Everyone wants 500+ connections on LinkedIn, it’s the “gold” badge of honor that says people like you, and you have friends, and are well connected. But that’s easy; anyone (and most everyone) has 500+ people in their network. But the key is how to find useful connections that produce fruit (value). Asking strangers to connect is illogical; you need a strategy in mind with specific objectives and procedures for scalability. If you are interested in turning your LinkedIn Profile into a business influencer for your network, read on to learn more.
Who Uses LinkedIn?
Let’s take a moment to consider how and why people use LinkedIn. The average user, depending upon their job profile, logs on to stay informed on current industry trends, search for new employees to add to their team, conduct competitor analysis, or seek out new business prospects.
Let’s get a bit more granular in our LinkedIn user analysis.
- Brand Ambassadors use LinkedIn to connect with prospects, generating awareness for their company and services.
- B2B Marketers rely on LinkedIn to unveil new products or services, or to increase their brand awareness and penetration.
- Sales Representatives use LinkedIn to identify or research prospects before formally making contact.
- Job Searchers use LinkedIn to grow a network of business contacts and to stay in touch with prospective employers.
- Small & Large Businesses use LinkedIn as a way to stay in front of customers and reach out to new prospects.
Finding Qualified Sales Leads on LinkedIn
While connecting with other people in your industry may seem simple, you will want to devote sufficient time to locate the right connections. But how are you supposed to connect with the right people out of a field of 660+ million users? Simple – take advantage of LinkedIn’s targeting options.
LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator allows you to use an extremely wide range of search filters to narrow down your search, many of which are included in their starter package.
- Keywords – As one of the popular filters, LinkedIn will only serve up profiles containing your specified keywords
- Geography – Focus on countries, states, cities, and even by mile radius
- Relationship Proximity – Choose between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd connections to better leverage your sphere of influence
- Company Name – Results will show the company page, as well as the list of employees of a particular company
- Industry – Do you have a service that caters to a specific industry? From ‘Accounting’ to ‘Writing and Editing,’ you can target nearly 150 different industry categories.
- Company Size – Search for companies whose sizes range from one employee to 10,000+ employees
- Job Title – Besides screening for a person’s current position, you can also look for descriptions like “Marketing Director,” “Chief Revenue Officer,” or “VP of Outreach” in their titles.
Using LinkedIn to Nurture Relationships
During your outreach to new connections, simply sending a “connect” request has a 50/50 chance of accepting. To increase your chance of adding a prospect to your sales funnel, you need to make a more intelligent and stronger effort to cultivate a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship. To achieve this, stay more sociable and engaged by:
- Connecting with new people
- Congratulating users on new positions or achievements
- Recognizing important milestones
- Commenting on users’ updates and posts
- Endorsing current and old team members by attesting to their skills
While you may consider running large-scale LinkedIn Ad Campaigns to generate results, every interaction (whether through direct messaging or comment on a post) should feel sincere and personalized. Try to avoid “selling” during yours.
Whether your posts add humor, share valuable insights, or acknowledge achievements, your messages must always add value to the conversation. More importantly, your interactions should never feel like a massive email blast. Take the time to tailor each email to align better align with the demographics of your leads and prospects. With that in mind, avoid doing aggressive outreach all at once because people will pick up on the SPAMMY nature of your efforts.
Build Brand Influence with Awesome Content
While it’s important to keep in contact with prospects through one-on-one messaging, it’s equally as important to show up in their LinkedIn newsfeeds from time to time. You do this by sharing interesting and valuable status updates.
LinkedIn provides a perfect venue for publishing insightful, shareable content that’s tailored to your network. Whether your post short updates or in-depth articles, you’ll want to ensure your page is active with thought-provoking content and contributions to conversations already occurring on LinkedIn. Furthermore, educating your professional network with quality content also builds your authority and credibility. When you grow your influence within your network, you’ll attract more leads naturally because others perceive you as a reputable thought leader
Use LinkedIn Groups to Identify Future Sales Leads
LinkedIn Groups are hubs, which provide a “place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post or view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.” Most savvy digital marketers agree that a LinkedIn Group isn’t the right place for businesses to sell, but rather a channel to share content. So why should you care about joining groups or interacting with its members? Simple. These individuals are in a LinkedIn Group relevant to your industry, which makes them extremely valuable as potential leads or conduit to the right decision-maker.
When you’re participating in Group conversations, whether as a member or moderator, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind:
- Continue the Conversation by Asking Questions: Avoid asking general or vague questions, focus on thought-provoking inquiries
- Monitor Your Contributions: Once you start a discussion, keep the conversation active by monitoring how others interact with your post
- Keep the Discussion Relevant: Always make sure your posts and discussion points are relevant to your group to avoid the risk of having your post removed
Final Thoughts on LinkedIn Lead Generation
By becoming skilled at using LinkedIn for lead generation, you can target new clients, build relationships, position yourself as an authority, and generate new leads and sales for your business without spending a single dollar on advertising. At Premiere Creative, we offer holistic social media packages designed to help you build and strengthen your brand on platforms like LinkedIn. Dial (973) 346-8100 to connect with one of our LinkedIn specialists, and learn more about how our services can help your business maximize sales leads.