LinkedIn is the second largest social media platform after Facebook. What makes LinkedIn particularly awesome is that it’s completely focused on building your professional network. That’s why LinkedIn is a must for finding clients and new work opportunities.

In fact, when people come to me for help with their personal branding, I often times have them start with LinkedIn. The reason is because – aside from the fact that they probably already have a profile – LinkedIn is a great tool for boosting your credibility and finding work.

Here’s how to use LinkedIn to find clients.

Make Your Profile Easy to Find

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have potential clients contacting you on LinkedIn instead of having to find them yourself? While you’ll still have to do some of the latter, you can use LinkedIn to find clients by positioning your profile in a way where people actually come to you.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to do that:

  • Use relevant keywords: People search for professionals on LinkedIn by plugging certain words into a search bar. That’s why it’s important for you to use relevant keywords in your profile. For example, my page views went up dramatically when I wrote “personal finance writer” instead of just “writer.” I even had a company contact me almost immediately for work. I also taught a coaching client how to do this and within 24 hours he had two recruiters contacting him.
  • Flush out your profile: Your LinkedIn profile doesn’t need to be cut down to a page like a traditional resume. Use this as an opportunity to really flush it out by detailing your experience, uploading projects and using it is a sort of portfolio.

These two simple steps alone will help boost your credibility and your visibility on LinkedIn so potential clients can find you.

Become Active In LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are a fantastic way to network with people you wouldn’t meet otherwise. They are also a great place for you to show your expertise and talk to potential clients.

You can start off using LinkedIn Groups by finding groups that are related to your industry or target market. For example, I may decide to go in a group that is directed toward millennial professionals since that is one of my target markets. Once you do that, here are some of the ways you can use LinkedIn Groups effectively:

  • Post questions you need answers to and start discussions.
  • Answer other people’s questions.
  • Join in on industry discussions.
  • If someone needs to make a connection you can help with extend the offer to help them out.

By taking some of the above actions, you start showing people what you do instead of just telling them. You also start building trust with people who could either turn into paying clients or refer other people your way.

Build Real Relationships

Unfortunately, there are people out there who assume that because LinkedIn is the “professional” network that they don’t need to put as much effort into cultivating relationships. They falsely assume it’s not necessary because everyone on LinkedIn is either already looking for a job or looking to hire someone.

The truth is that, while LinkedIn may be about building your professional network, there is nothing worse than messaging someone you don’t know to tell them about your new product or service offering.

Just like you would need to build relationships in real life networking, you also need to do it on LinkedIn. Groups are already a great way to do that. You can also share, like and acknowledge people for the great work that they do.

You can also do what Social Media Examiner calls “building strategic alliances.” This is where you connect with people who share a target market similar to yours, build a real relationship with them and then consider collaborating or building a reciprocal referral relationship.

Final Thoughts

LinkedIn is a great tool to use when trying to find new clients and leads. Of course, this is only if you work it right. By using these tips you’ll be able to avoid the common mistakes people make when they use LinkedIn to find clients.

Amanda Abella is a full-time writer who specializes in online business and finance. She's also an online business coach and the Amazon best-selling author of Make Money Your Honey.

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