LinkedIn Lead Generation: The Definitive Guide

We have earlier talked about how to optimize your lead generation with social media. And, if you want to communicate to a B2B audience, LinkedIn is the right social media network you should be on. With over 238 million active and engaged users and business professionals, LinkedIn is the biggest online professional community in the world. As per LinkedIn stats, “approximately 2 new members join Linkedin per second which stands for almost 172,800 new users a day.” But to use it effectively, here are some ways to harness the power of LinkedIn and generate leads for your business.

1. Optimize Your Profile to Appeal to The Right Audience

Your LinkedIn profile says a lot about all about your professional history. So, always keep your profile updated. Besides adding your photograph and beefing up your skills/achievements, you profile needs to be optimized, so that your prospects can find you easily. If your profile doesn’t appears at the top of the search results when your prospects are searching for the product or service you offer, you are losing valuable leads.

There are many tweaks that you can make to your profile to generate more leads such as, using ideal keywords and key phrases in your summary, specialities and interests and also in your professional headline. While figuring out the keywords, always keep in mind that on LinkedIn people search for a title or a person, like “social media writer” or “social media expert.” Once you have identified your industry related keywords, complete your profile.

Optimize your professional headline as it appears just below your name and it should be designed to attract the attention of your prospects. Your profile headline is extremely important as it appears next to your name in several areas on Linkedin, including search results.

2. Use Existing Contacts to Find Leads

One of the most valuable features of Linkedin is its transparency. It allows people to check the network of their contacts and expand their connections by using those networks. Leads can also be generated by using ‘People You May Know’ feature; it’s a good way to connect with tier 2 connections.

How to Find Leads Using Existing Contacts

Click on the profile tab of your Linkedin page. Scroll down to check your connections. Click on any one of your connection and scroll down to see their connections. You can InMail them directly by upgrading your account or you can ask your connection to introduce you to them.

3. Include Calls to Action to Directly Connect With Others

If your goal is to collect more leads from Linkedin than don’t miss out any chance of growing your network. Use your summary as your call to action. Whenever someone visits your profile capture them by simply asking them to connect with you. Your CTA could be something like “Connect with me,” “Visit our website” or “Sign up for newsletter”, etc. You can also promote your other social media profiles like Twitter or Facebook on your LinkedIn page, so others can engage with you beyond LinkedIn too.

4. Try to Reach Out to New Prospects

The power of LinkedIn lies in its vast network capabilities which goes beyond ist, 2nd & 3rd degree connection to group connections. Besides you can also explore Linkedin Suggest. You can also import your email connections to expand your network reach.

5.Use Linkedin Advanced People Search

Use Linkedin advanced search feature to find leads. It’s a rich tool that allows for a powerful search experience. The results can be filtered by using location, relationships and industry with a basic account. And if you have an upgraded account, you can refine your search with the advanced search filter options. Before you start LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search set criteria for your target audience. Offering to connect with people outside your industry could be seen in bad light.

6. Join Few Groups

Joining few relevant groups is vital to engage with a wider target audience. It’s also offers an important opportunity to directly connect with other members of the group and generate leads from Linkedin. When searching for groups, always use keywords which are relevant to your business or industry and then join accordingly. Don’t join every other group as the maximum amount of groups you can join on LinkedIn is 50.

Joining only closely related groups isn’t advisable as you want to expand your reach to generate more leads. For example, if you’re a marketing manager, don’t just join marketing manager groups, but join groups for managers, executive managers, affiliated managers and other related groups which are outside of your immediate circle.

7. Participate in Your Linkedin Groups

Don’t just enter in and enter out. If you want to get results you have to spend some time in connecting with others and establishing your expertise. This can be done by giving valuable suggestions and advice on the topics other members create. Always add value with everything you post. If you are not providing value to your prospects, you are not doing your job properly and it won’t help you establish yourself as a subject matter expert.

Once you start participating in group discussions, you have the opportunity to connect with group members whom you might not know earlier. As a member of the group, you can check the profiles of other group members without connecting with them, and you can also message them directly even though they are not among your first degree connections.

Find out members who are looking for help and are asking questions about your industry. Always help them by answering their questions from within the group initially, and later on follow up with a more in-depth reply by using ‘Reply Privately’ feature. While replying privately, answer their questions in detail and let them know that you are available for further discussion to help them out. In this way, you can generate quality leads through one-to-one conversations.

8. Use LinkedIn Sponsored Ads

Linkedin Ads are a great way to drive targeted traffic to your business. What makes it effective is that it allows you to target your audience by using very specific criteria. It allows you to target by Geography, Demographic, Industry, Groups, Job function and Job title.

If you want to generate quality leads, understanding your target audience is very essential before you start using LinkedIn Direct Ads. People in LinkedIn are receptive to ads as long they are relevant, as they spend time there for a reason. LinkedIn advertisements emerged as the next best bet for getting a higher conversions.

LinkedIn advertisements can again be targeted at members with specific designations, roles and interests etc., assuring a high quality audience. Hence, the likelihood of prospects filling a form once they land on a page after clicking on an ad is high.

9. Boost Your Lead Generation With Recommendations

The “Recommendations” feature is a validation of the trust people and other business have shown in you. More number of recommendations increases the likelihood of others buying your product or using your services. Giving and receiving recommendations also enhances your presence on the social media network. 

So, don’t hesitate to recommend others to get recommendations in return.  When giving recommendations, be specific and tell how the product or service has helped you. By recommending others you will not only increase their chances of getting more leads but it also increases your possibility of getting on their radar. But, don’t overdo it. If not done correctly, recommendation can also be seen as spam.

10. Add Some Interesting Apps

Applications are a great way to improve the experience of your page visitors. Adding pictures, videos and links will make your Linkedin profile stand out.  Apps will help you in sharing more information about you and your company, like which business books you are reading currently, embed twitter information, add your blog RSS etc to gain more visibility.

11. Upgrade Your Account to LinkedIn Premium

Linkedin is a targeted network and it encourages its users to connect with people they know in reality to minimize the chances of spam. If your aim of using Linkedin is to grow your business connections and to generate leads, upgrading your account is a good option. There are a number of benefits, such as it allows you to contact people without even knowing them through its ‘InMail’ tool. It’s considered as a legitimate way to generate leads.

It allows you to see all the expanded profiles of “People who viewed your profile.” You can also views by industry, keywords you’ve come up for in searches. The other advantages includes advanced search and Profile stats pro tool.

We have earlier discussed ways to drive more traffic from LinkedIn for publishers. Linkedin is indeed a great place to generate leads and to help with brand awareness.  But, your goal should be to build a strong social media community  at LinkedIn. It’s important to grow your network to generate more leads, but engaging with them on a continuous basis is equally important.

 

3 Comments »

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  3. Thank you for the article. As a professional resume writer, most of my clients hire me from LinkedIn. It’s a valuable resource.

    Comment by Jennifer Owenby — March 27, 2014 @ 1:39 am

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