Are you on Linkedin?
If not, click here to open a linkedin account right away
Linkedin is a social networking platform for professionals with over 433 million users and 106 million active users as of March 2016. This is the only platform that easily connects you to the manager of Fortune 500 companies, journalists, writers and even tap into their private network.
Seriously, how cool is that?
In my first 30 days of taking Linkedin seriously, I nailed a client that paid over $1000 for my services and turned that first connection request into a repeat business [I can’t reveal the contents of our email for privacy reasons.]
I also connected to senior brand managers, head of media departments, and almost every other niche I was interested in. It was awesome and infact led to a sponsorship for my virtual summit
Here is how I was able to nail those clients and you can use this exact strategy to go full-time with your freelance career.
.1. I REPOSITIONED MY LINKEDIN PROFILE
Prior to taking Linkedin seriously, I had an uncompleted profile. I made a complete overhaul.
- I wrote my client avatar: this included the demographics, location, title my prospects will most likely have on Linkedin and a calculated prediction of how much they earn annually
- I re-wrote my profile: and completed all the sections. You want to come off across as professional so fill out as many of those sections as possible.
- Use the right keywords: using the right keyword makes your Linkedin Profile discoverable when a search is conducted for your expertise.
ONTREPRENR now as a company page on Linkedin so make sure to follow and get the latest online business insights and updates
.2. THE NEXT THING I DID WAS JOIN GROUPS
This next step is very important so pay close attention.
Usually, the strategy is to join groups that are filled with your peers. That is, if you are a freelance writer, it only makes sense to join a group with freelance writers right? Wrong
People in the same niche will definitely not appreciate your expertise. They know almost everything you know, so you should only join one or two groups to stay current in your industry.
Since you can only join 100 groups on Linkedin, we are going to maximize it to include people in our target audience, so how do we know where they are hanging out?
- Visit an influencer in your niche
- Scroll down to groups they belong
- Identify the groups with people that fit your client avatar
- Click over to the group and send a Join request. If it’s an open group, you get approved immediately but it would most likely be a closed group so expect approval within some minutes to a week.
Also note that some groups will not accept your request to join because they are at their maximum, your profile doesn’t match their requirements or they are just not accepting new members at the time.
LAUNCHING A FULL-TIME FREELANCE CAREER WITH LINKEDIN
This is where it gets interesting. You know who your prospects is and you have great positioning by joining groups filled with targeted prospects.
.3. DIRECT PROSPECTS TO YOUR FREELANCE WEBSITE
Start participating in discussions and provide helpful answers to questions posted in the Linkedin groups you joined.
You only need to spend about 20 mins a day in these groups, so just rotate the time you spend on each group and post helpful answers
Once you post a couple answers, you have earned the right to post a discussion that redirects to your website or free offer, so each time you write a blog post or promot a related free offer, start a new thread in the group, with full title, description and call-to-action.
To make this process easier, click the Linkedin share button whenever you publish a new post and follow these steps:
- Check Share an Update
- Write an update in the Share an Update box, ideally 140 characters if you intend to share also on Twitter
- Leave it on Public and you can also share the same update on twitter
- Check Post to groups and start typing the names of the group you are a member of. Just type a letter and it populates
- Add a Click-Worthy title
- Connect with audience emotion as you write the detail
Sit back and wait for the likes and comments to roll in.
Oh, don’t forget to reply to comments and thank everyone that took the time to like and share your posts.
Also, if you get a comment on your post on Linkedin, you can easily send the person a message and ask if they will be willing to leave the same comment on your blog
.4. DIRECT PROSPECTS TO YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE
Joining groups also gives you leverage if you have a new account and don’t have much connections or if you have connections that are not targeted or if you just want to add more connections.
Asides commenting in groups, you should start sending connection requests to people in the groups that you are a member of.
Chances are if you are active in those groups, they may have come across your profile. Either way, you can now send connection requests to build your personal network.
Remember that we want to use Linkedin to build a network of targeted prospects that you can pitch your freelance services to. Everything you do should be in sync with that goal.
That said, there is a wrong and right way to send connection requests and you only get one chance to make a first impression.
HERE IS HOW TO DO IT RIGHT
When Linkedin shows you who to connect with, instead of clicking connect, clickthrough to their profile and find how you are connected
Write a personalized message: Use your point of connection to get your foot in the door when sending personalized connection request. It comes off across as professional and you increase the chances of adding that high-profile prospect as part of your network on Linkedin. You can use the template below to send connection requests
Took a look at your profile and it wasn’t hard to conclude that you are very forward thinking and embrace new environments [use something else]
It appears we have similar connections like (name) and expertise (mention it). Would love to connect here on Linkedin if you are open to it and definitely share some ideas with you.
If for some reason you can’t send a message as a connection request, check to see if you are connected by any group
- Head on to the group
- Type name in the search bar
- Send a message from there
Please keep in mind – NO SPAMMING. You won’t get a single response by spamming and you will only ruin this strategy for others.
Don’t give up when you send a connection request and your request hasn’t been accepted. Sometimes, the person is just busy, has gone on vacation, your request got buried in their inbox and several other reasons.
.5. BUILD ON MOMENTUM
Once they become connections, you need to build on that first momentum until you get them to take action.
That action may be to sign up for a free ebook, take a demo, get on the phone or grab a cup of coffee.
Here is a message template I use to get my connections on the phone, which is my call to action:
Great to have you as a part of my network on Linkedin.
Much as I love this platform, I really want to get to know you and your business. Would you be open to a phone call sometime soon?
Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.
[Your First Name]
If I don’t get a response in two weeks, I follow up with this:
My linkedin message must have gotten buried in your inbox so I thought to reach out again 🙂
Are you open to a phone call sometime soon?
[Your First Name]
Remember I talked about optimizing your profile with the right keywords? Take that advice and you might get a $1000 client like I did and turn that into repeat business.
That’s the beauty of the whole thing. Being able to build on the momentum and turn a single client into repeat business.
That is my strategy. Linkedin is definitely more indepth than this and there a whole lot of ways to get even more clients on Linkedin and automate most of the process.
.6. APPROACH LINKEDIN WITH A STRATEGY
I can’t say this enough. You need to approach Linkedin with a Proven Strategy if you want long-term success
I was successful with Linkedin because I tried not to complicate things by sticking to a simple strategy
- How many people will I send connection request to per day to grow my personal network?
I sent ten connection requests daily and I usually convert at 60%
- What is my follow-up strategy to turn connections into clients?
Send at least two emails and schedule a time on phone on third email
Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to getting your first or next client from Linkedin.
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