If you run an independent business as a freelancer, you need to be prospecting for clients on LinkedIn. The site, when used correctly, can be your secret to getting clients chasing you.
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Before you start prospecting, however, you need to give your profile a complete revamp. Does the information in your work history show off the impressive results you have achieved? Do you have plenty of recommendations from previous employers and clients? Your profile should immediately show prospective clients just how valuable you can be to them.
Your tagline is also extremely important. This small line of text below your name can send key messages to potential clients. It needs to make you stand out, it needs to showcase what you can do, and it should also include a call to action encouraging clients to reach out. No easy task when you only have 120 characters to work with!
Here's my tagline:
Some other great tagline examples include:
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Business Coach ➡ Helping online entrepreneurs attract clients ➡ Let's Connect ☕
Finance Director ➡ Making your company profitable⬆ efficient ⬆ Let's Connect ☕
The arrow and coffee cup characters provide a visual dimension that grabs people's attention. I go to Copypastecharacter.com for my characters.
The next step is to see how visible you are. Have a look at the lefthand corner of your LinkedIn home screen. Here, you'll find the number of views you have had over the last 90 days:
As you can see, I have had 6,234 views over the last 90 days. I use the number of views on my profile as a key performance indicator (KPI). Tracking my views helps me keep tabs on how visible I am. You should set some targets for yourself to help build this number.
Prospecting for clients can't be a passive activity. To build your network, you need to start conversations with the right people.
Starting conversations is your chance to showcase what you can do to solve a potential client's problem — which is how you convince people to hire you. You need to get inside a prospect's head and figure out what you should say to really catch their attention.
Your message may follow a template like this:
Hi [First Name / Salutation],
As a [describe your profession], I often notice that people struggle with [describe a particular business problem].
I help people with [describe in one or two sentences how your business solves the aforementioned problem]. As a result, our clients have [include a statistic or a short anecdote that highlights the value of your services].
If [solving this problem] is a priority for you, I'd like to share some ideas.
Please let me know if I can assist, and if you'd like to set up a time to talk this week.
Finally — and this is important! — remember this: I could connect with John Smith next week, but unless I stay top of his mind, John is likely to forget me by week two. You need to keep in touch so that when John needs you, he'll remember you.
Publish blog posts or share articles that may be of interest to your clients. Like and comment on their posts. Doing so will keep your name in their feed — ensuring they remember you when the time is right.
This strategy outlined above is the same strategy I use. I practice what I preach, and it works for me and my clients! Give it a go. You might be pleasantly surprised by your results!