Most of us don’t like cold calling. It seems awkward to pick up the phone and call someone you’ve never met and try to get them to buy something. You worry about what time to call, as some people are very unfriendly if you call at a bad time for them. Cold calling is something most of us put off as long as possible in the day.
What if I told you that you don’t have to cold call anyone again, are you interested?
With all the social media channels out there I’m sure you’ve heard that you don’t need to cold call anymore that there are ways to find warm leads. I am going to show you how you can use LinkedIn to find those warm leads. LinkedIn is a great place to start, as there are over 9 millions Canadians using LinkedIn! Plus it’s a business network, people expect to receive marketing and sales messages.
There are two ways you can use your LinkedIn profile to gain leads, one through people searching for your product/services and finding you, the second way is through you reaching out to new connections.
Let’s start with making sure people can find you. This is important, if you are a Bookkeeper and someone is searching for a Bookkeeper you want to make sure you come up in their search. How do you do that you ask? I’ll show you.
When LinkedIn first came people saw it as an opportunity to be their digital resume, which is great if you are looking for a job. This is not the case for LinkedIn if you are looking to connect with clients; you need to optimize your profile for them. Here is how to set up your profile to attract prospective clients.
Profile Picture be Professional!
If it’s a selfie, make sure you are dressed professionally and be up against a plain coloured background. Don’t use a vacation picture, one with your husband, wife or kids it’s not professional. Use those pictures for your Facebook profile.
This is the text just under your name when you are on your profile. It is the first thing people will see after your name. By default LinkedIn populates it with your job position and company. This space should describe what you do for people. For example instead of just photographer say business photography | portrait photography | photos for websites and social networks.
The Summary Section
Tell people what problems you can solve for them, what value you can add to their life/business with your product or service. If you offer multiple products/services you can do a brief write up on each or just focus on a few. You have 2,000 characters here so use it to show a potential client what you can offer, consider it your expanded written elevator pitch. Use keywords that people would use in their search to find you or your company. This section plays a big role in what LinkedIn pulls up for searches, the more keywords you use the better.
The Skills Section
Here you list your key skills that you have. You can have up to 50 skills, focus on the ones that will show your expertise, and ones your LinkedIn connections will be able to endorse you for. Endorsements are good because they show prospective clients that others value the skills you have.
If you have clients that you are already connected with on LinkedIn, ask them to write you a recommendation. If you can make it easy, for example if they sent you a thank you email saying how great it was to work with you, ask them if they wouldn’t mind putting that in a LinkedIn recommendation. Then their entire network will see that you did a good job on x project for him/her.
Those five steps will make a difference so take the time and think about your profile from your potential customer’s prospective what do they want to know to do business with you. Your optimized profile will help the right contacts reach out to you, but we all know you can’t just wait around for leads to come in, you also need to proactively make new connections.
I’ve put together a one-page pdf, that you can print off and keep close to your desk so you can easily go over the list every week and make sure you’re continuing to grow your contacts on LinkedIn. You can make those initial connections through LinkedIn and then continue moving them through your sales process.
Happy Warm Calling!
If you have any questions about finding leads through LinkedIn feel free to post your questions below. Or if you have a tip to share please leave those too!