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How Not to Prospect on LinkedIn

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LinkedIn is an excellent source for generating leads. In fact, recent reports have shown that this network drives more than 80% of all social media-sourced B2B leads.

That’s pretty impressive!

How Not to Prospect on LinkedIn

But, don’t let the high rate make you believe that finding prospects on LinkedIn is a breeze. Just as with any other marketing tactic, it requires a sound strategy, a deep understanding of your audience, and a lot of hard work positioning yourself as an expert first. Otherwise, prospecting on LinkedIn can be a major waste of time for all the parties involved.

I’ve talked about how to use LinkedIn for Business & Prospecting in previous articles. In this one I’m going to focus on how not to do it. 

How Not to Prospect on LinkedIn:

Below is a list of 4 mistakes I see people make when it comes to getting clients on LinkedIn:  

  1.   Not Defining Your Prospects Clearly

Who needs your services? Are they on LinkedIn? The answers to these questions will most probably take awhile to coagulate but will help you understand who to talk to & engage in a conversation. To generalize: if you’re in the B2B sector there’s a good chance that your prospects are on LinkedIn, if you are a consultant, coach, or other business service provider, then your audience is there. If on the other hand you’re in the B2C sector, but sell consumer goods products, then Facebook might be a better choice for you. 

  1.   Not Creating a Relationship First

Social Selling is all about relationships. If you try to convince people to buy from you when they’re not ready or have never heard from you, there’s a good chance they will just delete your message. You need to appeal to contacts if you want to reach a certain person and establish value. In other words, you won’t have as much success when just writing to random people, because they won’t pay attention to your message.

The first step to building a relationship is when you send them a personalized invitation telling them how you are connected (you belong to the same group, you know this or that person, you work in the same industry, etc.).

  1.   Not Having a Complete Profile

Ask yourself why would a prospect spend five minutes reading what you send them if they can’t understand what makes you worth their time. It doesn’t matter if your purpose is to sell your services or boost your career, some things are valid regardless of your objective:

  • Have a compelling headline that makes clear immediately who you are, what you do & how you can help the prospect
  • Use the storytelling technique in your summary, talking about the present & how you can help your ideal client
  • Have some Social Proof on your profile, adding to your credibility
  • Use a professional photo

Need help turning your LinkedIn Profile into a client magnet? Check out my LinkedIn Profile Quick Fix Video course. 

  1.   Not Being Active on LinkedIn

LinkedIn doesn’t work if you don’t work it. It’s a community, and you need to be perceived as a member with significant contributions to be taken seriously. A LinkedIn Profile without activity is like a website without traffic> useless.
After you have brought your profile up to date, you can begin to leave thoughtful comments and stimulate conversations on topics of your interest. Keep in mind that a stream of links added to your timeline does not count as an active profile. Personal messages and insights must accompany them so that you give the impression of creating, rather than just sharing content. In order to position yourself as an expert in your field you need to be proactive on LinkedIn !

Need help?

If you’d like to discuss how to use LinkedIn more efficiently to get clients for your established Coaching Business, why not book a Courtesy Clarity Call with me. 

Apply for a Clarity Call
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About the Author Sarah Santacroce

I’m a LinkedIn Specialist & Online Presence Mentor and help you convert your presence online into paying customers. I’m also the creative brain behind the LinkedIn Challenge, an event that has helped 1700+ people so far to improve their knowledge about using LinkedIn for business. I live and work in beautiful Switzerland and have helped hundreds of clients from all over the world breathe life into their LinkedIn profiles. I also work with local companies here in my little country to increase their visibility on this powerful professional platform. And finally it’s no coincidence that my business is called Simplicity: I’m known for my simple, no-nonsense Swiss efficiency, mixed with a good dose of Californian ‘yes we can’ attitude!

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