Lead generation is arguably one of the most important (and tricky) parts of the sales process. Gathering leads, reaching out to them, and funnelling them into your sales funnel is a time-consuming process, but if done well, can result in lots of closed deals and network connections down the road.
Nowadays, marketers are turning to every medium possible to generate new leads, and that include social media. LinkedIn, specifically, is a wonderful tool to generate leads, seeing as it comprises of 500 million+ professionals, 75% of which have incomes of over $50,000.
It’s no wonder that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, and 92% of B2B marketers leverage LinkedIn over other social media networks.
Generating leads on LinkedIn is a simple but gradual task, bringing in results over periods of time. We’ve put together the steps you need to take to build up your LinkedIn profile and get hundreds of sales leads in no time.
Optimize your profile
Filling out your profile completely is the first step for people to find you and know what you’re all about. The first step is uploading a profile photo. As frivolous at it sounds, it is crucial to building trust with your connections and adding credibility to your profile.
Complete the rest of your profile, such as your bio, employment history, skills, and accomplishments. Keep it descriptive and interesting. It would be great to get people you know to make endorsements on your profile as well.
Make sure to keep your page SEO-friendly, by including the right keywords and buzzwords relevant to what you do. Be specific as well, and include details such as where you’re from or your niche in the industry. This can result in higher quality traffic to your page.
With that being said, try not to stuff too many bombastic keyword phrases into your profile though, as it’s a big no-no for LinkedIn’s search algorithm.
Another important element you should include in your profile is an elevator pitch. It is essentially boiling down what you do, your specializations, what makes you stand out, and how you can provide value to your clients into a short paragraph. An example of a great pitch is as below:
“We specialize in custom designed inventory management systems for manufacturing and distribution operations. We’ve been particularly successful with companies in the X, Y, and Z industries that are concerned about the costs associated with inaccurate inventory counts, unhappy with frequent paperwork bottlenecks that slow down the fulfilment process, or disappointed by the amount of time it takes to reconcile purchasing, invoicing, and shipping records. We’ve been able to create hand-in-glove inventory management systems that help our customers save time, attention, and money.”
Make the right connections
Now that your profile is ready and polished, it’s time to start building your connections. You can start by connecting with people you know, then connect with the people in their connections lists as well, as long as it’s relevant to your goals.
One major tip to generating quality leads on LinkedIn is by targeting the decision makers. This means connecting with the people who are qualified to make purchasing decisions in that company. This is especially handy for B2B businesses, as you will be able to communicate directly with the decision-maker themselves.
This depends on what your business goals are and which audience you are targeting. You don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to connecting with CEOs, but approaching managers and directors is also a good step.
Another tip is to make full use of LinkedIn’s hyper-targeted filtering tools to find the specific audience you are looking for. Instead of simply gathering a list of thousands of leads and sending out mass emails to everyone at once, it is much more effective to narrow your focus to the people who would actually be interested in your product, which in turn gives you a much better chance of conversion.
Doing so is simple. All you need to do is click on the search bar, search for ‘People’, then click ‘All Filters’. There is a plethora of filters to choose from, including Location, Current and Past Companies, Language, Interests, Industries, and Services. This will allow you to get much higher quality leads that are relevant to your business.
Put together a list of all your potential leads, and move on to the next step.
Build relationships & follow up
Once you have your lead list, initiate contact and start to build relationships with them to begin rolling out the sales process. Send a personalized opening message to each person you’re connecting with, then send a quick ‘thank you’ after they have joined your network. Go through their profile and gather details about them in order to personalize each message you send.
A good opening message is short and sweet, outlining why you want to connect with them. A basic example is as follows:
Hi (name), I came across your profile on LinkedIn and thought we might both benefit from connecting with each other. If you’re open to it, I’d love to connect. Thanks, (your name).
Once the connection has been made, it doesn’t end there. Make sure to continuously engage with your network by messaging them and responding to their posts. This way, you are not obviously trying to sell them something, which might be turn off for a lot of people. Don’t use LinkedIn as a sales platform, but merely a prospecting and lead generation tool to gather your list of potential leads.
Actively post updates
Besides simply messaging people, you should also upload posts and updates yourself. It’s best not to post for the sole purpose of selling your product, but instead provide value to your network by teaching them something new or uploading content that is relevant to them. Congratulate your connections for starting new positions, comment on their posts and provide your own insight, share articles that you think might be helpful, the list goes on.
Another way to stay active and visible on LinkedIn is by doing content marketing. This is done by posting articles and insights on LinkedIn Pulse, which is their publishing platform in which professionals can share knowledge, reach a wider audience, and demonstrate expertise. If you already have an existing blog, you can repurpose your content on Pulse and share it to your page as well.
When publishing on Pulse, always remember to keep your content search engine-optimized, with a call-to-action (CTA) link included somewhere in your article. Create content that is relevant and shareable, with actionable tips that your readers can implement immediately. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, we have you covered with some keyword research tips here.
With these tips under your belt, you’re ready to start being active on LinkedIn and widening your network with potential leads.
ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.