LinkedIn has grown from a little-known professional social networking tool to one of the most rapidly growing professional networking communities online today. However, what many businesses are now starting to realize is that LinkedIn can also generate leads and grow your client base. There are six primary ways to effectively do this, though all options require a focused effort and some work on everyone’s part to be successful. These are:
1. Target searches
You want to find those resources that will be valuable to your business, so it’s critical you take some time to generate an effective search. Whether it’s “VP of marketing” or necessary phone numbers, LinkedIn can provide the necessary information – if you take the time to search for what you really need. You can even contact the people you need via InMail – LinkedIn’s internal messaging system. Regardless of how you do it, this is the most effective way of finding the contact information of those you want to direct to your business’ page quickly.
Rather than searching for the names you want to visit your business, track who’s looking at yours. You can then find out more about the people who are looking you up by looking at their professional or company profiles – and then establish those first, all-important business contacts.
You can use a tool such as Google Analytics to find out which domain names are visiting your site and determine whether or not they might be in the market for what you’re offering. Then, once you’ve found that out, you can research them further via LinkedIn – rather than making a cold call right away – and from there, decide whether or not to call them, contact them via email or InMail, or exchange portfolios with them. A little reconnaissance work about the business or businesses that might be interested in you never hurt, and could be very revealing.
4. Set up a company page
Granted, this may not generate thousands of leads for you, but it helps you set up a presence beyond a simple professional profile, and can also let prospective clients know more about your company than you think. You can embed videos and other imagery in your page, and given we have become a society that’s increasingly reliant on the picture rather than the written word to communicate, this can be an effective marketing tool.
5. Look for the pattern
Patterns are a common theme in life, and you can also determine a lot about your prospective client base by looking at who is connected. There could be one or several consultants hooked to your clients in order to help them begin a search for an agency or other business, which means that the time could be ripe for you to “woo” them to your company. Keep an eye on the patterns you see, and you could learn a lot.
Participate in LinkedIn Groups which directly target your prospective clients. Getting your name hooked in with LinkedIn Groups gets your name in front of the people you want your name to be seen by. You will have to join the group in order to determine whether it’s one that gets a lot of activity, but after a while, you’ll get a feel for which groups have a lot of activity happening. Those are the groups you want to be a part of.
In short, there are several ways in which you can use LinkedIn to expand your client base. It’s a matter of doing a little research and some legwork, but in the long run, the dividends could be huge.
Hugh Yearsley contributed this guest post for WhoIsHostingThis.com – see here to gain more information on hosting reviews. Hugh is a freelance business technology writer. He consults businesses on their technology needs and his articles mainly appear on tech blogs.