If you are a business coach or consultant looking to grow your business online, there is no better platform to use right now than LinkedIn.
From giving coaches & consultants a ready-made, inbound lead generation source via its freelance marketplace, to improved blogging & analytics experience, LinkedIn goes to make it easy to find, engage & connect with potential clients on the platform.
Having spent the past years showing professionals how to use LinkedIn to generate new business, I am seeing more and more coaches & consultants generating some incredible results using the platform.
During a recent podcast conversation with one such high-level Business Coach & Consultant, John Hawkins, we debated some key strategies he has used to fine-tune his profile & get “found” by prospective clients on LinkedIn.
If You Baffled Them, You Lose Them
If you want to grow your business coaching & consulting business through LinkedIn, the very first thing you need to do is make a client-attracting LinkedIn profile that is more “functional” than “aspirational” in tone & style.
I say “functional,” I mean ensuring your LinkedIn profile’s summary, headlines & descriptions use simple, common terms that your future clients could actually type into a search box to know someone like you.
“I have been around the globe and I am so much more than just a motivational speaker,” says Hawkins, who has coached for & consulted with for some of the biggest brands & individuals on the planet. “I am so much more than a leadership coach and my clients know this & I know this. But at the same time, that is what people are looking for when they jump on LinkedIn.
“In order to be found, in order to get that door open, I do not use some fancy language or terminology that sounds cool but is ineffective. Instead, I use something that is basic and direct.”
For example, Hawkins’ LinkedIn professional headline reads as follows: “Executive Coach | Life & Business Strategist | Motivational Speaker.”
That is what I call a “functional” headline. You know what it is that John Hawkins does for work – more important, terms like “Executive Coach” & “Motivational Speaker” are commonly searched for by his ideal prospects.
Think of it this way – what could your ideal client type into a Google Search if he / she were looking for someone that provides your type of product or service?
While using “aspirational” terms / phrases like “Helping people reach their professional dreams” may sound great, nobody is typing that into LinkedIn’s search bar when looking for a coach.
Demonstrate Authority – Do not Just Claim It
Hawkins found a key part of using LinkedIn to generate business for himself was becoming a member of contributing to professional groups where his ideal visions were hanging out.
“Within those groups, I am active at least twice a week and I go in and I comment or I bring a post & I share that post to the group,” he says. “I have made a tremendous amount of high-worth connections based on interactions with the groups. I was shocked at how much interaction [with prospective clients] was a direct result of my commenting & posting inside specific groups.”
I would add that this plan is true for any interaction on LinkedIn. They key is this: Do not go into groups / comment on articles or status updates to promote yourself. Everyone can smell a self-promoting sales pitch a mile away.
Instead, add value & share your unique insights by responding to questions helpfully. Pick and choose your comments and conversations wisely and engage with the types of people you’d ideally love to turn into your coaching / consulting clients.
LinkedIn Data is “Warm” Leads
Because LinkedIn has so much data on everyone, it is easy for you to see someone’s job title / whatever other information you need to determine whether lending your time & insight to his or her post / comment is a good use of your time & expertise.
The same goes for posting content – when you publish & share an article on LinkedIn that explains your expertise & provides genuine value, it affords additional opportunities for your potential cutomers to get to know you, like you & trust you.
Even better, you could use LinkedIn insights & analytics to find out more about who is commenting and sharing your posts. It becomes easy to go back to these professionals who are engaging with your content & start a conversation that leads into your coaching / consulting programs and services.
Since there is context for the conversation, people are “warmed up” when you reach out to connect & converse.
It is a model more and more coaches, including John Hawkins, are using to quickly build & scale powerful, client-attracting platforms on LinkedIn.