LinkedIn is an important tool for businesses but how do you effectively use the platform to generate leads and find new clients and customers. In a recent episode of The Marketing Strategy Show I was joined by Jillian Bullock the LinkedIn Ninja Down Under to discuss the most effective marketing strategies for lead generation.
I met Jillian met a few weeks ago at a LinkedIn local networking event that was designed with the goal of getting LinkedIn connections to meet in real life (more about this later) and we decided it would be great to help people maximise how they build business from LinkedIn.
Step 1: Get your Profile right
On LinkedIn, I was taught to set up my headline to be keyword optimised so you can be found but as we discussed in the interview, research has shown that only 2-3% of leads on LinkedIn come from your profile description keywords.
If you examine where LinkedIn views come from, research has shown that as much as 35% of your enquiries on LinkedIn come from news feeds so you need to be posting on your own profile as well as commenting on other people’s posts to generate views.
Step 2: Have an Inviting Shop-front
Think of your LinkedIn profile as a shop front. If you had a bare empty shop front no one would know what products or services you are selling. The same goes for your LinkedIn profile.
If you rarely post on your LinkedIn profile or don’t post at all people will be driven away from your profile.
The reason for this is if you have an inactive profile, visitors or potential leads have nothing to make an impression of you with.
When an inactive profile is compared to an active one, the active one is instantly more appealing as firstly it shows that they are using LinkedIn often and secondly, they can build an informed opinion of who the person is and whether they’d like to work with them.
If you were to compare three different potential partners to work with and one of the three people didn’t post at all, another person barely posts and the third person posts frequently you would be able to build a much better impression of what this third person is like so you would automatically be more inclined to work with them.
Step 3: Are they on LinkedIn?
If the prospects you are trying to reach have bare or inactive LinkedIn pages, try and find their email, either by googling their business or finding their website as if they aren’t posting on LinkedIn there is no point trying to reach them there.
Step 4: Connect with the Right people
When looking at potential LinkedIn connections think about a few things
- Are they active on LinkedIn? (posting / commenting on other posts)
- Are they an ideal client or customer?
- Has this person ever posted something?
- Does the person even know what Social Selling is?
This will help you work out if LinkedIn is the right channel to reach out to that prospect.
Step 5: Get Personal
Keep your introductions personal for example If you were to look at my LinkedIn profile a good introduction would be something along the lines of “Hey Kym, I have been checking out your profile and noticed you do work around high growth strategies – what’s working well at the moment? I’d love to connect and find out more.
Step 6: Be Visible
“Visibility creates opportunity” – Koka Sexton (Snr Manager at Slack and Former head of Social Media, Member Marketing & Communications at LinkedIn – often thought of as the Godfather of Social Selling) once said
Step 7: The right Post format
Short sentences work much better on mobile phones – tell a story in short spaced out sentences rather than the traditional method of long sentences and paragraphs.
Most people these days conduct a large portion of their business from their phones on the go so therefore you want to keep your posts concise and succinct as most people don’t want to spend 10 minutes continually scrolling through a single article with their thumb.
Don’t put links in the post, if you really want to link your post to somewhere put a link in the top comment (the reason for this is LinkedIn will mark your post down if you link away from the website in your post as LinkedIn wants people to stay on their website as long as possible.
Step 8: Post with a purpose
Whenever you are making a post for LinkedIn think about these two questions:
- What is the purpose of this post?
- What action do you want people who see the post to take? (Is it about pitching a product to someone or just about generating interest in your business)
Identify your prospects on LinkedIn (if they are posting) and comment on a post of theirs with your views and expand on why you agree or disagree with what they are saying.
Make sure it is a meaningful contribution and not just a simple “I agree” or “great point” ensure that you are giving your opinion but keep it down to a sentence or two as generally people don’t want to read an essay in their comments section.
Step 9: The real magic happens in Person
Sadly, there is no tool that is going to automate this for you. Businesses are about making money and if are unable to take the next step in arranging a meeting with a prospect you stand to lose thousands in revenue if not more.
So at some point after you have built up a connection you need to reach out via a LinkedIn message, email or call and arrange a time to talk.