LinkedIn is one online platform that snuck up on a lot of us by emerging as a tool of utmost importance. LinkedIn's lead conversion rates are 3X higher than other major ad platforms, including Google Ads.
5 Ways to Generate More Leads and Referrals on LinkedIn
Joanne Black, a referral expert said - “The goal of social media is not to sell; it is to begin conversations and ultimately build relationships. Hopefully, many of those relationships will yield sales or referrals. But when you start making sales pitches on LinkedIn, you don’t attract clients”. This is why it is important to have a strategy for generating more leads and referrals on LinkedIn in an efficient manner without coming across as a sales-minded account.
Here are 5 of the easiest to execute yet most effective ways to generate more leads and referrals through LinkedIn -
#1. Add a clear and concise intro about what you do
LinkedIn boasts of 700 million active users. In such a case, it is not incentivizing for a user to scour through your profile just to get a basic understanding of what it is that you have to offer. It becomes your job to add a basic summarization of who you are and what you do and how you can help users, in the most concise, clear, and straightforward way possible on your profile. Think of this as your elevator speech or a 30-sec commercial, if you will. If you were to explain how you can aid a company or an individual in the short time span of an elevator ride or in a 30-sec commercial, what are the main points that you would include in order to get your point across? Include those points in this intro. These points should for instance include information like -
- Where does your specialty lie
- Who is your target audience? Which industries do you best cater to?
- A few of the most successful companies in your portfolio - how were they struggling, where did you come into the picture and how did you help them
Getting visitors on your profile is the easy part. Converting them into leads and potential customers is harder. So if your visitors are not getting a clear picture of how you can better enhance and improve their experience, you’re losing potential leads to a fellow competitor.
This is why you should be focusing on your headline and summary and make it as compelling and appealing as possible. Your headline will automatically be displayed as the last job you’ve had unless you change it manually.
You can also use LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index that allows you to measure your sales success. While it is only a measure and not a social selling index bettering tool, it does suggest ways to get better and help you understand where you are lacking, where your weaknesses lie, and what you could be doing better.
#2. Regularly add connections to your network
The ‘People You May Know’ list in your feed is a door to a vast number of connections that could be potential leads. All contacts you make or have made over the course of your being in business could become LinkedIn connections. There are a lot of opportunities lost that could be made the best of. Even someone who hands you a business card in real life can be made a connection on LinkedIn. The more connected you are, the vast your network is.
Take time out every day to add more and more connections to your network. You can also use this opportunity to reconnect with old business contacts where a relationship already exists. Gather your contact lists on all platforms like Gmail etc. and connect with them on LinkedIn.
You can also reconnect with former clients, with a professional relationship and trust already having been established there, you can look to check if you can possibly help them again with something. Check out their recent projects, see if there is anything you could add value to or assist with.
Helping others is a big part of your online reputation on LinkedIn. If you can prove yourself useful and beneficial to a number of your connections, you will be a part of one of the best approaches when it comes to social media marketing.
When it comes to networking with LinkedIn, another thing to keep in mind is that consistency is key. You must keep adding connections and building your networking continuously barring any breaks in between. Refrain from being active on LinkedIn for a small period and then absent for a while. Staying regular is imperative.
#3. Build up your lead list
It is a necessity to have a thorough and extensive lead list for any company to effectively get your point across for all companies. There are many ways to create a capacious lead list. One of the ways to do so is by getting referrals from your contacts for their connections. Each of your contacts has their own vast list of connections. Some of those connections might be people that you could help or people who might be your target audience.
Start off by looking at the “Recommendations” of your contacts since they most likely represent the strongest relationships of your contact.
You can always ask to be introduced to your contacts’ connections. Using text and communication outside LinkedIn like via email or phone can guarantee a quicker reversion. Being introduced via LinkedIn is always better than on other platforms since LinkedIn, a professional platform, ensures a business context.
Even if you can’t find a path to connect to someone, sending a direct message via LinkedIn is better than sending a cold email because LinkedIn implies a business context. So when you are checking out a potential customer, you can review their profile, discover their interest, and determine if you have something in common with them to help warm up your call with them.
You can also use LinkedIn to build your mailing list. There are several tools on the market like AeroLeads that allow users to find emails online from LinkedIn profiles. Simply sign up for the tool and install their free Chrome plugin. There will appear a widget on your screen that can be used to add the relevant leads. You can use the LinkedIn Search option to search for people’s profiles and AeroLeads will automatically find their business emails, their business phone numbers along with company name, company URL, job title, location etc. The data will be shown on the default prospects page of your AeroLeads account. This mailing list can be used to generate leads and convert those into potential customers.
#4. Post daily updates
As stated beforehand, when it comes to LinkedIn like any other social platform, consistency and regularity is key. There is a saying that goes “out of sight, out of mind”. This stands especially true when it comes to social media platforms. With the continuous refreshing of feeds, if you don’t post regularly, you might get left behind.
However, be mindful of what you post in your updates. These are not the right place for sales. They make up the tone of your profile. These are a good place to prove your presence on the platform for a business purpose in a professional context. You can prove yourself as an account with useful insights and knowledge. Show that you believe in and honor the crux of LinkedIn as a give and take online networking platform rather than just using it for advertisement.
Having said that, you don’t have to generate content regularly in order to post an update. Your updates can also simply consist of links to articles and other pieces of content already available on the internet. Make sure that the content you are sharing is relevant to your prospects and customers. Video content is gaining a ton of traction these days. Share links to smart videos that are likely to draw your targets. Use the “What’s on your mind” option on LinkedIn wisely.
The “Pulse” feature is another option on LinkedIn that is often overlooked. Available on the LinkedIn dashboard, it allows users to self-publish content right to their audience. A lot of businesses are missing a huge opportunity to publish content and don't realize that they can post full articles using LinkedIn.
Another way of utilizing the updates feature is to share significant announcements and news through it. Don’t shy away from sharing the latest developments or any new features your company has launched on LinkedIn.
The sole purpose of posting updates on LinkedIn is to help users connect with their audiences and engage their customers in order to nurture and grow professional relationships.
#5. Use LinkedIn groups to their best potential
LinkedIn groups are a great means for people with similar interests to create spaces to interact and mutually benefit each other. LinkedIn groups in particular can be a great way of forging meaningful business connections as well as generating leads.
To make the most out of LinkedIn groups, first of all, make sure you join the right LinkedIn groups. Refrain from joining groups where you won’t be able to make worthwhile contributions.
Begin by identifying groups that cater to similar communities of people. To do so, you can search for keywords that relate to your prospects’ job titles and click on the ‘Groups’ tab to filter your search for groups. Read a group’s description thoroughly to ensure that it includes your target audience.
The most important thing to remember as a member of a LinkedIn group is to remain active in the group. Share content, start discussions, answer questions, and address queries. If you’re a member of multiple groups, some of the members between the two groups might coincide, so refrain from sharing the same content and change it up. Share content that lines up with what the members of the group will relate to, where their interests lie and what will be of use to them and they’re most likely to engage with. Spending some time analyzing the type of content that is shared on the group first will allow you to understand what type of content you should be sharing.
Once you’ve become an active member of a LinkedIn group, you can go ahead and run a filtered search of the members of the group based on location, job title, or industry, in order to better identify your most likely prospects. Take your time in evaluating who in the group is most likely to become a lead and who you can help. Once you’ve done so, you can go ahead and send LinkedIn invitations. Ensure that the LinkedIn invitations you send out are personalized and to the point for a better impression and a higher chance of reversion. Include why you’d like to connect, and how it could benefit them. Once you’ve connected, you can start educating them about your services. You could also try and schedule a call sometime for better chances of a more lasting business relationship or a confirmed sale.
Do not over advertise or focus only on advertisements either. While your main focus should be sharing relevant content on the group, you can add links to your website in the same rather than performing blatant self-promotions. Make sure you respond to your fellow members and answer their questions and queries. Do not spam members with direct messages. Keep it classy and engage with members that you know you can be of use to.
LinkedIn groups are a targeted way to add value to other users, share insights, and build out your network with prospects.
LinkedIn is one of the best means of generating leads and referrals in 2020. While the aforementioned techniques for acquiring leads from LinkedIn might take some time commitments, the end result is sure to be aptly fruitful. Remember, taking some time out daily is the best mantra.
Make sure to keep an eye on any updates that the site goes through and keep up with how to best utilize that to your advantage to.
LinkedIn as a business centered and lead generation tool is continuously growing, mastering the tips and tricks to make the most of it is a skill you won’t regret and will only prove to be a gift that keeps on giving.