There’s no doubt about it – when it comes to lead generation online it’s hard to beat LinkedIn for sales leads. I’m always saying this, so I thought it was time to dive a little deeper and give you my ultimate LinkedIn lead generation guide. Read on to find out how to use LinkedIn as a lead generation tool and tap into that amazing potential.
Sometimes known as the ‘Facebook of business’, LinkedIn is often used for job-hunting, or just widening your network. But think about it. There are hundreds of millions of people signed up to LinkedIn, and currently there are over 300 million active users. Of these, around 60 million are decision-makers – the people that you want in your sales funnel. When you use LinkedIn, you can reach out directly to those decision-makers, without having to deal with a ‘gatekeeper’ over the phone who might not put your call through. Using LinkedIn, you can find those decision-makers in your niche, and connect with them directly. Since it is a business-oriented platform, they will hopefully be in a professional frame of mind when they use it, and open to approaches from other businesspeople.
Okay, so how do you go about finding and reaching out to these great leads on LinkedIn? There is plenty of action you can take without even having to spend any money on things like Premium membership or paid ads. Let me take you through the 5 steps of my LinkedIn lead generation strategy which you can start today.
- Get ready for visitors. As you start implementing the next steps in your strategy, you are going to be getting a lot more visitors, to your LinkedIn profile and your company website. Be ready. Your profile needs to look professional, be complete and up to date. And when it comes to your website, make sure there’s a great landing page waiting for potential leads. Give them a tempting offer to click on, or a value-added item like an ebook or tutorial, in exchange for their details.
- Stay active. It is so important that you don’t just use the platform for searching for and messaging leads. You need to get involved in creating good quality content and posting it on LinkedIn. Great content will be liked and shared, and is guaranteed to get you some (hopefully) useful new contacts. Return the favour: check out what your network is posting and like, comment and share it. It shows you’re taking an interest in what others have to say, which is always a good quality in a potential business connection. Also, join some groups relevant to your target niche to be a part of the conversation and find out what’s going on with your potential customers.
- Use your network. In order to start compiling a contact list of quality leads – that is, decision-makers in your niche who have the financial clout to be your customer – go through your existing network. Then check out your second and third-degree connections, as this can be a really rich seam of potential sales leads. Having a connection in common with someone makes it more likely that they will read your message and want to respond.
- How to cold message on LinkedIn and get replies. So you’ve found someone who could be an ideal customer for you. Now you need to connect with them. Cold messaging on LinkedIn is an art form, but it’s not too hard once you know how. The first message you’re allowed to send when making a new connection is short, so you need to make it count. Do not go in with a hard sell message right away – keep it light and friendly, otherwise the recipient might just reject the connection request and your efforts end here. Something like “Hi [recipient], I saw you’ve worked with [name of mutual connection]. I’d love to connect and find out more about [company, or specific project if possible].” This is where paying for LinkedIn Premium can help, as it allows you to send longer messages to people outside your network. But I’ve had lots of success just doing it through the free service – it just means you have to get them to connect with you first.
- Follow up. Then follow up again. If the person you’ve reached out to accepts your connection, then great! Now you can follow up with a longer message, thanking them for accepting your request, and maybe starting a conversation that introduces who you are and what you do. You still don’t need to sell at this point, just try and establish a rapport. It may take a few messages back and forth before they can be properly categorised as a lead. The good news is that now they are part of your network, they’ll be seeing all the content you are posting and will start viewing you as an industry expert. But what if they don’t reply to your connection request? Don’t give up. The decision-makers you are reaching out to are likely to be busy people. Just because they don’t reply, doesn’t mean there’s no chance of connecting. However, you will need to follow up, as the notification for your request is likely to be quickly buried in a busy inbox. Wait a week or so, then send another message saying something like “Hi [recipient], I just wanted to check my request hadn’t got lost in your inbox. I’d still love to connect and talk [industry niche] when you have the chance.”
So that’s how to generate leads with LinkedIn. I hope my guide has helped inspire you – these are simple steps that you can start on today to help pull a regular flow of top-quality leads into your sales funnel. But if it sounds like too much time and effort (heck, you’ve got a business to run after all!) then you can always outsource this vital business task. Check out https://www.kasandz.com/linkedin-lead-gen to find out more about how we could help.