We were asked recently by a client to help build a highly targeted list of connections for a new service they are offering. Without divulging any sensitive information, I can say that this specialist service would be of particular interest to decision makers in the finance sector and their clients.
Set up an Optimised LinkedIn Profile
As my client is new to LinkedIn, our first step was to write a compelling profile. We also always recommend having an up to date, professionally taken profile picture. The headline of the profile included reference to the service making the value of the service completely clear. It is always worthwhile revisiting your profile from time to time, to ensure it really explains exactly what you do and the benefits you provide.
Finding an Audience
Our next step was to find some connections. Starting from scratch in some cases is hard because no-one wants to be seen as ‘Billy No-mates’. So we connected him to friends, colleagues and former business associates who he already has a business or personal relationship with. I cannot stress too strongly how important it is not to spam people; do not spend all evening on the LinkedIn app on your smartphone or tablet pressing ‘connect’ repeatedly, just to up your numbers. LinkedIn will soon warn you if you do this this and you risk getting your account suspended.
After all you wouldn’t go into a room full of people and throw your business cards in the air hoping a new customer would catch one!
Use LinkedIn Advanced People Search in combination with Groups to seek out the people you really want to do business with. Send a message first asking if they would like to connect. You will more than likely receive a positive response or no response at all. Even those people who do not respond become a prospect who you may be able to connect with in a different way, such as by telephone.
Communicating your Message
With the introduction of Long Form Posts – akin to repurposing your blog post – each of your connections receives a notification every time you publish a post. This means that over a period of a few weeks or months, your connections – or at least the active ones on LinkedIn – will learn more about the products and services you have to offer.
Sharing content is encouraged
Recently, LinkedIn has made the options for sharing content clearer as shown in the colour coded icons below, encouraging photo sharing which I think is a really important improvement. I have written about the importance of images previously in a review of Facebook page management
There are numerous other ways in which you can communicated with your target audience on LinkedIn.
So what happened with our client? With numerous, relevant, interested connections and the publication of a Long Form Post, he has made appointments with potential clients and has a steady stream of meetings in the pipeline. We have adopted this simple approach with many clients over the years and for companies with new innovative products and services where there is a tangible benefit to a defined audience, this method forms an important strand in generating leads as well as raising brand awareness and driving website traffic.