7. Customer Acquisition via LinkedIn

If you can’t reach out to the decision maker by phone or email, a targeted LinkedIn message could sometimes be the key to success.

The benefits of LinkedIn and a message via LinkedIn are:

  • Social Proof: The person can already see how many people you are connected to, what contacts you have in common, and how many people are following you.
  • Content: The person recognizes from your high-quality content (more on that later) that you are a professional and that you can help them solve their problems.
  • Sympathetic photo: The person immediately recognizes from your profile picture that you are personable, sharp as a tack, and a true professional.

On LinkedIn, there are several ways to send a person a message:

  • Contact request with message
  • Personal message (only to contacts or shared group members)
  • InMail (paid message to almost all LinkedIn members).

Message via Contact Request

A free way to send someone a message is to send that person a contact request, and attach a brief message to that contact request.

This works as long as you don’t start selling your product in the contact request. Rather, in the subject line, you should mention commonalities, such as common interests or contacts, and an added value you can offer them.

For example:

“Hello Mr. [SURNAME], I just came across [COMPANY]. It’s interesting to see that [SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT THE COMPANY]. We help companies do [WHAT YOU DO]. I’d love to network with you and share ideas occasionally!”

Or:

“Dear Mr. [SURNAME], I would love to stay in touch and share ideas on [TOPIC]. All the best. “

When making a contact request, don’t underestimate the importance of a professional and appealing profile photo!

After confirming the contact request, I would recommend you to establish contact with a concise message that paves the way towards further exchanges via email, phone call or video call.

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Personal Message

Once we are connected with a person on LinkedIn, we can write a free LinkedIn message to that person.

However, there are two exceptions in which you can write a message to a person without being connected to them:

  1. the person is also a member of a common LinkedIn group
  2. the person is a LinkedIn Premium subscriber that has set their profile to allow all LinkedIn members to send that person a free InMail.

If you can send the person a message without a contact request, you can also send a short and concise message via LinkedIn without a contact request. Similar to a cold email, you should get to the point briskly in a LinkedIn message.

InMail

When you sign up for a LinkedIn Premium membership, you get a certain quota of InMails, which are credits that you can use to write a message to just about anyone on LinkedIn.

What’s special about InMails is that not only do people receive the InMail in their LinkedIn inbox, but LinkedIn sends a copy of the message directly to the person’s email address.

Thus, an InMail reaches the person not only on LinkedIn, but also via email to their primary email inbox!

InMails work as follows: Each InMail you send costs an InMail Credit. If the person accepts your message or rejects the message, you get the credit you used back, and you can use it again. However, if a person ignores your message, the credit is used up.

If the InMail is addressed to the right person, is really relevant, and gets to the point, InMails work amazingly well.

LinkedIn as Support

A LinkedIn message doesn’t necessarily have to be viewed as an alternative to a cold email; instead, LinkedIn can be used as a support in the follow-up process. For example:

  1. cold call
  2. email
  3. LinkedIn contact request
  4. follow-up e-mail
  5. follow-up call
  6. follow-up LinkedIn message
  7. follow-up call
    Etc.

The advantage of LinkedIn is really the Social Proof. The person can see your authentic profile description, your likable profile picture, your posts, and all of your common contacts.
All this shows that you are an expert, sharp as a tack.

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