How to get first clients cheap

LinkedIn Lead Generation: The Cheapest Way To Get Startup Clients

Everything is ready. You have a genius idea that will help solve a very important problem, you have your website ready, your product is almost ready to be used, dream team, a bulletproof business and marketing plan with a solid lead generation strategy, even the future iterations of your product are done.

It’s everything an investor needs to shell out his money and help you launch your business (all for just 5% stake)

But the problem is, you have everything he doesn’t need. Here’s why.

The Problem.

It’s one thing to have the idea inside your head and think that it solves a problem, but it’s a completely different thing when the person who has the problem, will take your idea and test it out for himself.

This is why you have to bombard your product with as many clients as possible. The people that have a real need for your solution.

Let them break it, let them use it abuse it, give their thoughts, criticism, have them delete it from their desktops, have them curse you, everything.

Because until you test out your solution with the people who really need it, it’s all just a nice fantasy (with real hosting, domain, and man hour expenses).

This is exactly what investors need. Proof Of Concept as they call it. They need to see that your product is already solving a problem for a specific group of people.

But here comes another problem. Startup founders, besides being brilliant programmers and sometimes marketers, rarely they have a good sales plan or strategy. 

Even less of an occurrence is when they are good salespeople.

This means getting to the first clients is going to be a slow painful process for them.

What’s The Solution?

The good thing is that you can learn some basic and cheap sales techniques. The following one is super easy and involves only LinkedIn.

Why LinkedIn Lead Generation?

If your solution is B2B or specific sectors/departments in a business, or simply helps a specific role in the company (CEO, Head of BD, Creative Director…) then you must use a LinkedIn lead generation approach.

  • It has 610 Million active users.
  • 63 million of these are decision-makers that can say yes or no to your solution and have it implemented in their company.
  • 10 million of these are millennial decision-makers that can also say yes or no to your solution and have it implemented in their company.
  • 80% of all B2B leads come from LinkedIn ( putting all other social media below 20% each)
  • LinkedIn is the only social media and at the same time a platform for professionals.

Not only the person that can buy your product or service is on LinkedIn (who you can find with just a few filters in the LinkedIn search), but that person will be ok with you striking a convo with him for no reason, because after all, LinkedIn is a social platform.

It’s in everyone’s best interest to expand their network, connect with professionals and grow their business.

So, if you’re an introvert, shy startup owner, LinkedIn lead generation is the thing to do. No stressing because the person on the other side of the line, when you cold-called him, said fuck off, no more fear of getting your email marked as spam.

Not only will you get an acquaintance, but if the time comes to do a call, you would have already known each other.

So what’s the approach here?

Even though this is a social network, you can’t just go around spamming everyone. First of all, LinkedIn will ban you if you go over the 40 limit connection per day, second people will see through your sales approach easily.

The LinkedIn lead generation approach that works is simple:

  • First know your ideal target audience. Know exactly which industry, role, geolocation, company size (and any other info you have on them) your target is.
    • Don’t think that the group you’ve imagined is going to be your only group. As you progress down the line and reach out to people, you will see that your initial product has a much wider or much more niche-focused target than you’ve anticipated.
  • Next, you create and send out the messages for the outreach.
    • One message just for connecting
      • Don’t sell them, just ask if it’s ok to connect with them
    • One message after you connect with them
      • This is where you start your sales approach.
    • A sequence of messages that you can send out to the same potential leads you connect with, through an email software (such as Gmass)
      • People don’t always check their LinkedIn but they always check their emails, therefore the reason why you need to create a chain of emails, which eventually one of them will get read.
    • Lastly, you will rewrite your LinkedIn profile completely. Imagine, there are 500 million LinkedIn users, and your profile is your website on LinkedIn. How will you communicate the solution through your profile in a way that it will instantly be known to the audience how you can help them?

What’s The Purpose Of These Messages?

To get on a call with the potential lead because everything else gets lost in translation, such as:

  • Send some more info and I will look into it – NEVER GOING TO LOOK INTO IT
  • Not sure – the potential lead just used one of Linkedin’s auto-suggest messages to get rid of you
  • Let me think about it – aaaand forget about it 2 seconds later
  • What’s the pricing, then we might talk – never give out your prices in a mesSage. Everyone else does and fails. If the lead is only interested in the pricing, then they don’t have a problem.

How to Make The Linkedin Lead Do The Call?

The trick is, whatever your potential client responds when you send him the second message, you need to respond back with something vague, and at the same time tell him that the easiest way to find more about what he is asking is through a quick call. Then you offer two options to do the call.

The call is the moment where you set some very important things that will plant the idea in your potential client’s head that you and your solution are what he needs. These things are:

  • You’re the expert in the area he has a problem with.
  • You have the structure and the strategy which will solve his problem, frictionlessly and in the shortest time possible
  • He will fail if he doesn’t work with you
  • He will pay double if he doesn’t work with you

Here’s a detailed guide on how to create and prepare for your pitch, that you can use to structure your call as well.

Be ready that a lot of these leads will say no, but no in a nice way because LinkedIn is still a social platform (unlike some cold email responses that go as far as UNSUBSCRIBE NOW OR ELSE I REPORT YOU IMEEDIATELLY THANK YOU!

Also, Not All LinkedIn Leads Will Get On The Calls.

Be prepared that not a lot of people will say yes, no matter how good the call went. Fuck it, it’s just a numbers game at the end, but with the approach listed above, you will at least double your chances of shortening that numbers game and getting to your first clients.

It’s of utmost importance to keep track of everything because you must be aware of the outreach status at any time.

  • How many people connected with you
  • Positive responses
  • Negative responses
  • Emails (that can be used later on for additional email campaigns)

Because if it’s not working, you have to know it, and be prepared to iterate.

After doing this LinkedIn lead generation approach for at least two to three months, and getting the first client, you’ll notice that your product needs waay more work than initially anticipated.

After doing it at least 1 year, and getting 10+clients, you’ll probably notice that you don’t actually need any investor money, because if you can find clients easily as you did in the past year, why are you looking for money?

Cheers,

P.S. Here’s a free e-book that explains the importance of the first users, also called early adopters.

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