How to prospect on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn has over 200 million users worldwide, making it one of the largest professional networks around. But how can you make use of this massive database if you're just starting out as an entrepreneur or freelancer? One answer may be to start by using LinkedIn's own built-in tools like Groups, Jobs, Events & Classifieds to find your target audience and grow your network. However there are many other ways that you can use LinkedIn to build a business.
One such method is through what we call "prospecting". This involves approaching people who have already expressed interest in working with you directly. It could involve sending them a message via email or phone number asking them about their needs. Another option would be to send them information about your services, products or ideas. You might also want to join groups where they hang out, so that you can begin building relationships with members of your desired demographic.
If you've never done any prospecting before, then here's some advice from someone who started out doing it wrong! We'll go into more detail below but essentially when you're looking at potential clients, don't pitch them directly. Instead think of yourself as a salesperson who wants to get to know his customer better. The following strategies will help you do this effectively.
What is the best way to prospect?
The most effective way to engage prospects is through email (or sometimes direct mail). That said, cold calling should not form part of your initial marketing strategy. Cold calling is the tactic used by large corporations to sell more product than they currently produce themselves. As a small business owner, you probably won't need to take up this much more aggressive route. For now, stick to having conversations with people interested in your work and service and see what happens naturally. In fact, the key thing to remember is to treat these contacts with respect. After all, this isn't a hard sale -- it's simply getting to know each other and seeing whether you share common interests.
Here are some tips on writing emails that actually stand out:
Keep it simple - Don't try to give too much away in your subject line. Just say something along the lines of 'hi' or 'hello'. If you really want to pique people's curiosity, add a question mark.
Write short sentences - Write concisely but keep your paragraphs relatively long. People read quickly online and it's important to grab attention within those few seconds.
Add images and videos - These days everyone loves media content. Images and video clips can often convey emotions quite well while keeping things light-hearted. They can also provide valuable insight into your personality and character. Add relevant photos and videos to show off your achievements or hobbies.
Use bullet points - Bullet point lists are very easy to skim and digest. Think of the list as a mini speech that explains exactly why you're contacting them and how you can benefit them. Use bullets to highlight certain aspects of your offer rather than trying to explain everything at once.
Make sure to proofread - This goes without saying but mistakes happen. When writing emails, spell checker doesn't always pick everything. Proofreading is extremely useful as it allows you to look closely for errors. Make sure you pay particular attention to punctuation marks and capital letters. A grammatical error could potentially kill the tone of an otherwise perfectly crafted email.
Don't forget personalization - Personalizing your messages shows that you care about your contact personally. Try adding their name in various places throughout the email. It makes you sound friendly and polite. Plus, you'll likely receive a positive response faster since it feels less impersonal.
Be honest - Never lie about anything in your communications with prospective customers. Honesty is definitely the best policy. Keep in mind that you must protect your privacy rights and avoid giving away confidential details. Tell your story honestly and let your client draw conclusions based on the facts.
How do I profile my prospect?
When you create your account, LinkedIn asks you questions about yourself which helps determine your preferences. Most importantly, it lets others decide how similar they are to you. Your responses influence recommendations made by recruiters and hiring managers. So, you should aim to portray yourself positively. Answer every question truthfully and accurately. Here are some basic guidelines to follow:
Personalize your profile page - An individualized profile is more engaging for visitors. Put a lot of thought into your headline and summary descriptions. Remember that you only have 160 characters per description so space wisely.
Showcase your skills and experience - Be upfront about your expertise. Let people know that you understand complex issues relating to whatever field you operate in. List down specific accomplishments and references from former employers.
Share job openings - Post open positions on LinkedIn. Potential applicants can apply right from the platform itself thus saving you time and money spent posting in multiple websites. Also, consider sharing job listings on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
Connect with influencers - Connections are incredibly powerful. Not because you're going to become friends with anyone, but because of the power of word of mouth. By connecting with influential personalities, you increase your visibility. Once you establish credibility, companies will feel confident enough to reach out to you directly.
Create connections - Establish meaningful connections with professionals in your niche. LinkedIn gives you the ability to connect with individuals across different industries. Through this feature, you can easily discover new opportunities and resources.
How do I approach a prospect for the first time?
Once you identify a person of interest, it's time to put your plan together. Begin by researching your prospect's background. To learn more about them, ask questions and listen carefully. Ask probing questions related to their industry, career, goals etc. Listen to the answers patiently and take notes. Then formulate a conversation topic based on the insights you gather. Now comes the tricky bit -- how do you strike up a conversation with someone who barely knows who you are?
Try one of these approaches:
Introduce Yourself First - Before beginning the discussion, introduce yourself first. Say hello and tell them who you are. Then, briefly outline the reason behind your communication. Give them a heads up that you'd love to talk further and set up a convenient date and time for the next meeting.
Ask Questions - Often times, people aren't comfortable talking unless they have plenty of knowledge about a given issue. Take advantage of this tendency and lead the conversation instead of being led. Find topics worth discussing and pose questions accordingly. By doing so, you steer the entire interaction towards productive discussions. While you're listening, jot down keywords related to the areas of focus. Later, refer back to these words during the actual conversation.
Take Notes - Taking notes is essential whenever possible. Get a pen and paper ready to write down thoughts or comments made during the conversation. Jot down names, dates and even URLs. This will come in handy later when creating action plans.
Remember to End Well - Ending a conversation professionally is crucial. Send them a thank you note after the meeting. Thank them for taking their time and reiterate your desire to stay connected moving forward.
How do you develop leads in prospecting?
After you've established rapport with your targets, the real work begins. Maintaining a relationship requires consistency and commitment. Follow these steps to turn prospects into loyal followers...
Start Conversations - Start initiating interactions with your ideal clients. Email them regularly and update them about projects you're working on. Invite them to events, webinars etc. All of these activities will eventually result in referrals.
Follow Up Quickly - Reply promptly to emails received from your prospects and maintain regular touchpoints. Stay consistent and reply to inquiries within 24 hours. Provide value to your connection by offering helpful suggestions and guidance.
Provide Value - Offer quality solutions to problems and challenges faced by your clients. Showing empathy is another great way to win hearts and minds. Solve problems for free and charge fees only when required.
Stay Updated - Share updates regarding new developments in your profession. Whenever you release a press statement, blog post or news article, link back to your website. By maintaining active profiles on several platforms, you ensure that your potential clients remain updated about your progress.
Send Referrals - Always be proactive in helping your existing clients solve challenging situations. Offer assistance and advice when asked. Help them save money and earn credits. Also, refer your clients to colleagues within your organization. This will boost their morale and productivity.
Get Introduced - Introduce your prospects to others within your network. This is yet another effective way to gain trust and loyalty. It demonstrates confidence in your abilities and builds stronger ties between you and your clients.
Always Deliver Above Expectation - Make sure you deliver top notch results consistently. Nothing kills momentum quicker than substandard performance. Set high expectations for your current and future clients. Doing so will inspire their faith and encourage repeat purchases.
Prospecting is no walk in the park. It takes patience, persistence and skillful negotiating. And yes, it does require effort. There are two main reasons why most entrepreneurs struggle to achieve success: lack of drive and poor planning. Prospecting is tough but rewarding in terms of tangible returns. With proper preparation and research, however, you can land bigger contracts and generate higher revenues.
LinkedIn has over 400 million users worldwide, so it’s no surprise that recruiters use this platform for their job hunts. However, many people don't know how to effectively use LinkedIn to grow their career. And even if you have an account already, there may be things you haven't learned yet about using LinkedIn for your own purposes. Here's what you need to know.
1. How can LinkedIn help me get my next job?
You've probably heard of LinkedIn before but maybe not how much it can actually help you in your job search. While other social media platforms might seem more "fun" or trendy, LinkedIn offers real value when looking for jobs. It provides access to professionals from all industries, which means everyone could potentially find someone who works in their field. You'll also see the profile pictures of these professionals right under each person's name, making it easier than ever to contact them directly. Other features include finding local events near you, connecting with new contacts, building professional relationships through groups, etc.
2. What kind of content should I post on LinkedIn?
When posting articles on LinkedIn, make sure they're relevant to your target audience. When searching for candidates, you want potential hires to think highly of you as a recruiter. Posting something irrelevant will only bring down your credibility. Also consider including links back to your website/portfolio where necessary. Use hashtags (e.g., #recruiting) to reach out to others interested in recruiting, too!
3. Should I go after specific roles on LinkedIn?
Yes! There are plenty of opportunities available on LinkedIn depending on your industry and experience level. For example, while some companies prefer candidates with five years' work experience, others look for recent college graduates. The best way to find those positions is by creating a custom feed tailored towards your interests and skillset. This will allow you to filter based on keywords rather than broad categories such as IT.
4. Where should I send my resume on LinkedIn?
If you receive any messages asking you to fill in your email address in return for information, delete it immediately. Recruiters often spam profiles with emails because it's easy for them to copy-and-paste resumes into applications without reading carefully first. Don't fall prey to this trap! Instead, click on the message instead to take further action if needed. If you've applied elsewhere, keep your portfolio separate from your LinkedIn profile—it shouldn't contain sensitive details. Make it public if you feel comfortable doing so.
5. Is it okay to connect with anyone on LinkedIn?
It depends on what you plan to achieve. In general terms, yes it's fine to connect with anyone regardless of whether you know them personally or not. But we recommend keeping your network limited to people within your sector, industry, skill set, or geographic location. Otherwise you risk inadvertently sharing confidential data. And remember, just because you meet up with someone at an event doesn't mean you automatically share business cards or follow up afterwards. That said, sometimes connecting with strangers on LinkedIn does lead to interesting conversations and connections later on.
6. Can I add friends on LinkedIn?
No! Only communicate via direct messaging if both parties agree to proceed. Sharing personal information publicly on LinkedIn isn't recommended either since it puts yourself and your privacy at risk. Always avoid sending attachments unless absolutely required.
7. Do I really have to update my status every day?
This totally depends on your goals for LinkedIn. We suggest starting off slowly and adjusting accordingly. Some recruiters like to check LinkedIn daily, while others might wait until weekly. Either way, try to limit updates to one time per week maximum.
8. Why aren't my recommendations showing up on my profile?
In order to display recommendations on your profile, you must accept requests from fellow members. Click Manage Settings & Privacy Preferences then scroll to Recommendations. Check Show Accepted Recommendations box. Your manager probably won't mind seeing recommendations anyway, especially if he knows they were written by his subordinates.
9. Does LinkedIn offer any benefits beyond simply being able to look for jobs online?
Absolutely! Apart from helping you find new employment, LinkedIn gives you access to valuable networking tools that can help advance your career. Create a customized feed containing posts related to your expertise and hobbies, and engage with comments left by other LinkedIn members. Then join discussions, start groups, ask questions, and comment on answers to build trust and rapport. Another great feature is Groups, wherein you can create discussion hubs around particular topics to discuss anything from recruitment tips to ideas for future projects. Finally, LinkedIn Learning serves thousands of courses designed specifically by experts. These range from marketing training to coding tutorials and everything else in between.
10. How long should I spend writing my summary section?
The summary area is meant to describe you professionally, so don't hold back here. Talk about why you love working in your chosen profession, tell prospective employers what makes you stand above the rest, mention any awards received, and highlight your achievements. Think of this section as your elevator pitch — the shorter, punchier, and more impactful, the better.
11. Are there certain times during the year to focus on growing my prospects list?
Depending on your role, different seasons of the year are more suitable for updating your profile. As far as LinkedIn goes, summer tends to be busy with lots of conferences taking place. Therefore, the end of July is usually a good time to ramp up activity on LinkedIn. Meanwhile, wintertime tends to be slower for hiring due to cold weather conditions. During this season, we recommend focusing on networking more than actively seeking new recruits. After all, nobody likes meeting someone in a blazer...
12. Which type of candidate am I looking for in my ideal position?
Your ideal candidate would be someone who possesses similar qualities to yours. Try thinking outside the box when defining what characteristics your ideal employee needs to possess. Ask yourself: What made me choose this company, and why did I decide to pursue this path? Perhaps you chose your current employer because its values align with your morals, or perhaps it was the financial security offered by the salary. Whatever the case may be, write down your top 5 traits and apply them to a hypothetical candidate. From there, you can narrow down your selection process.
13. Am I allowed to promote myself on LinkedIn?
Of course, it depends on what you intend to gain from promoting yourself on LinkedIn. If you seek promotions and raises within your organization, then yes, definitely go ahead! Just ensure that you don't violate any policies or guidelines. Similarly, if you're considering joining another firm, speak with your human resources department beforehand to determine policy.
14. Can I advertise our services on LinkedIn?
Sure thing. Simply head to the Ads tab and select Sell Products & Services. Once selected, however, you'll notice that most options require approval from LinkedIn Ad Review Team. Be aware of potential legal issues arising from advertising non-compete agreements, misleading statements, fraud risks, etc.
15. How do I optimize my LinkedIn ad campaign?
Many factors influence the effectiveness of your ads, from keyword choice to timing. To maximize results, experiment with several versions of your ad and watch analytics closely to measure response rates. Start small and scale up once you realize campaigns that perform well.
16. How do I track conversions on LinkedIn?
For tracking page views, clicks, and leads, sign into LinkedIn Insights. A conversion is defined as a behavior resulting from clicking your link in LinkedIn Pulse, viewing your video, downloading your whitepaper, subscribing to your blog, etc. On your dashboard home screen, you can view stats for previous months, compare traffic sources, learn which pages generated the highest number of interactions, and discover trends among visitors. Take advantage of these insights to improve your engagement levels across various mediums.
17. Should I upload multiple versions of my CV to LinkedIn?
We advise uploading two copies of your CVs: One version that highlights your core competencies and strengths, and another one that contains less detail and focuses more on accomplishments. Both versions should be optimized to grab attention quickly.
18. How can I increase my visibility on LinkedIn?
There are many ways to boost your presence on LinkedIn. First, customize your homepage appearance by choosing background colors, fonts, icons, images, videos, and testimonials. Next, turn on push notifications to stay updated on important news in your field. Last but not least, don't forget to complete your About Page by adding a short bio and displaying your photo.
19. Who owns the copyright to my profile picture?
By default, LinkedIn uses photos uploaded by users themselves. Although some companies claim ownership to user-submitted photos, they cannot legally assert ownership over content submitted by third-party contributors. So when you publish an image on LinkedIn, you retain full rights to do whatever you wish with it.
20. How can I become verified on LinkedIn?
To verify your identity on LinkedIn, you need to provide additional documentation along with ID matching your name and date of birth. Depending on your nationality, you might need to submit documents proving citizenship status, national identification card, passport, bank statement, utility bill, and voter registration form. Contact LinkedIn Support [email protected] to request verification assistance.
21. What happens if I lose my password on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn has been around for years, but few people know how to use it effectively as a tool for finding new prospects or clients. There are many articles online that talk about using email marketing strategies on this platform, but what if you want to go beyond just building your network? What other options do you have when trying to find more business leads on LinkedIn? With those questions in mind we've put together some tips below to help guide you through your own LinkedIn search.
We'll be discussing how to prospect faster, ways to find clients (both paying and non-paying), and how to build lists of potential future customers. We're also going to touch upon the common pitfall most users fall into while looking at their results page, which is leaving out useful information like how much money they spend per lead.
If you follow these steps, you will learn exactly how to make sure you don't miss any opportunity when searching for prospective clients that might become actual paying ones!
When searching for clients, there's no need to worry about having too broad an idea -- instead focus on making connections where possible.
How can I prospect faster?
The first thing to remember when trying to prospect anyone on LinkedIn is not to oversell yourself. You should try to keep things simple, and only send them one message at a time. This means avoiding sending multiple emails every day asking someone to look at something specific. It’s best to let your content speak for itself so you don’t come off as desperate or needy. If you really want to connect with someone who may be able to refer work to you, then by all means, reach out directly and ask them to take a look at your portfolio/website/whatever else it is you offer. However, once again, avoid bombarding someone with dozens of messages each week. They won’t respond well. As far as personal branding goes, stick to one style and tone throughout everything you post.
Most importantly, never pitch someone on anything right away. Instead, start conversations based on mutual interest. That way you’ll stand a better chance of being noticed.
Your profile picture makes a huge difference in attracting attention from recruiters or hiring managers. Use a professional headshot rather than a selfie.
Remember, people tend to judge others by the quality of their profile pictures - whether it's a logo, product design, photo of family members etc., choose a picture that represents professionalism. Avoid blurry photos or selfies taken without proper lighting. Also, avoid overly casual shots that would seem inappropriate for networking purposes such as group photos or birthday parties.
It doesn't matter when you joined LinkedIn — the important part is joining now.
Many professionals join LinkedIn after seeing their friends' success stories or reading an article touting its benefits. While LinkedIn offers great tools to help you grow professionally, it takes time to see returns. After all, you could have spent that same amount of time browsing Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. So save yourself the frustration and sign up today!
How to find clients on LinkedIn?
After connecting with someone, you must continue engaging them. The number one rule of social media etiquette is reciprocity. By following, liking, sharing, adding comments, and responding to posts, you demonstrate that you care enough about the person to pay attention to their updates.
Another tip is to write interesting status updates. Try to show your personality. Showcase skills that will appeal to the type of client you'd like to attract. And always include links to your website, blog, whitepaper, newsletter, or case study.
You can even add videos to your LinkedIn feed. But remember to include relevant hashtags so people can easily discover your content. For example, #marketing, #socialmedia, #advertising, #hustle, #entrepreneur, etc.
Also, try to engage with different groups on LinkedIn. Chances are good that you'll run across people interested in similar fields or industries. When posting, consider including a link back to your site or landing page so they can check out what you offer.
And lastly, if you happen to share the same name as another user, be careful whom you tag because tagging a co-worker's account can cause serious issues.
How do I get a list of clients?
Once you establish rapport with someone, you can request access to their contacts. In doing so, you'll receive permission to contact everyone within their connected networks.
Here’s how to do it: Go to " Contacts" section and click “Connections” under “People." Select the connection whose directory info you wish to view, enter his / her login credentials and hit Connect. Then select Settings & Privacy and scroll down to “View Directory Information.” Once you’re logged into your account, you’ll be given access to your friend’s entire address book. From here, simply locate the name of the person you wish to target and click Request Access. A pop-up window will appear saying “Requested View.” Click Yes. Now you can browse through their directories and initiate communications accordingly.
However, before requesting access to someone’s directory information, ensure you read their privacy settings. Otherwise, if you request access to someone’s directory information and they haven’t opted in to LinkedIn’s Contact Preferences feature, you’ll risk violating LinkedIn policies.
On the flip side, if you intend to sell products or services to your LinkedIn contacts, you must adhere strictly to LinkedIn’s terms of service. Doing otherwise risks getting kicked off the platform altogether.
What happens if the person you're contacting hasn't signed up for LinkedIn yet? Don't sweat it! Just pick up the phone and call them anyways. Here's why...
As mentioned above, LinkedIn allows us to access our friend's contacts via linkedin.com. Most likely they aren't registered on LinkedIn either. Therefore, you shouldn't assume they already have accounts. To confirm, simply call them and ask if they're registered with LinkedIn. If they say yes, congratulations! You're free to begin communicating with them.
But wait, there's more. Even if the individual isn't registered with LinkedIn, chances are they still have their company listed on LinkedIn as well.
So how does this benefit you? Let me explain further. Your company probably uses LinkedIn internally to manage employees. Additionally, the majority of companies create profiles on LinkedIn to market themselves externally. Therefore, reaching out to individuals inside of businesses gives you two opportunities to gain exposure. One, you can simply introduce yourself and inquire about working with them professionally. Two, you can present your solution to whatever problem they currently face.
Lastly, if you can't afford to hire outside assistance, don't fret. Simply research popular keywords related to the industry you represent and utilize Google Search Engine Optimization techniques to optimize your LinkedIn presence.
How do I find high-paying clients?
There are several ways to generate leads on LinkedIn. Below are three easy methods to implement immediately to increase your income.
1.) Ask Questions
Ask thought provoking questions that require thoughtful answers. People love answering questions they feel passionate about and experts in. Remember: Always provide value. Provide solutions to problems they are facing. Answer questions thoroughly and honestly. Do not spam your followers with meaningless promotional material. Be authentic and transparent. If you're providing advice, give sincere advice. Give helpful recommendations. Share valuable resources. Help others solve their problems. Offer support to fellow members. Build relationships and trustworthiness.
2.) Start Conversations
Join discussions started by others. Interact with them, comment on their statuses, suggest ideas, or contribute your knowledge. Again, stay true to yourself while interacting with others. Keep your language positive and uplifting. Stay humble. Never promote yourself excessively.
3.) Follow Others
Follow leaders in your field. Take advantage of the vast library of educational materials available on LinkedIn Learning. These courses contain countless hours of video instruction covering topics ranging from sales training to project management software.
Always make sure you update your status frequently. Post inspirational quotes. Encourage interaction between your followers. Invite your followers to attend events hosted by your organization. Join communities centered around your niche. Finally, always leave room for conversation!
While it's tempting to jump straight into pitching your services, it's important to understand what kind of prospect you're targeting. Learn their pain points and goals before moving forward. Think long term. Determine your ideal customer persona. Have an elevator pitch ready that highlights your strengths and unique selling proposition. Know what you bring to the table that sets you apart from competitors.
In short, think long game.
Nowadays, people often complain about receiving unsolicited emails and calls. On top of that, people hate pushy salespeople calling them incessantly to close deals. Having said that, wouldn't you agree that sometimes it's okay to stop giving a shit about annoying telemarketers? Why do we allow ourselves to be pestered daily by unwanted calls and texts? Because that's what society expects of us. We fear being considered rude for rejecting calls. We fear missing out on deals. Our phones tell us to answer every caller, regardless of whether we actually want to hear from them.
That’s precisely why effective communication is key in generating qualified leads.