Leveraging LinkedIn can be a powerful way to drive sales leads; in fact, LinkedIn claims that 80% of B2B leads come from using LinkedIn. (Read other powerful statistics on marketing with LinkedIn here.) To understand the value of LinkedIn as a lead generation tool, it helps to understand its users and the information it offers. There’s a wealth of knowledge available to support B2B salespeople and marketers on LinkedIn – you can use content to gather insights on potential job candidates, qualify leads, gather insights on companies, offer insights into your own organization’s capabilities, position yourself and your company as thoughts leaders, and enable targeted advertising to qualified prospects.
Do these 4 things (but don’t do others) to leverage the power of LinkedIn and get more leads for your business.
Help buyers find you and your company
There’s no point in reaching out to potential leads if your personal and company profiles aren’t optimized. Start with your name, title, and a professional head shot (no random pictures with your head cropped out). Accurately describe your role with keywords your buyer personas may search for.
Make sure your profile viewing options are set to show your name and headline, so when you search for others on LinkedIn, they’ll know you viewed their profile; this allows them to view your profile and company information if they’re interested in learning more about you. (Learn how here.)
Your summary is critical – it’s your elevator pitch. Introduce yourself, mention your experience, introduce your business, and end with a thank you and call-to-action such as an invitation to connect or read a blog you’ve written. Add relevant experience, education, skills, and information in other relevant sections. A final touch could be personalizing your URL.
Join and participate in groups relevant to your customers
Spend at least five minutes a day reading industry news and learning what questions your prospects have and what topics they’re interested in; do this by participating in LinkedIn groups relevant to your persona.
Once you’re active in a group, start answering some of the questions people ask. Don’t mention your product or service right away, though; start by establishing yourself as an industry expert. Remember, people don’t want to be sold to, and that can get you kicked out of the group. Instead, people want to trust that you have their best interests in mind.
Learn how to use LinkedIn’s advanced search and filtering system to identify decision makers and new opportunities.
All of the following features are available in the free version of LinkedIn. If you’re interested in a more in-depth search, you can purchase a Sales Navigator Premium search engine feature.
To access the advanced search features in LinkedIn, log in to your account and click the search bar at the top, then click the magnifying glass to the right to get to the search page. Along the top, you’ll see filter options like location, connections, and current companies. Keep moving along the top and you’ll see an option for “All Filters.” Here’s where the fun begins.
When searching for new leads and prospects, use the 3rd+ option. It helps you find people you don’t know but have a common connection with who could introduce you if needed. Search for a particular title or keywords. There are hundreds of ways a prospect could write their title, so don’t stop at the most obvious.
‘Connections of’ allows you to look for the connections of one of your 1st level connections; if you know your connection is already connected with people in your target market, you can use this feature to find them.
If location is important, you can factor that into the search as well. You can search for prospects who work at a specific company or in a particular industry. Look at all the options available.
Make the connection
Once you have a list of leads, make a plan before you make the connection. Always include a note with every connection; it breaks the ice and explains why you want to connect. Never try to sell on your first interaction. Explain how you found their profile or mention a common connection. Here are some example notes to include in your connection:
Connect with current clients. Often, they’ll be promoters of your content because it relates to them as well. Also, reach out to prospects you’re working with.
LinkedIn notifies you when someone views your profile, so consider connecting with those people. Send a quick note mentioning you noticed they viewed your profile and you’re available to connect if they’d like to learn more about what you do.
Also, ask for recommendations and endorsements from people you know and write recommendations for others! Recommendations build trust and legitimize your work and skills.
STOP Doing These:
STOP wasting efforts on dead leads. Sometimes it takes a few extra touches to get that lead to convert, but sometimes enough is enough. (And you don’t want to get blocked.)
STOP trying to connect with everyone. It helps to have a common connection before reaching out. Also, quality over quantity.
STOP just pushing your own content. Spend time commenting on and sharing other relevant blogs or articles posted by prospects in addition to sharing your content.
STOP using the wrong language. When someone is stumped by the content in your profile, they won’t contact you to find out what you meant, they’ll move on. Speak their language.
Social selling on LinkedIn can bring in valuable B2B leads. Follow these tips to optimize your profile and showcase what you have to offer. If you need help setting up and managing your business’s social media profiles, take a look at our Blogging and Social Media Content package for help keeping up with the way people are buying now. And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn if you have additional questions!