How To Use LinkedIn To Find Clients

How to use LinkedIn to Find Clients

Do you want to know how I got started with zero clients to having more work than I could handle, in less than one year without a website? The answer is LinkedIn.

It’s a fact that LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform for lead generation for B2B business, beating out Facebook and Twitter. Click here for the research data.  When I first got started in the VA industry I learned the ins and outs of LinkedIn and successfully marketed my virtual assistance business without a website. With LinkedIn alone, I managed to keep my virtual client pipeline full.

Here’s the inside scoop on how I brought in lead after lead and brought in my a handful of clients.

LinkedIn Profile

First I banged out an awesome LinkedIn profile. I researched on Google for ways to stand out on LinkedIn, to be noticed by everyone. Google it yourself, you’ll see there is a lot of advice out there about how to get more leads, and more money for your business with LinkedIn. I followed the advice of Lewis Howes. He teaches you exactly how to build a LinkedIn profile that gets noticed and that will bring in lead after lead for your business. After following his advice, I created a really awesome profile on LinkedIn. I then optimized it, big time.

LinkedIn SEO

SEO on LinkedIn isn’t the same as it is on Internet search engines, but the basics are similar. In order for my profile to stand out and get high rankings in LinkedIn’s search engine, I had to optimize it for the terms “virtual assistant”. There are a few areas in your profile that you must plug in keywords and they are:

• Headline

• Description

• Summary

• Current and Past experience

• Skills

If you include keyword-rich phrases in these areas you are more than likely to appear in a search for that keyword or keyword phrase. Keep in mind, it’s not enough to pack your LinkedIn profile with keywords. Your LinkedIn profile should also contain all of your experience (the past and current) and should read like an interesting conversation, so steer clear of typical resume style writing. Click here for 30 Simple Steps To A Killer LinkedIn Profile That Converts

LinkedIn Networking

After you have created a great profile and you’ve optimized it with your keywords, go out and network! If you haven’t joined a group on LinkedIn, I want you to go and join a group that’s made up of your target audience.

Before joining, first, ask yourself — what is my specialty and who needs my services? My answer would be – I am a WordPress and Email Marketing Virtual Assistant. My clients are Coaches or Consultants looking to start a website manage their e-mail marketing campaigns. There are so many groups on LinkedIn that cater to business coaches and solo-entrepreneurs in these fields; it wasn’t hard to find groups that matched my target audience.

Each day I spent up to 30 minutes in these groups answering questions and providing value.  But you might be asking yourself “but all the groups I join seem to be full of marketers promoting their business and there are no discussions of value happening”.  This is unfortunately very true today regarding many groups on LinkedIn.  They have become a place for people to drop off their blog posts and don’t add value to the groups by way of posting and answering questions.

The way I got around this was I kept my eyes peeled for actual discussions and questions that I could answer.   I filtered through the noise by setting my group settings to receive a daily email summary of the group’s activity.   I scanned the headlines of the posts and see if there is something relevant to comment on.

The more I post in a group, the more my  name and profile start appearing  in front of all of the group members (this reach could be in the hundreds or thousands). Within a short period of time, I was discovered and started a conversation about virtual assistant services with someone who contacted me from one of the groups I was a member of.

This happened inside of a female entrepreneurs group. The subject of the conversation was about what type of pantyhose should female executives wear during summer months! That conversation is what brought me one of my key clients who I have been working with for almost 3 years. So you see, all I did on LinkedIn was network, I just joined in on a conversation.

You don’t even need to talk about virtual assistant services. Just join a conversation and put yourself out there.  People will notice you. The world is a social place at heart and the more you go out there and meet different people, the more opportunity you have to grow your professional network. More connections = more opportunity.

Don’t forget to start your own conversations.   Pay attention to the things people are “stuck on”.  Ask questions that are relevant for the group.  For example, if you’re in a real estate group  you can ask what type of customer relationship management software they are using and why?  Another great question is, “are you using email marketing for your real estate business”?

Form questions backward.  Think of the things you are really good at and then craft questions around those services that you could provide.  One more example.

Of course, networking alone doesn’t guarantee success. I had to create a slam-dunk tagline or what some may call my elevator speech. That first year I practiced my spiel a lot! In addition to my slam-dunk client intro, I encouraged them to check out the positive recommendations I received on LinkedIn. This combo worked.

There is a lot more to learn about LinkedIn marketing for a virtual assistant business, but these are really the most important tips I can give you to get you started with LinkedIn marketing.

I cover all of these tactics and more in my Social Media Marketing Masterclass, where I literally walk you through step-by-step how to get clients for your virtual assistant using LinkedIn (and I also include Facebook and Twitter).

Do you use LinkedIn for your virtual assistant business? If you do please post a comment below, I read every comment and I look forward to hearing from you!

Warmly,

Reese

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57 thoughts on “How To Use LinkedIn To Find Clients”

  1. Hi Reece,
    I spied your article on the VAForums. Thank you for the share. I’ve noticed that a lot of my traffic started to come from Linkedin and I wanted to know how to utilize it better to start generating leads and your article was a great pointer in the right direction. Especially since my niche market is coaches and entrepreneurs. Thank you so much. This was exactly what I wanted and needed to read!

    1. Josia I am so happy the article helped you! No worries on spelling mistakes, we’re all human here and g-d knows I make spelling mistakes ALL THE TIME. 🙂 No one is perfect, right?

  2. Hi Reese, another great article to read and some great information. I wanted to also add that when you are optimizing your Linked In profile you may want to go to settings and go to your “privacy controls” and turn off the broadcasts. If you don’t, you will be alerting all your contacts every time you make a change. In my opinion, that doesn’t help your image much. I am just beginning my Linked In enhancements, and it is encouraging to know you built your business directly from them. 🙂

    1. Hi Lori, thanks for your comment! I would warn you however, if you turn off broadcasts you may forget to turn it back on. It’s very important to stay in front of your network and when you make a change to your profile your profile goes to the top of your connections newsfeed. The more connections you have, the more opportunity you have to market yourself.

  3. Hi Reese, I agree this is a great article and has some great information. I do use Linked In. But I will be doing more research so that I can optimize my profile and hopefully get noticed.
    Thank you for the information.

    Arletta

  4. Great advice. I’m scheduling a time to go over my LinkedIn presence. I have a off topic question … why did you tag your post with your own name?
    Also I’d love it if you added a share on email feature. I’d like to share this with a colleague.

  5. Thank you Reese and Lori, for the great information.I will be sure to check out the options in LinkedIn.

    Have a great day

  6. Indy Rosario

    Hello Reese! Thanks so much for the valuble information. I am in the process of starting my Virtual Assistant business and your website is very encourgaging!!

  7. Reese,
    I am hooked on these blogs. As starting my own VA business I find them to be addictive. Always packed with tips and great info. I revamped my LinkedIn profile to tweek this a bit to try to optimize my profile. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    Cheers!

    1. Tiffani, I am anxious & EXCITED about your LinkedIn profile revamp. Keep me posted on how things go with that!!! Also thank you SO MUCH for the lovely comment. xoxoxoxo!!!

  8. Hi Reese! Thank you for a great article! I need to beef up my LinkedIn profile and will use some of the valuable information that I learned with this article!
    Have a great day!

  9. Hi Reese,
    I too have been using LinkedIn but not to it’s full potential I’m afraid. I’m focusing more on it now and appreciate the links to re-doing my profile. We’ll see how it goes! 🙂

  10. Hi Reese,
    I too have been using LinkedIn but not to full potential I’m afraid. I’m focusing more on it now and appreciate the links to re-doing my profile. We’ll see how it goes! 🙂

    1. Hi Maryann! Let us know how these tips work for you. I see you signed up to my list but you require some kind of email verification to prevent spam. Go into your email and allow emails from me so they don’t get stuck. Thank you for signing up!

  11. Great article Reese!!! I’m taking a look at the links right now build a better profile. I’m new to LinkedIn so this information is invaluable. Thank you!

  12. Hi Reese.
    A very interesting article. I could be your biggest challenge to date! I’ve been a successful copywriter for many years, working with clients from multinationals to single entrepreneurs. I get all my work from recommendations and quarterly email campaigns to a list of people I have qualified, personally.

    Now for the ‘challenge’ bit. I would have made a good hermit. I hate social media. I think facebook is an abominably written piece of trash, and help myself to a Campari and soda every time the share price goes down. I can’t see the point of the incomprehensible, pointless twitter. If I had to twitter, or interpret a twitter message, to save my life, I’d be a gonner. And while we’re at it, I never text. Ever. All I have is a basic (cheap) ‘Pay As You Go’ mobile phone in case of car breakdowns or communication with my wife when I’m out and about. Lack of a business mobile reduces stress and hasn’t made the slightest difference to my business, at all. If I’m away from my desk, people leave voice mails and I answer them, immediately, when I return. Just like the old days!

    LinkedIn sounded like a good idea, and I joined enthusiastically, but all I got was a load of dross about nothing – a complete waste of time. BUT, I noticed your article in my inbox, and was intrigued. It has made me think, again. I will return to LinkedIn and try and follow your guidelines. I’ll do my half an hour a day and the other things you suggest – and will let you know what happens.

    Kind regards,

    Stan Arnold, Chairman, League of Grumpy Old Copywriters (Brilliant Division).

    1. Stan! First I just want to tell you that I LOVE YOU. You are simply the funniest (and most brilliant grumpy old copywriter) guy that reads my blog post. Thank you so much for your witty comment and do keep me in the loop about what happens for you with your LinkedIn networking!

  13. Hi Reese. As the old saying goes … you only get out what you put in. If you talk to people at a party you make new friends and generally have a great time. If you do the same on social media – and I think Linked In is great too – then you get something back also. I have not been actively promoting my Linked In account until recently and I am sorry I did not get cracking when I first set up my account 4 years ago but better late than never! I have been much more proactive and have beefed up my profile on Linked In without the advantage of reading your article and I do believe it will bring about all kinds of opportunity in time. In the meantime, I am enjoying the sharing of information and connecting with like-minded professionals.

    1. Stella you couldn’t be more right. So many people over-think social media engagement. It’s really just one big cocktail party where as you said, you have the ability to make new friends. Glad to hear you’re finally more proactive about your LinkedIn presence!

  14. Cynthia Gunnell

    Reese,Thanks so much for your response. You’ve given me very helpful information to start building on. I really was thinking more about developing a website than using LinkedIn as a B2B lead, but because of your insights I’ll be re-thinking what’s available in the VA forum and the possibilities of utilizing LinkedIn to get noticed, network and build relationships.
    Thanks again.

  15. Hi Reese,Just what I’ve said in the LinkedIn group I will check out this post. It’s true that we need to invest a certain amount of time in LinkedIn. Not pitching your services but helping and giving value to your target audience.

  16. Resse, your website is filled with a wealth of information and great resources. Thanks for connecting with me on linkedin. Keep up the great work!

  17. Jeffrey Milandes

    HI Reese,
    I am young entrepreneur wants to enlarge my business through linked in. I have several service from my own company.

    Do i need separate linked in profile for separate service? on the other hand in my personal profile what i will show there.

    My goal is to find client and my workers will do that. So how to demonstrate this together?

  18. Hi Reese. This is very interesting article about Linkedin. You gave some really good advice there on how to get the best out of the site. I have been using it for quite some time now, and I am never failed to be impressed by just how big and opportunistic it is. Having recently started my own freelancing writing business, I shall certainly be following the advice you have given here on how to grow my contacts and, hopefully, start accruing some writing assignments for my new firm!

  19. Awesome Blog. Full of really valuable information. It’s intimidating, but I am gonna start taking the right steps to improve my blog asap. Thanks for the great advice!

  20. I admit to being a total Social Media-phobe, and am completely in the dark about most of it.
    My daughter repeatedly tells me about LinkedIn and although I set up a profile (in a hurry), it is only after reading this article that I can see why (a) it is potentially a brilliant tool and (b) that I need to go back and spend a lot more time on my profile.

    1. Fran, it sounds like your daughter knows what she is talking about 🙂 Once I learned to master LinkedIn that is when the real magic started happening. That is when my business took off.

    1. Hey Tom! Great seeing you here on my blog! I’d love to hear more about the LinkedIn class you attended. Have a great weekend and come back!

      1. Reese..it was just a 101 level class at a public library. The guy did a really good job explaining how to optimize and things like that.

  21. I really appreciate all of your advice, I think it’s great! Though I do not have any clients yet, I’ve only been in business a week, but I am working tirelessly to break into this profession. I have my website, and I am now buffing up my linkedin profile. Fingers crossed!

  22. Hi Resse,
    Just landed on your article from linkedin. This itself explains why linkedin is such a great place to meet like minded people and clients from the same niche. Though I have never before considered Linkedin groups seriously but your article inspired me a lot to think again.

    Thanks 4 sharing the insight scoop of your own experience.

  23. Hi Reese
    As always, you are full of excellent information and advice. I am in the process of going it alone and have a Linked in Profile but realise now that I must do more to optimise this. I shall be working hard to achieve this.

    Thanks again
    keep safe
    Gina

  24. Hi Reese, I definitely believe there is so much potential in Linked In. However, what advice would you give someone who is currently employed full time and wanting to start a VA business, but can’t optimize their profile to VA without raising eyebrows at their current job?

    1. It’s a dilemma, isn’t it, Jeana. Could you find out if you would be breaking your employment contract by starting a VA business on the side?

  25. HI there – I am just starting to use Linkedin – do you have any examples of a personalised invitation to introduce yourself as a virtual assistant? I’m not sure what i need to say and how i need to say it to stand out from the crowd?

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