Get active on LinkedIn and get more clients

You’re putting in long hours, marketing like crazy and connecting with all the right people, but your business is not growing as quickly as you would like. It’s a predicament many new business owners face. Rather than repeating the same promotional activities, it could be time to try something new – social selling.

So what is social selling? Essentially, it’s developing relationships with prospective clients as part of the sales process, usually through social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. According to the Hootsuite article “Social Selling: Nurturing Relationships into Revenue”, social selling generates 40% more leads than cold calling.

Think of social selling as social networking for your business – interacting with people online so you can learn about them, and they can learn about you. Today’s customers actively conduct their own research via social networks before they buy or commit to anything, so it’s important that your business has an engaging online presence.

Here are some pointers that can help you leverage the power of LinkedIn to generate leads for your business.

It’s about relationships, not transactions

Social networking is really no different to networking in real life. Just as you wouldn’t try to sell to someone the second they walk into a face-to-face meeting, the same applies to social networking. People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. Engaging with others in an authentic way is the cornerstone of social selling.

Share content publicly and directly with prospective clients

Posting status updates is an easy first step, and a great way to get in front of prospective clients. At first, try sharing interesting articles you’ve found online two or three times a week, along with your comments. Make sure the article is relevant to potential clients, and that your comments build on the points made in the article – aim to add value for your network.

Once you’re posting regularly, people will start to like, share and comment on your posts. Some of these people may be potential clients, so check out their profiles and follow up with an introduction. You can also share content directly with your contacts via email or LinkedIn direct mail. Always try to suggest a next step when you do this, like a follow-up meeting or phone call.

Expand your reach

When you’re logged into LinkedIn, you will be shown second-degree connections who you might want to add as contacts. You can also use the Advanced Search feature to target specific people or find contacts that live in a particular region or city.

Join groups that your prospective clients are involved in, and participate in the group discussions. As a bonus, you can connect with people who are in the same groups as you – even those outside your network – without paying for LinkedIn’s InMail service.

Position yourself as a thought leader

Beyond sharing other people’s content, you can position yourself as a thought leader by writing your own blog posts. Use LinkedIn’s publishing platform to publish or repurpose your content. The posts will be shared with your connections and followers, and if they get enough engagement they could get promoted on LinkedIn Pulse.

If you decide to go down this path, make sure you craft a catchy title and provide valuable insights, rather than using the post to promote your business. Remember to include a call to action at the end of your post, for example, ‘If you want to find out more, visit [your website] or call me on [your number]’.

Being active on social platforms can take a little bit of time, but once you’ve started – and you begin to see the benefits of an expanded network of potential clients – it will become a regular part of your daily work. Successful social selling is about consistently publishing content and interacting with your network to build your credibility. Be generous and authentic and you will reap the rewards.

For more information about social selling, please contact a Choice Aggregation Services Partnership Manager.