The two main questions I hear from Small Business Owners are:
1. Where can I find potential clients?
2. And once I find them, how do I connect with them?
Are you asking yourself these questions as well?
What if I told you I knew about a place that could answer both of these questions and as well as profiling your expertise.
A place where you could find an endless stream of ideal potential clients and partners.
A place where you can see who knows who and how people are connected with each other. And also how they are connected to you.
A place where you could see what people think and what their point of view on the world is. What they care about and what they’re interested in.
A place where you can see where people have lived and worked.
What would it mean to your business if you could gain access to this information?
How much would you pay to be able to access this remarkable vault of data?
What if I told you that it’s free and that you’re probably already on this platform and can see it all right now.
If you haven’t already guessed, it’s LinkedIn.
But before you stop reading because you’re so sure it’s not a fit for you, check out the rest of this post to see the possibilities it offers your business.
LinkedIn is an overlooked and underestimated resource to help you connect with people and grow your business.
I’ve heard from many of you who don’t like LinkedIn. You say it’s ugly, it’s only for job seekers, it’s too corporate, or that your clients aren’t on the platform.
How to Find Interesting People
On LinkedIn, you can find the exact kind of people you’re looking for.
And it’s more than likely your people are on there. There were 900 million people on LinkedIn as of January 2023.
You can search for people by:
• Non-Profit Interests
• Languages Spoken
• Connections of your first-level connection
• Degree of connection (first, second, or third)
• You can also search Posts for a specific topic (and you can use Boolean search)
Indulge me for a few minutes, head over to LinkedIn right now.
Go to the top of the page and in the search bar type in an industry that you’re interested in (for either potential clients or strategic alliance partners).
From there add an additional filter by choosing ‘Locations’ and select a city and click ‘Apply.’ This will narrow your search further.
Choose one or two more filters and then scroll through the list of people.
See anyone interesting to connect with?
Also, take a look and see if you are both connected to any of the same people.
How to Connect with People
Once you find interesting people to connect with, you have several options.
You can ‘Follow’ them and interact with their updates and activity.
You can invite them to connect on LinkedIn with a personalized message. And please, for the love of humanity, always personalize your invitations.
From there you can continue the conversation on email or with a chat (either virtually or in person).
You can also reach out to potential clients using snail mail. Find out more in my post, The Non-Salesy Guide to Writing a Letter to Potential Clients.
And if you find some interesting potential partners you can reach out to connect with them.
Industries on LinkedIn
Take a look at this insightful post by SAGE that gives you a good idea of the makeup of industries on LinkedIn (scroll down below the graphic to find your industry) from January 20, 2021.
What I find fascinating is that of the 148 industries mentioned, not one industry is larger than 5%.
This means that more than likely that out of the millions of people who are on LinkedIn, your ideal clients are also there.
And remember beyond companies and industries, LinkedIn is made up of individuals.
Professional people just like you and me who enjoy connecting with other people with similar interests.
So it’s a valuable platform for B2B as well as B2C.
There are bankers who do yoga and there are professional women who are moms who want to know about fitness classes for their kids.
LinkedIn is a business platform and if you have a business, you belong on LinkedIn.
More Reasons to Love LinkedIn
LinkedIn is also a place you can share your expertise.
Find out more about how to do this in my post, 3 Reasons Why Your Business Needs LinkedIn more than Facebook.
And leverage your blog posts by republishing them on LinkedIn Publisher. Get the details on that here.
And if you need help figuring out how to use LinkedIn, I’ve got you covered.
And one last bonus tip, if you have a generic banner on your profile (the blue one with white dots) it’s time to add a beautiful custom banner. Check out the first two tips in this post.
I hope you’re starting to see how LinkedIn can support you and your goals for your business.
Head on over there and start connecting.
© Stephanie Ward
Stephanie Ward is the Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs who want to create meaningful and prosperous businesses. Grab your FREE copy of the special report ’7 Steps to Attract More Clients in Less Time’ plus business building tips, at: https://www.fireflycoaching.com.
I’d love to hear what you think about LinkedIn. Share your experiences, thoughts, and questions in the comments section below. I respond to every single comment.