How to Use LinkedIn to Get Clients – LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategy

professional LinkedIn profile photo

Introduction – Why LinkedIn is a Major Player for Business Growth

LinkedIn has rapidly become a major player in the social media space for good reason – when used strategically, it can generate high-quality leads and clients like no other platform. Yet most of the LinkedIn advice still promoted today is completely outdated and ineffective, wasting valuable time, money and energy. It’s like receiving guidance from a pushy sales manager stuck in 1987!

The reality is that LinkedIn works more like a search engine than a traditional social network. So rather than hard-selling to connections, you need to optimize profiles for discoverability, create engaging content, and build authentic relationships. Do this correctly and LinkedIn can transform into one of your business’s most powerful client and lead generation sources.

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

A well-optimized LinkedIn profile is the foundation for generating more leads and connections. Consider it the backbone supporting all your other LinkedIn efforts.

LinkedIn themselves have reported that fully completed profiles garner 30% more weekly views – that’s 30% more chances for ideal prospects to discover and connect with you.

So what constitutes an “optimized” profile?

  • A professional photo where you look approachable and trustworthy. Ditch group shots or pictures cropped from your cousin’s wedding.
  • A clear, compelling headline highlighting the value you provide followed by your current position and company. Keep it simple and benefit-focused.
  • Concise background sections covering your skills, accomplishments and industry credentials.

Avoid “alphabet soup” littering your profile with obscure acronyms and certifications. This looks messy and confusing rather than impressive. Prioritize clarity over creativity – after all, LinkedIn profiles function more like enhanced resumes than artsy magazine spreads.

The goal is crafting a profile that signals professionalism, approachability and industry competency at a glance.

Because just like wearing an ill-fitting suit to a job interview, a poorly optimized LinkedIn presence simply won’t make the right first impression on potential connections. And you only get one chance to get it right.

Creating Engaging Content

Content remains king, even on LinkedIn.

Studies show 96% of B2B marketers distribute content through LinkedIn. So creating engaging, valuable content is crucial for standing out from the crowd.

You’ll often hear tips to keep LinkedIn posts short and snappy, around 150 characters. But take that with a heaping spoonful of salt.

  • Successful posts run the gamut from quick tips to in-depth long-form articles.
  • Instead of an arbitrary length, focus more on sharing truly useful insights and perspectives.
  • Check out influencers in your niche to see what resonates with your audience.

When creating content:

  • Don’t just copy what everyone else does. Understand LinkedIn’s unique platform and capabilities.
  • Research what your particular audience responds to – what problems they face and how you can help.
  • And showcase your distinct perspective and approach – your “secret sauce” so to speak.

This value-driven approach is key.

For example, LinkedIn Live videos generate 7X more reactions and 24X more comments than just posting standard video.

So if live broadcasting aligns well with your offerings, dive right in!

The main takeaway when creating LinkedIn content:

Provide genuine value aligned with your ideal audience and your unique strengths. This attracts and engages followers much more effectively than checkerboard optimization tips or trend-chasing.

Crafting a LinkedIn Power List

When growing your business, being specific about your target clients is crucial. Otherwise you’ll spray and pray outreach to anyone and everyone.

  • B2C companies can’t reasonably create an exhaustive list of all potential individual customers.
  • Instead, build a fictional composite – an “ideal customer avatar” – representing your best customers.
  • This guides your overall marketing strategy.
  • B2B companies typically work with fewer, larger clients.
  • So it’s viable to research and list your top 100 target accounts.
  • These become your LinkedIn power list – specific companies and decision-makers you want to connect with.

Without a goals and targets, you’re firing blind. It’s like going grocery shopping without a list. Chaotic and inefficient.

When making your power list:

  • Don’t just look at top executives like CEOs and Presidents.
  • Also consider directors, managers, and well-connected employees.
  • Sometimes these people have the relationships and influence to connect you with decision-makers.
  • Look beyond titles and roles.
  • Identify people publishing and commenting in your niche.
  • Engage with them to start building familiarity and trust.

In other words, carefully plan your LinkedIn outreach just like you would strategize your weekly shopping.

The Art of the LinkedIn Connection Request

Making connections is crucial on LinkedIn. It leads to conversations, opportunities, and more visibility for your content.

But generic connection requests are an instant turn-off. Take the extra minute to personalize your ask.

  • Review their profile and posts. Reference shared interests, experiences, or connections.
  • Make it feel authentic and human. Like you actually read their profile and didn’t just spam every VP in sight.

Once connected, resist the urge to immediately pitch. I know, shocking concept these days.

  • Pitching right after connecting has all the charm of proposing on a first date. Let the relationship build first.
  • Comment on their content, offer advice, make introductions. Build goodwill and trust.

If your targets don’t accept connection requests, you still have options:

  • Follow their profile to engage with their posts and start a dialogue.
  • Publish your own content in their niche. Thought leadership opens doors.
  • Identify and connect with 2nd degree connections that can introduce you.
  • Don’t take non-responses personally. Busy executives get bombarded with these asks daily.
  • Persistence pays over time. Keep providing value without expectation and you’ll stand out.

Like anything worthwhile, good LinkedIn relationships take time and care. Make that effort and it will pay dividends. No first date proposals necessary!

Don’t Ignore the Creator Economy

The “creator economy” is booming. This new category of micro-entrepreneurs and small business owners includes social media influencers, bloggers, videographers, podcasters, and more.

And they are driving serious business growth. Studies show the creator economy is the fastest-growing small business segment today.

You may chuckle that more kids want to be YouTube stars than astronauts these days. But it’s not just Gen Z fueling this growth. The bulk comes from Millennials and Gen X, with Boomers not far behind.

These creators have massive reach and impact. A recent survey showed over 50% of creators have helped a small business grow through collaborations, sponsorships or other partnerships.

So how can you tap into this viral marketing channel?

  • Understand exactly how they help businesses grow. Is it driving traffic, making referrals, or something else? Quantify it.
  • Identify creators in your niche with engaged audiences and partnership experience.
  • Research what motivates them to partner with brands. Is it money, exposure, free products, or a cause?
  • Make a genuine connection before proposing anything commercial. Comment, share, offer advice – no strings attached.
  • Propose a pilot project to demonstrate potential before committing long-term. Manage expectations upfront.

The creator economy is still the Wild West in many ways. But approach it strategically and it offers exciting new growth channels for your business. Just maybe don’t quit your day job to become a TikTok dancer just yet.

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