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It seems that every week I am asked HOW do I gain clients from LinkedIn. Of course, it is imperative that before you put these three tips into practice, that you have a full completed LinkedIn profile using keywords, etc. Why spend time marketing if your profile (resume, bio, footprint online) isn’t serving you and in fact, may hurt you. Get your profile as it should be.

Okay, your profile is perfect and serving you well in search and when people go to it. Now, what do you do with LinkedIn. We are going to start you off with just 30 minutes per day, five days a week.

  1. Login to LinkedIn and check your Connection Requests, Messages and Notifications every day. The best time might be when you first check your emails in the morning. Connect with anyone who might be a good referral source or potential client. When it comes to your competition, you have to decide. In many cases, competitors refer to each other and act as peer colleagues. In other cases, competitors are less reputable.
  2. Use the LinkedIn Search feature to find potential strategic/referral partners and clients. For example; a real estate professional might look for loan officers, divorce attorneys and escrow officers. Think outside the box. Who is your client and who might they be talking to that would refer them to you? Create a nice friendly short message to send as a Note when you invite them to Connect with you. Put this in Word or someplace where you can easily Copy/Paste, always remember to include the person’s first name to make it personal. Here’s an example; “Hi Susan, I would love to connect with you and learn more about your business and how I might help. I believe we have complimentary services. Thanks so much, Debbie”.
  3. When Susan accepts your Connection Request, have another note prepared that you can copy/paste. Here’s an example; “Hi Susan, thanks so much for accepting my connection request. Should you or any of your clients ever need information on _____________, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. My number is ______________”. Or “Hi Susan, thanks so much for accepting my connection request. Would you be available next Tuesday at 3 to grab a coffee? I look forward to learning more about you and your business. My number is _____________” If you are going to invite people to breakfast, lunch, coffee, cocktails, be sure to write it on your calendar as Tentative. You don’t want to screw up and schedule something else if they say yes. Also, don’t do too many of these in one week. Maybe just one or two or you’ll find yourself with a week full of tentative appointments.

There is a lot more you can do with LinkedIn to gain clients, however, this will get you started on a routine. It’s just like any other form of business networking. You have to build relationships and offer help to others. Give before you get. If your business is locally bound, then meeting people in person is fabulous. If you are a global business, you will do more via LinkedIn messaging and email. Do not forget about scheduling a phone call or Skype session to make a more personal connection. Remember to approach LinkedIn as a Global Networking Event. You would not (I hope) run around the room throwing your business card at people and telling them they must use your services. You would have a few meaningful conversations with people and always start by asking how you can help them.

LinkedIn will bring you business. It works for our clients and for me time and again. It isn’t magic – it must be worked; patiently, respectfully, genuinely and consistently but it will bear fruit.