LinkedIn can be used to meet many goals. You can distribute content, expand your professional network, extend your marketing reach, hire a crack staff, and promote your brand. But, are you leveraging LinkedIn to generate leads?
Here's how LinkedIn describes itself: LinkedIn is the place to manage your professional identity; build and engage with your professional network; and access knowledge, insights, and opportunities.
While LinkedIn doesn't specifically cover lead generation in this description, it's not to be overlooked. Because catch this: LinkedIn is currently closing in on nearly 400 million members! With millions of members and a robust interface, how can there not be leads out there waiting to be captured on LinkedIn?
So, let's look at some ways to make the best use of LinkedIn to generate and nurture leads.
Put on Your Best Face
When a visitor arrives at your company page, this may be a first encounter. Not only do you want to ensure the page is up to date, you want to get the messaging and information just right. Don't write content that's a sales pitch. Rather, offer straight-forward information about what you do, and how it can help alleviate your clients' pain points. Trust that most visitors are not interested in how great your company is. Your current and prospective clients generally only want to know how you can help solve their problems.
A couple quick tips:
- Create a high-quality banner image that makes a statement about your company.
- Develop and write informative content that's worthy of engagement.
- Post frequently and consistently because it takes 20 posts per month to reach 60 percent of your audience.
- Write recommendations for connections with whom you've collaborated with.
- Ask your LinkedIn connections for introductions to other members to help build your lead list.
The First Key—Engagement
First, seek out your clients and prospects on LinkedIn and be sure to follow them. Spend time each day checking to see what your clients and prospects are up to, and engage with them when appropriate.
LinkedIn also has loads of groups for all kinds of professionals and business interests. According to Expanded Rambling's Digital Marketing Stats/Strategies/Gadgets, which has the most recent stat to be found regarding LinkedIn groups, back in 2013 LinkedIn had 2.1 million groups. Also back in 2013, the same source said there are 8,000 new groups created weekly. While the stats are dated and the math better left to a mathematician, let's just say there are tons of groups where you can be generating leads. Figure out where your clients and prospects are most likely to spend their time on LinkedIn, and go there.
Lastly, when you engage with members on LinkedIn, in groups or individually, be sure you offer useful and detailed information to establish yourself and your company as authoritative and credible resources.
Use Your LinkedIn Profile as a Lead Capture Landing Page
Wurlwind gives some excellent advice when it comes to using your LinkedIn profile to generate leads. According to Wurlwind, you should outline your value proposition; create a clear opening sentence that's engaging and memorable; include a clear call to action to connect; introduce trigger events that initiate research; and highlight problems solved, including your contribition.
Generate Relevant Leads With LinkedIn's Advanced Search Features
If you don't have one of LinkedIn's premium accounts, now is the time to make use of the platform's advanced search features. To generate relevant leads, seek contacts out by name, company, relationship, industry, and more. A paid LinkedIn account allows you even more advanced search options, including company size, job function, and seniority status, among others.
Don't Cold Call When You Can Use LinkedIn's InMail
The world wide web may well have pushed cold calling into an early retirement when it comes to generating leads. You don't even have to have a LinkedIn connection to contact a prospect. Ensure your email is cogent and succinct, and send it off, because according to LinkedIn, using InMail over cold calling is 30 times more likely to generate a response.
Wurlwind also offers another shrewd tip, which is that in addition to sending InMail to one connection, you can use LinkedIn to send InMail to 50 contacts at one time. You can send InMail to groups of contacts by title, company, or location. Or you can create "tag" groups by interests. Using a text editor, create your content then paste that content into your LinkedIn message; and hit send. Be sure to uncheck "Allow recipients to see others' email addresses." Repeat this for as many groups as needed.
Pay to Play With LinkedIn's Premium Services and Sponsored Updates
LinkedIn's premium services offer two plans to help generate leads: one to grow and nurture your network and another to unlock sales opportunities, which LinkedIn calls its Sales Navigator. Sales Navigator uncovers hidden connections; allows you to use search filters, build lists, and research third-degree connections; and even let you integrate with some top-name CRMs. Lastly, you can always sponsor updates to help grow awareness and generate leads.
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