Are you looking for a guide that will help you generate qualified leads on LinkedIn? This guide has all the strategies you need to employ to get a better reach. You will learn how to engage with your audience productively using LinkedIn lead generation tactics that actually work.
Building an intentional digital presence is about meeting your leads where they are and delivering value. Most B2B leads happen to be on LinkedIn, so that’s where we’ll focus today. However, these strategies will work on any social platform.
Let’s dive in to see why traditional social selling may not be working for you and how this three-step mantra can help you. Then you can use the strategies in this article to stand out in the LinkedIn professional network.
Table of Contents
- The Social Selling Problem of LinkedIn Lead Generation
- How to Generate B2B Leads On LinkedIn
- How LinkedIn Analysis Fits in Lead Generation
- How to Use LinkedIn Content to Retarget Leads
- How to Steal Your Competitor’s Audience On LinkedIn
- Key Takeaways
The Social Selling Problem of LinkedIn Lead Generation
Unless you’ve been selling under a rock, you’ve heard the stats about the benefits of social selling countless times. Salespeople who use social media are 51% more likely to achieve quota. They attract 45% more opportunities and outsell non-social sellers by 78% (LinkedIn).
I personally don’t like the term social-selling, though. I think it’s killing the modern LinkedIn strategy. Traditionally it focuses too much on selling and not enough on giving value to leads. But as long as your intention on social media is to connect with potential businesses through meaningful dialogue and great content, then we’re on the same page in terms of social selling.
The strategies I’ll discuss in this article were developed for LinkedIn lead generation, but if your leads are on Twitter or Facebook, these strategies will still apply.
How to Generate B2B Leads On LinkedIn
We use a simple three-step mantra to generate more leads on LinkedIn (or any social media for that matter).
- Step 1: ADD Leads to Your Network
- Step 2: POST Engaging and Relevant Content Regularly
- Step 3: ENGAGE with Your Leads
Step 1: Add leads to your network
Building the right audience on LinkedIn is a crucial step that’s all too frequently skipped. Many people get their LinkedIn lead gen strategy wrong by creating and posting a bunch of great content but failing to get the right people to see it.
If you’re not actively adding leads to your network, chances are most of your connections are current or ex-coworkers, college friends, and family.
Here are some tips on how to add the right leads to your network.
1. Get Sales Navigator — PRONTO!
The first thing you need to do is get LinkedIn Sales Navigator (if you don’t already have it). We know — the price tag is quite hefty, but in the end, it’s totally worth it.
Once you’re in Sales Navigator, do this:
2. Create your list in Sales Navigator.
This list should be based on your ICP and lead personas. Sales Navigator has a powerful search interface that allows you to zero in on your target prospects.
3. Send 30-50 daily connection requests.
This will take you about 10 minutes a day.
If you do the math, just 50 connections a day, five days a week, means about 13,000 potential connections (leads) a year that you’re adding to your network.
That’s 13,000 potential viewers of your content that are within your ICP.
Think of this as creating the opportunity for leads to find you organically, while also intentionally creating the opportunity for you to reach out to them on a one-on-one basis.
4. Connect with the right decision makers.
You will need to add leads who are decision-makers. The goal is to get relevant contacts as you send out these connection requests.
It would be best if you typed a specific role’s name, making sure you use quote marks as you type this name. Ensure you mention a company that is your benchmark. Alternatively, search each term separately if you are in search of outreach candidates.
For instance, you may want to find an individual who is currently taking a specific role in a given company. The problem is that you are not sure who you are looking for.
5. Visit company pages to find potential contacts.
You will need to visit the company page and click on the “People” tab. Here, a list of potential contacts will appear on your screen. These people have relevant connections and job titles that you are interested in.
It is vital to double-check the titles before the outreach. This will help you avoid sending connection requests to irrelevant contacts in your line of work.
6. Find leads with shared connections.
Send the connection requests to individuals with shared connections that are colleagues. These coworkers are most likely to be decision maker leads compared to those in the friend of a friend list.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean that connecting through friends is not valuable. They are, but connections through colleagues and coworkers are better since they know how you engage in business.
7. Pro tip: Follow a lead for a little while before connecting.
Following a lead’s profile for outreach can be effective rather than connecting with them outright, particularly if the lead is an influencer or someone with very high engagement.
If you follow someone’s profile, a notification for a connection request will be sent. The advantage here is that the person does not need to accept the request.
As a result, you will not appear to be bugging the prospect since you are subtly introducing yourself.
Step 2: Post engaging and relevant content regularly
Adding the right leads to your network is like showing up to an in-person networking event. Posting engaging content is how you start talking.
If you’ve never posted before on LinkedIn — or have never posted anything other than your company’s content — this step can feel a little intimidating. But the truth of the matter is that only 1% of LinkedIn users post regularly, and B2B leads are craving more content. 91% of B2B leads rank LinkedIn as their #1 go-to-site for professional and relevant content.
Why does content matter when we’re talking about lead generation on LinkedIn?
Over half of leads list LinkedIn as the most influential channel during their research process. That means by regularly posting content and positioning yourself and your company as experts in the space, you can influence the decisions of over half of your leads.
To get the ball rolling, use these 9 lead engagement tips:
1. Post 2-3 times a week (to start).
Set aside time in the morning or at the end of the day. If finding time to post is a huge hurdle for you, try writing your posts two to three weeks at a time, and then use a free social scheduling tool.
This could actually save you even more time if you struggle to come up with posts on the fly.
2. Optimize your content by avoiding dumb mistakes that kill your reach.
In other words, post what LinkedIn ranks.
Create content that’s easy to read and scan. Use a strong headline. Diversify your content. Use hashtags (but only up to three, and it’s better to add them at the end). Don’t post links in the body copy (drop them in the comments). Don’t be overly promotional or pitchy. And lastly, don’t just share your company posts.
3. Give value more than you sell.
The bulk of your content should be about teaching your audience something, taking a stance on a topic, posting about something you’ve learned, or asking your network for their opinion.
4. Understand the LinkedIn algorithm.
For more people to see your LinkedIn profile, you must know how the LinkedIn algorithm works.
In simple terms, you have to be very active in participating on LinkedIn. This activeness will, in return, ensure you rise in the LinkedIn algorithm.
5. Publish researched content.
Conduct extensive research on the content you will publish. Now publish that content and post comments that other people make. It would also help if you regularly react to posts.
6. Remain active for visibility.
LinkedIn doesn’t need hours of valuable time to write huge texts that will render you as active. NO! A short and straightforward statement such as congratulations is good enough. You can even give a post you like a thumbs-up and push the visibility of your profile to the next level.
7. Utilize peak times in updating your content.
Ensure you post content and relevant updates during times that a bigger target audience is likely to be active. Consider mornings on weekdays and early afternoons. This is when most people are on their phones and computers before work or during lunch breaks.
8. Tag relevant people on your posts.
The other significant way of generating leads on LinkedIn is by tagging people. The contacts of these tagged people will access your message.
For example, if you tag a company in one of your posts, a notification will be sent to every person mentioned instantly. Now, if a person reacts to that post, the action will increase your visibility to people following the said company.
9. Use a variety of different hashtags.
Look at the hashtags currently trending. Be sure to tackle these hashtags and trends alongside the hashtag. More people will see your content, and more notifications will be sent to your followers.
You can still occasionally promote an upcoming virtual event or webinar. And you can still call out features of your company’s product. Just make sure you’re focusing on the value you’re giving to your audience.
If what you’re talking about is a fit for a potential lead’s company, they’ll reach out to you directly. But in most cases, you’ll have to have a two-way conversation before you can start selling. That leads us to step three.
Step 3: Engage with your leads
Adding the right audience to your network and frequently putting out high-quality content is a great start, but LinkedIn isn’t broadcast media, it’s social media.
Publishing great content attracts leads and gets them on the hook. But to turn them into leads, you need to pull them up and engage.
1. Talk with your audience, not to them.
Building rapport and a little bit of relationship capital through conversation (even through comments) will produce more and higher quality leads than just posting.
2. Take 10 minutes per day to engage with your audience’s posts.
Engagement can be a like, a reaction, or a comment. But comments are best, especially if you have something valuable to add.
There’s only 1 rule. Never pitch in post comments.
3. Reply to people in your own post comments.
If your audience of potential leads has taken the time to comment on your post, comment back.
If a potential lead emailed you a question about your product, would you ignore it? No. So, respond and add value to your network wherever you can.
As salespeople, this should be the most natural step in modernizing your LinkedIn lead generation strategy. We like talking to people.
4. Be active in LinkedIn Group discussions.
If you want more productive leads, you must participate in LinkedIn group discussions. Whenever people are discussing a particular subject you think you’d help, join in. Even if the topic is not one of your interests, give a non-biased contribution.
Since the groups have people from different fields, you will connect with a wide range ofpotential leads. Attract new connections through interactions and build relationships that lead to business engagements.
You also have private grounds at your disposal. Here, you will learn from other individuals in your space as you build a strong influence in the niche communities.
You don’t want to get kicked out of a beneficial group, right? Some groups have strict rules and guidelines. Go through these rules comprehensively before you recommend the service you are offering or your site. Ensure your posts and recommendations abide by the set rules.
5. Return the favor when leads comment on your posts.
Generating leads on LinkedIn calls for you to work with other people in your niche. Take the help coworkers offer generously. When you are in a position to help, render your help and generate leads together with better visibility.
When there are other people in your company offering to help, accept it. Your coworkers may have connections that you might not have.
This is especially useful if there are others in your company assisting you with LinkedIn lead generation. Practice employee advocacy where you will help boost the content that your coworkers produce for lead generation.
Commenting on a post can be something light and short, or it can be an in-depth reply that generates an opportunity to message them. Either way, as a salesperson, this should be your wheelhouse.
How LinkedIn Analysis Fits in Lead Generation
You have to look at your content analytics data if you want to be successful in LinkedIn lead generation.
The #1 Influencer Tool: SHIELD Analytics
We have a great tool called SHIELD Analytics that shows all the engagement metrics for the content you’ve posted on LinkedIn. Most influencers getting millions of views on their content are using SHIELD.
Once you choose a pricing plan and create your account, study the data and assess your performance so that you can strategize on how to get better leads and engagement on your content.
You can then investigate the types of posts gaining more traction than others.
Analyze these posts to determine why they are gaining traction and reflect the same characteristics on your future posts. This way, you will reach more prospects and generate more leads.
Ask yourself, “Which content is getting more clicks on my lead magnet and landing page?” Now utilize the tactics you have used in coming up with that high converting content.
Your numbers tell you precisely what strategies and methods are working and which are not.
Besides SHIELD, there are other social media tools that will also help you if you are running a small team.
When you analyze the search data, you discover business developments to get you better leaders. Have a list of the business you desire to contact and the people you would like to contact.
Use LinkedIn to start a conversation with the identified contacts that will lead to generating a lead.
Think of the keywords that most people search for in your niche. If you find out that you don’t have the relevant keywords, get a strategy to incorporate these keywords into your profile.
The LinkedIn analysis will also help you get new keywords that you will use in your profile and content. If you do a search and your profile appears on the search results, use that chance. A professional profile picture will help you in utilizing this opportunity.
Come up with a headline that is juicy enough to persuade prospects to click through. This will help you get more leads with improved visibility.
How to Use LinkedIn Content to Retarget Leads
To use LinkedIn content retargeting for lead generation, follow this step by step process:
1. Find an influencer with significant influence in the market
This first step calls for you to have a specific target audience for your message. Figure out where these people hang out so that you can use the influencer to communicate your message while generating leads on LinkedIn.
This process will be more straightforward for you if you build a lead persona for your target audience. Think of what these people you are targeting are interested in. What motivates them? Which LinkedIn influencers do they follow?
If you are not sure which influencers they follow, you can go through this list. These are the current LinkedIn marketing influencers that most people are following in 2021.
2. Identify posts with a considerable engagement
This step needs you to go through the LinkedIn influencer’s profile. Consider different posts that have a high engagement rate. Now make your selection depending on the one that has the highest value.
3. Scrape all the likes and comment on the post
- Click on the post and copy its URL.
- Log into your Expandi account and click on “Start New Search”.
- Name the search you are conducting.
- Click on the post engagement tab.
- Now paste the URL you had copied.
- Finally, fill in the post ID.
4. Execute the campaign
Write an automated message that your target audience will easily connect with for lead generation. Remember, you will be facing some resistance from prospects since automation does not appear to be authentic in the modern world.
Be sure to craft a message that makes you sound as natural and real as possible. This way, people will spend their time reading your message without blocking the intended message or inferring their meanings.
Look for something that you have in common with the target audience. Avoid obvious information which most people are likely to ignore.
Once people who have seen the post get a notification of updated content, they will see the new message. If you are persuasive and authentic enough, you stand a chance of generating numerous leads.
How to Steal Your Competitor’s Audience On LinkedIn
Do you want to do this the easy way? If you can successfully get leads without putting in hours of work in LinkedIn filters, go for it.
Be warned, however, the best LinkedIn lead generation strategies demand that your content be superior.
But if you must, here is how you steal your competitor’s audience:
- Come up with a page where you will fairly compare your product and that of the competitor.
- Please search for the competitor’s Twitter page and extract their followers using TexAu. Now use the LinkedIn profile API to convert the created list into a profile for your LinkedIn.
- Next, use webhooks to link Zapier and Expandi.
- Target your audience using ads from Zapper.
- Design a template to reach out to the target audience and send the message through Expandi.
This strategy is effective since the target audience has an existing idea of the product you are selling. Their knowledge is an added advantage for you in generating leads on LinkedIn.
If you explain to the target audience why your product is better successfully, you tap into a new world of profits. The risk is that if someone with a more superior product than your pitches it to them, they might leave you.
Key Takeaways for Your LinkedIn Lead Generation Campaign
It’s your turn now to ADD, POST, and ENGAGE. Utilize the tips you have gotten from this article and generate more leads than ever.
The #1 objection I hear from other sales professionals when I give them this strategy is the perceived time commitment. There’s no templated message that they can add to their sequence. They worry it will take time away from their prospecting.
If you’re in this camp and struggling to find time to engage with leads on LinkedIn, you need to change your mindset.
Talking to leads on social mediaIS prospecting, and it should be a part of your overall strategy.
If you’re just doing the minimum of ADD, POST, ENGAGE, that’s only 10 minutes a day for connections and 10 minutes for engaging. That’s only 20 minutes of your morning. Then, add another 20 minutes or so every other day for a post, and that’s it.
That time is minimal compared to the impact this strategy will have on your pipeline in just a few weeks.
All you have to do is start cranking on Monday and see the results for yourself!