Winning More Business on LinkedIn
September 14, 2012
Editor's Note: We announced yesterday that there are over 15 million small business professionals on LinkedIn. Canada made it to the list of top 5 LinkedIn locations for small business professionals, so we invited Sourov De from Kitchener, Canada to share his small business story with us. Do you have a success story to tell? We want to hear from you too!
Can LinkedIn help a new business win more clients? We asked ourselves this question four years ago when we started our marketing firm Stryve Group. Back in 2008 when Stryve Group was in start-up mode we didn’t have a big fancy marketing budget. Much like any other business starting out, we had to figure out how to market ourselves to win more clients in the most efficient way.
So we turned to a couple of marketing tools in our toolbox to get our name out there. First, we created a list of people in our network that we thought could benefit from our services and called or emailed them to tell them how Stryve Group could help solve their marketing dilemmas. This was a slow and manual process. We thought to ourselves what a dream it would be if our ideal clients would just call us instead. The other tool in our marketing toolbox was (at the time) a “new hip” way of marketing using social media to connect with ideal clients. Our target clients are Marketing and Sales VPs or Managers and we knew that we were most likely to connect with these professionals over LinkedIn. So we focused on building our visibility on LinkedIn before any other social network in our social media marketing efforts. Here are the three steps we took:
1. Empower your employees on LinkedIn
We made sure each Stryve Group team member had LinkedIn profiles that would stand out and get noticed. We thought about the information our target clients would like to see on our employees' LinkedIn profiles and built content that aimed to answer typical questions such as, “What does Stryve Group do?” and “How is Stryve Group different than other marketing firms?”. We even put a SlideShare presentation on our LinkedIn profile that explained what a client engagement with Stryve Group looked like. When clients came through our LinkedIn profile, I didn’t have to spend time convincing them we were a company that could help them.
2. Participate in LinkedIn Groups
We joined groups where other Marketing and Sales Managers or VPs congregated like Social Media Marketing, Canadian Marketing Association and Digital Marketing. We participated in discussions within these groups, so that each time we commented on discussion posts with our opinion or helpful marketing tips, Stryve Group was becoming more credible in the eyes of our target market on LinkedIn.
3. Start your own LinkedIn Group
After participating in other groups for a while, Stryve Group started a group called Social Media Marketing Canada (SMMC) with the vision of creating a place where Canadian marketing professionals could connect and discuss social media trends as they related to the Canadian market specifically. Creating SMMC meant providing an excellent place to connect Canadian marketing professionals with one another as well as giving Stryve Group a public forum to answer the overwhelming amount of social media questions that were pouring in from potential clients. We were aiming to be helpful to Canadian marketing professionals and in doing so, Stryve Group was becoming more credible and visible to our target market—a win-win scenario.
So, back to my original question, did our efforts on LinkedIn help us win more clients? We went from a new start-up marketing firm in 2008 to now doing business with clients such as Xerox, Intel and TD Bank. Our most recent client to sign on as a client was Intel and when I asked our contact at Intel how he found us, he replied, "I typed in Social Media Marketing Canada into Google, found you on LinkedIn and gave you a call”. Am I dreaming?! Because of a little hard work to get our name out there on LinkedIn, our ideal clients were now calling us. *HIGH FIVE-FIST BUMP* LinkedIn definitely has helped our company win ideal clients. Using the steps above, I hope it does the same for yours.