For years, LinkedIn was overlooked in the realm of social platforms. It’s certainly not the largest and has a smaller reach than other social networks. However, marketers, business people, and companies start seeing the benefits of turning to this platform to gain new prospects and make a big impression.
LinkedIn officially launched in May 2003. It’s just nine months older than Facebook. Even though it did not take off like other social media platforms, LinkedIn is the oldest major social network and has been growing at an incredible pace every year for the past 10 years.
The latest statistics show that LinkedIn has almost 740 million members worldwide with at least three new members every second. A survey showed that 73% of social media users trust LinkedIn, ranking it the highest out of all nine platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Although it does not have billions of members yet, people have spent more of their free time on LinkedIn than they used to two years ago.
Initially, LinkedIn was viewed as a social networking site like Facebook rather than a networking tool. But the platform has changed and improved over the last few years. It now has various tools for analytics and marketing. Although it is not the social networking website that people prefer, LinkedIn is where you can find B2B marketers, small to large businesses, company owners, and entrepreneurs. Let that sink in for a while, and it will dawn on you that LinkedIn marketing offers excellent potential.
LinkedIn is where you will find quality leads and the chance to grow your connections.
You can immediately see the opportunity that LinkedIn presents. The points above show that LinkedIn is a great platform to switch to, primarily if your business is merely focused on blogging, posting on Facebook, or tweeting. With leads and connections, you can use LinkedIn to your advantage and gain high conversion rates.
So, how do you do that? Let’s say you run a business, and your clients are Bitcoin users or investors. You need to zero in your marketing efforts towards those investors. The same thing applies if you offer services and resources for those wanting to become doctors. You can target interns, Doctor of Medicine students, and those undergoing prevocational training.
Like any lead generation methods, it takes a little trial and error before you see the results. But it’s worth the wait and effort. Here are the ways to build your network and successfully generate leads on LinkedIn:
By now, you probably already have a LinkedIn profile. Take a good look at it and examine your page. If you were a potential client, would you be interested in dealing with the person who owns the page? Be objective, so you will know where you should improve on. Think of it as the first thing that people see.
Obviously, your profile should be about you. People will want to know who you are and what you do. Make sure that you have the following:
While those elements are essential, don’t spend a lot of time introducing yourself. It may be your page, but it should also be what your target audience wants. The trick is to show potential customers that you understand their problems. Being empathetic almost automatically creates the assumption that you have the solution to their problems.
So, if you target Bitcoin investors, you want to keep your introduction at the minimum. After that, you discuss a problem that’s trending in the Bitcoin arena. For example, you can say that your experience as a Bitcoin investor has taught you that traditional investment models are not as effective. And that’s why you’re sharing that knowledge with people who are interested, which should include Bitcoin investors (aka your target audience and customers).
Tell the people what you do and at the same time, divulge why you do it. Empathise and show the audience that you know and understand how they feel or what they are going through. It’s not about getting sales. It’s about helping people.
In other words, if you’re using your profile to get customers, you should take your customers with you on your journey. And if you’re reaching out to someone and they click on your profile, think about the mindset that they are in. What will relate to them when they look at your profile? You should start identifying the problem, creating curiosity, and giving advice on what to do next.
The next step is to check your existing connections. You can use them to get visibility over all the potential referral networks. For example, you have 10 clients, and you’re connected to all of them. Those clients have 10 other connections in their network, giving you a broader networking potential.
When you see networks that you’re interested in, you can send a connection request. The fact that you have that mutual connection with that person or business gives your request a much higher chance of getting accepted.
Broadening your network is nice, but it is even better if you can target a particular group, business, or profession. It can be challenging to work out your ideal lead. But a suitable method is to use the platform’s built-in Sales Navigator. It gives you more than 20 categories to filter your search results from the database and get your target list.
Some of these categories are:
After specifying who or what you’re looking for, you can begin adding the profiles you want to your network. One thing to note about LinkedIn connections is that they are not the same as Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. Usually, when you send a friend or follow request on those sites, you have a high chance of getting approved.
With LinkedIn, your chance is considerably reduced. Users tend to keep their networks restricted. It’s quality over quantity, unlike with Instagram and Twitter, for example. While it is good to have plenty of LinkedIn connections, you should still ensure they are suitable for your business. For this reason, you may want to limit the people you add to those that are second connections to yourself.
View the profiles that you want to add. Inspect their location, company or business, and other factors. Make sure you go through the profiles one by one. That way, your profile shows up on their “Recently Viewed” list. You can wait and see if they view you back. If they do, you can go ahead and send them a connection request.
Start by connecting with your past and current contacts. It’s always easier to create a connection with persons or companies where you’ve already built trust with. For example, you can select your previous clients or those you worked with in the past. Searching on LinkedIn is very easy. You can find individuals using their name or name of the company. Find people whom you’ve lost touch with and reconnect with them.
Whenever you receive a business card from someone, look them up on LinkedIn. You can initiate the connection by sending a request to be added to their network. Meanwhile, if you’re a new user, you can simply import your contacts from your phone, Gmail, Yahoo!, and others.
LinkedIn is an excellent place for you to find out what your previous customers have been up to. It’s easy to make it less awkward by saying something positive about what they have recently done when you contact them. Ask questions about new projects and find ways to help.
For the connection request, make sure you personalise your message, instead of using the standard one from LinkedIn. It’s not only boring but also does not provide any context about why you’d want to connect. Address them with their name, so your request stands out from others. More importantly, give them a reason to approve the request. It’s not always easy, but here are some pointers to consider:
It’s always worth taking the time to write LinkedIn connection requests. You do not just get approved, but you also build your network with quality connections.
Don’t be snobbish and selective. After all, social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, are built for the purpose of socialising with others. Engagement is an essential component of your success. If you have accounts on other social networks, now is the right time to encourage your friends, associates, and customers to connect with your LinkedIn page. You can then use this opportunity to connect and generate leads using their networks.
Joining groups related to your industry also helps improve your popularity. It’s also useful in growing your network with the right people. A ton of connections is useless if most people in your network do not engage with you. Therefore, the key to generating leads in LinkedIn is engagement, which means back and forth communication with your connections. And the only way to ensure they continue with the correspondence is for you to converse with them, rather than looking for a sale.
Bear in mind that LinkedIn, first and foremost, is a social network. You should be ready to connect and socialise with other people to help expand your network. To be sociable, you need to follow the five A’s in seeking connections:
While communication helps you start relationships with potential customers, it’s always necessary to be genuine. Be truthful and never pretend to be an expert on something you barely have any idea of.
One more way to increase engagement on LinkedIn is to celebrate others’ accomplishments. For example, if you come across some good news about a prospect, client, or any contact, be sure to share it on the website. Update your status with it, congratulate, and mention the person using the “@” symbol. It ensures that they will get a notification about the post.
Although it is not necessary to write recommendations, it can be helpful when getting leads. It does take time for anyone to recommend you or your services, so you may want to do it first. You can post recommendations based on truthful facts for your customers and contacts. Once approved, that recommendation will be on their account, which gives you access to more related networks.
LinkedIn has had many updates for the algorithm for the past year. Engagement is important, just like with IG, Facebook, and other platforms. But LinkedIn is also starting to take into account dwell time, which is the duration that someone spends looking at your content or post. The longer, the better.
If you post a seven-minute video, it will do better than a 30-second video – that is if the video can hold the viewers’ attention until the end.
One way to increase engagement on LinkedIn is through posting content. Your content can be anything, such as a thought-provoking question or anything industry-relevant. At the same time, you should have diverse forms of content, such as advice or a quick insight on current events.
Take advantage of LinkedIn Pulse, which is a useful tool that lets you share your knowledge. When you post, it will be on your homepage feed. Use this feature to your advantage to stay active on this platform. If successful, it can help you build a good network, which highlights your reputation as an authority on the matter.
Content, as they say, is king. However, it will not work if your network is made of people who are not interested in the content you publish. The ideal scenario is if you’re targeting medium-sized businesses in Perth, most of your network should fall into that category. That way, when you post content, it will be relevant to them all, rather than the content being relevant to just 10 per cent of your network.
When it comes to content, quality always trumps quantity. Trust-based industries, such as B2B, financial services, and others, are very much into building trust first. Volume is good since you will get a lot of feedback, allowing you to improve your content. You can use the data you gain to see what’s working and what’s not.
Long-form content is valuable anywhere on the web. Google prefers ranking content with at least 500 words. But if you want to rank higher, shoot for at least 1,000 words. On LinkedIn, it’s the same thing. Long-form content, which is 1,000 words and up, can showcase your views and expertise better. The problem is that not everyone has the time to read your long content.
No one will bother reading a 2,000-word article if the topic does not appeal to them. Writing long content requires more time. It’s not worth it if your audience is not interested. So, how can you make it more compelling to read? It’s actually easy. Make the content about your readers and their issues. While it’s tempting to talk about your business and accomplishments to sell more, most of your target audience will not spend time reading about you.
Show your contacts you have that depth of knowledge on something that concerns them. Provide solutions to your target audience’s pain points. And only then will you be able to reach out to your potential clients.
The good news is that valuable content has many benefits. You establish your authority on the subject matter. It also encourages comments from other users, which means engagement. And a significant advantage is that you’re able to put a link to a lead magnet. Readers who find your content useful for them will be directed to your email funnel.
These people can potentially become your customers because they are interested in hearing more from you. If someone connected with you because of your content, it means you’re adding value.
Here’s something to ponder on: If you’re adding value by engaging with other people’s content for them to reciprocate, it’s not going to have any impact. Essentially, you’re not going to learn what they want.
Think about it. Let’s say you’re opening a restaurant and 50 other people are opening their restaurants in the same year. Then, you engage with those individuals so you can go to their launch and invite them to go to yours. Unfortunately, this tactic is not useful because obviously, those are not your customers.
LinkedIn is focused on ensuring the members have a good experience in the platform. Therefore, spam, algorithm manipulation, and even sending several requests to random people or business owners, are not tolerated. You could end up getting banned from LinkedIn for those offences. Even if you do not get banned, spamming and other destructive practices will not work if your goal is to be recognised on the platform. The only way is to start building relationships.
Another thing to avoid is selling anything right away, especially right after getting your request accepted. Generating leads does not mean you should be salesy. Never tell a new contact about your business, product, or service until those connections have established the need for you to do so.
Remember that you can never sell to anyone unless you make it known that you have the solution to their problem or need. This involves a process of talking, asking, and initiating a conversation to determine your potential clients’ requirements. From there, you can find whether or not you can solve their issues.
Originally, LinkedIn was created as a recruitment platform. The creators did not anticipate that the salespeople and marketers will soon dominate it. Many businesses are now moving to LinkedIn, which increases the growth potential of your networks and leads.
Just like with any social media platform, you need to maintain your LinkedIn activity. But one remarkable thing about it is that you do not have to keep checking every once in a while, to see any updates or changes. Instead, you should focus on aligning your objectives to the platform.
Since your goal is to obtain quality leads, you have to work to get them. You’re required to put in the time and effort to evaluate and re-evaluate your position regularly. With these methods, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy exceptional results for LinkedIn lead generation.
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