How can I utilise LinkedIn to connect with my clients?

How can I utilise LinkedIn to connect with my clients?

Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood
27th September 2017

LinkedIn is a powerful tool to reach clients, both new and existing, and in today’s #asktheukdomain video I share my tips on how to use the platform when connecting with clients, to answer the question from Sarah at Yabber Marketing.

These include:

• Utilising the ‘My Network’ section
• Personalising your connection requests
• Optimising your profile
• Starting a LinkedIn group
• Looking at premium account options

Video Transcript

♪ [music] ♪ Hi, I’m Natalie from The UK Domain. And today, I’m answering a question from Sarah at Yabber Marketing, and she’s asked us, “How can I utilise LinkedIn to connect with my clients?” Thanks, Sarah. Great question. So LinkedIn is an extremely powerful tool for connecting with new clients, but it’s also a great tool for you to connect with existing customers or clients of yours, and then also think about those potential clients that you would like to have in the future. So I’m going to share with you just a couple of tips on best practice in terms of how to use LinkedIn when connecting with people.

So my first tip, and, probably, the easiest tip for you to use, is actually to look on the My Network section, and look at the people you may know. So this is pre-populated by LinkedIn for you based on interests that you’ve already put on your profile within LinkedIn, but also the connections you’ve already made on LinkedIn. And it actually feeds you with a number of suggestions and continuously updates this for you, as well, of people you may want to connect with. And quite often, these are new clients of yours or even people that you may want to connect with anyway. So do take the time to have a look at this quite regularly, and make sure that you are connecting with everybody that you want to.

My second tip would be to actually make sure that you personalise your connection requests. So when you connect with one of your new clients on LinkedIn, just make sure that when you hit that Connect button, you choose the option to add a note. This way, you personalise the message, making it more personable, and actually explain to somebody why you want to connect with them in the first place. People are so used to being inundated with LinkedIn requests from people they may not know.

So, at least, by explaining who you are and why you want to connect with somebody, particularly if you’ve met that person face to face, it’s always a much better approach to take. I’m going to show you an example of how I would make a connection request, and, Sarah, I’ll be sending you a connection request now. Just remember, it’s a good idea to keep that connection request message pretty short and simple, but make sure there’s enough context in there to explain why you are connecting in the first place.

And then, tip number three, it’s really around optimising your profile. Optimising your profile is really important on LinkedIn because LinkedIn, actually, you probably don’t realise, is actually quite limited in terms of people you can connect with. So, actually, the people you see on LinkedIn free account are only really your first- and second-degree connections, and, basically, they are people you’re already connected to or the people you’re connected to’s connections.

So to make sure that you can see as many people as possible on your free LinkedIn account, make sure that you optimise your profile. Make sure that your job title, for example, is up-to-date. It’s surprising how many people don’t have that. Make sure all of your experience is listed, and within those experiences, make sure that you’ve actually listed certain things that you do within those jobs, and, actually, the current job that you have is listed and still says you’re working there.

Make sure that you’ve got your education. You never know. People that you went to school with, university with, college with, whatever it may be, actually may be people that you’re interested in, or they may be connected to your new clients as well. This could be the same for your interest areas, too. All of this detail that you add, while seems really simple, actually will open up your network to a whole other load of people, connections, and, potentially, the new clients you want to talk to. So definitely make sure that you do that.

So tip number four. Why not start a LinkedIn group? LinkedIn groups are a great way of not only connecting with your existing clients and your new clients, but also allowing them to connect with one another. There’s lots and lots of advice out there from LinkedIn in terms of how to create a group and best practice for groups, so I would really recommend that you do this. It’s one way to drive people to LinkedIn itself as well. So even if you can’t find them as individual clients, you could give them the LinkedIn group URL, and ask them to join the group that way.

And tip number five. Look at all the premium account options that are available. So there are many premium account options available on LinkedIn, and it doesn’t have to be expensive, but if you upgrade your account, you can simply upgrade to one of LinkedIn’s premium packages.

There are many different ones available. Probably, the sales one would be the best one to look at for a starting point. Essentially, you get opened up to send InMails, and these are emails within LinkedIn. You can make these much more personalised. You have a lot of characters available to you. But it just gives you another way to connect with customers, and, particularly, those people that are new customers of yours.

You also get options to see a wider network within LinkedIn. So earlier on, I mentioned that, you know, LinkedIn’s actually quite restricted in terms of only allowing you, on the free account, to see your first- and second-degree connections. With a premium account, this opens you up beyond that, and, actually, you’re opened up to if not most of the LinkedIn population. But, actually, it allows you to easily connect with them. You have more advanced search filters, and, hopefully, you can more easily find those new clients of yours.

So good luck. I hope these tips help you when connecting with new clients, and let us know how you get on. ♪ [music] ♪