If you’re running a marketing agency, there is a good chance that you deliver social media marketing services of some form or another for clients. Your prospects are convinced of the value of social media amplification. Moreover, they feel that social media can generate leads to their business.
While you probably provide some kind of social media service, there is a good chance you are not actively using social media to land clients of your own. I hope to change that. In this guide, I will layout how to use LinkedIn to find leads for your marketing agency. Let’s start at the very beginning.
Why Use LinkedIn for Your Business
There are a half dozen major social networks. While LinkedIn might not be the biggest, it is certainly the most relevant for business professionals in the B2B space.
LinkedIn has over 610 million members. There are approximately 121.2 million active daily users. A proportion of these members will work for and represent the kind of clients your agency is targeting. This makes it the perfect place to search for leads.
Why Does Your Agency Need To Define Its Goals?
If you plan to use LinkedIn as a marketing channel for your business, you need to set clear marketing goals. This will help you quantify success, and forces you to consider how to achieve your target.
When setting out your goals, it’s good to have a clearly defined goal that everyone can reference. For example, here is a general LinkedIn marketing goal you might use:
- Sign up one client per quarter from LinkedIn
Once you have defined that target, you can then set out some sub-goals. These are the actions you need to complete to achieve your objective. For example, to secure one new client per quarter from LinkedIn, you might have to:
- Secure a meeting with six companies that fit your customer persona
- Connect and pitch to representatives from 50 companies that fit your customer persona
Your LinkedIn marketing goals should be ambitious but not unrealistic. Don’t worry about hitting those targets right off the bat. The point is to push yourself towards achieving your objectives through purposeful planning.
How to Define Your Customer Persona?
A key component of a LinkedIn marketing strategy for any agency is connecting with people from companies that have the characteristics you look for in your ideal client. To do this, you first need to define your customer persona.
You no doubt understand what a customer persona is. There is a strong chance that you have done a customer mapping exercise to define what your ideal client looks like. If you haven’t, you need to.
There are four key things about your ideal customer you should be able to define. They include:
- What kind of company are you targeting / what niche do they operate in
- How large is your ideal company / how many employees do they have
- What is the turnover of the company
- Who in the company will be responsible for purchase decisions
If you can answer these questions, you have a pretty good handle on your ideal customer.
How to Expand Your LinkedIn Network
Now you know whose attention you are after. You now need to identify companies that fit your customer persona.
There are numerous resources you can use to build a list of prospect companies. Below are a couple of obvious places to look based on the size of the company you are targeting:
- Google My Business: a good resource for agencies working with local businesses. For example, law firms, or accountancy firms in your area
- Business Lists & Awards: lists like the Inc 5,000, local business roundups, and local business awards are relevant resources for identifying scale-ups and larger firms
- Stock Markets: if you are targeting enterprise firms then you can use the stock market as a resource for identifying relevant firms
You can list the prospects you identify on a Google Sheet or an Excel sheet. In addition to this, you need to identify relevant decision-makers at each company.
Using the search functionality on LinkedIn, search for the company. On the ‘people’ tab, enter relevant job title. For example, CEO or Head of Marketing. For larger companies, you will want to connect with a couple of people in the firm.
I write down the company, name, and position of each person in a Google Sheet. I then send a blank connection request. By sending out these connection requests daily, you’ll slowly build out your professional network.
How to Engage With Your New Connections
Ever so slowly, you will find you are growing a professional network of people on LinkedIn who fit the bill of your ideal audience. Now say hello!
Similar to all social media, engagement is a key part of building a connection and, ultimately, trust. Spend a little time every day interacting via likes, comments, shares, etc. Post interesting and relevant content on your feed. Be subtle about the fact you are showing off your services by posting case studies benefiting clients.
The more time you spend laying the groundwork, and engaging with people who represent companies that fit your ideal customer, the stronger your eventual pitch will be. We’ll look at how you can do that in the next section.
How to Pitch Your Services on LinkedIn
Over time, through maintaining and growing this professional network, you will naturally receive inquiries from companies interested in your services. This will happen once, maybe twice a year.
To increase your rate of customer acquisition, you need to undertake cold outreach.
You can make your initial pitch using LinkedIn Messenger. If you haven’t used it much, think of LinkedIn messenger as something akin to Facebook Messenger. Your initial pitch doesn’t need to be as comprehensive as an email. Keep your message short and sweet. It should:
- Make clear why you are contacting them / what is your service
- Tell them why they should care / what value you can add
- Establish some next steps
Simple, right? Here is an example template a PR agency might use.
I help businesses generate more reach by helping companies like yours generate exposure in national newspapers, international publications, and on the TV. Last week I created a shortlist of 35 journalists who would be interested in doing a write up of your company. If you have five minutes to spare this Tuesday, I’d love to discuss how I could help you achieve your PR goals.
Thanks in advance.
It’s easy to say yes to this offer. You are offering something of value, free of charge, for five minutes of their time. Of course, this format might not be the best one for your agency. This is why it’s essential to test your copy to maximize your response rate.
Once someone responds, you can arrange a meeting to pitch your services. How you manage that meeting is a topic for another blog post.
As you build out your list, make sure to note down people who did not respond to your LinkedIn connection request. You can use an email finder to get their contact details and make a pitch via email.
In this guide, I provided an actionable plan you can implement to use LinkedIn to generate consistent leads for your agency. The starting point is defining your LinkedIn marketing goals.
Once you have these goals to hand, define who you want to target. You can then build a list of leads using some of the resources we shared. Over time, utilizing the methods outlined in this article, you will grow a professional network on LinkedIn with representatives from companies that share the characteristics of your ideal client. The final stage of this strategy is cold outreach.
The fundamental principles I outlined in this guide may be simple, but it will take solid time and effort to achieve your goals. This kind of consistency does not come easy, so best of luck in getting the best out of LinkedIn!
This piece is a contribution from Owen Baker of VoilaNorbert.com.