Lead generation is a process that is essential to virtually any organization out there. Whether you are just starting to build your customer base or are looking to fire up a quick email marketing campaign, the first thing you will do, after the plan has been made, is to start generating leads. There are many online platforms that will provide you with what you need. But, LinkedIn lead generation has never been both easier or better, which is why that’s going to be the platform that we will be focusing on in this article.
LinkedIn is often looked over when people discuss various digital platforms they use to generate new leads. This comes as a bit of surprise, as LinkedIn is used primarily for business and is the go-to website for any b2b marketer out there. However, more and more people are becoming aware of just what a goldmine LinkedIn is when it comes to lead generation.
Granted, this is not an easy process and there are a lot of variables that need to be put together with skill and finesse, in order for you to get the most out of the whole process. Lucky for you, we’ve prepared just what you need to start LinkedIn lead generation today. Not only that, but we’ve also included relevant information that can also help you with the build-up of your profile, so you can position yourself as an authority figure on LinkedIn.
Read on below to find out how to get leads from LinkedIn on a daily basis.
What you should know about LinkedIn before you start generating leads on LinkedIn
Now, even though LinkedIn is not exactly new to the scene, it is a platform that evolves on a constant basis, which is why there’s always something new to learn about it. In addition to that, if you want to do everything you can in preparation for starting to generate leads on LinkedIn, you ought to learn a thing or two about how to automate some of all of the lead gen process.
You can generate leads through LinkedIn manually or by using an online tool to automate the process and help you generate more leads. We’ll get into that subject matter a bit later. For now, let's focus on what you can do to improve your LinkedIn profile. This will enhance not only your lead generation results, but also make a significant impact on your personal branding.
Before you start poking around your profile, you should set some time aside to truly learn about LinkedIn and comprehend what a powerful tool it is. If you are still among those who believe that this platform is scarcely used and only for self-promoting purposes, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Today, LinkedIn has more than 500 million registered users and over 9 million registered businesses. These numbers alone should be enough to show you just how popular LinkedIn is.
However, people still do have some fairly common misconceptions about LinkedIn. Those are:
You connect only with people you already know
LinkedIn is too small of a market
People don’t use it every day
The short and simple truth is - none of these statements is true. As we’ve previously mentioned, LinkedIn now has a quite serious user base, so market size argument goes straight through the window. A lot of those users are using the platform every single day, whether they are aspiring businesspeople, marketers, or recruiters. As for the first statement - if that was the truth, then nobody would be using LinkedIn for lead generation. In reality, a great majority of both people and companies are using LinkedIn for their lead gen needs.
What makes LinkedIn stand out from all the other platforms when it comes to lead generation is the ability to target your audience, with an abundance of various filters and attributes. With this ability, you are almost guaranteed to bring in better conversion rates, which is a nifty trait that should not be overlooked easily.
How to optimize your profile to improve generating sales leads on LinkedIn
Before you start the process of generating leads through LinkedIn, one of the first things you should do is update and optimize your profile, preferably according to Linkedin best practices, but just “spicing it up” a bit should do the trick. That being said, this should be taken rather seriously, as it’s the first step in starting to generate leads through LinkedIn. Here’s what you should do:
Complete your profile
Have a picture or a logo
Optimize your profile with SEO practices
The first thing you should do might sound a bit obvious, but many people forget to do it - complete your profile info. However, there are a few tips and tricks that will make completing your profile a breeze. The key process that you should add to the mix is SEO optimization. If you optimize your profile in accordance with the best SEO practices, you will make sure not only that your profile looks neat, but also that people are going to have an easier time finding your profile online. Including a profile summary is one of the things you should do as well.
The aesthetics of your LinkedIn profile are quite important, too. Yes, this means your profile picture, but not just that. How your experiences are listed and how are the job descriptions filled play a vital role, as well. If you are running a company page, a logo is simply a must-have, in addition to some external company info, which adds to the validity of your profile.
In addition to that, it would be rather helpful if you have some LinkedIn recommendations set in place. LinkedIn recommendations are quite important, as they showcase your previous work achievements. It also provides your profile visitors with an insight into how it is when you work with somebody.
Simple steps you can take to enhance your LinkedIn lead generation
While we will be discussing various strategies you can employ to get the most out of your lead generation efforts a bit later, now let’s focus on a few simple steps you can take to start generating daily linked leads now. There are three main steps for this:
View targeted profiles
Send connection request
Send the first message
Viewing targeted profiles is usually the first of those steps and it requires that you determine your ideal target customer. As we’ve mentioned before, the main reason why LinkedIn is performing so well in lead generation campaigns is that it can target the audience with considerable precision. So, if you start viewing targeted profiles, you are going to start popping up in their list of people who recently visited their profile. After that, you just sit back, relax and wait to see who visits you back.
The second step is sending a connection request to all the people that have visited you back. The important thing to remember when adding new LinkedIn connections is to personalize the initial message. You should do this because it will show that you spent some time and effort into building the rapport and it will make you stand out from all the other folks who just send the standard “I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” message.
After you’ve sent the message requests, you need to wait and see who accepts the requests. While these waiting times can seem like a bit of a drag, it’s important to let things stew for a bit. The reason behind this is that this way you let your new connection make an action and you will not be dubbed as “spammy”.
Now, after they’ve accepted your connection request, you ought to send them a message. You should avoid being too salesy. Instead, thank them for connecting and possibly introduce the notion to start a conversation or schedule a call. If they do not respond, you should consider sending a follow-up message. However, if the person doesn’t respond after that, it’s probably an indication that they do not want to talk and, in such a case, you should probably leave them alone.
This is all part of creating and building a relationship with your customer base, which will be indispensable in the latter stages of the sales cycle. If you manage to do that, you are bound to see great results later on, when you actually start making the “sale”.
Using engagement for generating leads on LinkedIn
Social media presence is dependent upon your engagement with other users and groups on that platform. This rule is true for all platforms and not just LinkedIn. Speaking of other social media platforms, it’s recommended that you encourage your connections on other platforms to connect with you on LinkedIn. This will not only boost your profile but also allow you to tap into a whole new pool of potential leads comprised out of those new people’s connections. In this instance, it might be a good idea to perform manual research of those people and add those that you deem as potential prospects.
You should join relevant groups in your chosen industry. However, you should also be active in those groups and not just a wallflower. Commenting, posting, sharing, and even liking posts are all actions that you would need to perform. The only thing you should be on the lookout for is not becoming too spammy with those actions - staying relevant and on-point is vital for this. This will help you not only with lead gen, but also help establish you and your profile as an authority figure.
There are a couple of things that you should do to ensure that you bring your A-game when engaging with both LinkedIn and its users. Granted, you could decide to engage without a proper strategy set in place, but it’s definitely good if you do the following things:
Update on a regular basis
Have stellar headlines
Promote your posts
Your posts should be frequent, although you should figure out the thin line between spamming and being an active user that posts every day. Best time to post on LinkedIn is on Monday, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. When it comes to the exact time you should share the posts, it depends on your target audience. Keeping that in mind, there are a few times that have proven as great for reaching the most users. Lunchtimes, as well the hour when the workday starts and an hour before the workday ends are the best for that.
SEO practices should definitely be overlooked when doing this. Crafting catchy headlines is just a start, with determining keywords and incorporating them into your content to follow. However, you should remember not to go overboard with this and start with keyword stuffing, because it would damage both your credibility and authority. Lastly, you should ensure that you are sharing your LinkedIn posts on Facebook and other social media profiles you have.
What LinkedIn lead generation strategy you can employ?
Frankly, most of the tips you can find in this text could all be used and dubbed as LinkedIn lead generation strategy. That being said, there are some variables that will affect your lead gen strategy and consequent efforts. The number of leads you want to generate on a daily basis is a good start. Determining when and where you will make the “sale” is also quite important. People usually prefer to close the deal outside of LinkedIn, but they are using the platform to get there.
Many companies decide to create a so-called social selling playbook. By creating this manual, you will make sure that your employees have a go-to guide for LinkedIn lead generation. They can use it not only when they get stuck in the process, but also for added inspiration and even closing deals. Depending on the strategy you decide to choose, you will need to create the corresponding process that will require your attention and resources.
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Using LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms for obtaining leads
LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms are a nifty tool that you can use to quickly obtain leads, which are already populated with the LinkedIn profile data from those persons’ profiles. This allows the people to send their form and the information in it with a single click. With this feature, marketers are able to obtain quality leads quicker than normal. Its value is not only in saving time, but it will also make your potential customers a bit more amenable to your requests because they will not have to spend too much time filling out various forms.
These forms are available for both “sponsored content” and “sponsored InMail” campaigns. What’s really great about LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms is that there are no associated costs with it, outside of the campaign costs.
In short, you should mainly use these forms for three things:
To gather larger volumes of leads
To make it easier for people to provide you with the needed details
To automate a part of the lead gen process
How to choose the right targets for LinkedIn lead generation efforts?
It is imperative that you determine what are the right targets for your LinkedIn lead generation campaign before you actually start executing the said campaign. There are a couple of things you should consider when doing that, such as the correct demographic parameters and sales cycle. You’d want to get in touch with the decision-makers in various companies, as well as industry leaders and influencers.
Also, before you actually start generating new leads, you should follow up with the old ones. This thoroughness ensures that you are employing a correct strategy and not missing out on potential opportunities. Follow-ups are an essential part of any marketing campaign and should definitely not be overlooked. This process can even be automated, but more on that a few scrolls below.
You should make sure that you know what you’ll need your potential customers to do, in order to continue with the sales cycle. This can be many things, from setting up a meeting to downloading a freebie or attend a webinar. This should be decided before you actually start generating leads.
What LinkedIn lead generation tool you can use?
One of the great things about the current situation that circles around LinkedIn is that there’s a number of tools you can use to automate most of the processes we mentioned here. There’s even statistical data on hand that proves that companies who use marketing automation see a staggering increase in procuring qualified leads. However, to do just that, you will need to collect email addresses from people’s profiles. Luckily, there are tools that can help you with that as well - such as the LinkedIn automation tool we provide.
Setting auto-responders will solve most of your messaging chores, which can prove to be tedious at times. Just imagine having to send a new message, every time you have a new connection. Pretty tedious, right? By automating this process, you will ensure that you are spending your time on processes and problems that are a bit more important than sending LinkedIn messages.
Automation should be employed for scheduling your posts, as well. This way, you will ensure that you are posting at the best possible times for that. Remember, if you publish relevant, stellar content, you’re already halfway there, as people will begin to notice your profile and thus start generating more leads.
One thing to be aware of, when automating LinkedIn lead generation processes is to do whatever needs to be done to avoid harvesting cold leads. Cold lead harvesting occurs mostly when people think that lead generation is just a simple process comprised of 2 steps:
Message-blast them in bulk.
The largest fault of this approach is that you don’t know if your leads are interested in your product. In addition to that, if the leads are not properly targeted, there’s a solid chance that they will not be qualified leads.
If you need to figure out whether an automation tool is a right choice for you, take a look at the table below.
For a small number of leads
For large volumes of leads
For people with no email
For email lists
For 100% custom responds
What are the pros and cons of using an automated LinkedIn lead gen tool?
While there are no real cons to automating a part of your lead generation process, it does mean that you will have limited personalization options. However, that doesn’t mean that you will send a copy/paste message to all of your potential customers. There are more than enough options for you to go around this issue and start generating leads on a serious scale.
Speeds up the process
Great targeting parameters
Large volume processing capabilities
Now that you are fully aware of what can be achieved with the use of LinkedIn, you are ready to start generating more leads through it that will ultimately lead you to more conversions. However, quantity is not the only variable that will improve, quality is also in that company.
By automating some part of the lead generation process, you will ensure that you are spending your time on stuff that really matters. This will also allow you to generate more qualified leads, which is something that you will have a hard time saying no to. If you need some help in doing that, feel free to drop us a line and we’ll explain how our automation tools can help you get a lead gen pipeline you always dreamed of getting.
Lastly, you should take notice of the fact that lead generation is just the first step of many in any sales cycle. Depending on what other steps you have set in place, you will need to tweak and adjust your lead generation campaign efforts, when you see how it actually works in real-time. Luckily, the chances are that you will not be doing that very often, but you will need to make some tweaks, if not for improving your campaign metrics and results, then to target a new segment of your potential customers.