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I’m going to share with you today how I use LinkedIn to generate leads for my business. I’ve dabbled in most of the main social media channels over the last few years, but found that the best one for my business is LinkedIn.

Most of my inquiries come to me via LinkedIn these days. I’ve learned from a few LinkedIn experts, including Helen Pritchard, Janet Murray and Dylan Hay. I’m going to share with you my method based on these teachings.

Since implementing this method, my number of inquiries have skyrocketed and I know I can improve further on this. It’s built on four factors which LinkedIn bases their Social Selling Index on, and it can be approved on over time.

If you’ve not heard of Linkedin Social Selling Index or SSI score, it’s a great indicator of how well you’re doing on the platform and whether you’d be favored by the algorithm. It updates daily and shows you which areas you’re performing well on and which need improving. So very useful.

In short though, my method for attracting clients to me and my business with LinkedIn involves four main steps. Optimising your profile like a landing page, making connections strategically, engaging with the right people and posting content your connections will love. So step one is to optimise your profile so you speak to or appeal to your ideal customer. Use your profile more like a landing page than an online CV.

In your headline make it really clear what you do, who you do it for, and how you will help these people. Which is a challenge with the character limit but possible. The about sections is your opportunity to explain how you’ve helped previous clients and why future clients need your services. It’s worth having a profile optimised first before going on to step two, which is connecting with people as these people are likely to look at your profile before connecting. Connect to 10 people a day in your target market and send invites seven days a week.

Don’t just connect to your past colleagues when you get an invite instead actively search for people in the industry you’re targeting with particular job titles and location. I don’t think there’s any need to send a message with your connection request, in fact, I think it’s better not to. I would recommend connecting to second degree connections because they’re much more likely to accept a connection request if you’re linked to someone they know. So now as an example I’d say search for marketing directors in London as the location and then click on the secondary connection. It’s also worth connecting with thought leads in your industry.

The second step is engaging with your network and your connections. It makes a real difference to how often your posts are seen in other people’s feeds if you’re actively engaged with others. It will attract people to you, if you’re seen as a helpful expert.

Look out for any questions you can answer which showcase your area of expertise. This will help you get seen by people, beyond your first degree connections, so a worthwhile activity for several reasons.

Step four, now you’ve started building up your network, share content that these people will love. Always have your ideal customer in mind. Even when you post a short status update. Think, will this post interest that person? Aside from short status update posts, I’d recommend sharing articles initially, if you’re not ready to create your own content. Subscribe to a content curation service like Feedly or even Google Alerts and follow blogs or magazine-type websites, which publish content in your industry. Then share links to these articles with a comment of your own. Either an opinion or a short summary of the article. Just to show this relates to your area of expertise.