Given that building relationships with potential customers and referral sources is central to a small business’ marketing strategy, it makes sense to establish a presence on a social media tool that can assist us with this.
LinkedIn is The Business social network. It has 347 million users worldwide and 4 out of 5 professionals are listed on LinkedIn. This makes it a fantastic social media channels to use to make B2B connections.
So what might you need to consider before deciding to invest your time and energy into using LinkedIn to gain new customers?
Well, the first thing to consider is who your ideal clients are, and whether they hang out on LinkedIn. Then you need to think about whether they are active users of LinkedIn. Finally, you need to work out if you have the time, and budget, to establish your name on LinkedIn and get known to relevant users.
If you answer “Yes” to all of the above, you then need to create a clear plan and set objectives for your promotion of your business on LinkedIn. As they say, “Failure to plan is planning to fail!”. If you want to use LinkedIn to gain new customers, a plan is essential.
Here are 10 steps you need to take to start promoting your therapy business on LinkedIn and gain new customers:
- Create a Great Profile
To do this you need to complete your profile as fully as possible. Make sure you include relevant keywords in your title as Google indexes your LinkedIn profile. You also want to customize your URL and complete your contact details as fully as possible (no hiding your phone number and website address please!).
Take time to create more than a few sentences in your summary to describe who you help with your services and how you help them, and back up this with details of your how you developed your expertise in this area.
Of course you need to clearly establish where and how you developed your expertise in the service areas you are offering. This will help people viewing your profile to feel safe that you really are qualified in the area you wish to support them with.
Finally ask for recommendations and endorsements, again this is about building your “know, like and trust” factor, so that your ideal clients want to connect with you on LinkedIn.
Read also: How to attract 10 clients in 60 days
- Build Your Network & Connections
You want to begin with people you know, so import your email contacts and LinkedIn will connect you with those of your contacts who have LinkedIn profiles.
Then join the alumni for the schools and colleges you attended. You can quickly search to find relevant school and college friends and add them to your connections. You might want to also look for existing colleagues of yours in your field and others you know.
Once you have built up a network of connections, who you already know you, then want to start seeking relevant connections with others who are your ideal clients and who could be potential referral sources.
It is not just about gaining as many connections as possible, it is about seeking out those relevant connections who you wish to develop a relationship with. Great connections for you to build a relationship with include potential referral sources and potential customers.
Ask for introductions to people who you would like to connect with. When you do message people to ask to connect, allow yourself to add a personalised message introducing yourself and explain why you would like to connect with them.
- Join & Engage in Groups
Start by searching for and then joining relevant groups where your ideal clients hang out. Being part of these groups is not just about trying to meet your ideal clients, it is a great opportunity to learn from others.
Genuinely engage and comment on threads and posts by others in the group. You’ll find that by giving you receive – the more you engage with others the more they will engage with your posts and threads.
Seek out individuals in these groups who you would like to connect with directly on LinkedIn. Once you have invited them to connect (and they have accepted), you can then email them a personal message and start a dialogue with them. You want to ask them about themselves and their work and then let them know about your work. It is this kind of dialogue that can lead to you gaining new clients.
Make sure you share your valuable content in the groups you are a member of and start your own threads to get discussions going.
- Share Valuable Content Regularly
There are several places you can share your valuable content on LinkedIn, the first place is simply by posting a post on your profile. This post gets seen by your connections in their newsfeed, they can like, comment and share your post. You want to post regularly, say once per day. This will help your connections to start to get to know more about who you are and what you offer.
Posting blogs you have on your website onto your profile has the added benefit of driving traffic to your website and gaining backlinks that will help with the Search Engine Optimisation of your website.
You can also publish an article on Pulse, which is LinkedIn’s own blog. This is a great way to get more attention for your articles, as they can be shared, liked and commented on. I’ve found this can also lead your ideal clients to want to contact you and connect with you.
To save yourself some time, use an app like Buffer to share content to your LinkedIn profile and to multiple LinkedIn groups at the same time.
- Message Your Connections Regularly
It is useful to invest time in messaging your connections at least once a month. The key here is to avoid spamming your connections. I receive quite a few messages from people that feel like they are pushing their services onto me. I find this annoying, especially if they have never engaged with me at all in any other way. Avoid doing this by personally messaging people you really want to build a relationship with.
What I love about LinkedIn is that as a social media channel goes, it excels at providing opportunities to develop deeper connections with individual and given that people are on LinkedIn to develop work connections they tend to be open to exploring and sharing about our work areas of expertise and seeing if there is potential to work together.
- Set Up a Company Page
For many small businesses simply having a profile can be sufficient but if you want added exposure for your business, having a company page is a good idea. It will help create visibility for your brand, products and services. Individuals can choose to follow your posts on your company page, which can be a useful way of easily and quickly getting the message out about new products and services you are offering.
- Consider Setting Up a Group
If you would like to gain expert status on a large-scale then setting up a LinkedIn Group is an excellent way to do this. However, it is important to bear in mind the following factor before you launch head first into starting a group.
Having a LinkedIn Group can be extremely time consuming as the group requires; moderating, investing time starting threads, engaging in discussions and promoting this group to gain new members. So you need to make sure you have the time and budget to be able to devout to developing a LinkedIn Group.
See also: Client attraction Academy
- Promote Your LinkedIn Presence on Social Media
If you are going to spend time, energy and money building your presence on LinkedIn you need to make sure people know about your profile, company page and or group. So the easiest way to do this is to promote your presence on the other social media channels you are on such as on your Facebook Page, in Facebook Groups and on Twitter to gain more connections, followers and/or members.
- Promote Your LinkedIn Presence on Your Website
Let those who come to your website easily see that you are on LinkedIn. Include links on your website so they can quickly be taken to your profile, company page and/or group and choose to connect with you.
- Measure Your Success
So I’m sure you are keen to hear how you can tell if all that hard work you are putting into establishing your name on LinkedIn is actually paying off!
Well, there are some simple measurements you can keep track of that will give you the answer to this question. Simply keep an eye on if there is growth in the following; your connections, invitations to connect, profile views, interactions, endorsements, recommendations, the likes, comments & shares on your published posts, how many leads you are getting and customers you are gaining. The idea is that as long as numbers of the above are growing then your efforts are successful.
Remember using LinkedIn to gain new customers is not a quick win strategy. It is going to take time – expect to spend twenty minutes per day for at least three months on LinkedIn before you start seeing any results. As with developing your presence on any social media channel, consistency and keeping going is the key!