Ask any seasoned professional services business owner (or any B2B professional for that matter), and they will tell you that one of their most significant problems is finding new clients. Developing the product is one thing, but marketing it successfully is quite another. It’s not uncommon for professional services companies to spend up to 50 per cent of their time in pursuit of customer acquisition: time that could have been spent on revenue-generating activities.

The good news is that LinkedIn could provide a solution. The business-focused social network is more than just a Facebook for your work colleagues: it has a bunch of useful features, like CRM tools, that help you win and stay on top of your customer relationships, reducing the amount of time you spend finding new clients.

Knowing about this tool is one thing, but do you understand how to use it to get new business? This is how to find new clients via LinkedIn.


Step 1: Build Your Profile

If you want to attract new clients, the first thing you need to do is build a professional profile. Clients will instinctively go to your profile page as you solicit business because they want to know more about your professional expertise, products, and experience. Dress smart in your photos, create links to your publications and do everything you can to create the best impression possible.


Step 2: Seek Out Your Target Market

The next step is to identify your target market by seeking out key stakeholders. Don’t just randomly message everybody in a particular firm. Look for critical decision-makers who can give the go-ahead for purchasing whatever it is that you’re selling. Look for senior titles, like CEO or VP sales. Use LinkedIn advanced search to narrow down your results, or LinkedIn groups to find people with particular associations.


Step 3: Sleuth On Competitor Networks

It’s often easier to sell to a customer of one of your competitors than it is to win an entirely new client. LinkedIn is helpful in this regard because it allows you to sleuth on your competitor’s network to see who might be interested in your product. On LinkedIn, you can search the members of other networks to find prospects and potential customers.


Step 4: Connect With Prospects

Connecting with potential clients is easy on LinkedIn, but for it to be effective, you must do it right. Many budding users of LinkedIn attempt to randomly connect with people they think might be interested in their products. But if the person on the other end doesn’t know who you are or why you’re contacting them, then they are likely to hit the “report spam” button. To connect with a contact, click their name and then write them a relevant, personalised message.


Step 5: Thank People For Accepting Connection Requests

Prospects aren’t obliged to accept connection requests, so it’s worth showing them your gratitude when they do.


Step 6: Build The Relationship

Getting your connection request accepted is just the first step in building a relationship with a new client. The next is to help show them that you can be valuable to them, or can help them in some way. Many professional services provide free content to prospective clients, such as reports, articles, case studies, and so on to prove that they are an authority in their area of professional expertise.


Step 7: Become A Member Of A LinkedIn Group

It’s highly likely that your prospects are already members of several LinkedIn groups. Use these groups to find similar people who may also want to buy your firm’s products in the future. You can also use groups to show off your expertise and get new people interested in what you do.


Step 8: Check Comments On Prospects’ Posts

There are two reasons why people who comment on your prospect’s posts should be interesting to you.

  • They’re active on LinkedIn
  • They’re interested in the same issues as your prospects

Because of this, there’s a good chance that these people could become clients of your firm. Don’t miss the opportunity by skipping the comments section.


Step 9: Use Related Social Media Platforms

Other social media platforms are often a lot more relaxed than LinkedIn and can be a great way to connect with your prospects in a different context. Private messaging on LinkedIn is a lot more awkward if you haven’t met a person in real life than it is on, say, Twitter.


Step 10: Meet Them In Person

To sell a product or service, you’ve got to do more than have a convincing online presence on LinkedIn: you’ve got to meet people in the flesh. You’ll know once you’ve built enough rapport to take the relationship offline. When the opportunity arises, take it.


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Andrew Palmer
Andrew is the founder of Elegant Marketplace.