Have you looked at your LinkedIn account lately?
Does your LinkedIn profile describe your current services?
After seeing your headline, would potential clients be inspired to scroll further? Would they be motivated to learn about hiring you?
Maybe you’re like Angela, a new-ish health coach.
Angela’s heard that LinkedIn is a valuable platform to connect with clients.
She’s a bit skeptical, but logs into her LinkedIn account and is appalled at what she sees.
She hasn’t visited it in forever, and as a result, her profile is woefully out of date. The last time she updated it was before leaving her corporate wellness job.
Reading her headline again, Angela’s skills sound generic. Not only that, her employment history says she’s been unemployed for a year! Oof, it doesn’t show that she’s launched her own coaching business. Her profile picture is also outdated, and makes her look much older than she is.
With a sinking feeling in her stomach, Angela realizes that if potential clients saw this, they’d probably think she’s unprofessional or not qualified enough to help them.
She quickly tweaks her profile, making sure it’s more current, professional, and reflects that she’s now a business owner. She also resolves to research how to make her headline resonate with potential clients.
Angela decides to start blogging and creating videos to show potential clients what it would be like to work with her. That way, she can later share portions of her blog content on LinkedIn.
She knows that on LinkedIn (as on all social media) she’ll need to show up and engage with folks, in order to make client connections.
…if you want to make connections with clients on LinkedIn, you’ll need to be intentional about showing up and engaging with your people. By being intentional we mean, being consistent.
More on the engaging part in a moment. Let’s first talk about your online presence.
True, your online presence is a marketing jargon-y term, which I generally avoid. But it’s time to put on your big girl business-owner pants. You want to wrap your beautiful mind around what LinkedIn is and the amazing connection possibilities it provides.
Why LinkedIn is key to your online presence + client connections
First, what’s your *online presence*?
When someone puts your name into a search engine, your online presence is the collection of links to places where you can be found on the Internet.
To keep your online presence professional, accurate and updated, google yourself. Better still, search your name often so you can spot any inaccuracies and correct them.
Among the marketing to grow your business and client attraction goals your online presence helps you achieve are to:
- Build your credibility as a health, life, leadership, or relationship coach or other expert
- Make connections with potential clients
- Inspire trust as an expert
- Start relationships by inviting ideal clients to visit your website
- Nurture relationships by inviting dream clients to join your email list community
- Share your expertise, so you can become known in your industry
- Fill your group or 1:1 programs
The good news?
You can use LinkedIn to help accomplish all of these goals. With its focus on business networking, LinkedIn is a powerful way to build the know, like, and trust factor that leads to client connections, becoming known for your expertise, and making an impact in your industry.
After all, growing a business is all about how you make and nurture client connections. And in today’s online world, LinkedIn is one of the best online places to make those connections.
Bottom line, if you’re a new coach launching your business, LinkedIn is too valuable a social media platform to overlook. It’s like skipping a daily green smoothie when you’re looking to eat healthy!
How your LinkedIn profile helps you connect with clients
They say, we all do business with people we know, like, and trust.
Here’s the truth about social media, including LinkedIn: the strongest goal you can commit to is starting and nurturing relationships. Additionally, you’ll build the know/like/trust factor when you nurture new LI connections.
All good relationships begin with an initial connection, right? So making connections with potential clients is a tried-and-true approach.
Avoid getting caught up with trying to make as many connections as possible on LinkedIn. I think we can agree, it’s tempting to chase after tactics that promise you’ll get a ton of contacts. Focus, instead, on connecting with your people.
You may ask, how do you use LinkedIn in a smart way to help launch (grow) your coaching business?
- First, create a profile that accurately represents you, your services, and speaks specifically to your dream clients.
- Next, show up, be active, and comment on posts of women and men who are active in your industry community.
- And most importantly, make connections! Connect with people you want to work with – potential clients, referral partners, and influential colleagues in your industry.
Quick question: Is it helpful to connect with other professionals on LinkedIn in order to build relationships and expand your network? Absolutely!
In fact, one of the most powerful aspects about LinkedIn is the ability to connect with people you may not have met otherwise. These connections can be a valuable source of referrals and leads for your business. And in turn, you can become a reliable referral partner to other coaches who focus in areas different from your expertise.
Keep reading and you’ll find out how to energize your LinkedIn presence and create successful client connection habits.
5 Actions: Using LinkedIn to Increase Your Connections
If you want to maximize LinkedIn to help launch your coaching business, start by implementing the 5 actions you’ll find below.
LinkedIn Action #1) Manage your LinkedIn profile, because Google loves LinkedIn
If you’re a coach looking to grow your business, LinkedIn is a great platform. Even if your ideal clients aren’t super active on LinkedIn, with over 700 million users, it provides ample opportunity to connect with referral partners.
Not only that, Google loves LinkedIn.
Yes, it’s true. I’ve discovered that, even for friends who’ve had their business websites for years, what comes up at the top when I google their names? Their LinkedIn account profile.
Try it. Search your own name, your business besties, and entrepreneurs you know. You’ll see!
You don’t want this to happen…
:: Someone refers a potential coaching client to you
:: They give your name to the potential client (because they can’t recall your website)
:: Your potential coaching client opens their phone, pops your name in Google’s search box…
:: And your LI profile appears at the top of Google–showing an old job as your “LinkedIn Headline”. Ouch!
I know it’s easy to neglect LI because I did so, back in the day when I was caught up in a massive corporate downsizing.
At the time, my reason for not updating my LinkedIn account profile? This is embarrassing to admit, but I didn’t know what “title” to call myself as a newbie marketing solopreneur. Thankfully, I’ve learned a few things since then.
LinkedIn Action #2) Treat LinkedIn as a *landing page* for your online presence
Clearly, LinkedIn is more than a social media platform for sharing pet photos. Instead, it’s a highly professional platform that contributes to your credibility via your online presence.
Remember: You want to present your best expert self on your LI *landing page*, so you can:
- Share snippets of your expertise with posts 3 to 5 days a week
- Invite connections to visit your website to read your blogs, listen to your podcasts
- Become visible by sharing helpful tips about dream clients’ problems
- Make connections with future clients
- Expand your network; connect with other industry professionals
All in all, become intentional about describing your skills, the clients you serve, and your business expertise on your LI landing page. You’ll do the same in the content you share each week. Trust me. It’ll all be worth it once you start making client connections.
LinkedIn Action #3) Prepare a cheat sheet to update your LinkedIn account
In order to be thoughtful, professional, and impactful on LinkedIn you’ll use the same content and tools that you used to create your website content. Starting with:
- Your dream client story
- Keywords clients use to describe their problems, challenges, dreams
- A complete list of your professional accomplishments, certifications, publications
- The inventory of your dream clients’ top pain points
- Description of your services, programs, offers
Happily, after you’ve created amazing website content that resonates with ideal clients, it’s easy-peasy to share portions of it on your LinkedIn account.
LinkedIn Action #4) Use a professional headshot
Your headshot image makes a key impression on your LinkedIn profile.
Don’t skimp here and pop in a casual photo or selfie–unless you’re a skilled photographer. Make sure your headshot image is a close up of your face.
LinkedIn Action #5) Make the algorithm happy with a complete profile
As we do on all social media sites, we must accommodate the LinkedIn algorithm. So, be sure to enter your professional experience, education, skills, certifications, your about section– essentially everything it wants to see.
Pro Tip: Make the most of your allotted space on your LinkedIn account. Don’t leave any sections blank.
If you get stuck on how to change your profile sections, click here for LinkedIn Help. (You may want to bookmark this handy LI help section.)
These are the basics for presenting your message/information on your LinkedIn profile. Now, let’s dive into the engagement part.
How to Engage [the Right] People on LinkedIn
As a purpose-driven coach/expert, filling your programs with dream clients is your meaty goal.
You’ve sweated blood to get your business started and to make a difference for clients, haven’t you? To honor that, you want to be deliberate about selecting the folks you invest time in to get to know. Not only that, but to make sure these valuable people know about you and your business.
When you’re networking in real life, you meet several people at an event. Later, you choose the specific ones you’d like to develop a relationship with. Your preferred list of relationships likely includes potential ideal clients, referral partners, and other professionals in your industry.
It’s pretty obvious once you think about it: starting relationships on LinkedIn isn’t much different than starting them in person. That said, let’s dive into recommendations for engaging your preferred people on LinkedIn.
First: Choose the folks you’d like to have in your network
Once you’ve identified who on the platform is talking about topics you’re interested in, it’s clear who to connect with.
Can you handle a bit of homework? Yes, just a bit.
Here’s how to do your homework…research the popular LinkedIn hashtags that represent your business.
Identify the hashtags that talk about your expertise and interests. You’ll find LinkedIn’s explanation of hashtags here.
Use the trusty LinkedIn search bar to find people using those hashtags in their profile and in their content.
After identifying hashtags you’re interested in, follow or connect with people using them that you’d like to get to know.
Reach out and ask people to connect
After you’ve completed your initial profile (when it’s done, not perfect), begin sending invitations to connect with women and men who fit your dream client description. And don’t forget, be proactive about connecting with other professionals in your industry as well.
How? You’ll invite people to connect with you by including a brief, sincere message explaining why you’d like to add them to your network.
What reason do you give? It can be that you have many great connections in common, you both attended an event, or you enjoy their content and want to stay connected.
Back to the pesky algorithm, LinkedIn “likes” profiles (business owners like you) who are growing their connections and actively engaging with others.
In short, like all social media algorithms, it prefers that you spend time on LinkedIn.
Make LinkedIn happy by inviting and connecting with 5-10 people each week.
And if the person you invite to be a part of your network doesn’t respond? No worries. They simply are not “your people”. You can carry on, continue to extend connection requests with others who are keen on seeing the content you share and following you.
Keep in mind, on your website you’re not trying to reach everyone who has the problems you solve. LinkedIn is no different. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you’re looking to connect with only three types of people:
> > > > Dream clients
> > > > Other professionals in your industry
> > > > Referral partners
Decide when you’ll be active on your LinkedIn account
Be honest: past business goals you’ve achieved required that you set your intentions for how much time you’d invest to accomplish them, right? LinkedIn is no different. And remember: to connect with your people, you must show up and be active. Consistently.
Ready to do your happy dance? It doesn’t have to be hours each day! After researching the folks you want in your network, start with as little as 20 minutes each day, 3 days a week. (Can I get an Alleluia! here?)
Make thoughtful comments on others’ posts
If you haven’t been active on your LinkedIn account lately, making comments on others’ posts is a fabulous way to start. The platform rewards you for engaging in the ongoing conversations.
The cool thing is, here’s where you’ll apply your natural tendencies to be supportive, empowering, and authentic.
It’s good to “like” or “celebrate” someone’s post. In fact, you want to do a fair bit of that. Better still, craft a comment that’s at least 3 to 4 sentences. Yep, I’m being specific here.
Wouldn’t you love to find robust comments on your LI posts? The kind of comment that shows someone really read your post?!
Now, you don’t have to agree all the time.
Disagreement (with the opinion or experience presented in a post), can make for a lively discussion, as others weigh in. Of course, when the opposite point of view is framed in a professional manner, it can be quite engaging.
What to avoid: Making super short comments that say, “great post”.
Final thoughts on creating an awesome LinkedIn account
I hope you’ve found some ideas to help you when making client connections on LinkedIn. It’s a super key platform, that can boost your online credibility and your client connections. All you have to do: show up consistently to engage with others.
Make sure to google your name often, so you see what potential clients will find when they search your name.