Before you do anything else on Linkedin, it’s important to take a step back and do the groundwork – making sure that you have worked out what your LinkedIn goals are, and most importantly, that you have identified your ideal client profile.
I like to stress this to all my clients – unlocking your ideal client profile is the most fundamental part of your LinkedIn activity. Before we go any further, let’s look at why it’s so crucial.
LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for business owners – and used the right way, it can enable you to speak directly to decision-makers in the businesses that you want to work with.
Unfortunately, so many people are not achieving the results from LinkedIn that they would like, and I see the same thing every time – their LinkedIn profiles are not aligned to their ideal client profile. There’s a saying: “If you market to everyone, you market to no-one”, and that’s particularly true when it comes to LinkedIn.
Why it’s worth spending time identifying your ideal client profile
You might be struggling to know where to start when it comes to identifying your ideal client profile. Don’t worry, I’ll guide you through the process.
I’m not going to pretend that it’s quick and easy – it isn’t. It takes time. But it’s worth every second you spend doing it. Think about it – how can you prospect, reach out to your ideal client, build a relationship, or close a sale with them, if you don’t know who they are in the first place?
Everything you do on LinkedIn, from creating your profile, the way you describe yourself and the services you provide, the content you create and engage with, and the messages you send, should be client-focused.
Where do I start?
Consider the type of clients you really want to work with – a good start point is to think about your existing clients, particularly those that you have built a successful, long-term relationship with. Instead of trying to paint a picture of a business owner or executive in your head, let your existing clientele do the painting for you!.
Which clients do you really enjoy working with, and which are most rewarding, both in terms of job satisfaction and providing you with an intellectual challenge, and in terms of being profitable, and not draining your time?
For example, I really enjoy working with and helping business owners, coaches and consultants – those are my ideal client profiles, and I’ve made sure that my LinkedIn profile speaks directly to them.
Think about how your ideal clients describe THEMSELVES
To identify exactly who your audience is on LinkedIn, you need to be super specific about who they are – and how they describe themselves on LinkedIn. That way, you can speak directly to them, and resonate with some of the challenges and pain points that they are facing.
Work out how your ideal clients label themselves – the words they use to describe themselves. These are called EGOIC LABELS. It could be their job title – e.g. mine is Marketing Consultant & Relationship Building Expert – that’s how I want people to recognise me and search for me. Your ideal client may use egoic labels such as Accountant, Engineer, Property Investor, Entrepreneur, Business Coach – the list is endless!
By taking the time to think about the way they describe themselves, you are building up a picture of your ideal client profile, and you can then optimise your own LinkedIn profile to make sure it speaks directly to them, paying particular attention to your headline and ‘About’ sections. In the ‘About’ section of my own LinkedIn profile, I talk about ‘Who I Help’ – and I’m very specific about who my audience is, and the types of clients I work with. That way, if someone who fits my ideal client profile reads my profile, they will pay attention and see straight away that I can help them.
What are your ideal clients’ pain points?
It’s really helpful to think about the problems or pain points that your ideal clients might be facing, and that way, you can talk to them directly about the way that your services can be a solution to their problem. What are their main fears and worries, and how might you be able to help them overcome and eliminate them?
I place a lot of value on this process as I’ve seen it really yield positive results for my own clients. I’ve created an Ideal Client Profile worksheet which I use with my clients, and it’s also one of the resources I provide for subscribers to my Complete LinkedIn Mastery Course
My clients have also found this is a perfect way to ‘niche out’ – so for example, by using this process, one of my clients identified that his accountancy practice’s niche was supporting senior executives in the construction industry.
Using your ideal client profile to construct searches
Once you’ve identified your ideal client profile, it’s much easier to locate the people who you want to work with using Linkedin searches, as you can be very specific about the search terms used. You may have more than one ideal client profile if you work across different sectors, so it’s good to target each with a specific search.
You can employ advanced search techniques such as Boolean Search to hone in your ideal client profile, and also to remove any individuals who are unlikely to be interested in your service or who do not suit your ideal client profile, saving you valuable time and resources!
Connecting with your ideal clients – the right people – can also help your LinkedIn SSI score, or Social Selling Index – as well as being a guide as to how well you are doing in terms of Social Selling, the better your SSI score, the higher your profile is likely to rank as you will better fulfil the criteria that LinkedIn looks for in its valued members.
How your ideal client profile is key to ‘Prospecting Like a Pro’
Once you’ve honed in on your ideal client profile (or profiles), and have optimised your LinkedIn profile to speak directly to them, you’re ready to start the ball rolling with building a lead generation campaign on LinkedIn. Over the years, I’ve tested and perfected my own technique for turning prospects into clients via LinkedIn using my ‘4C Method for Prospecting Like a Pro’ – and understanding your ideal client profile is key to this.
It takes you all the way from identifying your prospects to your ultimate goal, to CONVERT to a sale – in my Complete LinkedIn Mastery Course, I’ll take you through this approach step by step, and you’ll also have a number of valuable resources at your fingertips that you can use to get results on LinkedIn.
If you are serious about making LinkedIn work for you, and about attracting your ideal client, you need to start by building a high-quality, informative Linkedin profile, which showcases the best qualities of you and your business, highlighting what makes you distinct from all the rest in terms of meeting the needs of your ideal clients.
By taking the time to build your ideal client profile – thinking about businesses needing your help on a long term basis, potential clients who are willing to work with you and leverage your expertise, who need help with the activities you specialise in, and who operate within the sectors you know best – you’re well on the way to getting the most out of LinkedIn.