We’re back with this comprehensive Live Waake Up recap with Maud, giving us key LinkedIn tips and all the secrets and tricks. Ready to go? We’re going to talk about prospecting but also about all the little tricks you can use on LinkedIn. If you haven’t seen the video yet, here’s your chance 👇.
- Find your first customers without spending a cent.
Today, we’re going to talk about freelancing, solopreneurship and the difficulties you face when you start out. But also how to use the network that is LinkedIn to find your first clients, without spending a single cent.
Let’s dive right into it with a little introduction into Maud. She started at 18 years old with a classical baccalaureate. She left everything to go to an art school. She finally did some modeling, and after 3/4 years, she stopped everything to go into marketing communication.
Then she went to college for economics 💰 management and after a few internships, when she arrived in Sweden, she didn’t find that the work she was doing, wasn’t challenging her in the way her studies were. She has a master’s degree in entrepreneurship but don’t worry, you don’t have to have a master’s degree to get into entrepreneurship.
If you feel like going for it, you can simply just dive it, but of course if you feel more comfortable starting with a master’s degree first, you can also do that.
LinkedIn tips: Difficulties when starting an enterprise
What are the main obstacles you may encounter? For Maud, the first difficulty was to separate 💔 from her partner, and the second one which follows directly from fact number one, is to be alone.
Finally, Maud managed to surround herself with people in the same situation, and was able to develop a network. She started by getting closer to people who were in her sector, which was easy, thanks to her master. As she spent more time on LinkedIn, she was able to find contacts and get closer to all the content creators.
How to use LinkedIn to get your first clients for free
Now we’re getting to the most juicy part. If you want to find your first potential clients, you’ll have to use LinkedIn well and stand out. Why LinkedIn? Well, LinkedIn is the number 1 professional network when it comes to Btob prospecting. And how do you stand out? Maud’s going to break it down for you here 💎.
Content creation – The process
To create content, you have to go on social media platforms, follow other people’s content, interact with them and start sharing on these same networks.
The main thing is you need to surround yourself with people who are at the same stage as you. You have to start by finding your first clients before you even have a service offer. The first goal 🥇 is to get people on the phone.
You can spend hours creating landing pages, creating the product or offer, which you think is perfect but you realize, once you go with your first clients, they don’t want that at all. You have to look for your customers first, make posts, create content (Inbound Marketing technique), send emails.
LinkedIn network has millions of users, you just have to work on your professional profile and your content so that people can contact you because they have a problem and your topic of expertise suggests that you have the answer.
Once you have a first contact ☎️ with someone, you will be able to understand their needs, expectations and problems and thus will be able to clearly define their persona. As time goes on and you get more and more customers, you will further define and clarify the different personas.
Create an audience to generate sales
And yes, we will have to go through the creation of an audience to be able to start selling. So, how do you set up your audience 🤔? By finding a topic on which we will be able to interest your targets.
Find your topic
You have to have a big topic that you want to position yourself on when you want customers to come to you.
You have to know which word (or keywords) you want to be associated with. If we say a particular word, we will think of a name. This is exactly what you have to do, you have to be ultra-focused on this word on which you will build your product.
Think about that too, if you’re on the social network LinkedIn. When we talk about SEO, who do you think of? How about entrepreneurship? If you have names in mind on particular topics, influencers that you think of, that’s exactly what you need to do: have a topic that as soon as you hear it, people think of you.
You need to be a key player in the media when it comes to your topic. And if you think you’re not good enough, and have the infamous “impostor syndrome”, we have just the cure for that😜.
What right do I have to speak on this? Every content creator, regardless of their level, always asks themself if their level of expertise warrants the size of their audience?
The answer is yes, your life experience and the person you are means you always have things to share 🍰 that others may not have experienced. So, post the thing.
And finally, the first issue we’re going to run into is “How do I find first clients when I start solopreneurship? “.
You have to take the plunge, you have to be in the thick of the action, you have to go and say to yourself: “Ok, I have the imposter syndrome but I’m trying to get there”. And you try on different channels. You have to keep an eye out for new opportunities.
LinkedIn tips: How to find your channel?
You have to have a multi-step strategy. You absolutely have to look for acquisition. And for Maud, there are two ⚒️ incredible tools among the growing list of social networks:
Why these two platforms? Because their algorithm doesn’t take into account the number of followers you have and therefore you can very well make 1 million views.
Here we are talking about audience acquisition and not customer acquisition. With these two platforms, you should focus on posting consistently on just one platform for 3 to 6 months. Once you’ve broken through, you’ll move the audience to a channel where you can have more retention like:
- A podcast.
- A blog.
Once we get people on a podcast or newsletter 💌 we start to get people engaged. From there, we’re going to be able to start selling things.
You’ve got a better understanding of what they want because you’ve done A/B testing on your acquisition posts. Last step, you try to play the long game on channels where it’s harder to emerge such as Instagram or even YouTube.
LinkedIn tips: Create content that generates visibility
There are often the same questions that come up around the use of LinkedIn. What day should I post? At what time of day? What topic? Here are a few LinkedIn tips.
What type of LinkedIn content?
Maud says that you should post on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, usually in the morning.
On the other hand, it could also be beneficial to post in the evening, because everyone has heard that you should do it in the morning 😵.
Are tags on posts necessary? It’s fine to tag someone, but keep in mind that, if they don’t respond within the hour or like, it drops 📉 the reach by 20% so we’d avoid it.
Regarding hashtags, there is no visible difference for Maud, so the general consensus is that it does not help much.
How often should I post? The more you post, the more results you will get. That being said, it’s important to ask yourself, how sustanaible is your current posting rate?
It’s better to have a slightly less frequent posting rate, but to do it consistently. To win big in this game, you have to be in it for the long run. You have to be present. If you really want to become a solopreneur and a solomedia personality, you have to ask yourself how long you are going to last in this business. If you’re committing to three years, you’re going to have to keep the same pace for three years.
What type of format?
For Maud, the most succesful format is the carousel, because it increases the Dwell time (which corresponds to the time spent on the post) as well as the video but it must be native. Don’t bother with articles, but go for polls, just make sure you do them right 🧠. You have to have value added and offer a solution to a problem. Be careful not to discredit yourself with content just because it works.
You have to create content that interests your audience and that your audience can trust. We also avoid sharing posts made by other creators. It is better to repost your idea and quote the author.
LinkedIn Tips: Reposting on other channels
When Maud writes about a topic once, she tends to not come back to it, for the simple fact that she gets very bored quickly with an idea.
She posts twice a week versus the four times a day other creators do, because their strategy is simply not the same. She does somehow recycle content though. So she might write a long article and make a mini-summary of it on LinkedIn. It being a professional social network, short highly-informative content tends to work really well.
You have to remember to test different things out and find your own way of doing things since that’s how you’re going to differentiate yourself. It’s in your personal brand that you stand out. You have to do things that are similar to you, keeping an open mind and going after what people want by matching it to what you want.
LinkedIn Tips: Selling your product or service
How do you sell a service at €500 per hour 🤯? How do you take on a price like that when you’re a freelancer or solopreneur?
There are people who are willing to pay that amount. If they’re willing to do that, it means my offer has value. So it’s these clients that you have to go after. You have to change your mindset about your own value.
There are people available and ready, you have to know how to respond to their demand. The second mindset is to show that you are the best on a subject. Obviously, there is competition, but the difference is in personal branding.
It is thanks to Inbound Marketing (a marketing strategy) that there are customers who will come to you. On top of that, there is a scarcity effect. You also have to give yourself the opportunity to choose your customers.
The advantages? The person already knows what I do, so if they know you, they already know your terms.
Choosing your project
In order to have the opportunity to choose a client or a project, for Maud, you have to put the priority on the content. Okay, but what does that mean? Where do we start?
Each experience is different, so inevitably, the steps that Maud followed are not necessarily the ones that we encounter or the ones she recommends. You can start by having a podcast, a newsletter or a webinar in which you interview experts and at the same time communicate about it on TikTok or LinkedIn. Thanks to this, we can also benefit from the audience of the person we invited. In any case, you will have to target and find out:
- What people need.
- What makes them tick?
- What their real issues are.
For that, you have to spend at least a month looking for answers to these questions. I say at least because it is a long term task. You will have to continuously answer their questions.
For example, if you have questions from your subscribers, don’t hesitate to ask them why they find this item rather than another interesting, why this topic interests them etc…. Don’t hesitate to ask the questions to then refine how it works. Spend your time asking questions, it will help you.
You will have a lot of information thrown at you, but after a while, this information will start to form a pattern, and you will start to identify the topics on which your customers are really seeking solutions.
LinkedIn is really a great channel for prospecting, but also for collecting feedback.
Contacting them directly in private message (manually or automatically) to ask them really works. If you’re trying to sell them something, they won’t follow up with you, but if you ask for their help, it works extremely well. There are great results on this kind of campaign. To do this, you can:
- Conduct targeted research 🎯.
- Retrieve people who have commented on similar posts to one’s own ecosystem.
FAQ of the article LinkedIn Tips: Find your first clients for free
In order to bring you answers to the question that come up often, we have written a FAQ for you.
Is sending a Google Form to LinkedIn and Facebook groups a good way to get answers?
Have people already responded via the Google Form? Did you get useful responses via it? It’s very difficult to analyze the answers behind. I prefer to do qualitative questionnaires. For example, if I get a like on a post, I go to that person and pose the question directly.
Can you publish with your company page?
We don’t need to talk about it, it’s a very bad idea.
What about the future of solopreneurship?
No long term vision yet. It’s very nebulous, making long term plans is useless. I’ve learned to live with the chaos. I’m going to ask myself what I’m going to do in 3 to 6 months. I know overall what the future is going to look like, but there are plenty of possibilities and paths you can potentially take.
How would you advise someone to get started?
Well it’s going to depend on what you like. If you like being someone who receives a salary, and you like working in a team and you’re good at it, you can stay in that position, granted it makes you happy. On the other hand, if you don’t mind the mental overload that you can have as a solopreneur, and can accept that you will work alone, then this might be the right route for you. It all depends on the direction you want to take (managing a team for example).
What advice do you have after your studies? Is it better to gain experience with a permanent contract and invest in your business or to launch yourself directly by training on the job?
It’s better to get straight into it. You are never ready for entrepreneurship, you have to overcome your fear and go for it. You have nothing to lose, you have to go as soon as possible. You can do it in parallel with your studies, in parallel with your permanent job, whatever your job is.
How do you find ideas for content, any LinkedIn tips?
It comes back to knowing what people want. When I see comments, I feed off of what people are saying and it helps to gain new clients.
Why shouldn’t you publish with the business page?
Actually it just doesn’t work on LinkedIn, despite it being professional network. The reasons are obscure but I can think of two. There is a glass ceiling put by LinkedIn because LinkedIn assumes that these must be companies that buy sponsored posts to get visibility.
As a result, a company page would have less visibility organically than a personal page. But this is just an idea. The second thing that makes it less successful is that our generation has been so bombarded with marketing messages in all directions that we have this natural selection that as soon as we see the head of a logo, we skip it. People are not on social networks to see ads.
So now you know all the secrets about LinkedIn tips.