Anyone looking to grow or expand their digital services reach have always searched for new ways to find potential customers and convert them into a sale. While many are successful and have a wide range of techniques they use, they might still be missing one very effective strategy that could help them achieve their goal. What is this technique you ask? It isn’t anything new or difficult and it is part of something that many of you reading this already utilise every day.
I am talking about LinkedIn and the effectiveness it has on the modern business community. LinkedIn was launched in 2003 and is currently the third most popular social media network with more than 400 million members in over 20 countries and territories. To add to these statistics, more than half of B2B companies are finding their customers through LinkedIn.
LinkedIn can help you research your customers for new digital projects and grow your digital services company effectively. But before you can begin using LinkedIn to find new customers, you need to create an effective profile of your own. You might think that your current profile is enough, but when it comes to seeking out new clients and creating a successful business, your own LinkedIn profile is even more important.
To create an effective LinkedIn profile, you need to write down three main keywords that you feel will help you with your search. Choose phrases your target market will search. Your primary keyword should appear in most sections of your profile.
After creating your three main keywords, go through your profile and begin placing them strategically throughout. Be sure to include them in your headline, the location and industry section, your current experience, the summary and the endorsements and recommendations section. This ensures that you are well searched for the same information you are trying to offer potential customers through your services.
Another good way to research potential customers is to join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your niche. LinkedIn has over 1 million groups and you can join up to 100 of them. Choose the ones that you feel will net you the most potential customers and become active in these groups. By engaging in discussions, you will meet new people and expand your reach into the digital marketplace.
Next, we take a look at LinkedIn searches. Although LinkedIn doesn’t support wildcard searches, you can use the advanced search operators that are available as well as Boolean logic connectors in the filter fields which can dramatically narrow your search. Some helpful operators are:
And: For results that include two or more terms.
Or: For results that include just one of two or more terms.
Not : If you want to exclude a particular term, type that term with an uppercase NOT immediately before it.
Quoted Searches : when searching for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks.
Once you become more proficient at using the LinkedIn search feature, you can save these complex searches to use later. You can also ask LinkedIn to send frequent notifications of any new members that meet your search criteria. The success you have with finding new contacts and prospects will depend on your ability to truly understand your target market and manipulate the search filters LinkedIn provides.
Consider a Paid Account
If you do not already have a paid LinkedIn account, you might want to upgrade. A paid account offers more features and benefits and can make it easier for you to find potential customers. Some of the features of a paid LinkedIn account include the ability to see more profiles in the LinkedIn search, access to more specific details on who has searched you or viewed your profile, more filters available in the Advanced Search and more saved searches than the three that are available with the free account.
Social prospecting and marketing isn’t primarily a numbers game. Just because you can reach a large group of people on social media, does it mean that you have effectively engaged with them? Not usually. For freelancers and small companies looking for new clients, LinkedIn is a platform that gives them the unique ability to research the people and companies they may want to work with and choose the ones they feel more comfortable with.
Every strategy or technique has a different purpose and finding one that works for you takes time and planning. When you do find a potential client and you have researched them carefully, be sure to reach out to them explaining who you are and what you have to offer. Also be sure to show them why they should respond without pushing a sale in your first message. Warm them up slowly and be social. This will help to create a social relationship that you can turn into a business relationship soon.
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