If I were granted three wishes, I’d wish for:
- More clients
- More repeat buyers
- More referrals
But how do you turn wishes into reality? You create a system with the resources at your disposal.
For the past six years, I’ve been using a FREE online tool to consistently grow my online advertising consultant agency business.
It’s an eight-step process for getting new clients that takes thirty minutes a day – and you can put it to use, too.
Want to know what it is?
Yes, that “boring” LinkedIn you thought was just a place to find a new job.
I personally use these eight steps to create a LinkedIn profile that creates 10-15 sales appointments every week and a very comfortable six-figure business – not to mention this strategy helped inform my book, Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business.
And I’m about to share these steps with you now.
NOTE: Before we begin, the key to success with this eight-step strategy is simple:
Pretend you’re sitting across the table at Starbucks with your LinkedIn connection and focus on helping them solve their biggest business challenge.
No selling. Just show genuine interest in helping them with no expectation of them returning the favor.
Ready to get started? Let’s go!
How to Get New Clients on LinkedIn Step 1: How to Identify Your Ideal Customer Avatar
To create a LinkedIn profile that generates a steady stream of clients, you first must start with your customer.
Who are you looking for? If you don’t know who you are looking for, how will you know when you find them?
To get new clients using LinkedIn, you need to know…
- Who your ideal client is
- What keeps them up at night
- Where to find them
To learn that and identify who your ideal customer is, start by looking at your current customer list. Find the top 20% who spent the most money with you last year. Then, throw away the rest of the list because 80% of your revenue is coming from the top 20%.
Next, take the characteristics of your top 20% and fill out the DigitalMarketer Customer Avatar Worksheet. This will allow you to create your ideal customer persona(s).
Once you know who you’re looking for, you can figure out…
How to Get New Clients on LinkedIn Step 2: The Problem You Solve for Your Customers
This comes from the Challenges and Pain Points section of the Customer Avatar Worksheet.
Identify two to five challenges your prospect is facing – what keeps your customer up at night?
It may look something like this when filled out:
Knowing the pain points and challenges your avatar faces will help you identify what problem(s) you solve for them.
This will allow you to go beyond the product or service you offer and hit on what really matters: the end result and the feeling they’ll get from the end result.
Remember, people buy end results. They don’t buy products.
For instance, a person doesn’t go to a hardware store to buy a hammer. They go to a hardware store to buy a hammer so they can hang pictures of their loved ones and make their place feel homey.
Knowing the challenges and pain points your avatar faces will help you know the best way to communicate with your audience. You want to speak to the end result your product or service provides.
And once you know the avatar you’re looking for and what challenges and pain points they may face, it’s time for you to head over to LinkedIn and beef up your profile (or make one)!
How to Get New Clients on LinkedIn Step 3: How to Create a Client-Attracting LinkedIn Profile
“You never get a second chance to make a great first impression,” is the famous quote from actor Will Rogers.
And the same goes for your LinkedIn profile.
According to a study by the International Data Corporation (IDC), 83% of business professionals look at your LinkedIn profile BEFORE doing business with you.
If your LinkedIn profile doesn’t project that you’re a professional within two seconds, they will click away.
To make a great first impression that lets prospective customers know you can solve their problem(s), optimize these six factors:
Let’s examine the six factors you need to optimize in more detail…
1. Grab The Viewer’s Attention with Your Profile Background
The first thing people see is your profile background header. This is valuable real estate where you can grab people’s attention and let them know how you help them.
See how my good friend and client, Alex Mandossian, includes an action shot of him speaking and the headline, “Conversion Secrets That Put Your Business in High Growth Mode” in his profile background:
This quickly conveys:
- What he does
- Piques curiosity
- Establishes himself as an authority in his industry
2. Use a Professional Headshot with a Friendly, Smiling Face
You do not want a blurry, cropped photo. Nor do you want a picture that is obviously a selfie or a photo you would use on a social media platform like Facebook or SnapChat.
But, if a professional headshot isn’t in the cards for you, ask a friend to take some professional-looking shots.
3. Keep Your Name Field Clean
Symbols, titles, and too many certifications can be DISTRACTING and make it harder for people to search for you by name.
You want to make it as EASY as possible for people to find you. Otherwise, they’re likely to abandon the search when you can’t be located quickly.
4. Turn Your Professional Headline into an Attention-Grabbing, Benefit-Related Statement
By default, LinkedIn uses your current job title and company name in this section.
And almost every LinkedIn user has their job title as their professional headline. But if you search for a job title like “online marketer,” 9,395 people use that phrase in their profile (as of now).
A little crowded, no? How do you stand out?
Create a client-focused, benefit-related headline that grabs the attention of the profile viewer, like Alex does…
For instance, if my business is struggling and has plateaued at $100,000 a year, when I see Alex’s professional headline, I want to click on his profile to learn more about how he helps businesses move from six figures to seven figures.
Remember, you only have 120 characters in your professional headline, so use them wisely.
Your goal is to create a compelling statement that will entice the viewer to click on your profile to learn more.
And NO selling in your headline. Just get them to click and learn more about you.
Think about your professional headline as an online ad.
Perry Marshall taught me many years ago that the purpose of an online ad is not to sell your product or service. The purpose of the ad is to sell the click which leads visitors to your landing page where you begin the sales process.
Your LinkedIn profile is your landing page where people go to learn more about you and your products and services. Your professional headline has to get them there.
5. Get At Least 501 Connections
You want your profile to have the coveted 500+ connections.
People perceive you as a serious business person when you have 500+ connections. It elevates your status and bolsters your authority and credibility that so many people want to connect with you.
Recently, I came across a LinkedIn profile where someone proclaimed himself as the “Godfather of Networking.”
Guess how many connections he had? A whopping 220.
Really? The Godfather of Networking can only muster 220 LinkedIn connections?
His reputation was tarnished in my eyes, and I didn’t trust anything else in his profile.
But how do you go about gaining 500+ connections?
When I meet people at events and we exchange business cards, I immediately invite them to connect with me on LinkedIn while my name and face are fresh in their minds.
Send them a message that goes beyond the default LinkedIn message like, “I enjoyed meeting you at Traffic & Conversion Summit today, and I would like to connect with you.”
6. Include a Provocative Question or Statement in the First Line of Your Summary
Treat the first line of your Summary as a headline that continues the conversation you started in your professional headline.
Having an engaging question or statement in the opening line of your Summary will entice viewers to continue reading your profile.
Also, keep the Summary in first person – this makes your profile more approachable.
To help you write your Summary, pretend you’re having a cup of coffee at Starbucks with the reader.
I structure my Summary as a conversation between myself and the reader, whom I just met.
When you first meet someone, you want to get to know each other. This isn’t the time to sell to them (that comes later).
Focus on helping them get to know, like, and trust you in the Summary as you would in real life.
So, you’ve created or beefed up your LinkedIn profile. What’s next? Connecting!
How to Get New Clients on LinkedIn Step 4: Using LinkedIn to Connect and Build a Relationship with Your Ideal Customer Avatar
Once I’ve connected with someone on LinkedIn, I like to send a friendly, non-salesy “welcome” message.
Here’s an example of one of my welcome messages I sent to a new connection.
Notice I’m not trying to sell anything in my welcome message. My goal is to earn their trust by offering to introduce them to people in my network.
A few months ago, I added a line to my welcome message that has SIGNIFICANTLY increased engagement and started conversations with my new connections.
It’s, “Just for fun, tell me something interesting about you or your business.”
When I ask people to tell me something interesting about themselves, 20% actually reply to my message and tell me something interesting.
On the flip side, when I don’t ask a question or prompt them to tell me something interesting about them, only about 2% respond with a generic, “Thanks for connecting,” or they send me a very long sales letter.
Including a simple question like this is a conversation starter which moves our relationship from complete strangers to acquaintances, like the response I received from a contact below:
Next, in my welcome message, I offer to tell them something interesting about me and I drive them to my LinkedIn Friends page on my website.
Again, I’m not selling anything.
My goal is to get them to visit my website so they can learn more about my business and me.
On my website, they can download a LinkedIn strategy guide and take a free, one-hour LinkedIn class after opting in.
I also pixel them for Facebook and Google ads, so I’m building highly-targeted custom audiences.
Finally, at the end of my welcome message, I have my contact information and a P.S. where I offer my free LinkedIn course again.
Following the welcome message, it’s time to keep in touch with your LinkedIn connections, which takes us to Step 5.
How to Get New Clients on LinkedIn Step 5: How to Keep in Touch with Your LinkedIn Connections
In this step, you’ll send short, inquisitive messages to your LinkedIn connections to pique their interest.
Every few months, or when I have a webinar or live event coming up, I send personalized messages to my connections.
For example, when LinkedIn makes big changes, as they did with the recent update, I reach out to people I know use LinkedIn daily, like sales professionals, to let them know I have a new training.
Here are a few different personalized messages I’ve sent out that you can use for inspiration:
Reaching out gets me top of mind and often starts a conversation or leads to a phone call to catch up, and it can pay off…
I reached out to my connection David with a short message and here’s a snippet of our conversation that led me to close a deal to train 75 sales reps at a Fortune 100 computer software company:
Next, here’s an interaction with one of my first internet marketing mentors.
I was just re-connecting with him to thank him for helping me get started in internet marketing. Now, I’m going to interview him for my Social Selling TV show and he’s going to send me referrals when he comes across someone needing LinkedIn help — all because I reached out to him on LinkedIn.
And then shortly after…
Moral of the story, it NEVER hurts to reach out.
Once you’ve reached out, it’s time to…
How to Get New Clients on LinkedIn Step 6: Get Your LinkedIn Connection on the Phone
Of those who respond to these messages, the next step is to invite them to schedule a short call to discuss their business challenges and how you may be able to help them.
I close all my coaching clients via phone consultations/strategy sessions, and I do this by asking one final question at the end of the phone conversation:
“Would you like my help?”
For me, these phone calls have closed deals and led to genuine connections. And that leads into our next step.
How to Get New Clients on LinkedIn Step 7: How to Build Your LinkedIn Profile’s Authority
At this point, the connection has become a client and we are performing our consulting services.
This is where you work your magic and use your expertise to help solve your clients’ business problems.
When you solve one problem for them, there’s a great chance they will hire you over and over to solve more problems.
Next, when the first project is complete, write a LinkedIn recommendation for them and describe how it was working with them.
Once they receive the recommendation, LinkedIn will prompt them to write a recommendation for you.
This is the easiest way to get great recommendations on LinkedIn, which will help you build your profile’s authority and make your profile look that much more professional.
Recommendations serve as social proof, and there are few things more powerful than social proof.
Here are some of the recommendations I’ve given…
And it has resulted in me receiving several (35 as of now) quality recommendations that I really appreciate…
And that takes us to our final step…
How to Get New Clients on LinkedIn Step 8. Rinse and Repeat Steps 4 Through 7
Capitalize your success by continuing the process:
- Invite your ideal LinkedIn prospects to connect using a personalized invitation message.
- Keep in touch with short, inquisitive messages to stay top of mind. And share high-quality content with them that’s related to their biggest business challenges.
- When they respond to your messages, ask them for a short phone conversation so you can learn more about their challenges and pain points. At the end of the call, ask if they’d like your help.
- After they hire you…
- Solve their problem
- Give them a stellar LinkedIn recommendation
- And ask them what else you can do to help them
Now that you have a proven process to use LinkedIn to generate business on demand, the next action step is one you should dive into today: Spend thirty minutes a day building your professional network and building relationships on LinkedIn… and do it again tomorrow, and the day after. 🙂