How To Turn Your LinkedIn Connections Into Paying Clients!

(Note: If you want to learn more about LinMailPro, which I mention around the 7 minute mark of the video, go here to visit the LinMailPro website.)

Stop me if this scenario sounds all too familiar.

You’ve been on LinkedIn for some time, accumulating hundreds (if not thousands) of 1st degree connections in the process.

Yet, oftentimes it feels like an exercise in futility. When you look at your “Connections” tab on LinkedIn, it reveals a hodgepodge of professionals from all over the planet, with no discernible pattern to work from.


To make matters worse, if you’ve been on LinkedIn for years, you might have collected old co-workers, former customers and even friends along the way, and none of them are relevant to the work you’re doing right now.

What are you supposed to do with all these people, anyway?

Time for some good news: Whether you realize it or not, you’re sitting on a ton of potential business as you read this. The key is understanding how to quickly and efficiently sort the wheat from the chaff within your LinkedIn network. And, once you do that, what to send each group of professionals to move them from connection to customer as fast as possible.

Tag, Sort, Serve. (Repeat.)

I’m going to spend the rest of this post showing you a simple three-step process that you can follow to turn scores of your existing LinkedIn connections into paying clients.

The three steps are Tag, Sort and Serve. And I promise you this: If you apply the following strategy to your LinkedIn network, it’s going to immediately re-energize your lead generation efforts, spur new conversations with potential clients, generate referrals and bring in paying customers as a result.

Ready to begin?


Start Here: LinkedIn Tags and Connections

One of the biggest benefits of being on LinkedIn is all the information available about the other professionals we’re connected to. I’ve talked in other posts about how powerful this personal information can be when it comes to generating sales and revenue using LinkedIn. Knowledge is power, after all, and LinkedIn has plenty of both if you use it correctly.

The first step in this process is tagging your existing 1st Degree connections. (Meaning the people you’re already connected to.)

You can add tags to your LinkedIn connections in a few different ways.

If you didn’t already, watch this video to see how it works:

(Note: If you want to learn more about LinMailPro, which I mention around the 7 minute mark of the video, go here to visit the LinMailPro website.)

As I demonstrate in this video, the most direct way is to go to your LinkedIn profile page and click “Connections” from the menu options. Then, in the “Filter” area, choose “Connections only” and in the “Sort” section, choose “Last Name” or “First Name.”

The important thing is to sort everyone alphabetically by First Name or Last Name, and to have the list only show your existing LinkedIn connections. (Note: If you’ve allowed LinkedIn to access your email accounts and calendars, which it constantly asks you for permission to do, you’ll have many non-LinkedIn contacts lumped into the mix under your “Connections” tab.)

Now the you’ve chosen “Connections Only” and sorted that last alphabetically by First Name or Last Name, we’re ready to start adding tags.


This next step is critical, so pay close attention.

I want you (or a virtual assistant acting on your behalf) to go through each of your individual LinkedIn connections and assign a specific tag to him or her.

How LinkedIn Tags Work

As of this writing, LinkedIn allows you to create up to 200 custom tags, and I suggest you come up with several categories to put people into.

Create one tag called “Friends” for friends or family you’re connected to but whom you’d never do business with. Another might be “Alumni” for people you went to high school or college with who are non-business contacts.

Get as creative as you need to with the remainder of your tags. Much will depend on what your current business goals and target audiences are.

For example, let’s say you run your own Small Business selling Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services. Maybe you want to target a niche market – attorneys and law firms – because you’ve done successful SEO work for some law firms in the past, and have great testimonials and case studies as a result. With that in mind, you can go through and tag all of your relevant LinkedIn connections with “Attorney” or “Lawyer” to create a targeted pool of potential prospects.

Say you also want to sell your SEO services to a different niche audience – plumbers in Chicago, Illinois. You can go through all your LinkedIn connections and assign tags like “Chicago Plumber” to the relevant professionals in your network who fit that description. If you have a large network (thousands of connections) I’d recommend you break it down by letters of the alphabet that match someone’s last name, like this: “Chicago Plumbers A-B,” “Chicago Plumbers C-D,” “Chicago Plumbers E-F” and so on.

It’s important to batch all these prospects into tagged groups of 50 to 100 if possible, so that’s why adding letters of the alphabet alongside the job title, industry type and/or location helps. (I’ll explain why you want to do this in a bit!)


How to Tag a LinkedIn Connection

As you mouse over a person’s profile, you’ll see an option to add a “Tag” to his or her profile. (Again, watch this video to see how it works.) Click “Tag,” and then choose one of your pre-selected tags to give this person based on the ones you’ve already created. You can also create new, custom tags on the spot as well. (LinkedIn will allow you to create up to 200 custom tags, by the way.)

Repeat this process until you’ve gone through all your existing LinkedIn connections. And then, every time you add a new 1st level connection, tag him or her right away using the same approach.

You should be able to do this pretty fast – most people in your LinkedIn network will have their job title, company name and location showing up right on your “Connections” page. Typically those give you what you need to tag someone. If you need more info on a particular person, just mouse over his or her name and right-click to open his or her profile in a new tab or window on your browser. Take a look at his or her profile to figure out what tag to give him or her, and then go back to you main list, add the relevant tag and keep going.

Why LinkedIn Tags Work

The reason I’m such a fan of this approach is that nothing (and I mean nothing!) beats personalized, 1-on-1 marketing. And LinkedIn, along with a few key browser add-ons that’ll I’ll share in a minute, makes it easy to do.

Sorting and Serving Your LinkedIn Connections

Once you’ve tagged all your 1st degree LinkedIn connections, you’ll be able to sort them based on tags.

Under the “Connections” tab, simply choose “Sort” and then “Tags,” and it pulls up a list of all your custom tags. Once you click a specific tag, LinkedIn spits out a customized list of all your 1st degree connections that have that tag.

Congratulations! You’ve now sorted all your existing contacts into specific groups of prospects that you can start selling to.


The next step is starting a relationship where you serve targeted prospects exactly what they are looking for. What I mean by that is, sharing content, insight or other valuable items that are going to help those prospects do their job better and accomplish their goals as a result.

I’ve said this in other places, but it’s not enough anymore to simply approach someone online with your virtual hand out asking for their time, attention or money. You must, as they used to say in the old 1980s TV commercials for the investment firm Smith Barney, “Make money the old fashioned way – earn it.”

In the 21st Century, you must earn the time and attention of your prospects. The way you do that is twofold: First, by engaging them as human beings, using personal information and messaging as I demonstrate here. Second, by giving them valuable information, content or insight related to their business goals.

There are several ways you can offer value to your ideal prospects. One of my favorites is to “reverse-engineer” a product or service you offer and turn it into a blog post.

To go back to our SEO company example, instead of just asking a plumber in Chicago if he needs SEO services for his website, send a message that looks like this:

Hi (FIRST NAME) – I see you mentioned on your profile in the “Interests” section that you’re a huge NBA fan – how do you think the Bulls will do this year? Also, thought you’d be interested in a new post I just shared here on LinkedIn. It’s called “3 Secrets to Successful SEO for Chicago Plumbers” and you can read it here – [insert link to post]. It’s all about how plumbers can save time and money online by understanding these 3 key elements of SEO and how well it can work for local customers to “find” you online quickly if you utilize these techniques. Hope you find it helpful and don’t forget to let me know your thoughts on the Bulls! – [INSERT YOUR NAME]

Now, that “3 Secrets to Successful SEO” post can just be you “reverse-engineering” three of your key SEO services as they relate to “local” SEO and “local” search.

Help these Chicago plumbers see how they will generate more business and get more inbound calls for leaky faucets if they follow your advice. And whether they try to do it themselves or just hire your agency outright to do it for them, you win, because you have their time, attention and interest. They’re either going to do business with you directly right now, refer you to a friend or pay attention to you because you know your stuff, and that is going to lead to a potential business opportunity or referral for you in the future.

See how this works?

The best part of the entire process is, you’re only serving relevant, targeted content to targeted audiences via a 1-on-1 messaging campaign using a tool like LinMailPro.


Here’s how it works: On your LinkedIn profile page, you go under “Connections,” sort by “Tag” and choose “Chicago Plumbers.” LinkedIn pulls up a ready-made list Chicago plumbers who would be interested in your new SEO tips.

LinMailPro allows you to take the scripted message I used above and personalize it with each plumber’s first name, and it also sends each plumber on your list a 1-on-1 LinkedIn message directly from your account.

Here’s what the message I used above would look like in LinMailPro:

Hi %%FIRST%% – Hope this note finds you well! I thought you’d be interested in a new post I just shared here on LinkedIn. It’s called “3 Secrets to Successful SEO for Chicago Plumbers” and you can read it here – [insert link to post]. It’s all about how plumbers can save time and money online by understanding these 3 key elements of SEO and how well it can work for local customers to “find” you online if you utilize these techniques. Hope you find it helpful! – [INSERT YOUR NAME]

See how this works?


You could take the same blog post about SEO, re-post it to LinkedIn with a new title (“3 Secrets to Successful SEO for Attorneys and Law Firms”) and share the same general tips on local SEO/search as it applies to law firms and attorneys.

Then take your tagged group of “Attorneys” or “Law Firms” and use the same script I shared above, swapping in the relevant job title / industry type and new blog title.

The plumbers get content aimed at them. The lawyers get content aimed at them.

Nobody is getting a straight sales pitch from you, either. Did you notice that? Instead, you’re just sending, personal, 1-on-1 messages that link to content that helps your target audience do their job better. Who’s going to complain about that?

Of course, at the bottom of your blog posts, you can have a call to action that allows people to learn more about you or your firm, or a link to more posts, etc.

Also, your message might not be a piece of content – maybe it’s an invite to a networking event you are hosting in that person’s town, or an invite to grab coffee, etc. It all depends on how your lead generation process and sales funnel work!

I’ve done this for years now, and had some amazing results in the process.

Sure, it will take some time to sort and tag all your connections, but once you do, and once you serve them helpful content, you’re going to see amazing results for your business!