LinkedIn is widely known as the go-to social network for B2B purposes. People from all over the world log in to network with other professionals, look for business opportunities, promote their personal brand, and demonstrate their expertise. If you know the right strategies, you can be incredibly successful in leveraging the power of LinkedIn to find new clients who are ready and willing to pay you for your services.
Once you change your mindset, you’ll see that LinkedIn gives you access to a virtually unlimited pool of clients that are looking for fantastic service providers just like you. And the best part is, you can get started with as little as 15 minutes a day. On top of that, apart from the time that you’re going to have to put in, there are no other fees involved when doing this. Are you starting to get motivated? You’d better be!
To save you the trouble of having to learn all of this on your own, we’ll show you how to use LinkedIn to get new clients as well as the best LinkedIn b2b marketing strategies you can use to make the process faster and more efficient.
1. Tweak your profile
What is the first thing someone sees when looking you up? Your profile, of course. Knowing how to optimize it is a powerful LinkedIn B2B marketing tool that will continue working for you 24/7, even while you sleep.
However, should you fail to make a good first impression while conveying professionalism and experience in your craft, your visitor is likely to wander off somewhere else. Without going in too deep, a good-looking LinkedIn profile features:
- Your best professional photo
- A headline that stands out
- A description of who you are and how you can help
- Your work experience
- A call to action
If you’re looking for inspiration, there are more than plenty of LinkedIn profile templates you can use (just make sure to make them yours and personalize them first, not just copy and paste).
2. Join targeted groups
Much like Facebook groups, those on LinkedIn tend to be interest-based. For example, there may be some for real estate, some for dog grooming, some for golfers… you get the idea. By joining the ones that best align with your profession and field of expertise will make it more likely that you will get noticed by a prospective client who is looking for what you can bring to the table.
Let’s be clear on something: you won’t get anywhere by spamming. However, you are very much encouraged to share content that you believe will help other members in the group. So if you want to get noticed, be helpful and don’t be afraid to socialize! Think of it as a learning journey where everyone participates (rather than just laser-eyeing on opportunities to sell your stuff). Eventually, a paying client will come to you.
3. Follow up with your leads
Networking, whether on the platform itself or in person, is a great way to meet new people who might be interested in your services and thus an effective LinkedIn B2B marketing strategy. Keep in mind that, unlike people you’ve never met before (also referred to as cold leads), these are more likely to become your paying customers.
Still, you should do your part to nurture the relationships you’ve built. Even something as simple as a “hello” can go far. If you’re the shy type, this may feel a bit foreign in the beginning, but practice makes perfect; you’ll get used to it in a while.
The same goes for when someone sends you a request to add them to your network (or when someone accepts a request you’ve sent). In case you’re running short on ideas on what to say to them, how about “thanks for accepting my request”? No need to be fancy; just keep it simple.
Another idea on how to proceed with the conversation is to ask them a question, preferably something that’s related to their field or the event you’ve both attended. Remember, your goal is to “warm them up” and the best way to do that is through conversation.
4. Message those who have visited your profile
As you start to get yourself noticed on LinkedIn, more and more people will stop by to see what you’re all about. The good news is that, unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is fully transparent regarding who viewed your profile, thus making it easy to follow up with them. If you have a free account, you will only be able to see the last couple of visitors, whereas LinkedIn Premium gives you access to the entire visitor history.
Either way, once you get in the habit of doing this, messaging those who have visited your profile will become your daily ritual. If you can’t think of anything to say to them, return the favor by checking out their profile. Perhaps you find out you two have something in common to start a conversation about. Keep in kind that, if you want people to respond, taking some time to come up with creative, thoughtful and insightful openers will pay off in spades. And that’s how to find clients on LinkedIn in a nutshell – socializing without being pushy.
5. Search for job listings on LinkedIn
Did you know that LinkedIn allows you to either post job listings directly on the platform or search through them? At the end of the day, being proactive with your job hunting is a solid B2B LinkedIn strategy in and of itself; instead of waiting around passively for others to notice you, why not take matters into your own hands?
To make your search easier, there are many tools that have been developed exactly for this purpose, but using them is by no means mandatory. However, it will certainly save you some time. So instead of having to browse through countless job listings that aren’t a good fit for your area of expertise, you will be able to filter through the noise and get to the right ones much faster.
6. Utilize hashtags
If you’re wondering how to get clients with LinkedIn, the universal answer is by getting noticed and using hashtags is a great way to do that. Whether it be in your profile, the content you publish, or in your comments, if it’s in any way suitable, you should append a hashtag or two to it. We’ve published an in-depth guide on how to use hashtags on the most popular social media networks out there, so we invite you to give it a read.
To recap, hashtags allow LinkedIn’s search algorithms to classify the content better. On top of that, users can type in a hashtag directly into LinkedIn’s built-in search engine to have it pull up relevant content that includes #ThisExactHashtagWithoutSpaces. The more popular a hashtag is, the more times you’ll appear when someone searches for it. At the same time, using hashtags that are too general will make it harder for your content to pop up, so shooting for the middle ground is usually the best strategy.
7. Ask for referrals
Have you worked with a client who would gladly recommend your services to others? Turns out that client referrals are one of the essential ingredients of how to get clients on LinkedIn. After all, before someone becomes your client, they want to see some kind of social proof that speaks about the quality of your services.
It doesn’t have to be an entire essay – a couple of sentences will do, as long as they are honest. Sometimes, you have to nudge them in the right direction, but don’t be pushy if they aren’t feeling it right now. From now on, whenever you complete a project for one of your clients, thank them for being a customer and say that you’d appreciate it if they could leave you a review on LinkedIn. Nothing fancy, but more often than not, it works like a charm.
Pro tip: if you’re using freelancing platforms like Upwork, you can cross-post the feedback you’ve received to LinkedIn directly with nothing but the click of a button.
8. Don’t be humble about your accomplishments
Our society teaches us to be humble and there’s nothing wrong with that in general. However, there’s a time and place for everything; you want to be humble in your demeanor, but when it comes to showcasing your accomplishments, the exact opposite is a much better path to take.
The reason being is that, without outright telling people “hey, that’s who I am and here are my accomplishments”, sometimes, they simply won’t find it out on their own. If you’ve had to go through thick and thin to earn them, there’s nothing arrogant about showcasing them at all. Besides, being confident is the recommended LinkedIn strategy for B2B – most people would rather work with a confident service provider than one who’s timid in character.
Long story short; don’t let yourself be pressured into minimizing your accomplishments. Hang those diplomas and certificates on the wall and let them decorate your LinkedIn profile as well. The idea is to let your good work do the talking.
9. Publish amazing content
It’s no secret that creating helpful content is an effective LinkedIn B2B marketing strategy. In marketing circles, content marketing is often referred to as “pull marketing”, which is a completely different approach compared to “push marketing”, an example of which are paid ads.
By sharing your expertise and giving helpful tips, you will be perceived as an authority in your niche. And there’s no need to say it twice – most people would much rather be working with an expert than someone who has no prior work history whatsoever.
Don’t forget that publishing amazing content will not only boost your authority on LinkedIn, but also in general. If your content is truly exceptional, people will share it without you even having to ask. Naturally, this will bring you one step closer to a potential client discovering it.
In case you’re looking for inspiration on what to write, see what other experts in your niche are doing. However, don’t copy them word for word! Instead, read a couple of articles and it won’t take long until ideas naturally start flowing from you. If you don’t consider yourself a particularly talented writer, you can always outsource it.
Another way to discover content ideas is to utilize the power of AI. On this occasion, we’ll walk you through Ocoya’s built-in content idea generator. Once you've opened up its main page, find the Travis AI section to the left. Click it.
Keep scrolling until you see the "Blog Concept" section. Open it.
What remains is 3 steps you should follow. Step 1: tell Ocoya what your brand name is. Step 2: describe it in a couple of sentences. Step 3: let it shower you with content ideas. That's how simple it is! It's like a cheat code you can activate on demand.
10. Cold emailing
As a last resort, cold emailing is another way of how to get clients on LinkedIn. More accurately, you’re going to be using LinkedIn Sales Navigator to extract emails belonging to your prospective clients. The bad news is that LinkedIn Premium is not free. However, the good news is that there is a 30-day free trial you can use to get started.
The most time-efficient way to extract emails is by using some sort of tools to speed up the process, but in the beginning, you can also do this manually. Place them in a spreadsheet. Once you feel like you’ve accumulated more than plenty of them, you can start messaging your leads one by one.
Important: don’t try to blast out the same email to hundreds of email addresses at once. Not only is this a poor way to personalize your message, you’ll also find yourself on a fast track to being marked as a spammer, meaning all of your messages will go straight to the spam inbox and thus being less likely to be opened. The solution is to either send an email one by one or use professional mailing and marketing automation tools.
By knowing how to find clients on LinkedIn, you won’t need to rely on anyone else to start your career working online. As long as your services are top-notch, finding your first paying client is bound to happen at some point, even if you won’t see it overnight. Best of luck in your search!