What is the biggest challenge faced by any budding entrepreneur, business owner, or freelancer? Most of them struggle to generate good quality leads that can be converted into faithful customers.
With the advent of the internet and digital marketing, the techniques for lead generation have also evolved. You can no longer rely solely on age-old tactics such as cold calling and promotional SMS.
Instead, you should focus on using different social networking sites such as LinkedIn for lead generation. LinkedIn has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in May 2003.
At first, it was considered a platform for professional networking. However, it has slowly evolved into an extremely powerful tool for brand building and lead generation.
It is not surprising that LinkedIn has attracted more than 612 million users from 200 countries around the globe.
Later in this post, we will discuss some of the most effective LinkedIn lead generation tactics. But first, let’s first take a look at what sets it apart from other lead generation tactics and social networks.
The True Potential of LinkedIn
When you think of social media marketing, LinkedIn is not the most obvious choice. However, this professional networking site offers a goldmine of B2B marketing opportunities.
In fact, according to the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn, 80% of social media B2B leads come from LinkedIn. This is mainly because LinkedIn is often frequented by top-level influencers, decision makers, and industry thought leaders.
Armed with the right strategy, you can grab their attention and grow your business. You can also use LinkedIn to increase website traffic and reinforce brand credibility.
The following infographic published by LinkedIn sheds more light on its power as a marketing tool:
Image via LinkedIn
A robust LinkedIn lead generation strategy can take your business to new heights. However, promoting your brand on LinkedIn can be extremely tricky. You have to grab the limelight without appearing overly promotional.
Now let’s take a look at the best techniques for LinkedIn lead generation:
Complete Your LinkedIn Profile
One of the most crucial aspects of LinkedIn lead generation is to have a complete and up-to-date profile. It offers the first glimpse of your skills and offerings to potential clients and recruiters.
Therefore, it must be captivating enough to make a powerful first impression. This is especially important for entrepreneurs and freelancers who are looking to bag new projects and assignments.
Your LinkedIn profile should contain comprehensive and relevant information about you including your work experience, job titles, academic background, professional achievements, etc.
Mention the projects you have worked on and provide a clear description outlining your role and contribution. Request recommendations from your colleagues and employers to strengthen the credibility of your profile.
In addition to completing your personal profile, you should also create a Company Page for your business/brand. Provide complete details about your company including its size, location, operational years, products/services, etc.
Don’t Ignore Optimization
The potential of search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t limited to Google. In fact, you can use the same principles to optimize your LinkedIn profile and Company Page.
It ensures that your name or your brand shows up when someone searches for products or services related to you, on and off LinkedIn. This, in turn, makes it extremely beneficial for LinkedIn lead generation.
The first step is to identify the keywords you want your profile to rank for. This requires an understanding of the search queries and phrases that your target audience is likely to use. Just like SEO, you can also optimize your profile for long-tail keywords to target more specific leads.
Let’s say you are a fashion photographer based out of Chicago. You would want your LinkedIn profile to pop up when someone searches for “fashion photographer in Chicago.”
If you want to drive more traffic, you need to including your website URL in your LinkedIn profile. This, in turn, will open new business opportunities by connecting you with potential clients.
Once you have picked your keywords, the next step is to incorporate them into your profile. You can use these keywords in your job titles, description, skills, and other sections.
You can also run a LinkedIn search for these keywords and take a look at the top profiles. Observe how they have used the keywords in their profiles and try to replicate the same in yours.
If you have a Company Page, make sure you also optimize it for relevant keywords.
Connect with Profile Visitors
LinkedIn sends you a “Someone has viewed your profile” email every time your profile gets a visitor. Most people end up ignoring such notifications. However, when it comes to LinkedIn lead generation, these emails can give you a plethora of useful information.
When someone views your LinkedIn profile, it is likely that they have taken some interest in your products or services. It is advisable that you track them down using the email notification.
Alternatively, you can also use the “who’s viewed your profile” section in the “Profile” drop-down menu of your LinkedIn profile. This can help you connect with more potential customers and in turn, grow your business.
Publish Engaging Content
You can make yourself more discoverable on LinkedIn by optimizing your profile and Company Page using relevant keywords. However, in order to retain the attention of profile visitors, you must publish high-quality, original, and relevant content.
This will help position you as an authority figure on certain subjects and strengthen your reputation as an industry thought leader. This, in turn, will help with your LinkedIn lead generation.
When you are creating content for LinkedIn, you must understand why senior-level executives choose to spend their time on the platform. They are not looking for redundant and run-of-the-mill blog posts.
Instead, they are looking for content that will educate them and help them stay abreast with the latest developments in their industry.
Therefore, you should strive to publish content on industry trends and thought leadership. Make sure you lend your unique perspective to every piece of content.
You should accompany your posts with eye-catching headlines, graphics, videos, presentations, statistics, etc. Refrain from publishing self-promotional content too often. Take a look at the following graph to understand the type of content that fares well on LinkedIn:
Image via BuzzSumo
In addition to creating engaging content, you should also ensure that you publish regularly. It is advisable that you create a content calendar outlining the topics and posts that you wish to publish in the next few months.
This will prevent your LinkedIn page from appearing outdated, and can help increase engagement and leads.
Create Conversion-Friendly Posts
In addition to featuring high-quality content, you should also add attractive captions, bullet points, and visual elements such as emojis to your LinkedIn updates.
You must also accompany these posts with appropriate calls-to-action and links. This aids LinkedIn lead generation by driving more traffic to your website, blog, or landing pages.
Make sure you don’t flood your posts with self-promotional jargon. Instead, you should provide your audience with additional resources that will help them acquire more information about you and your brand.
For instance, take a look at the LinkedIn Company Page of General Electric.
Image via LinkedIn
GE’s LinkedIn profile doesn’t bombard readers with promotional content. Instead, they are presented with interesting posts that link back to the company’s website. This is a very subtle way of increasing website traffic and thereby, acquiring genuine leads.
Seek Help from Your Colleagues and Employees
Your company’s workforce can be one of your biggest brand advocates on LinkedIn. You should encourage them to share your content on their personal LinkedIn profiles.
That will help expand your reach and reach their networks on LinkedIn. This, in turn, increases brand awareness, boosts brand credibility, drives website traffic, and ultimately, helps with LinkedIn lead generation.
In addition, you should also ensure that all your colleagues and employees have completed their LinkedIn profiles. You can also ask them to list your company as their employer and provide a link to your Company Page.
This puts your brand on the forefront every time someone visits their profile.
Join LinkedIn Groups
An effective way of widening your audience and escalating the LinkedIn lead generation process is to join all relevant groups on LinkedIn. Don’t restrict yourself to the groups that solely pertain to your industry/niche.
Instead, expand your horizon and join groups that might be remotely related to your niche and can help you grow your business. Take a look at LinkedIn’s guide on selecting and joining the right groups.
Once you have joined a group, make sure you contribute to the group conversations with relevant content. You can even include links to your blog posts or landing pages to increase website traffic.
In addition to establishing new connections, it positions your brand as an industry expert. Make sure your comments aren’t inundated with self-promotional content to prevent them from being deleted by LinkedIn’s spam filter.
Utilize LinkedIn’s Advertising Options
If you want to take your content beyond your existing connections and followers, you should start exploring the various advertising options offered by LinkedIn.
The simplest way is to create sponsored posts using your most engaging and valuable content.
LinkedIn facilitates extremely specific and precise targeting; thereby helping you reach out to the right audience. For instance, HubSpot utilized LinkedIn Sponsored Content to generate 400% more leads than other lead generation channels.
It has also been observed that the quality of leads from LinkedIn is far superior compared to those acquired from other channels.
Image via LinkedIn
Additionally, you can also create sponsored InMail campaigns to facilitate LinkedIn lead generation. InMail allows you to reach the LinkedIn inboxes of your potential clients using a personalized message.
You can use InMail to share top-rated content or upcoming offers with your target audience.
LinkedIn offers a plethora of lead generation opportunities, especially for B2B marketers.
With the right strategy, you can grab the attention of potential clients easily. For this, you need to optimize your profile and keep it up-to-date. But more than anything else, effective LinkedIn lead generation requires a deep understanding of your target audience.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.