Episode 51: Leveraging the Power of LinkedIn

Back in episode 25 I introduced LinkedIn as a primary prospecting platform. LinkedIn is far and away the most effective platform for engaging in marketing a creative practice. Because of the professional context of LinkedIn, users are more open to making professional connections. Of course we all encounter spam connections on LinkedIn, just like we do on other platforms, but because of the non-anonymous nature of LinkedIn profiles appropriate professional outreach is generally welcomed. But there’s even more power to the LinkedIn platform, and in this episode I’ll reveal some of my best, hard earned tips for using it effectively.

Are you ready to take the struggle out of finding new clients?

When it comes to marketing your creative service, at some point, you simply have to roll up your sleeves and start reaching out to prospects. Now, I’m going to assume at this point, that if you’ve been listening to 5 Minutes on Creative Entrepreneurship for very long, that you understand the critical importance of PinPoint positioning. Everything I share today about how to leverage LinkedIn assumes that you’ve clearly established the fundamental questions of what you do, who you do it for, and how it benefits your clients. If you’ve not done that first, please disregard everything else I share, because you’ll probably end up coming off like one of those spammers that get routinely ignored.

But if you’ve established a PinPoint positioning statement, and that statement is clearly expressed on your profile and your website—it’s time to make first contact with your future clients. And LinkedIn is the best place to do it.

I’m also going to assume that you’ve listened to episode 25 and you remember how to build a list of prospects using LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Sales Navigator gives you all sorts of filters to identify suitable prospects—and you can save those lists as you begin reaching out.

Quick tip for using those filters—the title field enables you to limit profiles to only those who have your title keywords in their current position. You can also add title terms to exclude. The title field is a gold mine for building a highly targeted list.

Once you have a list you need to start reaching out. The best way to start that process is by simply opening each of the profiles in your list one-by-one. This simple action sets off a chain of events. First of all, many of these prospects will be notified that “people are viewing their profile.” A good percentage of these, out of curiosity, will look at those profiles that viewed theirs. And if you’ve optimized your own profile, so that they can readily see that your services are clearly something they need, they may very well take the initiative to make a connection request! Simply because you clicked a link, and opened a profile.

But even if they don’t, their view of your profile triggers your own notification that people have viewed your profile. And for those who looked back, you have the perfect moment to send a connection request. I’ve found that upwards of 30% of these prospects will accept. Now you have a perfect opportunity to engage them in a conversation.

Keep in mind though, that most people don’t want to be “sold to.” Even when they have accepted your request, it’s highly unlikely that they need your services right that very minute. So keep that initial conversation on target, but casual.

Here’s another pro tip for you. If your prospect list has more than 1,000 names, because LinkedIn limits your viewing to just the first 1,000 profiles—you’ll not be able to get to those in your list past these first 1,000 results. But if you save all the leads that you’ve already viewed, you can filter out all saved profiles by omitting them using the “Past Lead and Account Activity” filter in Sales Navigator.

There are lots of other ways to leverage LinkedIn. Far more than can be shared in five minutes. If you’d like more help you should consider my 12 Month Comprehensive Marketing Plan for Creative Entrepreneurs. Or if you just want more tips on Linkedin you can use my single issue advice option at holter.com to schedule time for some one-on-one advanced training.

Until next week: don’t let the business of creativity overwhelm your creative business.