It’s every business owner’s dream. I recently signed two new clients as a result of writing a single post on LinkedIn. In fact, that post not only landed me great clients, but also triggered conversations with two other hot prospects keen to do business. This wasn’t fluke either. I was confident that I would win business from that post and confident that I could do it again today.

It wasn’t a fancy post either. 150 words. No video, images or carousels. Not even a tag or emoji. It didn’t even get a great deal of engagement: Fewer interactions than I usually see, just a single comment and less than a quarter of the impressions of my top post that month. So what’s the secret?

Not one secret, but two

What I’m about to share with you is equally powerful and… boring. But stick with me, it’ll be worth it. I pulled off this one-punch knockout thanks to two simple, repeatable tactics and I am not going to sell you a sketchy online course to share them.

Secret 1: Build audience and trust in advance

Secret 2: Ask for business

If you clicked on this post thinking that there’s some magic hack that will instantly get you clients, this is the point you should click away. But if you’re ready to put in the work to consistently get clients through your LinkedIn, please do read on.

Step 1 : Setting the stage

That LinkedIn post clearly wasn’t my first ever activity on the platform. I’m not as disciplined as I should be on LinkedIn, but I turn up regularly, I try to be helpful to people and I try to make it clear what I offer.

For me that means trying to be generous in supporting others on the platform, and posting content that I hope is genuinely interesting and helpful to the sort of people I would like to do business with. I also occasionally remember to connect to people who are close to my target audience and who I have had some form of interaction with (on or offline).

Together these simple steps achieve three things:

  1. My network slowly grows with more targeted people
  2. The people in my network understand what I do
  3. I build trust with that network

Most importantly, I do this whether I am busy or not. I know that my network is something that I will definitely need to rely on at some point, so I invest time in it several times every week. This gives the algorithms what they want, but far more importantly keeps me in front of future clients in a way that demonstrates my knowledge, values and approach (albeit punctuated with regular nonsense posts too).

Step 2 : Turning on the lights

The post itself was simple. I was planning to take on one additional client once my children returned to school after the summer holiday. I posted that I would have capacity for a new client in September and encouraged people to make contact if they were thinking about an Agency Mentor and would like to chat. Result – the DMs started coming and the first new client was signed 2 days later with immediate start in August.

In fairness, I have one big advantage over many other businesses; My services are a very easy sell. I price very keenly, there is no ongoing commitment and very little barrier to getting started. Those things are not by chance though. They were all very deliberate decisions. I’ll write another times about how powerful having a low-friction offering can be.

A contrasting approach

Let’s contrast the above with how someone else might approach LinkedIn. Harold is a fictitious agency owner with a name carefully selected to stop any clients or contacts think I am writing about them. Harold, like many agency owners, is too busy to be wasting time on LinkedIn every day. His weeks are too full either dealing with delivery during “feast times” or panicked business development in times of “famine”.

Harold does use LinkedIn occasionally, but finds his neglected feed irrelevant. He’ll sometimes get a junior to post something on his behalf, or share a thought about delivery that is more relevant to competitors than customers. He’ll post something aimed at potential customers when the pipeline is empty, but it never turns into work as “LinkedIn is rubbish”.

There are an awful lot of Harold’s out there.

How to be less Harold

Writing this article I’m hoping that it doesn’t come across as smug or flippant. Neither is intended and the point I am trying to make is that anyone can do it. It just takes a little time and a little effort. The trick is consistency:

  • Turn up daily. Make it a calendar event if it helps
  • Talk about things that matter to your audience
  • Find other people’s content about those same topics : Comment, share, connect with the authors
  • Connect with those who interact with you and please please please don’t just immediately pitch to them
  • Share your thoughts and questions about this post in the comment thread here (this is definitely, really, the most important step… honest)

LinkedIn isn’t the right platform for everyone, but it is where my audience is and works for me and the lessons aren’t exclusive to LinkedIn. Wherever you choose to do business, being consistent, relevant, helpful and approachable is a powerful combination.

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