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  • Writer's pictureNat Sharp

How to use LinkedIn for business development

Updated: Mar 26

Unlocking the Power of LinkedIn: Grow Your Small Business with Smart Networking

In the dynamic world of small business, forging new connections and drawing in clientele is nothing short of vital. LinkedIn is a free channel for you to use in your business development. But are you making the most of this platform?

With a wealth of professional relationships just a few clicks away, here’s how you can cleverly cultivate LinkedIn for business development to attract new clients.

The art of tailoring your profile

First impressions count, don't they? Your LinkedIn profile is your opportunity to do this.

Ensure every segment of your profile - from the banner image to the About section – is in harmony with your personal brand's voice. It should communicate the people behind the scenes, your ethos, and your enthusiasm for what you do.

There are some important things to do here:-

  • Write a compelling statement to describe what you do and how you can help your target audience – avoiding jargon

  • Use keywords and phrases your prospects are searching for

  • Include a call to action and even include a live link i.e. call now, or link to Calendly to book an appointment

  • Be consistent with the way you talk about your company and refer to your brand

Connecting with intent

Don’t just fire off hundreds of connection requests without research and thought. Add a personalised note and refer to the person you’re connecting with – reference a recent achievement, or a shared interest. It shows you're paying attention. You can also try connecting with those people that have liked your posts.  Remember you're limited to 100 connection requests per week.

Providing value first

Always provide value before you've asked for anything in return.  Be patient. Don’t jump to selling. Share insightful content pertinent to your niche. Webinars, infographics, quick tips - they all show that you're not just knowledgeable, you're also willing to help others grow.  

Fostering engaging conversations

Engage earnestly with your network's content. Comment with thoughtful insights or perspectives that stir further discussion. It not only shows you're active but that you're genuinely interested in what others have to say. A comment can be a window into your expertise – make sure it opens up to a view worth remembering.

Trial Sales Navigator

Business development teams and business owners can leverage Sales Navigator to help find and reach out to prospects.

There are numerous benefits over and above the free version including:

  • Unlimited searches

  • Access to 2500 search results

  • 45 search filters

  • Saved searches

  • Inmails


Use these tools to sharpen your focus on the right audience segments. Free trials are always available so it’s worth leveraging these but remember to cancel the trial after the free period if you've had to give payment details.

The follow-up: Cultivate with care

No one likes to be forgotten, and a thoughtful follow-up message using LinkedIn Messenger could be the gentle nudge your prospect needs.  LinkedIn Messenger is extremely popular and often generates a better response than emailing someone from cold. Messages sent using this instant messaging platform have more than quadrupled in five years and the messaging reply rate has grown 30%.


Remember, relationships take time to bloom. Be courteous in your follow-ups, and always leave the door open for future conversations.

More than a networking site

LinkedIn is more than just a networking site. It's where professionalism meets personality, and where conversation leads to conversion.

Show sincerity and offer help expecting anything back. That's how relationships are fostered, and ultimately, how new clients are introduced to the unique, warm-hearted professionalism your small business stands for.


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