LinkedIn is the digital playground of professionals. For you, it’s a means to increase lead generation for your business and grow your professional network.
LinkedIn offers the greatest gathering of professionals and decision-makers, and it boasts the highest per capita income per user.
To LinkedIn’s user base, the site is seen as a sophisticated and mature channel when compared to Twitter and Facebook.
But like all digital marketing channels, LinkedIn doesn’t generate leads without your effort. Here’s what you need to do to start increasing lead generation through LinkedIn.
Make sure to read the entire list, as I’ve sprinkled in two of my secret tips plus one bonus secret.
Steps to use LinkedIn to Increase Lead Generation
Publish Content on LinkedIn Pulse
LinkedIn released its publishing platform in early 2014. Since then, the platform has become an effective way of generating leads from LinkedIn.
Publishing on LinkedIn is very similar to guest posting.
LinkedIn recommends, “high-quality long-form posts, as determined by our algorithm and other variables, may enable your long-form post to be distributed beyond your connections and followers, through channels such as LinkedIn Pulse and emails. However, we can’t guarantee that this will occur.” (source)
When you click “Publish,” the system immediately notifies your LinkedIn connections.
The LinkedIn notification users receive will show the title of your article. As always, the title is paramount. You must create a clickable headline to pull in your network.
If your LinkedIn network is small, I offer a tip to help you grow it below. Keep reading.
In regards to re-publishing articles from your blog, It’s Okay (sort of). You want to make sure to rewrite the copy a bit and do link backsourcing where the original article was published first. Write “Originally Published on…”
If you’re new to using LinkedIn’s publishing platform, I suggest you first start reading and exploring posts daily.
- Select “Pulse” from the Interests tab.
- Select “Top Posts” to load the top-performing posts that day.
- Dig in.
According to HubSpot, write about specific areas based on your experience and expertise. If you are a specialized service, the best way to attract new leads and clients is to publish case studies showing what you did and the results generated.
Plan your editorial calendar
LinkedIn reports that companies that have organized their content strategy and administrative access have seen tremendous results with engagement.
Just like with Inbound marketing, editorial calendars are essential for your lead generation success.
Successful editorial calendars outline your content a year in advance. Typically, outline the content you will publish, the date of deployment, and the process of meeting those goals.
Editorial calendars ensure that your content will be published on time, and you help manage where all the content is going whether on your blog or LinkedIn Pulse.
Personalize LinkedIn Connection Requests
If someone came up to you at an in-person event and said:
“I’d like to add you to my professional network,”
you’d be put off. That statement would not occur in real life and shouldn’t occur online.
Like every interaction you have, you should make it clear that you care about them.
Here’s a script to help:
“Hi [name], I enjoyed the article you wrote about [THING THEY WROTE THAT YOU READ] and follow your work. I [BRIEF INTRO ABOUT YOU AND HOW IT CONNECTS TO THEM]. I’ve seen incredibly successful win-win situations coming from a simple intro. Keep up the good work! All the best, [YOUR NAME]”
Don’t be the person sending impersonal invitations.
Additionally, if you’re too aggressive and send too many invites where people click on Report Spam or I Don’t Know This Person, you will be penalized by LinkedIn and required to enter an email address for prospects in future invites you send. This will slow your ability to grow your network unless you know this next hack.
Mobile LinkedIn Connecting – First Secret Trick
Quickly connect with users via the LinkedIn mobile app. There is a strange glitch that allows you to send invitations to almost any user without needing to identify how you know the person.
Use in moderation, and don’t SPAM users.
Open the LinkedIn App and search for the person you’d like to connect with. Find them in the list of results and click the blue connect icon on the right. A generic invitation to connect is then sent to the user.
To avoid the generic invitation message, you can personalize the message by following these steps.
Personalizing invitations on iPhone iOS6 and above:
- Go to the profile of the member you wish to connect with.
- To the right of the search box, tap More.
- Tap Customize Invite.
- Write your message and tap Send.
Follow these steps to personalizing mobile messages for Android.
If you are rapidly connecting with people through the “People You May Know” feature, be aware that invitations sent from the mobile app can’t be personalized.
LinkedIn isn’t Twitter – Post Once a Day
It’s impossible to know the BEST frequency. You can only test, predict, measure, and repeat. The best practice for when to post on LinkedIn is typically 20 posts per month (1x per weekday). This frequency allows you to reach 60 percent of your audience.
Your posting frequency will also vary on how detailed of a marketing strategy you’re following, which is typically based on industry- and persona-specific needs.
To use LinkedIn for lead generation, shoot for the best practices.
Write value-adding recommendations
The more you give, the more you receive.
Don’t sacrifice quality for volume. As noted in Forbes, quality LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations can lead to receiving recommendations.
If you get writer’s block when you’re sitting down to write a recommendation for a college, boss, or employee, here are some tips.
- Lead in with a knockout statement of value, but don’t exaggerate or overuse superlatives.
- Describe the context of your relationship.
- Put emphasis on a standout trait.
- Include a personal touch.
- End with a clear recommendation.
Leads come from many sources, and you want to make sure you’ve engaged your connections in as many ways as possible.
Ask for specific recommendations
Recommendations are essential to lead generation as this feature provides credibility and networking opportunities.
You can request recommendations from users and display these testimonials as social proof on your LinkedIn profile page.
Feel free to help direct the type of request you’re looking for them to create. You can even send them an outline of tips from the previous section.
List specific skills for endorsements
Endorsements is a LinkedIn function that allows users to recognize a particular skill or skills that you have.
This is good for lead generation but can also be bad if you’re not listing the skills that best reflect what you do. You don’t want to get endorsements for skills you didn’t know you had.
It’s also an excellent way to interact with users without writing out a full recommendation.
To start, make sure to set up the Skills and Endorsements section of your profile. List as many value-adding skills as you’d like your connections to endorse.
Periodically, return to your LinkedIn skills and do a quick cleanup. Remove any skills you don’t want to be endorsed for.
Professional Profile photo
The first impression is everything.
The profile photo is the first element a person will see on your LinkedIn page and invitations to connect, so it must be a good one.
- Be the only subject in the photo.
- Don’t use a cropped group photo; selfies and full-body photos are also not needed.
- Your photo should look professional at a three-second glance.
- Avoid using a creepy photo.
According to U.S. News & World Report, a profile photo will generate 14 times as many profile views as a profile without a photo.
When a lead sees a picture of you, a connection is made, and the profile becomes more personal. The interaction can go beyond the bio, skills, and experience.
Use a professional photo, ID photo, or headshot taken by a professional photographer.
Having not only a great photographer but the right photographer for you will help your business image and approachability in social media.
Activity Breeds Activity
“Activity breeds activity” is a phrase that has great relevance to social media and generating leads for your business.
You need to be active in every aspect of LinkedIn to generate the increase in lead generation.
You cannot wait for things to happen — you need to make things happen!
Active LinkedIn members usually get more invitation requests, opportunities, leads, and all other good things in social media life. (source)
When sharing status updates, focus on industry news and products rather than on information about you. positioning you as an expert and resource.
Get the entire company involved
LinkedIn isn’t solely for the sales, marketers, and small business CEOs. You want to have many team members actively engaging in the LinkedIn ecosystem.
Start by getting a couple of employees or team members on board. Once you’ve worked out the bugs and streamlined a process, you can roll out the program to the rest of your staff.
The company’s goal of using LinkedIn should be clear and accepted by all team members.
Plan on walking employees through the LinkedIn optimization process to ensure their profiles are helping meet the objective.
Don’t engage employees if you have no content to share. Make sure they are tied into your content marketing efforts so they know what and when to share.
LinkedIn Ads – Second Secret Trick
LinkedIn ads aren’t the secret. After I explain LinkedIn ads, I’ll show you how to use them to amp up your inbound lead generation.
This lead generation process is similar to my recent article, “How to get more clients.”
First, use your buyer persons to narrow down your specific targets and messaging to create hyper-relevant ads.
Create useful guides, white paper, case studies, surveys, and webinars to be gated on dedicated landing pages.
Then, use LinkedIn’s demographic targeting to show relevant ads of the useful content to users who match the buyer persona profiles.
Now for the secret tip.
If you’re using HubSpot’s CRM or other prospecting software, you have insight into which companies are visiting your website.
Filter this list down by prospect qualifying variables that help identify good fit leads and then target those companies with LinkedIn ads. Narrow the target more by segmenting your ad target by the positions your business interacts within the sales process.
Add LinkedIn groups to your profile
LinkedIn groups are an opportunity to connect and strengthen connections with like-minded people. The group threads provide a private forum to interact, discuss, and meet with other LinkedIn members with shared goals, industries, skills, interests, and experiences.
LinkedIn groups will help widen your lead generation opportunities because LinkedIn considers members of groups as your 2nd degree of separation connection, thus opening more access to more people.
After reading this article, spend the next five minutes adding some LinkedIn groups to your profile. As a recommendation, join about 20 relevant groups to expand your network and optimize your profile.
Networking in niche LinkedIn Groups
It’s not enough to just join groups. In order to reap the lead generation benefits, you need to start helpful conversations about what your business can help people with.
Solve problems by answering questions and starting discussions about topics the members of the group are interested in.
Niche groups are great for prospecting. Only identify people who are having trouble. Use this expressed pain as an opportunity to start a conversation. This is outbound tactics with an inbound twist.
Company Job Postings – Bonus 3rd Secret Trick
Companies looking to fill a position in a department or role that your business typically helps or provides an outsourced solution for can be used to identify need.
These are leads who are expressing pain in the form of an open position in their companies. It also shows where companies are in their strategic planning. Whether a company is hiring engineers, a sales force, marketers, or executives, the available positions will give you insights into a prospective lead.
You can either reach out in an outbound capacity or use the targeted ads tactic listed above.
Reading this article means you’re most likely not leveraging LinkedIn to increase lead generation. I hope these recommendations have changed your mind about LinkedIn’s lead generation potential and provided you with tools to take action.