When I launched my first three businesses I did so with a sizable budget to fund my startup costs. But, when I started my consulting business back in 2007 I found myself in a very different situation. For the first time in my life I had no income coming in.
My husband was in the midst of a long season of unemployment after I had already sold my previous businesses. We had three hungry mouths to feed at home, so I was determined to launch my new business leaner than ever before — like as close to zero startup costs as possible.
That’s when I decided to figure out the LinkedIn thing.
LinkedIn is an incredible free tool to market your business. Once I invested the time to figure out how to get better at using it, I was able to track 6 figures of annual new business all came from LinkedIn.
So, if you want to start monetizing LinkedIn here are 9 tips to help you start generating leads for your business:
Lead Gen Tip #1. Have the Right LinkedIn Success Mindset.
Thousands of business owners are killing it with LinkedIn, but new clients aren’t going to come flooding in if all you’re doing is logging into LinkedIn to accept connection requests and post a few comments here and there.
LinkedIn will work for you if you put forth the right consistent effort. I love this famous quote:
“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas. They are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” ~ Russell Conwell
If you’re not sure whether your target market is on LinkedIn watch this video where I share 5 reason why you should be marketing your business on LinkedIn.
Lead Gen Tip #2. Craft a Stellar LinkedIn Profile for Instant FIND-ability and GET-ability.
Keep in mind the user experience on LinkedIn. People will land on your profile in 2 ways. Direct search and an indirect search. Direct search is easy low hanging fruit because they are typically ‘buy intent’ – ‘hire intent’ searches. Potential clients search LinkedIn for the type of person they are looking to hire. This is why you want your profile to be SEO optimized for the right keyword phrases. Your LinkedIn profile should also have a professional looking photo of you. Most people skip profiles where there is no picture or only a logo. RELATED: LinkedIn Marketing Tips – Is Your LinkedIn Photo Costing You Clients?
Indirect search can happen in many ways. For instance, let’s say you post an update on your personal LinkedIn profile and you share a few tips about a frequently asked question you get. Let’s say you currently have 1,200 1st degree connections and 45 of those connections liked or commented on your post. Not only does your post get seen by your 1st degree connections, it also gets eyeballs from the connections of the people who commented on your post. So if your 45 comments each had an average of 1,200 connections then your one post can also reach 54,000 2nd degree connections. You’re bound to get some of those people who saw your content click on your profile to find out what exactly you do. They will skim your profile for all of 3 seconds. If they don’t immediately get what you do, they WILL MOVE ON to find someone else.
So, you don’t want to miss out on this EASY passive lead generation opportunity simply because they don’t get what you do. That’s why it’s so important that your LinkedIn profile captures an immediate GET-ability (and wow factor). WANT TO GET HELP ON YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE? See how our free and paid LinkedIn Profile Makeovers work here:
Naturally, you want to have the updates you post on LinkedIn reach more people. So, be sure you develop the habit of sending targeted connection requests to grow your 1st degree connections.
Lead Gen Tip #3: Create Customized Connection Requests
When searching for connections on LinkedIn, you are given numerous filters to choose from. This allows you to get really strategic with your search.
You are able to drill down to where someone lives, where they went to school, what their interests are, and so on. With this information, you can take it and personalize your connection requests.
Lets say, For Example, you search for CEO’s and filter by 2nd degree connections located in Philadelphia. Instead of sending a pre-baked template to someone, study their profile and find a way to insert a question about their city in your request.
You can also ask about things like the weather, their sports teams, and much more.
By creating customized connection requests, you break the ice and open up an easy dialogue with the other person.
Lead Gen Tip #4: Don’t Spam Connections. Talk to Them.
When it comes to messaging your connections on LinkedIn there are two common pitfalls occur. Pitfall #1. You send out tons of requests to connect, but then fail to talk to them after they accept. Pitfall #2. You blast straight into a sales conversion. From its inception LinkedIn was not built to be a marketplace to bombard members with advertisements and solicitations. LinkedIn was designed to foster relationships.
If you use LinkedIn to blast straight into solicitation messages to cold connections, you’re just going to burn through those connections.
Instead, just follow the natural sequence of relationship building when having 1-1 conversations on LinkedIn. For instance:
Welcome / build rapport message
Give value message
Value follow up message
Invitation to call, coffee, interview, etc
If you have a well written profile and tagline often times you can go from step 2 straight to step 6, but it’s good to have a 6 step sequence like this to continue the conversation for people who aren’t ready to be a client of yours.
If the idea of messaging people individually feels too daunting, I use a tool called Auto Text Expander to speed my responses to FAQ’s when I’m on desktop.
When I’m messaging people from my mobile I just use the keyboard shortcuts on my iPhone which functions the same way as Auto Text Expander. I can reply 10x faster when all I have to do it type in 2 or 3 letters I set up.
Lead Gen Tip #5: Use Trigger Events to Engage and Re-Engage
Not all of your prospects will be ready to talk about your services immediately. However, they may be ready in 6 or even 12 months from now.
Your goal is to remain in their minds, meaning you’ll need to continue engaging them.
Fortunately, this can be done easily with trigger events. These are situations that will provide a comfortable way for you to re-engage with someone if they’ve shown no interest in your solutions so far.
These situations include:
they engaged on one of your posts (liked, commented, or shared)
they viewed your profile
they’ve published an article on LinkedIn
they’ve posted a status update on LinkedIn
they had a job change
they were promoted
they engaged on one of your posts (liked, commented, or shared)
they or their company were mentioned in the news
they’ve published an article on LinkedIn
they’ve posted a status update on LinkedIn
By re-engaging in this manner, you are more likely to stay on their radar and be top of mind when the time comes that they need the solution you offer.
When you’re posting an update, whether it’s a simple text update, a picture, a video or audio LinkedIn allows users to follow various hashtags. This way, they can get content on a topic in their feed, even if they don’t follow specific influencers for it.
Additionally, when you post an update, LinkedIn will auto-suggest hashtags, which can give you some inspiration for what to include.
You can also do a quick search a topic in LinkedIn and you’ll be able to see the number of followers on that hashtag.
Here’s an excerpt from SEO expert Neil Patel where he shares the importance of posting videos on LinkedIn to grow your business.
Advantages of Video
Native videos are videos that are uploaded directly to LinkedIn or created on the platform itself, as opposed to embedding videos from other sites, such as Youtube, Vimeo and more.
There are numerous advantages to using native video. According to Neil Patel, “A staggering 84% of buyers reported that they had been convinced to buy after watching a brand’s video.
And that same study found that 97% of businesses believe that their video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.
That means the right type of video will help you sell and engage more.”
How to Upload Native Videos
To upload a Native Video, go to your feed, and you’ll see a button with a camera icon next to “start a post.
From here, You can directly upload a video between three seconds and ten minutes in length. This will appear directly to your update feed, allowing your audience to start watching your content immediately.
The dimensions of a native video can be from 256×144 to 4096×2304, and the orientation can be Horizontal or vertical, though vertical videos will be cropped into a square in the feed. Native video’s will also loop automatically.
Another advantage of Native Videos is that, Once you post a video, you are able to see detailed analytics. This includes things such as the number of views, likes, and comments your videos are receiving.
Additionally, you can also see audience insights, including top companies, titles, and locations of your viewers.
You can find these insights in the dashboard section of your LinkedIn profile. This works on both mobile and desktop.
Click the drop-down that says “Me” and scroll down until you see “Posts and Activity.”, which brings you to a feed of every post you’ve ever uploaded to LinkedIn.
At the bottom of each post, you’ll see a breakdown of it’s likes, comments, shares, and views.
With this information, you can begin to understand if you’re reaching the people and companies that matter to your brand.
Lead Gen Tip #8: Get to the Point Quickly in Your Videos
On Social media, attention spans are short, so there’s no time for you to waste. This means that you need to hook your viewers by getting to your point quickly at the beginning of your video.
LinkedIn themselves recommend capturing attention with a hook in the first 0 to 3 seconds.
From there, seconds 3 to 15 should be used to identify the problem or opportunity, and should address one of the biggest pain points of your potential customers, in order to really draw them in and entice them to watch the rest of your video.
After you have successfully hooked your viewers and drawn them in, seconds 15 to 50 should be used to describe the solution. Explain what you’re offering and why it’ll help your viewers.
Lead Gen Tip #9: Use Closed Captions for your videos
Let’s ask Darren Travers, who shares, “Showcase pages are add-ons to your LinkedIn company page for highlighting a specific business unit, initiative, product, service, or for targeting unique demographics. They are standalone pages, meaning people can follow them without following your main page.
If you have multiple target audiences or brand personas, you need Showcase pages. With them, you can avoid over complicating your main page and creating confusion for your audience by spreading out your offers and messages across multiple pages.
To create one, simply click ‘Admin tools’ on the right of your company homepage and select ‘Create Showcase Page’ to get started.”
Lead Gen Tip #11: Make Use of Sponsored vs Targeted Updates
If you have a LinkedIn page for your company, then you are able to take advantage of two powerful features. Targeted Updates and Sponsored Updates.
With Targeted Updates, you can target your content to a specific audience. This is useful for many reasons, such as if you want to show specific content to your investors, and other content to your consumers. However, the segment you are targeting must have at least 300 followers for you to use this feature.
Sponsored Updates: Sponsored updates are paid posts that allow you to reach a broader network. If you would like some content to get even more visibility, or if you want to get your content in front of people who aren’t following your Company Page (or your employees) you can pay to sponsor it.
To use targeted updates:
Click on start a post from your Company Page
Click on “Anyone” and you’ll be taken to “Who can see Your Post?”
Click on Targeted Audience and you’ll be able to customize what audience you want the post to
While Targeted Updates can be used to build an organic following, Sponsored Updates allow you to pay to get your posts in front of a larger audience to further build your following.
These will appear in the your audience’s feed and look like a normal post, the only difference being a “sponsored” label next to your company name.
You are also able to target specific audiences just like you can with Targeted Updates.
To use Sponsored Updates:
Post an update to your company page and click the “Sponsor Update” button.
Within the Campaign Manager, name your new campaign.
Target your campaign by choosing Location, Company, Skills, etc.
Choose Your payment option. You can select either Cost-Per-Click (CPC) or Cost per 1000 impressions (CPM).
So, there you have it. I just shared 11 tips to help you start generating more leads on LinkedIn. If you’re starting at zero, don’t be overwhelmed by trying to implement all 11 by tomorrow! Bookmark this page to review it each day and decide to implement one at a time until you add all 11.
If you’d like to nail down your LinkedIn profile faster check out our free and paid LinkedIn Profile Makeover services for you here:
QUESTION: What’s one thing that’s been working well for you on LinkedIn? Share With us in the Comments below!
A lot people I talk to think they need to be spending a ton of time to attract clients on LinkedIn. But, in my experience when you know where to spend your time and what to focus on, you can accomplish a lot in little 15 minute spurts.
LinkedIn is a great resource for marketing your business to help you attract clients on LinkedIn with ease. And it’s free. I used to spend $50,000/year in advertising. I love that all the marketing I do on LinkedIn is free!
Here are 12 tips to help you attract clients on LinkedIn in just 15 minutes a day.
1. Send 10 LinkedIn invites to continue to grow your network of your ideal clients and potential strategic referral partners. The more people you have in your network the easier it becomes to attract clients on LinkedIn. I noticed more prospects responded to my LinkedIn activity once I hit the 500 connection level.
2. Research 1 or 2 potential clients. This will help you target your services and they’ll be impressed by what you know about them.
3. Post 1 tip. Choose 1 tip to share that solves a common struggle among your target market. Like bees to honey your tips shared consistently attracts clients and draws them to you while building your thought leadership.
4. Scan and search for relevant LinkedIn groups to join. If you want to attract more clients on LinkedIn be found where your best prospects are. As of this writing (May 2018) I have found that the overall effectiveness of posting a new discussion inside LinkedIn groups have has shrunk quite a bit. Although there has been less engagement in LinkedIn groups, joining targeted groups is still a useful tactic to help you get connected with members inside the group who share targeted interest.
5. Keep a friendly eye on your competition. Watch what your competitors are up to from their LinkedIn activities and what they post. This will give you a good idea about how you can differentiate yourself from them and add value in your own unique way. *You probably want to change your settings to anonymous prior to viewing their profiles.
6. Improve your profile. Your LinkedIn profile will either make a great impression or a terrible one. You don’t want people to be confused as to who you help, what you do and why you’re different than your competitors. Remember, a confused mind says ‘no’. Go through your profile and make sure everything is complete, up-to-date and you’re communicating the right messaging. Read it as if you were a potential client or partner and notice what they would see.
7. Recommend 1 person in your network. One great way to get recommendations is to give them. Be thoughtful about who you give them to though. You should recommend those people who you have experienced their services.
8. Request 1 recommendation. Don’t just do great work for others. Ask them to recommend you as well. The best people to approach are those who already know, like and trust your work. There is a limit to how many people you can request recommendations from at one time. And you can’t ask someone more than once to recommend you if your request is pending. I know many of my own clients have told me what attracted them to me on LinkedIn was reading my client recommendations.
9. Leverage LinkedIn messaging. When you have a few minutes to kill, use the LinkedIn app on your smartphone to send and respond to messages. LinkedIn Messaging allows you to communicate with other LinkedIn members that you’re connected to. On LinkedIn, you can only message your 1st-degree connections (and, within group pages, fellow group members) for free. If you aren‘t connected, you always have the option to send an InMail. Next to each person’s photo you’ll see a green dot that lets you know they are online and on LinkedIn, which means people tend to message you back right away.
10. Create a quick video. Yes, you can create a video in just 15 minutes if you get out of the perfection trap. Smartphones have great video cameras which already has easy options to upload straight to YouTube from your phone. Just talk for 1-2 minutes where you can share a couple of quick tips. Then you can upload your video right from your phone straight to your page on LinkedIn. What attracts clients on LinkedIn faster is giving them the ability to feel like they can “meet” you even when you’re not available in person.
11. Share your comment on 1 or 2 LinkedIn posts in your feed. Ideally, you should look for posts on topics in your area of expertise. This is a great way to network with people and add value to conversations. Look for discussions that solve the problems of your ideal clients. When you add to the conversation, you’re showing the depth of your thought leadership on your topic and that not only attracts clients on LinkedIn the day you posted your comments, but even long after since your connections (and everyone else’s connections who commented) will have that post show up in all of their feeds as well.
12. Ask for an introduction. You can search LinkedIn for specific job titles as well as specific companies and geography and LinkedIn will show you a list of results and whether they are a 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connection. It will also tell you who you are connected to who is connected to the potential prospect you wish to be introduced to. So, who makes a great strategic referral partner for you? Who is the ideal client / decision maker? You can find them all on LinkedIn, find how you’re connected to them and just ask for an introduction. It’s really that simple and easy.
If you’re currently not getting a steady flow of new leads and new clients from LinkedIn you’re stepping over $30,000, $100,000, even $250,000+ in new business. It makes sense then, to invest in getting expert help.
Since you’ve gotten this far in reading my blog post on how to attract new clients on LinkedIn I want to reward you with $300 OFF my LinkedIn Quick Start which includes a private Profile Makeover session with me PLUS access to LinkedIn quick start video training. This offer is normally $397, but here’s the link where you can grab it for only $97
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QUESTION: What do you think is stopping you from unleashing the power of LinkedIn marketing for your business?
If you want to attract a steady flow of new clients to your business or you’re putting yourself out there for a better career opportunity, you need to be leveraging LinkedIn for business. While it is easy to learn how to attract new clients on LinkedIn, it’s also easy to quickly detract potential clients all from a simple little thing like your photo.
Recently, I was working with one of my clients, who is an Inc 5000 award winner. He had immediate openings to fill quickly for his fast growing company. As we sifted through the piles of resumes he received the President mentions to me that his first measure of short listing candidates to invite to the interview was to check out their Facebook and LinkedIn photos. His criteria in reviewing photos was not to find the most attractive people by model standards, but to learn what many of the photos implied about a person. I wholeheartedly agree.
As the saying goes, “a picture tells a thousand words.”
So, here’s an important LinkedIn marketing tip: if you are on LinkedIn in the hopes of attracting new clients the photo you choose to use as your calling card does have a significant impact. A good head shot can help you garner the same response as Renee Zellwegger’s character in the movie Jerry Maguire with her famous line, “You had me at hello”.
When it comes to profile photos on LinkedIn, I see all too often, people making poor choices for their profile photo. Here are 8 classic photo blunders on LinkedIn and what it communicates to potential prospects. As you read the following try to put yourself in your prospect’s shoes when they are looking to hire someone like you.
LinkedIn Photo Mistake #1: Blurry photo
What it tells us: We wonder about this person’s level of awareness (or in this case a definite lack of awareness). Can you not see your photo is blurry? We want to hire people who insist on attention to detail. So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? Make sure your photo is clear.
LinkedIn Photo Mistake #2: No Photo
What it tells us: This is a mystery person which makes it difficult to connect with, so we’re likely to simply move on. We can’t establish the know-like-trust factor with a faceless profile. People do not do business with companies. People do business with people. In fact, often the first reason why others decline the connection requests is when they receive one with no photo. So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? Don’t be shy. Upload a photo of yourself.
What it tells us: We wonder what you are trying to hide if you choose to be anonymous by putting a cartoon photo instead of a photo of yourself. You wouldn’t show up to a client with a paper bag over your face, so why project the same effect on your LinkedIn page? So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? You’re not being creative by putting a cartoon image on your account. Use a photo of yourself.
LinkedIn Photo Blunder #4: Bathing Suit Photo
What it tells us: We can only assume this person is flighty, ditzy, way too self absorbed and lacks E.Q. — it’s hard to miss that LinkedIn is a BUSINESS social networking platform. So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? Have a photo of yourself dressed professionally. LinkedIn is social networking for the business community.
LinkedIn Photo Blunder #5: Photo where you’re not smiling
What it tells us: A person who isn’t smiling appears cold, rigid, unhappy and unfriendly. We naturally gravitate away from these types of personalities. If you are trying to attract new clients the first rule of sales is to establish the know-like-trust factor. Smiling goes a long way to helping your like-factor. So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? Smile.
LinkedIn Photo Blunder #6: Photo with sunglasses on
What it tells us: This person looks shady! Personality is important. You can emit your personality even from a photo, but that requires we can see your eyes. So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? Ditch the photo with you in shades – not matter how cool you think you look in them.
LinkedIn Photo Blunder #7: Poorly Cropped Photo
What it tells us: You don’t make the effort to crop out that other person’s shoulder or just to snap another picture even from your smartphone. We want to do business with people who take initiative, go the extra mile for us and aren’t lazy. So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? Learn how to use your photo cropping tool. You can even crop photos right from your smartphone.
LinkedIn Photo Blunder #8: A Vacation Photo (too casual with too much in the background – more appropriate for Facebook)
What it tells us: We perceive this “vacation-mode” person as being too laid back. When considering a new hire, whether it be employees or hiring your business/company, vacation vibe photos can imply this person might not be reliable, productive or efficient. We all know that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. A good head shot for your LinkedIn profile does not need to be expensive or necessarily done by a professional photographer. It should however, project your personality, confidence, professionalism, trust and warmth. So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? If your favorite photo of yourself has other things in the background — take another photo in front of a neutral background.
While your photo is the first impression, there is more to leveraging LinkedIn to help you attract a steady flow of new clients. In fact, if LinkedIn is currently not generating at least six figures in new business for you I’d like to invite you take a look at my next 8-week LinkedIn training program here.
QUESTION: What is your #1 burning question about LinkedIn to help you attract more clients? Share your questions in the comment box below.
Thousands of businesses use LinkedIn to connect with new clients every single day – but for some reason, you can’t seem to imitate their success. Let’s say LinkedIn has never worked for your business, and you think that it never will. Worst of all, you can’t figure out why.
I have the answer: the biggest barrier to LinkedIn success is your own attitude.
Adjusting your LinkedIn Mindset
Finding new clients requires a positive attitude about LinkedIn — a belief that it can work for your business, and a willingness to find out how. To help you embrace the potential of LinkedIn, we’re going to look at some of the most common misconceptions – the limiting beliefs that are hindering your ability to find new clients. This is more than just opinion – we’re going to let statistics do the talking, and prove why you need to develop a positive LinkedIn mindset for finding new clients!
LinkedIn Misconception #1. ‘LinkedIn only works for businesses in the United States’
Most people don’t realize just how global the LinkedIn network is. LinkedIn has over 260 million users, in over 200 hundred countries – and less than a third of those users are based in the US. LinkedIn is huge in countries as diverse as China and the Netherlands, making it a viable source of clients for countries the world over. If you’re a local business, finding new clients through local groups and businesses is easy. And, if you’re international, you can target clients from virtually anywhere in the world.
LinkedIn Misconception #2. ‘Twitter and Facebook are better for generating leads’
LinkedIn alone accounts for over two thirds of all visits to corporatewebsites from social media channels. Facebook generates just 17% of these visits, and Twitter even less, at 14%. As a result, LinkedIn generates more leads for businesses than any other social network. If you aren’t active on LinkedIn, your business is missing out traffic, leads and clients.
LinkedIn Misconception #3. ‘LinkedIn has never generated any clients for me – why should it now?’
LinkedIn is a rapidly growing network, with a year-on-year increase in users of almost 40%. In other words, the odds of finding new clients increase by almost a half every single year. If you haven’t been able to generate new clients, you simply need to try a new approach – and abandoning LinkedIn altogether will cost your business more every year.
LinkedIn Misconception #4. ‘LinkedIn isn’t relevant to my industry’
Regardless of your business niche, you’ll be able to find special interest community groups on LinkedIn full of industry leaders and relevant discussions. All types of business people are active on LinkedIn – from post-graduates looking for experience and knowledge, through to CEOs of multinational companies to athletic coaches from high schools and universities and even facility directors who deal with building maintenance – so regardless of your target audience, finding new clients in your industry has never been easier.
LinkedIn Misconception #5. ’I don’t believe that you can generate leads by posting comments’
Commenting on LinkedIn discussions allows you to show your expertise, and develop relationships with potential clients. If you’re able to solve someone’s problem, they’re going to be grateful to you. They’ll view you and your business as helpful, authoritative and trust-worthy which increases their interest in working with you. Commenting is more than showing off – it’s helping people with your knowledge and thought leadership and nothing is more powerful for finding new clients.
In closing, the statistics don’t lie – LinkedIn is a powerful tool for finding new clients, and if you and your business are struggling to capitalize on that, you might need to adjust your mindset.
QUESTIONS: Have any of these misconceptions stopped you from finding new clients? What other factors are still limiting your LinkedIn success? Let me know in the comments below!