In today’s day and age, a growing number of small business owners are turning to social media to prospect for clients. While some are more successful than others, there is always time to make changes that can lead to better results. Last week, we discussed the many ways to find prospects via Twitter. This time around, we are going to turn our attention to the most popular professional networking site in the world, LinkedIn. If you are not using LinkedIn to prospect for business, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. With the right approach, you can use this service to your advantage, drumming up new business and connecting with others along the way.
For those who are ready to give LinkedIn prospecting their full and undivided attention, here are three steps for getting started:
1. Create a killer profile. When somebody visits your LinkedIn profile, you want them to know what you bring to the table. Your profile should be 100 percent complete, with detailed information regarding your current position as well as past experience and education. Note: you will get better results if you have a profile image.
2. Target the right audience through LinkedIn search. With a simple, straightforward search function, you can target the appropriate audience with little hassle. If you are searching for marketing professionals, for example, all you have to do is type a keyword into the search box. These may include: marketing, marketing manager, marketing department, and others that are similar. From there, you can visit the profile page of each person you are interested in working with. This may sound like a waste of time, but remember this: the person will receive a notice that you viewed their profile. That alone is enough to push you towards the next step, which is reaching out to introduce yourself.
3. Use groups to your advantage. Regardless of your industry, there will be at least one group that fits your company and prospecting goals. Be as active as possible in each group you belong to, answering questions, providing advice, and connecting with others. You want to spend as much time as possible in each group, communicating with others and working towards the goal of generating new business. These are the types of things you can do to find prospects on LinkedIn. If you spend an hour or so per day on this professional networking site, it will not be long before you are capturing leads and turning these into new business.