4 Easy Steps For Successful LinkedIn Lead Generation
An estimated 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. LinkedIn lead generation is critical in a modern B2B strategy: to source leads, connect with prospects and nurture customers. However, getting the most out of the platform can be hard – which is why I have summarised these 4 easy steps to help you get started.
According to LinkedIn’s own research, 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media. So if you haven’t been using your LinkedIn profile now is the time to start.
With over 467 million total users, there are a whole lot of leads on LinkedIn. You just need to know the right way to approach people.
I am going to summarise 4 easy steps in the following infomercial, then break down each of those in more detail to give you actionable advice you can implement today. Don’t waste any more time – sort that profile out today!
A colourful summary of 4 ways you can use LinkedIn to generate more leads:
1. Make yourself easy to find
This is the easiest step, and it should be top of your list of to do’s because even the best LinkedIn prospecting falls flat when people see an outdated profile.
As social selling strategist and startup advisor Jill Rowley puts it: ““LinkedIn is no longer an online resume. It’s your digital reputation.”
Updating your profile and ensuring you are presenting yourself clearly not only helps you sell, it builds an image of you professionally you can use to network, to find new jobs and to make valuable connections for your own career.
Make your LinkedIn profile searchable by including discoverable keywords in your headline, along with a concise summary telling prospects about your experience and professional achievements. Focus on how you provide solutions rather than just describing your role/offering.
Don’t forget that having a good headshot as your profile picture makes you more likely to be clicked on. No one wants to see a snap of you in a furry trapper hat pulling a face, so stick with something simple and professional.
However, it is still important to be friendly to make your profile more approachable. Friendly but professional.
2. Grow your network
The more connections you have on LinkedIn the better. If you already have quite a few first degree connections but you’d like to expand your potential client pool, then keep a close eye on your newsfeed throughout the day to find out who else the people in your network are connecting with.
If you see that one of your connections is engaging with someone that you are trying to meet, then this is the perfect time for a quick introduction as it gives you an opportunity to compose a personal intro.
Do not just click “Connect” and hope for the best, instead try something personal like:
You’ll want to keep this intro very short. Don’t use it as a chance to spam the prospect with your sales pitch. Simply connect, and then watch their daily activity to get a better idea of what their pain points may be before you reach out to them again in future.
Spotted someone who’s taken on a new role in a company?
This is often the perfect time for an introduction. They’re likely to be busy but they will be keen to streamline the processes that have been in place before they took on the role, so they may be looking to re-allocate budgets and revisit what your company is offering. Get in touch with a simple, “Congratulations on your new role” to get your name known.
This is an example of a trigger event, known circumstances about a prospect which you can leverage in your pitch.
Read how to implement an effective trigger event selling strategy here: Why You’re 5X More Likely To Close Deals With Trigger Event Selling
Use Advanced Search to look for prospects
LinkedIn enables you to create a targeted prospect list by allowing you to set filters in your searches, filtering by title, company, education, location and country.
When looking for prospects using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature, it’s a good idea to spend some time thinking about the following questions, to make your filtering easier:
- Who are the decision-makers in the companies you are targeting?
- What job titles could your prospects have?
- How high up in the company are you looking to prospect?
- What size of company are you looking for?
- Are these companies in multiple industries?
Should you connect with competitors?
Making connections with other companies that you know are going to be looking for the same leads as you are is not always wise. Yes you are in the same industry, so it seems that they would be good connections to have, but as soon as you are connected, your competitors can see all of your activity and the connections that you make.
This means they can potentially poach prospects away from you by getting in there first with their pitch before you’ve had a chance. This is not true 100% of the time, but when the opportunity arises it’s best to assume that your competitor will take it.
3. Nurture your current network
Connecting with prospects and growing your network is just the beginning – you need to nurture those online relationships to stand out to the prospect and avoid being lost in their feed.
Prospects get a lot of connection requests, they aren’t going to remember you just because you connected to them once. Engage with their posts and their content. Demonstrate your knowledge when they share an article or post an article. Demonstrate your own knowledge by sharing and posting articles. Continue to built up a rapport with your network and it will help to build up your image online. You want to appear friendly, knowledgeable and most importantly, credible.
You also need to invest the time into communicating with your prospects directly. Keep in touch with your first degree connections, as the more that you engage with them, the more responsive they will be to your pitch later down the line. Here are some ways to improve your current network of LinkedIn connections:
- Message them whenever seems appropriate, but never get in touch for the sake of getting in touch – don’t waste their time.
- Engage with the content that they share each day.
- Aim to interact with them enough so that it becomes natural to add them on more personal social networks such as Twitter or Facebook.
- Eventually, try to move your relationships off of LinkedIn, and meet in person with your prospects instead, such as for coffee or a business lunch.
4. Use LinkedIn Groups
This is a great way to connect further with people and grow your network, as well as offering an opportunity for you to demonstrate your expertise and your company’s relevance.
LinkedIn Groups include lots of people that care about the same field or subject, meaning if you can find and join the groups that your prospects are in, then you’re very likely to find a whole lot more potential clients in there too.
Start discussions within groups to engage with prospects, but always keep them helpful and genuine, never sales-y or with an obvious agenda. Once you’ve spoken to a few people in the group and perhaps offered them relevant solutions to their problems, request to connect.
Don’t believe that engaging with LinkedIn Groups is worth your time? A 2011 study by LeadFormix found that of those who visit your website, the prospects most likely to fill out a lead form are those who came from LinkedIn Groups or Ads.
If your company doesn’t already have a Group of its own on the go, it’s worth spending a little time setting this up. Gather your team and brainstorm ideas for client-relevant topics you can start conversations about in your new Group, and extend an invitation to your current clients and prospects to join.
A Final Word…
Your prospects are undoubtedly out there on LinkedIn and waiting for you to find them, so spend half an hour optimising your LinkedIn profile today, and start connecting and engaging with your network to generate leads.