I’m assuming you already know what LinkedIn is and how it works (a social networking tool for entrepreneurs, job seekers, employers, employees, companies and organizations).
Here’s an interesting fact found on LinkedIn’s website, “As of March 2016, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 414 million members in over 200 countries and territories.”
The site’s membership is growing rapidly up from 360 million a year ago (about 2 new members joining every second) and this allows us to leverage LinkedIn as a super powerful lead generation tool for offline marketers and, most importantly, IT DOES WORK!
Not only is it a great lead generation tool but it can also be used for several other functions; positioning yourself as an authority, keeping up to date on industry news, networking for joint ventures, finding speaking engagements, and more.
I strongly recommend LinkedIn because of the potential to connect with new offline clients quickly and easily.
We do group and 1to1 training which allows you to get the most from LinkedIn.
Is it Worth Your Time ?
Joining LinkedIn is free (unless you want to upgrade your profile which is not necessary since we started with the free, basic profile and continue to use that today) there is an investment though –your time!
Getting your profile setup can be done very quickly, along with building connections and networking with your prospects. However, to create and maintain momentum on LinkedIn it does require your initial and ongoing time, energy and participation for maximum results.
We will created the your full LinkedIn profiles. Then you need to contact all of your database of contacts and clients to link with them on LinkedIn.
It is worth investing your time and energy into this because with LinkedIn you can:
1. Easily Find, Connect and Convert Your Target Market Into Clients: whether you are targeting local business owners, professional service providers, or Times 100 CEOs, your prospects are on LinkedIn and the ability to get involved and connect with your target market can be done very quickly! (I was speaking with potential prospects within a day of having my profile setup correctly).
2. No Gatekeepers! People on LinkedIn are looking to network, and connect and are there for business purposes. Your messages go straight to the end-user, so there’s no filtering by a receptionist or personal assistant.
We find that an overwhelming majority of business owners that we reached out to were responsive, open to communicating and connecting.
3. Extensive Reach–Locally and Globally: understanding that many offliners are based internationally, regardless of where you’re from. Chances are people from your country will be on LinkedIn.
An added bonus: connecting with target markets outside of your local area. The majority of my clients have not been local. You have the ability to take your marketing efforts on an international level very quickly, efficiently and did we mention it’s free?
4. Credibility, Credibility, and more Credibility! There is something about saying to a potential client, “…you can find me on LinkedIn” or “…you can read reviews from my LinkedIn clients on how I was able to help them” This adds instant credibility to your status as a legal professional in your chosen niche.
A profile on LinkedIn provides you with a professional, business-like image. It allows your prospects to check you out to see what you’re all about and how you can possibly help them by viewing your “online” business card/resume/report card aka your LinkedIn profile.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to create credibility and positioning is via endorsements and recommendations that other LinkedIn members can leave on your profile page. LinkedIn is so powerful in the sense that it provides the viewer with a professional picture of the individual and as offline marketers we can use this to our advantage to grow our business.
5. LinkedIn and Attraction Marketing = Clients The secret to growing your business, working with new clients is attraction marketing! LinkedIn is, in our opinion, one of the BEST tools as an offline marketer to ATTRACT clients to you. When you set up your profile correctly, optimise it and use it as a tool to leverage and expand your marketing reach, it starts to build a snowball effect where you have clients approaching you versus the other way around. Attraction marketing allows us offline marketers to connect with our ideal target market who pre-qualify themselves and view us as authorities in our respective industry.
we did a search for the keyword “owner” and found over 8,997,360 results. For offline marketer’s, LinkedIn is an amazing way to connect with our target market of business owners.
Creating Your LinkedIn Profile
1. The Objective of Your LinkedIn Profile
When we create your LinkedIn profiles they are crafted with a variety of objectives in mind such as attracting new clients and prospects, positioning yourself as a leading expert in your industry, increasing your mailing list, etc.
Whatever your objective is, try to focus on just one for now and as you get more comfortable with LinkedIn you can always re-strategize and change your objective on how you want to leverage your profile, connections and network.
For now, we will assume that you want, as a fellow offline marketer, to connect with our target market and attract qualified business owners with whom we can start to build a long-term business relationship with.
2. Determine Your Target Market
At this point you can get laser focused in terms of who exactly you looking to attract via LinkedIn. Yes, most offline marketers will say “I want to connect with business owners” but the more specific you get the easier the task becomes of using LinkedIn as a lead generation tool and making sure you’re attracting people that you actually want to come your way.
Here’s an example of a target market: “I want to target easy to work with, fun and appreciative business owners who know they need help with online marketing but don’t know where to start or don’t have the time to invest in their online marketing. They understand and value the importance of the Internet as a powerful marketing tool and are interested to have a campaign setup in the next 4-6 weeks.
Our ideal client is looking to build a long-term relationship with us, is happy to refer our services to their network, has a high client value, is in growth mode and is ready to spend £1000+/month on their online marketing campaigns.” We suggest you start by writing down your target market.
3. Complete Your Profile for 100% Completeness Rating
LinkedIn will guide you to show you how much of your profile has been completed. Make sure you fill out all areas since you rank higher in search results if your profile is fully complete.
Some of you have completed your own profiles – here are some helpful tips:
Picture: – upload a professional looking picture of yourself (preferably one with you smiling).
Twitter: – If you use Twitter feel free to include it in your profile as well. Just be aware that your potential client’s may be reading your tweets so make sure they’re appropriate and professional.
Summary: – The summary is a quick overview of what it is that you do exactly. There are a variety of ways people have used this section. We opted for a more personal profile page and included a brief paragraph that outlines how we help clients, what makes me different, what our objective are when working with clients and a strong closing statement about why they should contact us.
Experience: – Include all previous jobs as LinkedIn picks up on the Companies. It will allow previous work colleagues or client to find you even if you have lost touch with them.
Skills: – LinkedIn has several pre-programmed skills that you can add to your profile. Make sure to pick keywords that are relevant to your skill-set and the services you provide.
Education: – Fill out as full as possible and include any achievements, awards, or honours under the “Additional Information” section. These deserve to be recognized and acknowledged.
Personal Information and Contact Info: – how much information you want to share is completely up to you but if you’re in business the whole point is for clients to be ABLE to reach out and contact you.
We recommend you include a phone number and email address as a minimum. Adding other details like Skype, Birthday, etc. are optional but they do make your profile appear more personal.
Under the “Contact Info” box you can also select what reasons you want people to reach out to you and also include a message on the best way to get a hold of you.
4. Personalise Your LinkedIn URL
Your LinkedIn URL should look like: http://linkedin.com/in/yourname It’s important to set this up correctly for higher profile ranking in Google when people are searching for you (in addition to the fact that it’s also aesthetically pleasing).
To edit this, go to your profile, click “edit” and under your photo you will see your URL click “edit” to the right again and again on “your public profile URL”. Type in your name as you want it to appear, without spaces, and then click on “set address”. If your name is taken, try using a period between your first and last name, a middle initial, etc.
5. Get Ready to Mingle by Building Connections
You want to aim to have at least 100 connections and this might sound like a lot but once you get started you’ll realise it’s easier and quicker than you thought.
If your profile has less than 100 connections, try to build this up. It’ll help to position yourself as a well- connected individual who is also an active user. Some people think that they should actually know the people they’re connecting with but just push that thought aside.
LinkedIn is all about networking, it’s nothing different to going to a network meeting or conference. As you build up your connections, start to join more groups, contribute valuable insights and build relationships.
You will notice that the count on your profile views will increase. The more people that view your profile (you can see who’s viewed your profile by clicking on the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile?” button) the more exposure you and your business will get.
To build your connections start by importing your existing contacts into LinkedIn and look at the people that LinkedIn automatically suggests you connect with. One great way to build connections (beyond just your “offline” network) is by joining groups.
By joining groups (or even creating one of your own!) you’ll be able to connect with thousands of people. Be smart here: if you’re looking to attract clients then join groups where you know your target market will be using.
When you join a group this does not have to be several, you can be very focused on a local area or niche, get involved in the conversation (or start your own!), provide value and make connections.
Much of the time, we had people add clients since they were members of the same group and perhaps they liked a comment they made in the group. Better yet, like a comment or post made by another member OR start a discussion on their thread.
Focus on building relationships with people you feel are in your target market and trust me, your connections will grow! The more you contribute in a group, the greater your chances of being highlighted on the front page of the group as a “Top Influencer This Week”.
When group members log in, they’ll see your face and name. This helps with your positioning, especially if your group has your ideal clients in it!
You can also build some great relationships (and better position yourself as an expert) by heading over to the “Answers” section of LinkedIn and offering advice to other members while growing your network. We have had plenty of requests to connect after clients have contributed to helping another member find an answer to their question.
6. LinkedIn Recommendations
Seek endorsements from your existing clients. This acts as social proof for your target market that you come highly endorsed from other professionals on LinkedIn.
Secondly, when a member leaves a LinkedIn recommendation for you, the recommendation is not only shown on your profile but can also be seen on THEIR (the endorsers) profile page, visible to their entire network.
For example, you get a very positive recommendation from Mark. Not only will Mark’s recommendation be visible on your profile (for your network to view) but now Nick (one of Mark’s connections but not yours) reads the recommendation and it could generate his interest.
He clicks through to your profile to learn more. End result: a “virtual” word of mouth, ripple effect begins.
The beauty of this method is that you are instantly positioned in the mind’s of your target market as a credible expert in your field and with solid recommendations prospects feel, “ well if s/he was able to help out this business owner they can help me too!”.
Too many people don’t put enough time or effort on getting recommendations. Make sure you put in the time, it DOES pay off.
We hope this page has opened your eyes to the infinite possibilities of using LinkedIn as a lead generation tool for your offline business.
We suggest you schedule 30 minutes each week where you go onto LinkedIn to make new connections, work on increasing your number of recommendations, join and communicate in groups where your target market already is.
Then browse the answers section and contribute to build relationships! Of course you can spend more time if you’d like but make sure your activities are focused.