This afternoon I got a contact request on LinkedIn. I took a quick look at the users profile and it looked legit enough, even though I only had 1 contact in common. I don’t sensor my LinkedIn contacts to the same degree as I would me Facebook or Instagram, as there is nothing majorly private or sensitive on LinkedIn. However what happened next ensured I would never do business with this person.

About 30 seconds after accepting the link request, I was greeted with an inbox message the said the following

Good Afternoon David, I wanted to see if you are planning to review any of your hosting this year at all? Kind Regards ,,,,,,

This form of marketing is the coldest of cold marketing. I would equate it to being out for a meal and some random guy coming up to be and shoving a business card for his plumbing services underneath my bowl of soup patting me on the back and walking away…. there is a time, a place and a method!

In the same way that the plumber has no idea that I have a leaky tap, the guy on LinkedIn had no idea if I knew what hosting was never mind needed it.

The best way to meet clients online and get business online is to build a relationship, it can be done over time, not all at once. Here is a few tips to building a relationship online.

  1. Identify your targets, make sure they have a need for your business, there is no point in trying to sell gold to someone struggling to pay their rent.
  2. Listen to what they are saying online, watch what they are saying or sharing.
  3. Interact with them, social media has two words the first being the most important, SOCIAL.
  4. Find common interests, hobbies, contacts, leverage these to your advantage.
  5. Be Authentic, if you are going to ask how I am doing be prepared that I could have just had an awful day!
  6. Be a problem solver, and don’t be afraid to do it for nothing, within reason, if someone asks a question online don’t be afraid to answer it, use the web to showcase your knowledge.
  7.  Remember People do business with People, so make it personal.