How to Use LinkedIn for Early Lead Generation

By Sean Brown | July 31, 2017

You can’t do business without customers. Regardless of what your product is, you can’t have a business without someone to sell it to. The problem is, some people simply aren’t interested in your product and don’t make great candidates for customers. For any startup, learning how to identify your best customers and advertise directly to them are necessities for sustainable growth.

While excellent service is a mainstay of any successful startup, you need to extend far beyond word of mouth advertising if you expect to generate significant growth. Captivating advertisements are your opportunity to establish a niche and cater to a specific customer base.

When it comes to digital marketing, social media is one of the easiest and least time consuming ways to create a presence for your brand and reach potential customers Paid ads aren’t always the best; organic channels ensure that your customers are genuinely interested in your company and are willing to try out your services or products. While many social networks offer tools for advertisers to reach their audiences, few reach the specificity and convenience of LinkedIn.

Why LinkedIn Is the Best Network for Lead Generation

Although LinkedIn isn’t quite as massive as the social media juggernauts like Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn’s relatively small estimated user base of 450 million users still manages to keep up in terms of advertising power. Here are a few of the reasons why you should put LinkedIn at the forefront of your marketing efforts:

  • LinkedIn is a platform where professionals advertise themselves in order to build up their network. People don’t join LinkedIn to relax; they join in hopes of finding new business opportunities. This makes LinkedIn the perfect place to snatch users attention, as most of them are advertising themselves and actively searching for opportunities on their own.
  • LinkedIn provides detailed metrics on its users like age, location, interests and profession. Most of these details are everything you need to create quality customer profiles and cater specifically to their nuances.
  • LinkedIn accounts for over 80% of leads generated by B2B companies, and 43% of marketers have sourced at least one customer from the platform before. On top of 92% of B2B marketers leveraging LinkedIn over other platforms, 46% of website traffic generated by social media typically comes from LinkedIn.

How to Start Generating Leads on LinkedIn

Now that you know the true value of LinkedIn as a marketing tactic and lead generation platform, let’s focus on how you can use LinkedIn to build extensive customer profiles and efficiently reach out to your leads.

1. Market Through Content

Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your potential customers by providing them with value. This simply means that you need to produce informative content that engages your audience and teaches them something unique at the same time. People crave free information, and if you’re running your own business, you’re likely more than qualified to provide valuable information about your industry.

Content marketing can be done either by making videos, posting photos, or writing blog posts. While videos typically receive a great response, they can be both difficult and expensive to make. On the other hand, focusing your attention towards building a captivating blog only requires knowledge, research, and the ability to write. If you want to publish your blog posts on LinkedIn, try to incorporate a few of the following characteristics to ensure your content is optimized for its audience.

A Conversational Tone

Your primary aim is to identify with your customers and make your brand attractive to them, not to flaunt your vocabulary. Keep the tone nice and simple, and focus on conveying your message in an interesting manner.

Informative Content

As stated above, make sure the content of your posts gives your audience a reason to continue coming back to your blog. By receiving quality information from you, not only will you develop a large following, but one that respects your brand for going through the effort to provide free content. Promotional content is occasionally acceptable as long as it’s done in a tasteful manner and doesn’t overpower the regular content of your blog.

Frequent Updates

Blogs which receive around 3-4 posts a week are likely to produce 4 to 4.5 times the audience compared to blogs updated only once per week. As long as your content is flowing, you’ll constantly be generating new leads.

The average person views 4-5 pieces of content regarding the relative subject matter when they need to buy something. If your product or services are what they seek, you need to mold their opinion through your content and give them a reason to choose your services.

2. Expand Your Network

LinkedIn makes it easy to find people who fit your ideal customer profile. Start connecting with relevant people, and interact with them by engaging with their posts. Make sure they can access the content you’re uploading, and always measure the response you get.

Remember to keep your profile professional and your content authentic; you don’t want to be perceived as spam by your potential leads. Aim for around 1,000 connections. It may sound like a lot, but by spending a few minutes every day, you’ll get there in no time. Try to talk to people about what you’re offering, but don’t push too hard–attracting users based on their own interest is always more favorable and results in finding better quality customers.

3. Create a Group

A little later into the game, you can start your own group through LinkedIn. Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn groups are a great way to build a small community for the content you publish. Groups improve engagement by bringing the conversation to your followers. You can interact with users directly on published content, answer questions they post and create a place for people to get questions asked and answered by other experienced members within the group.

As you build a reputation, you’ll notice a significant increase in a number of shares your content receives, and in turn, the size of your network. Having a large network that is highly specialized in whatever niche you cater to is invaluable. Don’t waste your time advertising to people that don’t care about your product; seek out those that are already interested and show them why your solution is the best answer to their problem.