From profile to profit: 5 secrets to finding VIP clients and your best referral partners via LinkedIn

By Diana M. Needham

Are you a small business owner who is struggling to find leads who can actually afford your product or service? Are you searching for referral partners that are perfectly suited to help you grow your business? You are not alone! Nearly all entrepreneurs and small business owners are in the same boat. After spending hours on social media every week, there are few results that translate to profit.

We struggle to find leads and prospects that can afford our product or service. Guess what? They are on LinkedIn…where the average salary is $109K!

Unfortunately LinkedIn does not come with a user manual for entrepreneurs. Since it is confusing to figure out exactly how to connect and leverage LinkedIn to grow your business, most of us spend no time creating a powerful presence that attracts those who can pay for our products and services.

The truth is, since LinkedIn is the premier business networking site and there are now nearly 200 million professionals there across 200 countries, you cannot afford to not have a powerful presence on LinkedIn if your ideal clients, customers, and referral partners are professionals.

So here are five Laser Secrets to finding your own VIP clients and best referral partners on LinkedIn.

  1. Create your own personal strategy for LinkedIn. Be very clear about what you want to achieve here. Who are those top professionals and decision makers who are perfectly suited to make a huge difference in your business? How will you find them and connect with them? Without a strategy and plan, you’ll waste lots of time and energy with little to no meaningful results.
  2. Complete your profile. LinkedIn is considered an authority site by Google, so when someone is looking for you online and they run a Google search for your name, your LinkedIn profile likely comes up on that first page. Don’t believe me? Go check that now. When I Google my name, my LinkedIn profile is the very top result (although there are multiple people named Diana Needham in the world). Why? Because I have a strong presence on LinkedIn and many connections, and Google loves LinkedIn. Let me ask: When they land on your page, are you proud of what visitors see right now? Remember people are checking you out (whether you know and like it or not). Make sure all required sections of the profile are complete, including a welcoming head shot with you smiling.
  3. Start connecting. Wondering who to connect with? Start brainstorming and create a list of friends and family, members of professional and community organizations you are part of, your college alumni buddies, current clients, previous clients, and managers and colleagues from previous positions. It will not take long to come up with a list of at least a 100 to start (or add)!
  4. Ask for recommendations. Identify a few people who know your character and quality of work. Your recommendations are social proof that you deliver what you say you do. Provide guidance to the person creating the recommendation, so the content is targeted to your ideal client or top referral partner. What do they need to know about you to view you as the expert, the go-to person for what you offer?
  5. Customize your profile URL. Have you noticed that if you go into “edit profile” on LinkedIn, the URL for your profile page is editable? By default, the URL is a string of letters and numbers. Change it to be your name, since people on LinkedIn are looking for you by name. If the URL that is your name is taken, try your name with your middle initial. The goal is for your URL to match your name as closely as possible.

Use these five secrets and expand your connections on LinkedIn with those who can afford your products and services and great partners that can help you expand your business fast!

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Diana M. Needham is a marketing expert, author, and speaker. She works with entrepreneurs and authors to take the mystery out of marketing and find the fastest path to cash in their business.  Connect with her on LinkedIn here www.linkedin.com/in/diananeedham/. Email Diana@DianaMNeedham.com

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