LinkedIn is an excellent platform from which to connect professionally, find work, and share content. But, have you ever considered using LinkedIn as part of your lead generation strategy?
Consider this: if you sell services or products to other businesses, LinkedIn should be your number one focus over all other social networks. These days, it is LinkedIn that people go to when they want to improve their job performance, further their careers, and find reputable businesses.
With over 400 million members around the globe, this incredible platform is a huge pool of potential leads just waiting for you. What’s more, numerous case studies have revealed that LinkedIn drives the most customers to B2B companies.
Surprisingly, LinkedIn is a versatile and robust resource for business owners, no matter how big or how restricted your social media budget may be. (need help completing your profile? Read our step-by-step blog here).
While lead generation via LinkedIn may sound rather mysterious, it can be incredibly easy, and significantly impressive for your bottom line. The biggest challenge, though, is to balance the fine line between spamming and lead generation. Some businesses find it tough to walk that line because they, wrongly, assume that businesses on the platform are open to being approached for sales offerings. But, this is not the case.
This article looks at how to use LinkedIn to generate leads for your business.
How to Get More Leads Using LinkedIn
1. Optimize Your Profile
An optimized profile can help you to better connect with leads. When it comes to seeking out leads on LinkedIn, you are likely going to be reaching out to people who have never met you. So, you need to ensure that your profile is properly optimized and avoid being marked as a spammer.
The most important parts of your LinkedIn profile are the parts that other users see. To get connected, users search for the following sections.
a. Name and Pictures
An example of a professional LinkedIn profile picture:
b. The Tagline
The tagline or title section is where you display your job title and any other titles you may want to show off. It’s worth taking the time to think about your target audience – those people you want to connect with – before constructing your tagline.
2. Completing Your Profile
Completed profiles get more views. So, if you invite people to connect with you on LinkedIn, you can bet they are going to check out your full profile. The main thing they are trying to determine is just how legitimate you are. You don’t need to be overly fancy, just make sure each section is filled out accurately and completely. You can use our guide to creating a killer LinkedIn profile to help you get your profile up to speed.
This is what a completed profile looks like:
3. Create Groups
If you want to use LinkedIn to generate leads and grow your business, you need to go looking for those leads. A great way to do this is to create a group.
There are more than 2 million groups on LinkedIn with more than 200 conversations occurring per minute, and all it requires is a little bit of time to create a group and then ongoing maintenance that will be well worth the effort.
Things to Consider When Creating a LinkedIn Group
- The group name and logo – use your brand/business name and logo or a name that is relevant to your industry.
- Post current and relevant content to your group to open the doors to communication
4. Back It Up a Second – Create a List of Customers to Connect With
Let’s back it up just a second here. Before you even create your group, you may want make a list of the people who are most likely to become leads. You can use your buyer personas to compile a list of leads. Fortunately, LinkedIn makes even this step relatively effortless:
- Use LinkedIn’s built-in search function
- Click on “advanced” at the top, on the side of the search bar
- From here, you can start getting specific about your personas/leads
5. Make Contact with Members
Okay, now that you have created a group it’s time invite potential leads to connect.
To Create a Sensational First Impression with Members:
- Craft a substantial opening message – in one or two sentences, you should aim to portray yourself as professional and explain exactly why you want to connect with members.
- Send that invite – this is the easy bit, but so many people seem to get stuck. Just tell the person how you know them or why you want to connect.
Sending an invite to connect:
6. Don’t Stop There – Keep Engaging
Keep inviting new connections until you have around 10 regular members who post new content of their own accord. The more active your LinkedIn group is (and the good news is that almost 50% of group members on LinkedIn find that posting and participating in group discussions is helpful), the easier it is to reel in new members.
3 Types of Messages to Interact with New Members:
7. It’s Time to Get Active
If the only time you use LinkedIn is to send sales messages, you risk being labelled a spammer. Being active on the platform is the ideal opportunity to continue building your group and following, and establishing authority in your field. Once you have built up a positive presence, when people see a message from you, they are far more likely to recognize your face or name and want to engage with you.
Yet again, staying active on LinkedIn is incredibly easy. Sprout Social, for example, offers an audience targeting feature that helps you target your posts by location, industry, company size, and much more.
This is what it looks like:
Once you have set your audience and other details, your posts will only display to those people/target audience that match your options. That means you can share your content with a particular demographic who will find what you have to say interesting.
But, being active is not just about content, it means getting stuck in there – engaging with your tribe. If your group members, for instance, are in the habit of posting on LinkedIn, it is just courtesy for you to get into the habit of replying to and liking their posts.
Let’s go back to your group for a moment. Groups are great as they allow you to target your specific niche, so staying active, engaged, and offering current posts, is as easy as offering a couple minutes of your time each day.
An example of a LinkedIn group page:
8. How to Publish Content on LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s publishing platform, LinkedIn Pulse, makes staying active by posting regular content easy. Instead of just curating articles, you can now use the platform to publish your original content and offer insight, solutions, and answers to your groups.
If you’re wondering why content seems to play such an important role in lead generation, just look at these figures:
9. Use Ads to Reach Leads
While many businesses turn to Facebook for targeted ads as part of their lead generation strategy, LinkedIn Ads is a far better option for B2B businesses. In fact, LinkedIn generates three times more visitor-to-lead conversions than Facebook or Twitter, so you need to ask if your business can really afford to miss out on such an opportunity?
An example of building targeted ads:
Rather than linking your ads to your group or sales pages, direct them to lead magnets. You want to generate leads, not push people to buy, so those that click on your ad are likely to be close to the top of your sales funnel and you want to ease them into your process first.
10. Now, It’s Time to Refine Your Strategy
Just as with other social media platforms, LinkedIn continues to change and update its best practices and rules. What worked last year, may be kicked to the curb this year. So, you need to keep an eye on industry leaders in digital and social marketing in order to adjust your LinkedIn strategy as things change.
11. Consider Going Premium
Once you have all your ducks in a row and you are ready for some major lead generation, it’s worth considering upgrading to a LinkedIn premium account. This option is broken up into three different levels and will be based on your lead generation goals:
Choose the Sales Navigator version if you want to generate leads and sales. Some benefits of this option are:
- Get lead recommendations
- Advanced search options for finding qualified prospects
- 15 – 30 free InMails monthly, depending on whether you have a team or individual account
Get lead recommendations with Sales Navigator in LinkedIn Premium:
InMail is an internal messaging system on LinkedIn that allows you to send messages to people who are not yet part of your network. It is ideal if your goal is lead generation as you can reach out to a wider network of prospects who you may otherwise not have had a way of contacting.
12. Don’t Forget to Follow Up
When our aim is to generate leads, the follow up is the most important part of the entire process.
If you have reached out to a lead and they have not replied to your LinkedIn InMail message, follow up a week later. They may well have overlooked your message or simply forgotten to respond. Don’t miss out on a potential sale because of that!
A follow up message via InMail:
We should mention that it takes an average of four follow up attempts before closing a sale, so you don’t want to stop following up.
13. Now, get off LinkedIn!
You’ve started to build a relationship on LinkedIn, now, get off and nurture your leads!
Once you have established qualified leads, get off LinkedIn and reach out to them via a webinar or call, and watch those conversion rates flourish.
When it comes to B2B lead generation, LinkedIn is one of the best social platforms by far. If you put even just a little bit of time and energy into optimizing your profile, reaching out to targeted leads, creating a group, and keeping the conversation engaging, those leads are bound to turn into clients, in turn, growing your business’s bottom line.
If you need help with an effective lead generation strategy, reach out to GlobalYogi Labs today!