Without new clients, your business won’t be in business for very long. A continuous stream of clientele is essential to your survival, but new leads are often hard to find. While nothing beats a word of mouth referral, you can generate valuable leads with social media. One of the best tools for online lead generation is LinkedIn. It’s the most powerful professional network, and the majority of users are business decision makers. Ready to learn more? In this post, we’re going to outline how individuals can get more leads on LinkedIn.
1. Build Your Profile And Keep It Updated
The first step to using LinkedIn to find leads is to build your personal profile. Your profile should clearly state who you help, relevant past work experience, and how others can contact you. You want to craft a compelling reason why a potential client should do business with you, and make it simple for them to get a hold of you.
On top of the basic information, you should also include links to past projects, your skills, and ask for testimonials and endorsements when appropriate. Many LinkedIn profiles only include the basic information. However, adding extra features makes a profile stand out and increases the likelihood that someone will spend more time reading it.
Once you’ve built your profile you need to show it off to others. You can do this by asking other professionals you know or have recently met to connect with you. Specifically after tradeshows, conferences, and meetings, make a point to connect with the individuals you met. Even if it doesn’t turn into a sale right away, you never know if it could in the future.
3. Send Private Messages
The Private Message feature is a great way to keep in touch with your connections. It works just like email, only the messages are received in the user’s LinkedIn inbox. While normal inboxes are overflowing with unopened messages, a LinkedIn inbox is more likely to be clutter-free because you can only send private messages to people you’ve connected with. This means your LinkedIn message will have a greater chance of being read.
4. Join Groups or Start Your Own
Another great way to get your business out to more people is to join groups or start your own. Groups are a great way to connect with other professionals in your field and/or area. You can search for groups related to your industry, location, professional affiliation(s), or interests. Or start your own if you don’t find what you’re looking for. Aim to be active in 3-5 groups; just enough to be seen by a large number of people but not enough to make you feel overwhelmed.
5. Share Content That Educates
Once you’ve created your profile and joined a few groups, you should aim to share informative content on a regular basis. Sharing content shows your expertise in a certain area, increasing your credibility. It also increases your visibility on LinkedIn search results.
You should post status updates regularly and be active in a few group conversations. Post helpful tips, a link to your latest blog post, answer industry questions or ask your own. Keep in mind, when posting in groups, you want to avoid sounding like you’re self-promoting. LinkedIn groups are places where professionals can help other professionals, not for advertising.
6. LinkedIn Advanced Search
LinkedIn recently updated their search features. A search from the normal search bar will now give you more precise results, ranked by relevance. You can also utilize Advanced Search.
Click on ‘Advanced’ next to the normal search bar and the advanced options will appear. You can search for People or Jobs, and specify criteria for each, such as location, salary, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree connections, company, keyword, etc.
Advanced Search is a great way to search for potential leads. Try entering a search for users in your zip code and one of the industries you serve. You can even specify their job function or seniority level.
7. Stay Visible
The last step in the LinkedIn lead generation process is to stay visible. It’s not enough to build your profile, make some connections, join a group or two and post only occasionally. You must make a point to be active on LinkedIn on a weekly, if not daily, basis. It only takes 5-10 minutes a day to add a few connections, update your status, and answer one or two questions that were asked in a group. Make it a part of your daily schedule, and you’ll ensure your profile doesn’t get neglected.
LinkedIn is the most powerful professional tool at your disposal for lead generation. There are numerous ways for professionals to find leads on LinkedIn, from connecting with potential clients, offering insightful advice in groups, and building a profile that stands out. Follow our guidelines to create an influential LinkedIn profile, and you’ll be generating leads in no time.
Be sure to be on the lookout for the follow-up post, How To Find Leads On LinkedIn: Part 2, where we’ll dive into the details of using LinkedIn Company Pages for lead generation.