<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=319290&amp;fmt=gif">

Have you jumped onto the social media bandwagon in recent years when it comes to marketing your business or are you still stuck in the 90s cold calling? I have been in the financial services industry for almost three decades, and I was reluctant to add one more thing to my prospecting plate such as social media. That is until I learned how to leverage the power of LinkedIn!

I’ve recently read an interesting sign that sums up my LinkedIn experience, which read, “Networking is not about collecting contacts. Networking is about creating and cultivating relationships with your target market.” - Anonymous

There is no better business social media platform to find your target market than LinkedIn which boasts over 740 million members. It has an average active monthly usage rate of 66 million members in the United States alone!

But, with all of these people using the same platform, how do you stand out and attract your target market? Let’s take a look at a step-wise approach to leveraging the power of LinkedIn to help you build your book of ideal clients.

Step 1: Identify Your Target Market

You can’t hit a target that you can’t see!  One of the best ways to find your target market is by taking the top forty or fifty clients in your book and looking at their demographics to seek commonalities.

An example of this is Joe P. a thirty-year veteran financial advisor-client that did this exercise to determine who his target market is. It didn’t take him long before he realized that the majority of his top clients were business owners who are between 50 and 70 years of age.

Step 2: Find for Your Target Market

Once you know who your target market is you can do a search to find how many people fit your demographic that are within your local area. In order to ensure success it’s important that they see that you have some type of connection with someone that they already know which provides a level of credibility.

In Joe’s case, we went to the search bar and typed in “business owners” and the city he was located in. In addition, we refined the search by clicking the “filters” button and clicking on the number 2. As a result, we were able to see the business owners that were LinkedIn with current clients and friends of his, leveraging his client/friend connections with their network.

Step 3: Attract and Connect

Once you have a refined list of your target market from your local area, it’s important that your profile appeals to them. You may want to get an outside consultant to help you craft the type of copy to attract your target market. Once you have this completed click the connect button!

Joe hired a wordsmith to put the right polish on his profile, updated his picture, and then was ready to connect. Since I have beta-tested, using and not using copy, to hundreds of people when connecting, I explained that it really doesn’t matter. So, we tried both ways and each way created similar results!

Step 4: Add Value

The secret to cultivating connection is to add value for them without becoming annoying and to get them engaged in a conversation!

Before we started the LinkedIn campaign I had Joe find a weekly digital marketing piece that his company provided on the state of the stock market. Also, he found additional marketing articles on relevant topics for business owners. Remember, the goal is to create value!

Step 5: Be Consistent

In order to stand out you need to be known as an authority and be consistent with making connections. That means you need to not only message people but link to worthwhile articles or better yet write one yourself.

Joe stayed on a daily schedule of spending forty-five minutes a day connecting and cultivating relationships and over the course of a few weeks he was then ready for the final step!

Step 6: Make the Call

To ensure success you must pick up the phone and introduce yourself! Since they already know who you are it’s not a true cold call but a warm call connecting with your target market.

Joe was excited to make the calls and set appointments with his LinkedIn connections effortlessly. He put many of them into his pipeline and it didn’t take long before he had new clients!

Why Leveraging LinkedIn Works

The reason why leveraging LinkedIn works is that you are reaching out to strangers who are your target market. Letting them see the mutual connections within your network, regularly adding value, and fostering conversations. You build credibility before ever speaking with them. So, the next time you want to find new clients utilize your time and energy by leveraging the power of LinkedIn!

Read the original article at