In 2023, LinkedIn has 200 million users in the United States alone.
While often viewed as a job hunting and recruiting network, LinkedIn is also an excellent social network to discover and connect with leads and clients.
Since getting more clients is a challenge for agencies of any size, LinkedIn is a great solution to close new client contracts. According to the latest Client Reporting Benchmarks Report, if you want to scale your business from a freelancer to an agency, you typically need to grow by 2.75x, moving from an average of 4.77 clients to an average of 13.14 clients.
Moving up the next rung; to become a large, Enterprise-level agency requires a jump of 6.5x, moving up to the current average of 85.78 clients.
And that kind of growth simply isn't possible if you just sit back and wait for the business to come to you.
Whether you're new to the social network or already have some valuable connections, we've outlined our top tips to help find new prospects, build relationships with them, and pitch your agency’s marketing services successfully.
15 Tips for Using LinkedIn To Grow Your Agency
LinkedIn is a great way to find new leads and clients for your marketing agency. To start, however, you'll need to create a profile and build connections. As with any program, you can't grow without the basics.
Stay active on LinkedIn by sharing valuable content, commenting on other people's posts, and starting conversations with other professionals in your industry. Expanding your business means staying ahead of the competition, including on LinkedIn. Boost your presence on the platform, and you’ll have greater chances of discovering new opportunities.
To assist in this endeavor, here are some of the top tips for generating leads through LinkedIn.
1. Clearly Define Your Agency’s Services
Start by nailing down exactly which services you want to sell. What unique skills does your team have to offer clients?
LinkedIn has multiple outlets to feature your agency’s portfolio (articles, websites, media projects, awards, ongoing projects, etc.), which means you have the opportunity to really fine-tune your offer and show that off effectively.
In addition, think about what kind of work you don't want to do. If you know that a particular type of project (or client, for that matter) isn't well-suited to your agency, you can steer clear of the leads who are looking for that type of work.
2. Know Your Ideal Client
The next step is to ask:
What kind of client needs the skills your agency provides?
What kind of client does your team enjoy working with most?
Your agency’s ideal clients are at the intersection of both answers. Before you start your search (and as you start filtering through possible leads), write down as many details as possible about your ideal clients.
What are their job titles?
What kinds of companies do they work for, and in what industries?
Do they live in a particular location?
Creating marketing personas helps you get a well-rounded picture of your dream clients, which will make it easier to search for them on LinkedIn.
Doing your research on clients also helps with client discovery meetings down the line and has the potential to make or break the closed deal.
Before the initial meeting, we like to take an hour or so to do our research and learn as much as possible. We take a lot of notes on the client, as well as their competition and the market. The better prepared we are, the more assured the client feels that we can handle the project well.
JR Griggs, President, Red Wall Marketing
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3. Make Your Agency’s LinkedIn Profile as Professional as Possible
As discussed in the first tip, LinkedIn really gives you a platform to show your agency’s best work. Your profile is your calling card, so make sure it presents your agency in the best possible light.
Pretend that clients are going to decide whether to choose your agency based on your profile alone—because some of them might. Your profile should contain:
A professional logo
A descriptive but succinct bio that focuses on the services you offer
A professional-looking custom banner in the proper image size for LinkedIn
Strong portfolio content that demonstrates what you can do for your clients
Remember to stay active and update your business page when you complete client projects, learn new skills and gain qualifications.
4. Leverage In-Person Connections
Warm leads are easier to work with than cold leads. When you meet new people in your field—for instance, at a conference, work event, or even on Zoom—send them a connection request with a friendly, personalized note about how you met.
Even when you meet people who aren't potential clients, it's a good practice to build your network this way proactively.
5. Check Out the Sidebar
Not sure who to connect with next? Take a look at the "People Also Viewed" sidebar on the right side of the page and the “People who follow XYZ also follow” suggestions from LinkedIn. You might find a few more promising leads there.
6. Join LinkedIn Groups
Widen your social circle on LinkedIn by joining a few groups related to your industry, niche, or interests. Participating in groups is a great way to meet and interact with potential clients in an organic way.
Find groups by clicking ‘Groups’ on the left-hand side of your homepage.
In the screenshot below, you can see how you navigate to Groups, and filter them by specific industries, location, or company size you’re looking into, for example, law practice groups:
7. Create Useful Content for Your Clients
Creating original, high-quality content boosts your reputation and authority on and off LinkedIn. If your agency has a blog, share it on LinkedIn to extend readership and deliver value to existing or potential clients.
Once you publish articles, you can also see LinkedIn analytics on those posts, which can be a helpful indicator to ensure that you're on the right track.
8. Personalize Your Connection Requests
Don't just fall back on LinkedIn's default text when you request to connect with someone new. Take a few minutes to write out a short, personalized message.
If you've met the person before or know someone in common, that's a good detail to include.
Tailoring your message to the recipient increases the odds that they'll accept your request, making them more likely to want to interact with you later.
9. Follow Up
Every time you make a new connection on LinkedIn, follow up to thank the person for accepting your request. Do this within 24 hours, if possible. Also, take the opportunity to open a conversation by asking a question or commenting on their business's work or achievements.
10. Reach Out to People Who View Your Profile
If someone has viewed your profile, it’s safe to assume that they're interested in your agency’s skills, so take the opportunity to connect.
As you can see above, you can also view those who have read your articles, which is an excellent way to find those with common interests who may be good leads.
How to Nurture LinkedIn Leads (And Why They're Different)
Getting leads from LinkedIn is only half the battle. Once you've found a lead that could be helped by your company, you have to handle them the right way. Remember, a LinkedIn lead is much more personal than the one you might get from an advertisement (even a LinkedIn ad).
11. Stay in Touch
Once you've made connections, don't let them get cold. Try to touch base with your prospects every couple of weeks or so. You can stay in touch by:
Congratulate leads on new jobs or promotions. (LinkedIn makes this easy by notifying you when someone updates their job info.)
Interacting with your leads in LinkedIn groups.
Passing along resources that your leads might find useful.
Commenting on your leads' updates and their articles.
Make sure your comments and messages contain a value of some kind—in other words, don't contact people just for the sake of contacting them. For example, instead of leaving a generic comment like "Nice article" or "I agree" on a lead's article, ask a question or present an alternate viewpoint.
12. Be Helpful
You'll have to win their trust first to land new clients on LinkedIn. One of the best ways to do that is to approach your interactions with a genuine spirit of helpfulness. Look for ways to boost people without expecting anything in return. Put selling your services on the back burner, and focus on building relationships first.
Agency Tip: White labeled SEO audits are an excellent customer acquisition tool to quickly, easily, and professionally highlight the areas where the potential client could benefit from your services. Use this information to reach out and let a contact know about a technical issue on their site that they might not be aware of. When they respond, offer to run a complete SEO audit at no charge. This is an excellent lead-gen tool!
13. Make Introductions
Want to help two people out while making a great impression on both of them? Introduce them to each other. This only works if you know both people well and have a good reason to introduce them, but it can be an amazing way to build goodwill with your leads in situations where it's appropriate.
14. Know When To Let Your Achievements Do the Talking
It's hard to trust somebody who's all talk. Most people won't feel confident about working with you if you brag about your agency’s skills on LinkedIn but don't provide evidence to back them up.
At the same time, it's not smart to minimize your accomplishments -- part of landing clients is knowing how and when to market yourself. The best approach? Focus on building up a portfolio of past projects and original content that leaves no doubt about your agency's capabilities.
15. Be Patient
The more professional relationships you have, the more likely some of those people will eventually become clients. But relationship-building takes time and sustained effort. As you go about building your LinkedIn network, prioritize being friendly, learning about people, and making genuine connections. They might be turned off if you jump the gun and pitch leads before you build trust with them.
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Tapping into your LinkedIn network is a great way to find it. Treat it like any other networking opportunity: be respectful, show interest in other people, and always be on the lookout for opportunities that benefit your leads and your agency.
As you land new leads and onboard new clients, you’ll need a client reporting platform to manage all your client’s data in one place. As you grow your agency, your team won’t have time to jump from platform to platform to create your monthly client reports.
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Joe started his career as a developer and since has created many internet businesses. He has now moved on to the position of CEO and has enjoyed all the challenges it has brought.Read more posts by Joe Kindness ›