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4 LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies That Actually Work

Can you use LinkedIn for lead generation? How to use it, what are the best ways of using it? etc. So let's run through some of the very best ways of using LinkedIn for lead generation. And just to start just as a kind of fundamental you may hear a lot of people or when you read any articles or see anything on LinkedIn it's *all* about your LinkedIn profile.

And while, indeed, you do have to have a decent profile - just having a great profile no matter how optimized it is is not going to get you a whole load of leads on LinkedIn. Because people aren't going on to LinkedIn every day and looking for consultants and then going connecting with them and asking them if they'll work for them.

It just doesn't work like that. Now you do need a good profile because eventually people are going to look that up and a good profile - you can get tips on this all over the web - but basically it means a professional headline that reflects who you work with and what you do for them - the benefits they get from working with you or the problems you solve. Expand on that in your summary: give some evidence in terms of testimonials, facts and figures and then have a clear call-to-action for how people might want to get in contact you with you or go to your website etc. Once you've got that, you need to take proactive action to start generating leads and there are really four main methods for doing that on LinkedIn.


The first method is the one you'll hear from most LinkedIn experts because it's the simplest, the most straightforward one. It's the connect and nurture strategy. So what you do with that is you search on LinkedIn for potential clients and you offer to connect with them with a tailored connection message ideally mentioning some kind of commonality between you or some reason why you would want to get in touch. Once you've connected, you then nurture the relationship initially through LinkedIn messaging - so you might send them a link to a useful article or a video.

You get a conversation going, ask them some questions and at some point that may transition to a phone call or email or even meeting face-to-face. So there are three things you need to have in place to make that method work. The first is that they need to be high-value potential clients because you're personally nurturing them and investing a lot of your personal time for one person. It's got to be worth your while to get that return on investment so if you sell $100 online courses then it isn't worth spending you know two or three hours to nurture a relationship with someone if all they can spend is $200 with you.


On the other hand if you have high-value clients it certainly is. Second criteria you need to have in place is they need to be open to that kind of nurturing. And some people are and some people aren't. There are plenty of industries like law and accountancy and stuff like that, that still revolve primarily around personal relationships and they will go out, they will try and meet new people, they'll build a network of people that will eventually end up referring and doing business with each other etc. And many of them have continued that on LinkedIn and they're very open to that relationship building aspect.

You'll find some people are open to it and others aren't and don't value it so you'll have to kind of knock on a few doors and kiss a few frogs before you get people willing to to have that relationship built with them. The third thing you need is you have to be up for it and you have to get good at it. Because it is an outreach method and you might not feel comfortable doing that. But you do have to be able to do it you have to master the art of having conversations via messaging - asking the right questions and then of course getting on the phone or meeting someone face to face. Personally it's not for me. It's not the sort of thing I enjoy but it I know it does work tremendously well for a lot of people.

Now the second method you can use on LinkedIn is to use LinkedIn for referrals. So what you're doing there is you're essentially using LinkedIn like a big Rolodex of potential contacts you can get introductions to. So what you've got to do there is make sure you're connecting on LinkedIn to the people you feel confident will give you a strong referral - maybe clients and ex-clients and contacts if you've done great work for them so you know they would be comfortable referring you. And then you just do a LinkedIn search to try to identify second-order connections - contacts of contacts - who would be great potential clients. You put the right criteria in to identify those potential clients and then when it shows you the list of them it will highlight who your common contacts are and if some of those are the people who you know will give you a good referral then you simply ask for that referral.

So it's an alternative to the traditional referral approach of going to someone to ask for referrals and kind of saying well "do you know anyone who works for a small manufacturing firm" - that kind of thing where you're making them do all the hard work of trying to think of the person. If you use LinkedIn then you can say "oh I spotted on LinkedIn you're connected to John Smith of Smith & Company. If you were me, how would you go about getting in touch with them?" And you know nine times out ten, if they would be willing to give you a referral and they do really know John Smith then they'll say "I'll introduce you" etc etc. So you use LinkedIn as a source of information for referrals. When you ask for the referral you do it in person, you do it over the telephone or over email - you don't use LinkedIn for that aspect of it.

The third method of using LinkedIn is for content marketing. Now the way many people use LinkedIn has really changed in the last year or so with a lot of the usability improvements. So it used to be people almost always just went onto LinkedIn to maybe make a connection or respond to a message etc But nowadays a lot of people are getting on LinkedIn and they are looking at their newsfeed. They may not go there primarily for it, but they're spending time on their newsfeed scrolling through articles to see if there's anything interesting there and what that means is content marketing on LinkedIn is now proving to be very effective. And because not a lot of people are doing it and not a lot of people are doing it well you can make a big impact.

So, if you scroll through your newsfeed what you'll notice is there's a lot of posts on there and mainly they are the kind of images and links to external articles and stuff like that and they've got one comment and two likes and stuff like that but eventually you'll hit one that's got 50 comments and 47 likes and behind the scenes it's getting thousands and thousands of views. So, in other words the person who wrote that article is getting front of mind with thousands of people who are looking at that article and reading it. Now, the LinkedIn algorithm changes all the time but right now it is favouring pure text only posts.

So if you look down your newsfeed you'll find most of the posts with loads of comments and likes are primarily just text only or they are short native videos - so not a YouTube video but a video uploaded to LinkedIn. LinkedIn does not want people to leave the LinkedIn platform - it kind of penalises you if there's a link in the actual article itself and you send them off LinkedIn because LinkedIn wants to keep people on LinkedIn because that's where it makes its money: from people being on LinkedIn. So, if you can write a good post in that 1,300 words especially one where you capture people's attention with something kind of emotionally compelling in the first few words because usually the first couple of lines appear before people have to expand it. If you tell a little story in there - a little parable with a meaning at the end and you do something that people can comment on that stir some emotion - because people kind of feel empathy with it and they want to comment on it or you ask a question.


Similarly in your video if you ask a question if you get people to comment... if people start engaging with your content on LinkedIn early on in the first couple of hours then LinkedIn sees that as a sign that it's the kind of thing people want to see and it starts spreading it more a more and you can get a kind of mini-viral effect. Now that's also dependent on you being connected to the right people so in parallel with doing content on LinkedIn you'll want to connect with your potential clients or other people who are connected to them so you've got a big network of potential clients who are seeing that content. That's content marketing on LinkedIn - a lot more to be said about that and I'm sure I'll come back to that another day. The final method is LinkedIn advertising - another big topic. LinkedIn advertising is a bit of a clunky platform. Nowhere near as advanced as the Facebook advertising platform and it's much more expensive per click. But if the targeting criteria on LinkedIn which are largely based on demographics and firmographics: so where someone is, who they work for, their job title, their level of seniority, the number of people in the company...

If you can find your target clients really well through those criteria then you can do well with LinkedIn advertising. I certainly tested on a couple of occasions and the last time I tested it, it was something like a four hundred percent ROI within a couple of weeks for me in terms of people then going to a sign up page for signing up and a number of them then signing up for my paid programs. So LinkedIn advertising can work well. So those are your big four methods. It's the straightforward one of connect and nurture, it's using LinkedIn as a Rolodex to find people you can get referrals to, it's doing content marketing on LinkedIn and it's using LinkedIn advertising. All four could work, but they work well in different circumstances.

So if you have a lot of high-value potential clients you may want to go down the connect and nurture route or maybe referrals. If you maybe have online courses and stuff like that and you need a larger number of people you might want to go down the content marketing or the advertising route. That's it for this week - see you next.

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