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With the pandemic continuing into 2021, look online for the vast majority of the blue ocean of opportunities. Many were even before the pandemic. 

Having a knack for online networking is extremely powerful and it can be easy. Virtual platforms let you meet and greet clients from anywhere in the world. You’re more in control of whom you choose to network with, can carefully craft what you say, and can effectively establish lucrative relationships.

But, it takes effort. We’re in the business of helping you work smarter and not harder to successfully network online. 

 

Here are a few key areas where you should have a presence and a process in place for networking with clients to effortlessly generate business:

Leverage LinkedIn to target the right clients and gatekeepers:

LinkedIn is the top social media platform when it comes to meeting industry professionals and developing client relationships. In terms of lead generation, it gives you the most ability to target and get directly in contact with vetted leads. It’s often overlooked by creatives or those who work in more creative industries but decision makers even in those spaces are on LinkedIn! And they’re easy to find and will appreciate finding you.

Here’s how…

1. Optimize Your Profile:

A lot of our profiles on LinkedIn are underdeveloped which is a shame because LinkedIn has a lot of pull on Google and by doing a little work, you can be easily found. And they absolutely will visit. Treat your profile like an online resume, and use it to establish your authority within your industry. Remember to optimize your profile with relevant keywords.

Try to be niche in your offering as well so you stand out beyond other profiles:

For example, instead of using just “interior designer”.  A better phrase to use would be “luxury hospitality, commercial, and residential designer and consultant” so people really get an idea of your scope and speciality. 

Try to also include qualifying information like clients, reviews, years of experience, etc.

 

 

2. Keep Growing Your Network with intention:

When you reach around 500 connections on LinkedIn, that’s really when you appear relevant in your industry. Everyone wants to see the standard “500+ connections”. But these connections can’t be random. Choose connections relevant to who you really want to keep in your rolodex of potential clients and introductions.

One strategy you can use earlier on is adding people from the ‘People You May Know’ section. This way, it’s not completely random when you request to add people; you will usually have some common connections.

Being an active participant within LinkedIn groups also helps you expand your network. At the same time, providing useful insights will let you establish authority within your field. A potential client who gains value from your insights may approach you themselves.

Make it an effort to add specific 50 connections a week to your LinkedIn to grow your network.

3. Generate leads by connecting with your dream companies + decision makers

Taking the initiative to add people on LinkedIn can benefit you in various ways. LinkedIn has a high number of senior level influencers, and the potential to find lucrative clients is great. 

However, this also means that you can’t randomly add people just to boost your network. Use the search capabilities to your advantage and look for those at specific companies in specific roles that can help you. 

For example, if you want more hospitality clients, searching for those who work at mid to upper level management at your top pick of 10-15 hospitality companies is a great way to ensure you are growing your network intentionally.

 

4. Leverage posts and Impressions

Content impressions are extremely popular on LinkedIn. Quality content designed to showcase your authority within your industry can help you establish a solid reputation on the platform. At the same time, remember that millions of other users are constantly posting content as well.

To appear higher on people’s feeds, you’ll need to be consistent with your post. And don’t stop at your posts. Engage with the content your network is posting by liking and sharing. This’ll remind them of you and further aid in developing your relationship with them. Using relevant hashtags and keywords can help people find your content as well.

We recommend 2-4 LinkedIn posts a week with an image or video for better engagement. 

 

Developing Client Relationships on Instagram

If you’re looking to find new clients, Instagram definitely has the exposure and engagement you need. Aside from a distraction, it’s a top platform for converting leads. 83% of users reveal that they find new products or services through Instagram. 

To achieve this, a good profile is a must. Your profile is like a mini introduction to you personally, your services, and should lead to action. 

Here’s how you can network with potential clients on Instagram..

1. Target Your Demographic

With over a billion users, finding your target demographic can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. That’s where hashtags come in. First, locate the hashtags that are most commonly used within your industry. Searching through those hashtags on the platform will help you find leads. Following and being followed by people within your target market better helps you secure yourself as an industry expert within your niche.

 

2. Consistency is Key

If you want your content to be noticed on Instagram, you need to be a regular user. Providing quality visual content can go a long way in building your network. Instagram is a visual heavy platform – so you need quality images and graphics. 

You can add hashtags to the comments section as well. A good strategy is to create a comment and add as many relevant hashtags as you can. Then later, delete the comment and repeat the process. This helps you reach customers who may have missed your initial post.

 

 

3. Use Instagram Stories to stay top of mind

Stories let you share bite sized content that disappears after a while. This means that you can use Instagram Stories to share your insights and comments without breaking from your regular, organized posting on your feed. Potential clients who see your stories and engage with your content are more likely to establish relationships with your profile. Use Instagram Stories to address problems within your industry and provide solutions alongside. This helps you build your reputation and showcase your skills. Posting to stories regularly also keeps you visible at the top of users’ profiles.

 

Provide a Newsletter Subscription Service on Your Website

Allowing clients to subscribe to your newsletters is easy. Adding it to your website allows you to build an emailer list who receives your content on a regular basis. Even if you don’t personally engage with them regularly, sending regular newsletters will remind them of you.

1. Offer Free Samples or Advice

People love free things. It’s also a good way to let people sample your products before they invest in you. From advice to coupons, discounts to products, providing something for free can generate great returns on investment.

 

2. Personalize Your Subject Lines

Personalization boosts open rates by up to 50%. Adding someone’s name to the subject line of the newsletter you’re emailing to them increases the chances of them opening that mail. This ensures that they engage with your content. Higher engagement rates can also lead to higher conversions, and consequently, greater sales.

 

3. Provide Quality Content Through Newsletters

From a welcome email to regular newsletters, consistency is key when it comes to newsletter marketing as well.

Welcome emails are opened 82% of the time. Send a friendly welcome email, and then your potential client is more likely to engage with future newsletters. But remember that consistency should go hand in hand with quality. Newsletters with valuable information that provides solutions to problems can also increase open rates. Ask relevant questions and answer them so that clients feel as if they have something to gain from opening your newsletters.

 

It takes time to network, establish your authority, and build relationships. But when done right, the effort you put in will yield greater ROI than a marketing campaign you’ve financially invested in.

Organic growth and expert advice can help you develop relationships with your clients, as well a secure referrals that can help you find even more success.

 

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