LinkedIn Client Outreach
In the third lesson, we discussed how to dominate your LinkedIn content through the styles and types of content you use. And you learned how to use content curation to make posting consistently easier. This time we’ll be talking about the proper way to reach out to prospects and how to introduce yourself or your business to build relationships for you and your business.
Why is client outreach so important? LinkedIn has the advantage of providing marketers professional networking with other professionals. LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals. That makes it a logical place to find contacts and build relationships with like-minded professionals in your industry.
Reaching out via LinkedIn is the key to building your prospect list. But it should be done in a way that doesn’t offend or annoy the prospect. And you don’t want to reach out to everyone hoping that you connect with the right ones for you.
In this guide, you’ll discover how to create an effective outreach funnel to build your prospect list. You’ll also find out how to build an overall prospect outreach strategy, the right way to message prospects and how to provide value when doing so. And how to tap into the LinkedIn advanced search features to get in front of your prospects.
Your outreach strategy should be to provide value to the prospect and to get them to pay attention to you and what you have to offer. But with thousands of others vying for attention, it can be difficult.
Use these tips as part of your overall strategy.
- Have a complete profile filled out with a professional photo and background image. Include a professional photo, head, and shoulders only, as it’s the first thing people see on your profile. The background image should show your interests, show your connections, create a positive association, or explain what it is you do.
- Have an intriguing headline that pulls people into your profile. It should introduce prospects to your job title, the business or industry, how you authentically help and what makes working with you special.
- Be a thought leader by sharing one of your research reports to prospective individuals on LinkedIn.
- Share targeted relevant data that only you can share about your industry.
- Connect with the employees of potential prospects. When they see you are connected to others in their organization it can increase your chances of getting the real prospect’s attention. Their employees will see your content which they can share with their employer. For example, you share a LinkedIn Publisher post and one of the employees finds value in it and interacts with you. The post ends up in the stream of the employer.
You can see all the employees of a company by going to the company page and clicking on “See all employees on LinkedIn.”
- Consistently publish articles on LinkedIn, creating and sharing valuable content for your prospects. These articles stay within your profile so new viewers can instantly see them.
- Try to post daily status updates. These can be content you created or curated content, an interesting statistic, or some type of thought-provoking statement.
- Like, comment and share other people’s updates, especially your prospects, that are appropriate to your niche.
- Follow your potential prospects on LinkedIn and other social platforms. Interact with them in a natural way on other platforms by liking, commenting, and sharing their posts.
- Look for ways to start a conversation with your potential prospect by commenting or asking a question about their post or update.
- To stand out from the crowd you need to think creatively. Do something uncommon that brings value to your prospects. Create a short one minute (or less) social video with a personalized message after you connect with someone. Address them by name, introduce yourself and compliment them, their company, or their content. Then, thank them for connecting with you.
- Become a resource for those in your industry. By consistently providing the value you establish yourself as an authority and will be seen by your potential prospects.
- Use visuals to make an impact. Think about what you want to say then create it with a custom GIF.
- Add value immediately and often. Give in advance before you ask for your prospect’s time and attention. Ask yourself what value you can provide them. Provide relevant articles, white papers, or statistics about your industry. Introduce like-minded people to one another, suggest experts that can help them, or any other type of out-of-the-box thinking.
- Connect via LinkedIn’s InMail messaging feature. It allows you to send messages you don’t have a current connection with on LinkedIn’s platform. InMail is a premium feature which means you must subscribe to it but your prospect does not have to be a subscriber.
In this time when everyone is super busy and easily distracted, getting prospects to notice you is difficult. Meeting your prospects with a mindset of offering value to the first is necessary for standing out among the crowd.
While having an overall strategy of providing value is important to be seen, the methods of providing that value might be elusive. If everyone is sharing articles, then how can you stand out?
Here are 6 methods you can use to provide value to your prospects.
- Send helpful content to your LinkedIn prospect. You aren’t looking for any personal gain with this information. Instead, you are sending it because you know it will be of value to them. The content should specifically benefit the prospect. Tell them why you thought it might interest them.
- e the intermediary. Connect your LinkedIn connections to each other who would both benefit from it. Many of these prospects will remember you and think of you when they come across someone has a need for what you offer.
- Add value by commenting on other LinkedIn member’s updates or content. Have a clear objective in mind when starting a conversation with prospects. Know the purpose of your comment, how it will add value to the conversation, and will it drive an action or broader conversation.
- Offer to do something for your prospects. For example, if you live in the same area as your prospect, offer to take them out for coffee. Or offer to send them something they can use, perhaps a list of resources for a project they are doing.
- Post videos of relevant content that helps your prospects solve a problem. Don’t try to sell yourself or your products during this video – it’s information only.
- Post created or curated content status updates daily that is relevant and helpful to your prospects.
Your prospects are looking for ways you can help them with something. By providing value, you are ensuring them you are an authority and helpful.
You know how important it is to provide value now, but don’t bombard your prospects to the point you are annoying them. You want them to want to reach out to you.
- Stop inviting people to join your network without sending them a customized invitation of why you want to connect.
- It’s okay to be persistent but for a reasonable length of time. If you don’t get a response from your request, wait at least 3-5 days before reaching out again. It’s okay to reach out a week or so later if you still haven’t gotten a response. Be sure to provide why you’ve been trying to connect with them and provide one or two relevant items of your content.
- Not doing your research is a big annoyance to prospects. When reaching out to prospects make it mostly about them and what you can do to benefit them. Know about the person and the company. Find out their pain points.
- Not giving them time to respond. People are busier than ever. It can be difficult to get through messages and requests. Allow enough time for them to read your pitch and do some research on your business.
- Not knowing when to give up. Don’t keep sending messages after a month, though, since not everyone is interested in working with you.
No one likes a pushy person. Keep these tips in mind when you are reaching out to prospects.
Advanced Search Techniques
You’ve learned how to reach out to prospects and how not to annoy them. Now you are ready to add new prospects to your list. You can easily find them using LinkedIn’s advanced search features. The advanced search allows you to filter your search in different ways.
LinkedIn’s Advanced Search allows you to filter by location, industry, past company, current company, connection degree, schools, regions, nonprofit interests, and language. Using the filters allows you to narrow down your filters to prospects that will be the closest fit for your business.
The advanced search lets you save up to three searches. Saved searches are a way to have LinkedIn send you leads based on your already set up search parameters.
Begin by clicking on the search bar in LinkedIn. In the drop-down box, click people.
Once on the People search page, click on “All Filters.” This brings up the different types of filters you can use to search.
This opens a wide variety of search functions. You should already know your prospect persona with an idea of the job title, their location or target industry. Using that information fill out the sections and then hit apply.
Fill out the connections for any or all of these:
- Connections of who
- Current company
- Past companies
- Profile language
- First/Last Name
The free LinkedIn version has some restrictions in the advanced search. You’re allowed a limited number of saved searches per month, limited search filters, and limited to contacting prospects to those you are connected with. InMail is not available on the free version.
If you are looking to dig deeper in your searches, then the paid subscriptions such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator might be the better option.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn sales navigator is a specialized CRM for prospecting. With it you get
Enhanced search with additional filters. With the Sales Navigator, you can save up to 15 different searches.
- Lead suggestions based on your search filters
- Actionable insights to use for when you reach out to leads
- Warm introductions using the TeamLink function.
- InMail allows you to send messages to people you aren’t connected to
- Access to LinkedIn insights
The sales navigator advanced search functionality filters include:
- By company size from small business to large corporations
- By what function or role the prospect has in their job: administrative, business development, or marketing.
- Using the level of experience by years
- Seniority level they have
- Specific interest prospects are looking for such as new opportunities, contractors
- Search based on what specific LinkedIn Groups they belong to
The advanced search feature on LinkedIn allows you to dig deeper into finding the prospects that are the best fit for your business.
Building a useful prospect list and knowing how to reach out to build relationships is crucial for getting more business. The first step is to find your prospects then you want to begin building an outreach funnel that gets you the appointment.
Step 1: Begin by finding your prospects. This can be done in several ways.
- Go to the profiles of people you are already connected with and look at the sidebar where it lists names of in the People Also Viewed section
- Look at who’s viewed your profile
- Look at your competitor’s connections
- Connect with people who have endorsed your existing connections
- Do a search using LinkedIn’s advanced search feature to find relevant prospects
Step 2: Before approaching a prospect, have a complete profile
- Make sure your summary and profile is up to date
- Have a professional photo and background
- You are sharing useful content
- Share videos, images and SlideShare content on your feed and page that is helpful to your industry
- You are participating in Group conversations.
Step 3: Research prospects.
- Read their summary and view their LinkedIn page
- Look at your current connections. See who they are connected to
- Research your prospects’ business
- Connect with employees of the business you want to connect to
Step 4: Connect with your prospects
- LinkedIn Articles can be published with a call to action and link to a landing page. Distribute them by messaging, share in groups or as sponsored content ads. When your article is published, your connections get notified.
- Sponsored posts LinkedIn allows you to sponsor your highest-quality articles. Use LinkedIn’s specific targeting criteria to reach prospects. The more likes and shares you get, LinkedIn begins showing your articles in searches and content suggestions.
- SlideShare is considered one of the largest platforms for consumable content sharing. It’s good for mobile devices. You can embed SlideShares in your articles. Distribute them by sharing to groups, direct messages, or sponsored ads.
- Webinars is one of the best ways to reach people and engage in your market. You can promote your webinar on LinkedIn by adding links to it to your profile, sending direct messages to connections, sharing to groups and adding links in articles.
- Direct Messages can be used to distribute valuable content, invite prospects to webinars, events, or initiate discovery calls.
- Updates are good for sharing a series of high-value blog posts.
Step 5: Getting the lead or appointment
- Begin reaching out
- Share valuable content with your prospect
- Begin building relationships
- Send a message thanking them for the connection
- Share useful blogs and content on your feed
- Interact with their content
- Endorse them for skills you witness after you get to know them
- Use LinkedIn InMail to message your prospects
- Keep your message short and personalized
- When you outreach prospects, insert a reference to something in their LinkedIn summary that caught your eye. Or talk about a responsibility they have that makes them a good fit for your offering.
- Send each prospect a personalized invitation to connect
- Craft a compelling first message
- Send new connections a “warm-up” message that includes your free content
- Customize the message based on your research of the prospect and their business
- Use intriguing headlines
- Reply to any leads who engage with you via messages or your content
- Send follow up messages after connecting with them
- Don’t try to sell the first time you connect
- Don’t annoy the prospect by repeatedly sending messages. Send one message then wait 4 to 7 days before sending another one with valuable content
The outreach funnel is crucial for building a lasting relationship with valuable prospects. From finding the right prospect for your company to researching and reaching out, each step should be done from a place of adding value to their life.
What to Do Next
In this module, you learned the importance of the proper way to reach out to prospects and how to introduce yourself or your business to build relationships for you and your business.
The overall strategy for reaching out to prospects includes creating and sharing valuable content, knowing who your targeted prospects are, having a complete profile and professional photo. Your profile is the first thing prospects see so it should be compelling, intriguing, humorous or some other emotion that says who you are.
You should be providing value to your prospects in the form of articles, feed updates, blog posts, videos, images or SlideShare presentations. The content can be what you have created or curated content from within your industry.
When reaching out to prospects you want to avoid annoying them. After they have responded to you in some way, invite them to connect. Then send them messages or emails with valuable content occasionally.
Once you have exhausted your source for first- and second-degree prospects, you can do a LinkedIn advanced search to find more targeted leads. The search allows you to use specific parameters to find prospects.
Finally having an outreach funnel allows you to know exactly which steps to take next in building your prospect list and connecting with them.
In this 4-week series, you have learned how to set up your profile with important settings and optimization strategies. Then you learned how to optimize your LinkedIn Company page and profile. Then it was how to dominate with the content on LinkedIn. And finally, how to create a client outreach plan. Now it’s time to put it into action.