LinkedIn is the first place many organizations go for referrals when looking to hire a new agency.
That means high-quality clients are probably looking for an agency like yours right now on LinkedIn.
But LinkedIn can also be huge waste of time.
How do you find clients on LinkedIn quickly?
Should you pay for LinkedIn premium? Send thousands of spammy automated messages? Or take a page out of 1995 and join a bunch of LinkedIn groups?
No, no, and NO.
The best and fastest way to find clients on LinkedIn is using search.
Most agency owners know that pitching warm leads increases conversion rate.
Warm leads means leads already in the buying process, so currently looking to hire an agency.
This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many agencies do outreach to totally cold prospects on LinkedIn.
I get dozens of these messages regularly.
This spray-and-pray approach almost always results in getting ignored and/or marked as spam.
Instead, we’re going to take a different approach.
By using LinkedIn’s free search capabilities, we’re going to find natural sales opportunities in minutes. Let’s get started.
Step 1: Type a keyword that your ideal clients might use if they were looking for your agency into the search bar
To figure out the right terms for your agency, ask yourself: What kind of work am I looking for? and How would a client that is looking to hire someone like me word their LinkedIn post?
Some examples might be:
- web design agency needed
- seeking digital marketing agency
- requesting proposals web development
Then type these into your LinkedIn’s search bar.
As in the example above, you can also use LinkedIn’s boolean search parameters to conduct an even more targeted search.
"RFP web design" OR "RFP graphic design" NOT "development" would expand your results to include the 2 first phrases while removing any results that included the term “development.”
Step 2: Find clients that need your help by clicking on the content tab to filter the results
By default LinkedIn will show you search results by people, not their posts. To change this click on “More” in the upper navigation and select the “Content” tab.
This will show you posts that potential clients are making to their network, which is what you want.
Step 3: Sort by Latest to find warmer opportunities
By default, LinkedIn will show you what it thinks is most relevant, regardless of post date.
To change this click on the “Sort by:” section in the upper right corner and click Latest.
By sorting by Latest you will make sure that you’re not seeing clients who were looking for exactly what you do in 2013.
Instead, you’ll see the most recent opportunities and stuff that is likely still active.
Step 4: Review your results and find the high-quality opportunities
Below are 2 results I found using the terms above.
This is a good lead. I would apply, here’s why:
- They link to an RFP (which provides a real budget)
- Their organization (Colorado Trust) looks legit and high-quality
- Decision-maker is the same person posting on LinkedIn
- Job title indicates they have experience managing teams
- Deadline gives enough time to apply
- Great high-value project (website redesign)
Now let’s take a look at a not-so-good lead.
This is a bad lead. I would skip, here’s why:
- Outside of the web design niche
- Mentions low-paying website (people per hour)
- Looks like another freelancer, so likely sub-contracting which means unlikely to pay well
- This person is based in a much lower paying country, also indicating a low budget
You want to have a discernment when it comes to choosing which opportunities to go after.
When you do find a quality opportunity, don’t hesitate.
It’s worth investing a few minutes into finding out as much as you can and seeing if you can make a connection.
Here’s a video walking through how I typically handle private RFPs.
Step 5: Respond to good opportunities and make a good first impression
So you’ve found a perfect-match opportunity, now what?
For all your hard work to pay off, you gotta apply.
Since you’re already on LinkedIn, I recommend contacting them via direct message.
But first, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. Here’s a few quick tips:
- Have a good-looking professional headshot. Here’s an example
- Create a LinkedIn page for your agency with your logo
- Add testimonials to your LinkedIn profile about me section
- Speak to your target market and offer a value proposition in your headline
- Add examples of your work to your LinkedIn profile
- More tips for optimizing your agency LinkedIn profile
Next, you’re also going to want to send them a new connection request and/or a great cold email.
I recommend both.
For some opportunities, a phone call might even be the right next step.
Again you’ll want to use discernment when deciding how to approach each lead.
I’ll send you some examples of client-winning LinkedIn scripts for free if you sign up below:
Step 6: Follow up with new leads on LinkedIn
You might be expecting a long, detailed proposal to be what wins you the job, but often it’s something much simpler.
Yes, you will likely need to send in a proposal to win a job, but a simple Linked(n message letting them know you’ve applied can go a long way in building the relationship too.
Something like this is perfect:
Hi my web design company is interested in submitting a proposal for your RFP do you have any more information for me?
It doesn’t seem like much, but because you are taking the initiative to send this message to new connections, it can open up a dialogue and help you build a much stronger relationship with your leads in the coming weeks.
Once you’ve opened up that line of communication via Linkedin, use it.
Keep in contact regularly throughout the proposal process to get additional insider information like when an RFP due date gets extended, and why they were looking to do the project in the first place.
These details may not be included in the initial job post or RFP and can help win you the job.
Want me to find clients on LinkedIn for your agency?
As an agency owner, your time is valuable.
You might consider skipping hours and hours of lead generation on LinkedIn each week and just receive the best, hand-picked RFPs directly in your inbox.
For this, check out my premium RFP membership site, Folyo PRO, to learn more.
Best Web Design / Development RFP Site
Folyo PRO Lead Program
Get access to 500+ hand-picked RFPs for your agency each year plus over $1,500 in bonus software, template, and other training material designed to help you grow your agency business.
Try it now
Each year we send out 500+ hand-picked web design and development RFPs.
What could your agency do if you had a stable way to reach these semi-private opportunities?
Find out. Learn more and get access in minutes.
How to List Contract Work on LinkedIn in 2021 for Freelancers
We cover how to list freelance and contract work on Linkedin, including 7 specific tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile and get more leads.
How to Generate Leads from LinkedIn for Freelancers
Detailed breakdown of how to generate leads on LinkedIn if you're a freelancer or agency including how to generate leads with your profile, search, and other services.