One of the biggest complaints I hear from new coaches is the amount of time it takes to mine for new customers. Many coaches spend up to 80% of their time trying to connect with their target audience between creating content, posting, social selling and hosting conversion events.
That leaves very little time for actual coaching!
When I first started in the online space, Facebook was the place to be, and for many niches, it still is. However, if you’re looking to quickly connect with a new audience, LinkedIn has some amazing features that can reduce the time it takes to connect.
LinkedIn has over 740 million users and 55 million registered companies of which 40% are online daily. This means it’s an excellent place to connect with potential customers especially if you need to get to the decision makers at an organization.
LinkedIn can be leveraged to:
- Build trust, authority and credibility in your niche
- Generate and capture organic leads
- Build your business or personal brand
- Gain industry knowledge
- Position yourself as a thought leader
- Grow your network
- Target decision makers
- Curate content
This all begins by knowing what you want to be known for and what your goals are. If you’re new to LinkedIn, complete the quick exercise below before proceeding with the platform.
- List your skills
- Write down your experience
- List the problems you solve with your skills and experience
- What is your purpose for being on LinkedIn?
- What are your specific goals on the platform?
Answering these questions will give you a better presence and identity as you move forward. Knowing your “persona” is as important as knowing your “avatar.” They work hand in hand when creating your messaging.
Before you dive in, make sure that you have a well defined avatar. Knowing your audience goes a long way in making the right connections. On LinkedIn, you don’t want to fill your connections for the sake of it, you want to focus on quality connections. If you haven’t gone through an exercise of defining your avatar, here are some quick pointers to get you started:
- Marital status
- Education / Degree
- Employment status
- Income range
- Field of study
- Title if applicable
- Location / languages
- Publications they read
- Organizations they belong to
- Brands they follow
- TV show they watch
- Movies they like
- Books they read
- Conferences they attend
- Social media platforms they’re active on
- Groups they belong to
- Hobbies they participate in
- Charities they donate to
- Places they volunteer
- Obstacles are they trying to overcome
- How they feel
- Goals they are working towards
Of course, the better you know your avatar, the more effectively and efficiently you can communicate and connect with them. The success of your marketing efforts will stem from how well you know your avatar.
Next, you’ll want to create a complete profile. This will show off your superpowers and let people get to know your personality and the problem you can solve for them. When you create your profile, write in first person and optimize your message for your target audience to capture their attention. Be sure to highlight your brand, your business, and the benefits of working with you. Don’t forget to incorporate search words into your headline so you can be found easily.
Here are a couple of samples:
- I help smart, introverted men attract women naturally
- My clients integrate LI into their existing sales and marketing processes. The result is more sales
- I help mid-sized organizations increase sales and improve customer service since 1993
- I turn entrepreneurs into thought leaders
- I empower, connect and support professionals to increase emotional intelligence to turn their boring jobs into fulfilling careers
If you don’t already have a business page, I’d encourage you to set one up. It will set you apart and create a stronger brand presence. With a business page, you can run ads, be more searchable with keywords, and be able to cross promote content. You can also list hiring posts and create showcase pages for your products and services.
Ok, so know you have your LinkedIn profile in place and you’re ready to start connecting. Here are some simple tips to make searching more productive:
- Basic Search – this is located at the top of your page. You can simply type in who or what you’re searching for and it will return a wide variety of possibilities broken out into categories: People, Groups, Companies, Jobs and Posts.
- Hashtag Search – You can search for hashtags you’d like to follow. Maybe this will have to do with interests or organizations your avatar follows. This can be an excellent way to connect with potential clients.
- Group Search – You can search for groups where your avatar hangs out. This is another organic way to connect with potential customers.
- Boolean Search – This type of search will help you be more specific in your searching efforts. This tactic requires using “ “ around your exact search terms i.e. “product manager” or “program manager” or “linkedin trainer.” LinkedIn will only provide results with those exact phrases.
- Exclusion Search – This search will help you define your search even more closely. For instance: “product manager” NOT “program manager.”
- Inclusive Search – This is similar to the above Boolean Search, but you use the word AND to include both phrases like this: “product manager” AND “program manager.”
- Either Search – This follows the same protocol as the above searches, if your search term is interchangeable, the OR feature might be the best search. Your search would look like this: “product manager” OR “program manager.”
- Complex Search – You can combine Boolean protocol with parenthesis to narrow down your search further: “president” NOT (VP or assistant). This is especially helpful if you are narrowing down job titles.
There is a lot you can do with basic and Boolean searches to connect with your avatar, but be aware there is a limit to the amount of searching you can do to stay inside of their commercial search limits. There is no advertised limit, but if you get close to it, LinkedIn will send out a message letting you know you’re nearing it. Note: your monthly usage will reset monthly.
If you are using LinkedIn as your primary organic platform, you may consider upgrading to their Sales Navigator. Either way, LinkedIn wants interactions on their site to mimic real life and feel personal. That means it frowns on automations and third party programs like bots to interact on your behalf.
If you want to save time, check out Gorgias Templates (now Briskine) to automate part of the process without violating terms of service. You can check it out here: https://www.briskine.com/. It’s a free tool that can help you reach more people more efficiently. As a bonus, it will work with any messaging application.
One of the beauties of LinkedIn is you can contact people via whatever contact info they provide. So, if they list an email address, feel free to follow up on messaging with a well thought out email. You can also reach out via phone or text if they have provided a phone number in their contact info. So you have some flexibility in how to connect.
As always, you’re going to want to find ways to connect and add value before you start selling. Show a genuine interest in people that you reach out to and learn more about them and how you can serve them. Take time to comment and share their posts, endorse them for skills, and help make introductions to people in your network who could help them achieve their business goals.
I hope these tips will help you save time finding and connecting with potential leads, however, this level of search still requires taking time to have conversations and pre-qualify connections as a good fit for your product or service. If you’d like to fast track your lead gen efforts schedule a 15-minute connect call with one of our Data and Curation Specialists and see if a DFY audience could help you fast-track your conversions and take your business to the next level.