5 Steps To Better LinkedIn Lead Generation For Your Business
Are you really using LinkedIn to your advantage?
Is LinkedIn bringing you potential clients?
Is your LinkedIn presence optimized?
If you answered no, this is the blog post you need to read.
As I keep saying, LinkedIn is not just an online resume platform. It is a really useful platform for lead generation, especially in the B2B space.
According to Oktopost research, LinkedIn is the best platform for B2B, with 80% of social media leads being generated via LinkedIn.
80%. That’s huge! You (and your business) should really be taking advantage of LinkedIn to network, to build up your contacts list and to create a lead generation database.
So with that in mind, today, I’m talking about a five-step method to improve your efforts at LinkedIn lead generation.
#1. Improve Your Profile
I keep coming to your LinkedIn profile don’t I? That is just how important it is.
A well written, optimized profile is the first impression you make on future prospects and clients. If you’re treating your profile as nothing more than a resume, then I’m sorry to say you’re going to fail at LinkedIn lead generation.
Your LinkedIn profile should achieve two goals:
- Give prospects a reason to want to connect with you. Do this by writing a compelling headline for your profile. One that invites your potential lead to click through and check out the rest of your profile.
- Appear in search results. Do this by optimizing your LinkedIn profile with the keywords that are relevant for your profile.
I’ve written in detail about improving your LinkedIn profile. Check out these posts to get started:
#2. Join LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are your online version of networking.
They are a great place to network with peers as well as potential clients.
LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups. That’s a lot! But here’s a tip, don’t join 50 industry groups only. This will have mean you’re limited to networking with others in your industry only. But what’s our aim?
Our aim is to use these group interactions to generate leads. So you need to go hang out (virtually) where your clients are. You need to identify the groups your ideal clients are likely to be in – and sign up to those!
Of course just signing up isn’t going to magically bring you leads. You will need to actively interact within the group. Your interactions and comments will demonstrate your expertise to the group members.
You can also start building relationships with members in the group. To see who the members are, click on the number of members on the top right corner.
This will show you your first degree connections first. You can then use the search box to narrow down members who fit your ideal prospect criteria.
Let’s imagine you’re looking to connect with people in sales. This would narrow down your search to 300 something people in this specific group.
Spend some time going through the profiles and send a connection request to anyone you think might be a useful lead.
#3. Use Advanced Search
Another way to start building your network with potential leads is to use LinkedIn’s search features. Click on ‘Advanced’ next to the search box to get started.
Advanced search allows you search through LinkedIn based on several different filters. You can narrow down your prospects by keyword, connections, groups, location and more.
If a particular search yields good results for you, don’t discard it. You can save it and keep reusing it. LinkedIn will send you an alert when someone fits your search criteria. Super useful!
#4. Send Personalized Connection Requests
Don’t just send a random connection request to a potential lead. Personalize it and you are more likely to stand out (as most people don’t take the time to do this)
For example, if you’re contacting a prospect as you’re both members of the same group, send a message along with your connection request that could say something along the lines of:
Hey Imaginary Prospect. I noticed we’re both members of the Florida Business Owners group. I enjoy connecting with other business owners in the state so I hope you’ll accept my connection request.
It’s simple but it shows you made an effort and so you’ll stand out.
You can also use InMail to connect with a prospect. This is a paid feature but these messages usually get read and, if your prospect doesn’t respond in 7 days, your credit will be refunded.
#5. Build the Relationship
Once your connection request is accepted, half your battle is won!
But a LinkedIn connection alone won’t bring you new business. You’ve got to work that relationship first.
Start by sending a message to thank the person for accepting your connection request. Remember to personalize it (get their name right) and if you’ve got a valuable resource to offer, feel free to send it. By valuable resource I mean a blog post, an ebook or anything else that could be potentially useful for your contact.
Be careful not to come across as too salesy or spammy though. You want to send genuine and helpful, and not like a sleazy salesman.
Wait for a response before you send any more messages. If you do get a response, keep the conversation going by sending one or two more messages. Again, attempt to include a resource that your prospect might find useful but don’t bring out the sales pitch just yet.
If things are still going well after a few messages, now’s your time to take this relationship offline. Suggest a Skype chat, a phone call or even an in-person meeting to discuss things further.
Don’t try to sell via a LinkedIn message – it’s likely to fail and often comes across as spammy and/or unprofessional.
Once you’ve had conversation, agreed to an offline meeting – then it’s time for you to discuss sales with your lead and how you can help them with the gap in their business.
I hope you found this useful and a good starting point if you’re just beginning to use LinkedIn for lead generation. It’s a lot of work, I agree. But that’s how relationship building works – and essentially that is what you’re doing on LinkedIn to generate leads/prospects.
In my next post, I’m going to dive deeper into relationship-building on LinkedIn and how it can help you in the lead generation process. Be sure to come back for it!
In the mean time, if you’ve got a question for me, feel free to shoot them at me in the comments.