Using LinkedIn to Find Clients

Any Virtual Assistant, new or seasoned, should be aware that a large part of your success will depend on lead generation – creating interest or inquiries that ultimately turn into new clients. Having a website is an important component, but it can only generate customers if it is visible and attracting traffic.

So how do you increase the visibility and traffic of your website? One very effective method is LinkedIn, which is not just a social network for professionals. LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform at lead generation for business to business (B2B) industries. Steps you can take to harness the full potential of LinkedIn include:

A Powerful Profile

Put considerable effort into create a LinkedIn profile that is powerful, honest and gets noticed. Use Google to find advice on how to create a profile that attracts attention and leads within your particular industry. Lewis Howes offers an online course focusing on how to use LinkedIn effectively, though there are many other sites providing similar information. Always look for advice that is most relevant to your needs, and not older than one year. Social networks are constantly refining their systems, and trends and habits in searching are also changing all the time, meaning you need to ensure that any advice you receive is not out of date. Once you believe you have created the perfect profile, you will begin optimizing it.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is applied to websites to ensure that they stand out and rank high within search results on Google and other Internet search engines. This applies to LinkedIn too, but on LinkedIn you will be optimizing your profile for prominent placement in search results on the social network itself. Identify important keywords you want to be associated with, with the most obvious one being “Virtual Assistant”, though this certainly is not the only one. Now you need to work through your profile again ensuring that these keywords are placed in certain key areas:

  • Headline
  • Description
  • Summary
  • Current & Past Experience
  • Skills
  • Posting Status Updates
  • Participating in LinkedIn Groups

Ideally you won’t use the keyword on its own but instead as part of a regular phrase, but avoid repeating the phrase in the same form to often. This increases the chances of your profile being returned in search results for these specific keywords or keyword phrases. A further word of caution – your profile should not simply be a collection of keywords, it should still contain all the relevant information about you, and it should flow coherently, almost like a conversation.

Networking

The most important step of all comes after you have created your powerful profile and optimized it; networking on LinkedIn. Networking on LinkedIn involves joining and participating in groups, and making connections. You are not pitching for business, but rather participating in conversations and offering advice. The aim is to increase your visibility and enhance your credibility.

Begin by listing your areas of specialty or expertise, and identifying your target audience. Then search through the many groups on LinkedIn for those that specifically cater to your target audience, or could potentially have members of your target audience. Work only in those groups that are the most relevant and are active, because you are now going to commit to spending a set amount of time each day in these groups. Provide value by actively taking part in conversations and answering questions. Remember that your aim is to make yourself visible by participating, not actively selling yourself or your services.

It might take some time, but you will be noticed and it will lead to new conversations. Conversations can turn to connections, and obviously any connection is an opportunity and potential client. Just because you aren’t actively pitching for business on LinkedIn does not mean you shouldn’t be prepared to so when necessary. Always have your elevator pitch ready, with a well rehearsed deal clincher and a list of client testimonials or recommendations. Any conversation has the potential to turn into an opportunity.

These are perhaps the most vital steps needed to use LinkedIn effectively for marketing and lead generation, though you should always be looking for additional avenues and advice.

Are you using LinkedIn for your business? How has it benefited your Virtual Assistant business?

About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:

logo1bAt Out of the Office, we are committed to providing earth-friendly administration and offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success. Join me at the Google+ Virtual Assistants Community to share information and network with like-minded professionals.

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