Once you have a social media account, the first question is usually how to get it to work for your brand. It’s actually easier than you think to get more clients on LinkedIn, providing you’ve gone through all the necessary steps to provide a credible account for your brand.
How to Get More Clients on LinkedIn
Have you ever looked yourself or your brand up on a search engine? This is the first step in maintaining credibility so that your target audience will want to become your clients.
Searching for yourself on the internet will bring up lots of different information. You’ll find a lot of good stuff, these are usually the aspects of the internet for which you’ve had some control.
Usually, this means your website, links to articles you’ve published, blog posts you’ve written, speeches you’re scheduled to make, and your LinkedIn profile. You also might find yourself in directories, unsolicited reviews by former and existing clients, and even from former employees.
You’ll also find things you wish hadn’t made it to the internet. Things like Facebook photos that were tagged by others, Instagram selfies you may have posted yourself, links that go nowhere, links to dicey sites, letters to the editor, complaints to a city council, the possibilities go on and on.
It can seem like there’s no end to the results, with one search bringing up as many as 1,800 hits! However, the good news is that no client will go through all of them. Still, the worry remains.
If you do a simple search of your name and look through the first two pages of hits, you should get an accurate depiction of your brand right? Maybe.
Going through the lists of articles, speeches, news articles, and biographies could tell you the basics like where you’re from and what you focus on in your business. Or it could make you out to look flakey from bouncing around all over the place for the last few decades, or that you’ve spent years specializing in an area you don’t work in anymore.
These Results Can Be Okay
There’s nothing wrong with these results, however, you want to present yourself as one thing, you need to be prepared to respond to questions about why your past business is so different and how the skills that you developed there will translate to your current brand.
It’s also possible that when you run your search you will look like someone who doesn’t care very much about what the world thinks about them. This may be because you have three different LinkedIn profiles with your name on them but without a photo on any of them.
Maybe none of your profiles have complete information or it’s been two years since you’ve posted on your blog. It’s also possible that you’ve neglected to provide contact information that is current to online directories or professional associations. This could result in very different email addresses on three different forums.
The worst case scenario is that you will see the side of yourself that you’d rather keep from your clients on the first few pages of search results. Your clients probably don’t want to know about how you celebrate holidays or what your Star Wars handle is.
Your personality shouldn’t be completely sanitized, however, there are certain things that will take away from being viewed as an effective professional. Or, these aspects of your online persona could leave the impression that you don’t understand what your target audience needs and is looking for to address their concerns.
Clean Up Your Act
Before you get too excited about doubling your Twitter followers, getting a Tumblr account, or launching a YouTube channel, you need to make sure that your current act is getting cleaned up. This means that you’ll need to do a sweep of every social media profile that you have an account with.
Clean Up Your Accounts
This is your time to make sure that your accounts are squeaky clean. This means that you will have removed any rough language or inappropriate references. If you have any doubts about your material, it’s best to just remove it from your account.
This shouldn’t just be limited to Facebook and Twitter. Take a look at your photo-sharing sites like Flickr, Instagram, and Pinterest. It’s also important to remember to clear out your video-sharing sites as well. YouTube should be examined to make sure that your videos follow ethics rules and unflattering content.
Quiet Your Pages
You can learn about your privacy settings and take the time to change them to support your brand. It’s important not to get too heavy-handed when you’re doing this though because people like to know that you know how to use the internet. Too little of a voice and people will think that you have social media paranoia.
Update Your Accounts
Don’t let the information about you on the internet get out of date. Check out your bios and profiles to make sure that they’re current. It’s important that you schedule time to update your accounts regularly. If you get a new job then you need to add it. If you publish something new, include that too. Your information all needs to be current and consistent.
Include a Great Picture
It’s important that you let people see your face. Don’t include a photo on your LinkedIn account that is 15 years old. Put something up that is current and wasn’t taken by a smartphone. You want to look like a professional because you are a professional. This is a great project to outsource to a professional photographer and pay for, at least this once.
Mix it Up
Social media sites will give you the opportunity to personalize your page with your own cover and background images. You should definitely take advantage of this, but you should make sure to be tasteful with you do.
This means that you should probably limit your references to your favorite sports teams, politicians, or any other controversial topics.
You’ll want to keep your social media sites fresh to increase interest in your pages. A great way to incentivize yourself to do this is to remember that every time you change your cover image, it’s providing another opportunity for you to connect with new people.
Clean Up Your Followers
Just like in real life, your friends will influence your future. Take the time to look over your followers and friends and find out who’s actually interested in you and comments on your posts. Remove the people who are not really following you and anyone who is actively against what your brand stands for.
With all of the different social media apps out there it would be easy to get overwhelmed and over-involved. Being involved in too many social media accounts at once is a recipe for disaster. You need to check out management tools like HootSuite and BufferApp These sites will let you engage with your target audience on one screen.
You may also just want to focus on a few platforms. It’s easier to be the best at something if you’re only focusing on one site.
Check Out Your Competitors
What do your top competitors look like? How much information do they share? You’ll want to take a tour of their digital brand and do it often. Your target audience will be comparing you and your competitors, so you should be aware of what you’re up against.
Getting More Clients On LinkedIn
Once you’ve figured out your online search issues, its time to go through the right steps for getting more clients from your LinkedIn account.
Getting More Clients On LinkedIn Step 1: Professional Profile
Your profile needs to be professional, search optimized, and client focused. Your profile needs to present you in a way that is helpful, not hindering to your brand efforts.
Getting More Clients On LinkedIn Step 2: Identify Prospects
Use LinkedIn Advanced Search and LinkedIn Groups to target new potential clients. Generate a few titles that are related to your target audience and then search them out.
Getting More Clients On LinkedIn Step 3: Thank You Messages
When your connection requests are accepted, it’s a great show of professional friendliness to send out a personalized thank you message. This isn’t a time to pitch your services or self-promote. Find a commonality in their profile and use it to say thank you for noticing your brand.
Getting More Clients On LinkedIn Step 4: Engage on Shared LinkedIn Groups
Find out what groups your target audience is on and join them. You can join up to fifty groups, so find the ones that are most relevant and join in. This is a great way to get your brand on their radar and demonstrate your expertise and credibility.
Getting More Clients On LinkedIn Step 5: Move Relationships Offline
Without this step there will be too much social without enough selling. Once you’ve built up your credibility, you need to transition to an offline conversation. Have a conversation to know what problems your target audience is dealing with, and then use your offline relationship to solve it once they know your brand can provide valuable insight.
If done the right way, it can be easy and fun to get clients on LinkedIn. This is still a social media app, so remember to be social, be credible, be reliable, and be yourself. If you’ve cleaned up the rest of your internet search results before you do this then you’ll be ready to take off on LinkedIn.
Do you use LinkedIn for your brand?