This week, someone running a lead generation agency reached out to me on LinkedIn to offer a “done-for-you” service. Done-for-you sounds so wonderful. Who wouldn’t want to catch leads falling from the sky, right?
In the past, I might have hopped on a call and listened to the spiel. Finding leads is one of my major pain points (isn’t it every business owner’s major pain point?). When I’m busy with client work, lead generation slips by the wayside and when client work is slower, I hustle like crazy to get leads, which makes me busy again. It’s a vicious cycle.
And when someone offers me done-for-you lead generation, there’s always a fleeting moment of dreamy “Ooh, maybes:”
“Ooh, maybe I could get off of this lead generation gravitron.”
“Ooh, maybe I could stop worrying about where I’ll find my next client.”
“Ooh, maybe I could have a full funnel, a steady flow of work, or even [gasp] a waitlist.”
This is exactly what the “done-for-you” phrase is supposed to trigger – visions of dollar signs dancing in your head. But of course, as the old adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Why We Don’t Offer Done-for-You Services
As a ghostwriter and LinkedIn content creator, it would be easy for me to market PPhD services as done for you. However, done-for-you services rarely deliver on the promises purveyors of such services make.
For example, last year, I used a done-for-you service to pitch me as a podcast guest. They delivered the promised 8 podcast bookings and all I had to do was fill out a quick questionnaire, but were all those bookings high quality bookings? No. 2-3 of those podcasts had audiences that included my ideal client. The rest of the guest spots were useful as practice (I guess), but a waste of time in terms of bringing me leads. I would have been better off taking the time to pitch hosts with ideal audiences myself, which is what I’m doing now. Lesson learned.
The truth is that done-for-you services only work in rare cases (e.g., bookkeeping, accounting, law, website design and maintenance) and even in these cases, the input needed from you may be more than you anticipate. This is largely because done-for-you services are cookie-cutter by design, and there are only a few areas of business that are truly the same for nearly every business.
None of the services we offer at The Pocket PhD are done-for-you services. If you want a ghostwriter to capture your voice and the nuances of your unique story or system, then you need to work closely with that ghostwriter. There are ghostwriters who will deliver a done-for-you book, but will it be a book you’re proud to put your name on? Will the formula align with what your readers need to hear? Will the book be anything like what you would have written yourself? Probably not.
The same is true for using LinkedIn to get leads. Lead generation in a service-based business like mine (i.e., premium services provided to 10-15 clients per year) requires building relationships and working hard to earn the trust of prospective clients. These are not items that can be checked off of a to-do list. There are no shortcuts here and no one can do the work entirely for you.
So how do we help our LinkedIn clients get leads?
- We help them think through who their leads are
- We help them strategize about where to find these leads
- We create posts to help them stand out to potential clients
- We help them figure out what to say when those leads start coming in
- We teach them our system of consistency in engagement and messaging
Now, let’s dig a little deeper into how to use LinkedIn to generate leads for two specific types of service-based businesses. Our system works well for speakers as well as coaches and consultants. Obviously, these categories often overlap as well.
Using LinkedIn to Generate Leads for Speakers
If you’ve been hustling to find speaking gigs – sending cold emails, reaching out to former colleagues, and applying to conference after conference – there is an easier way (and it’s probably not paying a PR person exorbitant fees to pitch you). You can absolutely find great speaking opportunities on LinkedIn. To get there, though, you need to optimize your profile and make sure that your posts attract those looking for speakers.
Here are some tips:
1. Optimizing your speaker profile
First, ensure that your profile is optimized for finding speaking opportunities. Even if you have your own website with a section about booking you to speak, LinkedIn may rank higher on a Google search. So make sure those looking for speakers can find you.
To optimize your profile, take the following steps:
- Update your headline: Insert “speaker” into your headline and make sure your subject matter expertise or speaking topics are also part of your headline.
- Do some keyword research: How would organizers of events where you want to speak search for you? What keywords would they use? Make sure your headline, summary, and hashtags include appropriate keywords.
- Update your summary: The summary or about section of your LinkedIn profile is some of the most valuable digital real estate on the internet. Tell people about your speaking experience in your summary and make it conversational (“me,” “my,” and “I” are all fair game – this is not the place to cut and paste from your resume). Take some time to write an interesting story about yourself. Organizers want to hire good storytellers.
- Create a job description for your speaking: You may want to include speaking topics, how many keynotes you’ve delivered, typical audience size, and any accolades you’ve received.
2. Ask for recommendations
Get in the habit of telling organizers that you will be sending a recommendation request through LinkedIn after you speak and then follow through. When you send the request, you’ll be able to choose the “speaker” job description. Then when people view that part of your profile, the recommendations will be front and center.
3. Feature any speaking videos
The featured section of your profile is another place to showcase your speaking chops. You can include links to videos of you speaking, your speaker reel, your one-sheeter, and any other media mentions. You should also be splicing up your videos so that you have audio and video clips (30 seconds is a good length) to share in your LinkedIn posts. You can feature those posts as well.
4. Engage with relevant content
I’ve said it before and I’ll never stop saying it: LinkedIn is a networking platform. The best way to achieve any of your goals with LinkedIn is to treat it like a 24/7 networking event. If you were going to an in-person networking event where you knew you would have a chance to meet organizers looking to book speakers, how would you walk into that event? You would come ready to chat up these organizations. And you should do the same with LinkedIn. If you know who you want to book you to speak, seek out their content and strike up a conversation by commenting on their posts.
5. Write content about your speaking experience
If you aren’t already creating regular content about your speaking experience, it’s time to get moving. Start writing blog posts once or twice per month and link to them in LinkedIn posts. If you don’t have your own blog, you can post articles on Medium or write LinkedIn articles.
While long-form content (750-1,000 words) helps you stand out as an expert, creating posts (500 words or less) about your speaking experiences is just as important. You can include a photo if available, but the written content is what will draw people in and show them what’s unique about your approach to public speaking.
At The Pocket PhD, we love working with speakers to find leads, and we help our LinkedIn clients with all of the above. We have two packages, one that includes ghostblogging and one that offers LinkedIn content creation and strategy only, but our first step is always optimizing your LinkedIn profile.
Using LinkedIn to Generate Leads for Coaches and Consultants
For a lot of coaches and consultants, LinkedIn is the best place to find new clients. Whenever one of my contacts asks for a recommendation, I go straight to LinkedIn to search my connections and do a more detailed search if needed. And of course, I go straight to the profile to make sure I’m confident in my recommendation. To make your LinkedIn profile attractive to your target clients, do the following:
1. Optimize your coaching or consulting profile
First, ensure that your profile is optimized for coaching or consulting. Make it really clear what type of coaching or consulting you offer and who you love to work with.
To optimize your profile, take the following steps:
- Update your headline: Insert “coach” or “consultant” into your headline as close as possible to the beginning of your headline and make sure your subject matter expertise is also part of your headline. Be as specific as you can.
- Do some keyword research: How would your ideal clients search for you? What keywords would they use? Make sure your headline, summary, and hashtags include appropriate keywords.
- Update your summary: The summary or about section of your LinkedIn profile is some of the most valuable digital real estate on the internet. Tell people about your coaching or consulting experience in your summary and make it conversational (“me,” “my,” and “I” are all fair game – this is not the place to cut and paste from your resume). Take some time to write an interesting story about yourself. The more you connect with your target client in your summary, the more likely they will reach out to chat with you.
2. Ask for recommendations
Get in the habit of asking clients for recommendations. You can send a request through LinkedIn. Consider the job titles of those who are most likely to hire you and get recommendations from those people whenever possible. For example, if you’re a speaking coach, you may be hired by an HR director to come and give a workshop for executives. If you can get a recommendation from both the HR director and some of the workshop participants, that would be ideal.
3. Feature any videos or case studies
The featured section of your profile is another place to showcase your coaching or consulting abilities. You can include links to videos of you speaking, working with clients, introducing yourself, and any other media mentions. In addition, case studies are a great way to share who you work with, how you work with them, and the results you get for your clients.
4. Engage with relevant content
The LinkedIn algorithm rewards people who are regular users of LinkedIn and being a regular user means more than posting once a day. It means scrolling through your feed, commenting on relevant posts, and striking up conversations in your DMs. This is where knowing who your ideal client is can make a huge difference. You can search and make a targeted list of people you want to connect with on LinkedIn. Then watch their posts and hop into the conversation where it feels natural. This will save you from cold pitching, which doesn’t work.
5. Write content about your coaching or consulting philosophy
If you aren’t already creating regular content about your unique approach to coaching or consulting, it’s time to get moving. Start writing blog posts once or twice per month and link to them in LinkedIn posts. If you don’t have your own blog, you can post articles on Medium or write LinkedIn articles.
While long-form content (750-1,000 words) helps you stand out as an expert, creating posts (500 words or less) about your business experience, as well as coaching successes is just as important. You can include a photo or video if available, but the written content is what will draw people in and show them what’s unique about your coaching or consulting philosophy.
At The Pocket PhD, we also love working with coaches and consultants to find leads, and we help our LinkedIn clients with all of the above. We have two packages, one that includes ghostblogging and one that offers LinkedIn content creation and strategy only, but our first step is always optimizing your LinkedIn profile.
Our lives as business owners would be a lot simpler if done-for-you services were a viable option for lead generation. But since there’s no instruction manual for running a successful business, there’s no way someone else can churn out leads for you on a conveyor belt.
Here’s what’s not too good to be true: Our PPhD team can help you develop a workable strategy that you can stick to and content you’ll be proud to put your name on. Plus, we’ll be here to answer all of your questions as the algorithm, your work, your industry, and even the economy shifts. Contact us if you are done with the done-for-you hype.
Photo credit: https://www.123rf.com/profile_isn5000