created LinkedIn For Humans, an online, on-demand course transforming how people use LinkedIn for their businesses after she started to see big business gains from the channel. Sophie tells us why LinkedIn is the place to be to win clients right now. It’s not an entertaining channel which is why it’s underutilised which is also why there is more opportunity there for those who do use it properly.

 

Why LinkedIn and why now? 

LinkedIn used to just be a place for searching for jobs but its reputation has changed rapidly. They are calling it the ‘golden age’ of LinkedIn. Think of it now as Facebook was in its heyday but for business. There are currently 722 million monthly users on LinkedIn (October 2020). Which is a lot but what really matters is that your target market is on there, which they probably are. 

There is incredible potential for freelancers and small business owners to use this platform to get industry recognition, referrals, raise your profile and grow your business with it – if you look at it in the right way. If you treat yourself like a brand and LinkedIn like your own media publishing platform. If you post content that resonates with and offers help to your target market. 

Traffic to LinkedIn went up 2400% at the start of coronavirus. People are online a lot more now, they’re working from home, they’re looking for opportunities and networking online has become the norm. 

“I’ve always known that LinkedIn is my best source of quality leads, but I found that being present on the platform felt like a chore. Committing to try harder, I was crazy excited when Sophie announced her ‘LinkedIn for Humans’ course and got my name down on the list to get access at the earliest moment possible. It did not disappoint.

In fact, it’s done more than I ever thought possible. I just wanted to learn to love the platform, and already it’s thrown up an opportunity to work with a dream client.

I devoured the course in one night, loving every moment of Sophie’s wisdom and completing every exercise. Then I started putting her lessons into practice. Within 2 days (yes, 2 days!!):

  • I went from ranking in the top 3% in my industry to the top 2%, achieving an SSI score of 65/100.
  • I went from ranking in the top 25% of people in my network to the top 20%.
  • I received +38% views on my profile page.
  • I had a dream client reach out and request to connect with me.

In 48-hours Sophie has helped me to put my business on the path to great things, given me a huge morale boost…and learn to love LinkedIn (well, just a tiny bit!).

I’m now super excited to see how it evolves and support my current marketing campaigns and (hopefully!) delivers greater returns.”

Alice K Hollis, More Than Words

 

Laying your foundations 

As with any marketing, there isn’t any point in applying tactics until the foundations are in place. In this case, your foundation is your profile page. If you’re putting out content or commenting and liking other people’s posts the goal from that is that others will check out your profile page to see if they might want to work with you. So it’s really important that you make that profile page the best it can be.

Making your LinkedIn profile page the best it can be:  

  • Have a professional headshot done to use for your profile picture. 
  • Decide what you’re looking to achieve with LinkedIn and what you want people to know.
  • Dedicate time to it and update and tweak your profile often.
  • Find other people’s profiles that inspire you and ask yourself why?
  • You have 2600 characters for your summary and 220 for your headline – make the most of that space.
  • Make sure you put the most important things first.
  • Include keywords and phrases (you are searchable).
  • Use language, spacing and formatting that makes your summary easily readable.
  • Jam-pack your experience section.
  • Voice record your name and a message.
  • Ask for recommendations and endorsements from people who know you.
  • Make it personal to you.

 

LinkedIn is a really powerful search engine

Got a dream client, employer, collaborator or partner in mind? Chances are that they are on LinkedIn.

Use LinkedIn to search and research to find out about people and companies you’re targeting. You can see who they are, what groups they’re part of and what content they post and like. LinkedIn will even tell you other people similar to those that you’ve been searching for. 

Really read people’s profiles, look for things that you have in common and think about how you can help them. You can follow anyone or you can ask to connect with them. Connections work both ways so they will be following you too if they accept. Always send a personal note with every connection request. Use the opportunity to start a conversation, after all, that’s what it’s all about. 

And remember, there’s a big difference between sending someone a spammy DM and sending them a well thought through pitch. 

“Really read people’s profiles, look for things that you have in common and think about how you can help them. You can follow anyone or you can ask to connect with them. Connections work both ways so they will be following you too if they accept. Always send a personal note with every connection request. Use the opportunity to start a conversation, after all, that’s what it’s all about.”

Content creation if you’re not a content creator

Of all the people that are on LinkedIn, hardly any of them are regular content creators. Most are just watching, listening and lurking. This means that if you do regularly create content you can automatically stand out in the crowd. Good quality content can stay around for days and weeks getting engagement so it is worth putting the time in. And Google also now indexes LinkedIn posts.

But I don’t know what to post about, I hear you cry. I don’t have the time! I feel weird putting myself out there! 

Here are Sophie’s top ten tips for creating content on LinkedIn if you’re not a ‘content creator’… 

  1. Instead of trying to plan content, plan to learn new things and then share what you’ve learnt. 
  2. Instead of sharing a news link. Write a post with your own views on some latest industry news.
  3. Avoid any puffery. Don’t brag or sell. 
  4. Always ask yourself’ ‘what would be most helpful for me to share right now?’
  5. Be genuine, be yourself, be nice, be kind, be generous, be funny.
  6. Think of a post as the start of a conversation.
  7. You can’t make it too simple for people. 
  8. Go through your emails to find where you’ve answered questions for customers and repurpose them into posts. 
  9. Use the format that works best to showcase what you do whether that be images, video, articles, pdf.s or short posts but mix it up for your audience too if you can. 
  10. Remember, everyone feels awkward about posting at first and it does get easier but only with practice.

How to measure if it’s working

There are a few ways to measure if it’s working. For a start, you’ll probably realise you are getting offered more opportunities and feel that your profile is being raised in your industry.

But it’s always good to have a quantitative measure too. The best way to do this is by tracking your profile views. You can also look at LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI) which is a good way to get a bit competitive with yourself and with other people in your industry.

It’s based on four things: 

  • Establishing a personal brand
    Complete your profile and start publishing posts.
  • Find the right people
    Use LinkedIn’s search and research tools to find the people you want to connect with.
  • Engaging with insights
    Increase your posting frequency and its relevance to your target audience. Engage with and share others’ content. Write articles and get involved with groups.
  • Building relationships
    Connect with decision makers and nurture those relationships. 

On top of this, you should always be asking new customers where they found out about you so you can track which channels are working best for you.

 

Keep an eye on any unhealthy habits 

I think it’s always worth mentioning that you should make sure your relationships with any social media networks are healthy. And that you check in with yourself and keep an eye that you’re using it, it’s not using you. 

If you find yourself picking up any unhealthy habits like mindlessly scrolling, comparing yourself to others and letting it distract you when you should be doing other things then it’s time to reevaluate your use. 

 


 

LinkedIn is a really great way to grow your business network and keep yourself at the forefront of people’s minds. Let LinkedIn work alongside your other ways of building relationships. You should also be using email, phone/video calls, meetings and events to meet people and then connect with them and continue the conversation on LinkedIn. You’ll then start to appear in front of other people in their network too. Don’t be too focused on getting direct sales from LinkedIn but think of it as a way to get referrals and other business opportunities 

LinkedIn for Humans

 

If you want to learn to love LinkedIn and to transform the way you use it for yourself and your business then enrol on the online, on-demand and lifetime access LinkedIn For Humans course

“Genuinely [LinkedIn For Humans is] the best course I think I’ve done for my business – the results were instant and I see the numbers improve every day.”

Alice K Hollis, More Than Words

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Sophie Cross

Sophie Cross runs Thoughtfully Marketing School. Online, on-demand, and lifetime access marketing courses, support, and free resources if you’re a freelancer or ‘company of one’. 

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