Linkedin has grown to be more than a social network for professionals these days. Folks use it for a variety of reasons and today we shall look upon some cool ways to use LinkedIn for lead generation. Like any social media, this network is also driven by sharing of content by users, the prime difference here is that it is targeted at working professionals in diverse industries.
Lead generation involves curating of names and other contact information of people using which they will be contacted in the future. Albeit the meaning may be interpreted in different ways throughout, this seems to be the essence of it.
Check out my 7 Strategies to get customers for my business.
Consistency in sharing content
The key to success on any social network is through sharing. While we target at lead generation from a network like this, we have to make sure that unique content is shared in a consistent behavior. Before you could generate leads, you need to have a good following or viewership over your profile.
To start with, if you have a company page, than 500 is a decent count of followers on linkedin and if you have a individual profile, then 250 or 300 friends should be fine. So if your follower or friend count is less, before you explore using linkedin to generate leads, you need to work on taking your follower count to a threshold level. If you wish to make a company page on Linkedin, click here to know the process
Consistency in sharing content on linkedin is actually a very wide meaning term, worth some precise explanation. Over last 4 years I have realized that when I put a thoughtful comment to someone’s post or share my own blog content on linkedin. I get people coming to my Profile, So there is an opportunity to generate leads there through a direct message or an inmail. Point number 4 has details on how you can use ‘Inmail’ to generate leads for your business.
Having a completely filled profile
Yes, a clear profile of yours is the doorway to generate more customers for your business regardless of the network. Why? Because Through your promotion effort, users would visit your profile. Mentioning start date and end date of education or your job is an easy task in profile completion, but what needs greater attention is the Profile summary. If you can’t pull the visitor to read your profile summary than you can never expect them to be reading your complete profile.
Use only 1st person language in your personal profile summary and it’s important to know that the limit set by linkedin for summary is 2000 characters.You may check this for character count set for other information in Linkedin. Ask yourself a question – If your dream client gives you 1 minute to talk and tell him about what you can offer him as a service. The answer you will get will be – it needs to be short, to the point, it should have your strengths and how can you add value to his business.
Some tips to have a super-profile
- Completely fill your profile. Never leave any field blank( including skills, honours & reward etc).
- Say it through your profile that you are open for discussions and answers.
- Complete the user summary and if possible try to use some keywords in it too.
- Put up links of your blog or company page for people to read more about you and your business.
Concept of LinkedIn groups is not different from a Facebook group. Only difference is the level of seriousness of the people who participate in Linkedin groups. Since they are professionals, you will not notice any casual comment, like you find on Facebook. Linkedin allows you to join upto 50 groups and your activity in these groups is going to be your gold mine for lead generation.
Strategy for joining group – Example – If you are a content writer and looking at agencies or bloggers as prospective customers for your work, then you can join social media groups or seo group. Similarly if you sell telecom solutions, like virtual numbers or postpaid connections, then you can look at joining groups that have HR or more of admin or purchase managers. Thumb rule – Don’t just join group for self promotion, must build relations, participate and then only promote your self.
After you join a group, click on its members to see a list of members. You can filter them basis designation, physical location or any other criteria that you want to set. So if I need to find people from Delhi, I simply filter Delhi and my focus gets sharp.
Also make sure that you are taking part in various discussions. Some of the groups on this network are looking for advice and support, so go help them. This way, there is a great chance of generating leads while you create relationships.
I love this feature in Linkedin. Inmail is a paid method through which you can reach a Fixed number of people through a mail, which goes directly in their inbox. So as a sender of the mail – you know that the mail id is correct, name and designation of the person to whom mail is being sent is also known in advance. Let me share with you how I use “Inmail” to reach my prospective customers.
I keep track of who is visting my profile. If a visitor to my profile is not my friend, then I do two things – Send him a friend request and also send him an inmail, I have made a standard mail format for Linkedin users. It talks about my business and how can I contribute. If it’s been a while that you are using Linkedin and have never tried inmail, then let me tell you that I am satisfied and it’s a really good method to send mails directly to people in their inbox, especially when you don’t know them in person.
Apart from blogging I run a company in which I do outsourcing job for social media optimization. First of all, I identify the Digital marketing heads/marketing heads of various companies, across industries. Once I know their names, I send them inmail and let me tell response that I get is highly encouraging and this paid method works better for me or I should say equally good on quality that I get from Google adwords. Only difference is lead generation cost is higher in adwords.
Only trick here is – Identification of right people from right industry, whom you think can be your business prospects. This will demand your quality time.
Trust me this method works well, Please use it with caution. Have you noticed the pen shaped icon next next to attach button on share status bar. Click on it and it will open a window, with a space for Title and content for your post.
Example -Let’s say if you sell insurance as a freelancer and need leads of people who have interest in buying insurance. You should be writing about your niche and comparing the benefits offered by various companies in your post. Linkedin does not restrict you on length of article but in my experience it should be between 450 to 650 words. You can add a slideshare link or image from your computer to make it look good. Most of the editing that you can do on wordpress is also possible on Linkedin publish post window, including external link to a blog or website on anchor text.
After you publish a post, it will show as a notification to your 1st degree connection. Any one who visits your profile would see your post at the top ( just below your name and basic info). So other activities, like the ones mentioned above bring people to your profile and they get to see your content at the top and if they like it and have interest in your offering, they will directly contact you for your business services.
Linkedin Direct ads
Out of the 7 methods mentioned in this post to generate leads on Linkedin – 2 are paid ( Inmail & Direct ads). Think about the level of filtering that I am going to share with you.
If you are a telecom sales person selling Virtual numbers, your target customer is IT head. You can show your ads to people who have IT head in their designation, you can further filter them on location. Isn’t it wonderful to target your ads so precisely and show it only to people who are decision takers?
A friend of mine approached me few days back to enquire about the right platform to generate leads for real estate prime property, which not many people will be able to afford. I suggested him Linkedin with targeting of senior vice presidents, CFO’s and CEO’s of big corporate. Isn’t it amazing to know that you can even target employees of a particular company.
People don’t try direct advertising in Linkedin to generate leads for customers – either because of lack of knowledge or because of their belief that click cost of ad is high. High CPC is true, $2 for one click will be the minimum cost but it is worth the return, As you are showing your ads to the people who matter the most and chances are that sales closure percentage out of leads generated would also be high.
Lot many people use it for job, thinking that if their ex bosses recommend them on Linkedin, their profile will gain weight. That’s right but how about using the same tactic for Linkedin. If you are a Dentist and your customers recommend you on Linkedin, you you can share this recommendation on your other social network, it will do magic on “Trust” creation and other customers would follow.
You should also recommend your ex colleagues people with whom you have worked in the past. Remember this section is only about work, capabilities, so nothing on personal side would be appreciated. If you are new to this feature, I suggest you to have a look at few recommendations, then ask for one from your existing customer. This will add much needed weight to your Profile and motivate the visitor to drop an enquiry.
You may have a look at one of the recommendations i got from my Manager regarding my work in Hindustan Unilever in 2002. ( this should give you a feel of quality of recommendations that adds value).
Bonus Tips for Lead Generation through LinkedIn
- Initiate discussions – If you can start discussions that engages more people, you’ve got some leads waiting.
- Regularly update your status -Let users track your company and where it stands now, update your status quite often.
- Customize your feed – Facebook prevents you from seeing every feed through edge rank, but if you don’t customize your home feed on Linkedin, you will end up wasting lot of time.
- Personalize every invite – When sending invites to unknown people, customize the invite message. This will help to increase invite acceptance percentage and you save yourself from getting blocked from this service, As sending invites to unknown people is looked as spamming by Linkedin.
So that’s it. I’m pretty sure that these ways to use LinkedIn for lead generation will work for your business, I have personally coached many Professionals and they follow these methods to generate references for their prospect customers. If you have more thoughts on this, let’s start discussion below!.
Last word – If you find the 7 methods explained above to be good , than Do share it in your social network.
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