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I met Richard Schagen during a mountain bike ride the other day. Richard is an independent businessman who runs his own business called Assessed Threat Solutions providing protection and assessed threat solutions.
After hearing what I do, Richard told me that he started using LinkedIn and other social media platforms to look for new business opportunities, and he asked me for some advice. The advice I offered prompted me to write this article.
Here are three tips to connect with and influence your potential clients on LinkedIn.
1. Make your LinkedIn profile shine
This is one area where you need to expend a lot of time and effort. Your LinkedIn profile articulates who you are and your value proposition. There are numerous resources available which provide advice and guidance on beefing up your LinkedIn profile. I recommend Neal Schaffer of Maximise Your Social who is a Linkedin specialist. His book, titled Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales & Social Media Marketing – A LinkedIn for Business Book will provide all the information you require to market your business effectively on LinkedIn.
Besides the valuable information you will glean from Neal Schaffer’s book, make sure you do the following:
- Use a professional photograph
- Include a catchy headline
- Have a good summary including key words
- Reorder your skills placing the important ones at the top
- Join relevant groups
- Be specific about your education
- Get recommendations from current and past clients, employers, business partners, colleagues and influential people
2. Always provide a good reason to connect
Start by identifying who you want to connect with on LinkedIn. It makes sense to focus on individuals who may be potential clients or will recommend you and/or share your articles. Do not use the standard LinkedIn messages. In her Huffington Post article titled “5 Tips for Connecting With Strangers on LinkedIn“, Andrea Smith advises to “add your own personal message when sending a LinkedIn request” and to “explain why you are connecting”.
3. Establish yourself as a thought leader
Once connected on LinkedIn find a reason to interact regularly to build credibility. This enables you to be seen as a thought leader and to stay “top of mind”. It is proven that if you communicate regularly, people get to “like” you. If you are sharing information that is interesting, educational, value-adding and sharable, it is only a matter of time before you are perceived as a thought leader and the “go-to” person when your services may be required.
- Publish articles on LinkedIn early in the week
- Ensure the content in your article matches popular channels
- Ask influencers to comment on your article, and to
- Encourage discussion and to optimise your headings
There is a lot more you can do, but if you want to do the basics to grow your network and influence, ensure you have a great LinkedIn profile, connect with your potential clients and publish articles regularly in order to establish yourself as a thought leader.
Do you have anything to add? I would love to hear from you!