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How to Use LinkedIn To Generate More Leads

LinkedIn is the professional social network, with more than 400 million members across the globe from just about every single industry and niche.

Businesses and professionals of all kinds use LinkedIn to connect with prospective clients, increase awareness of their products and services, announce new offerings and to research prospects.

However, LinkedIn is perhaps the most powerful tool for generating B2B leads. In fact, studies have shown that LinkedIn is the most effective social media tool for B2B marketing, driving the most customers out of blogs, Facebook and Twitter. So, if you sell your products to other businesses, take note.

Make use of LinkedIn Groups

Assuming you have already set up your LinkedIn profile (with a professional-looking headshot, your job title, and details of the positions you hold), get started on LinkedIn Groups. This is a great place to connect with your target audience, and it’s effective for generating leads for your business. Not only do groups let you increase awareness of your business and/or industry, but it also ensures you have your finger on the pulse. By participating in, or creating your own group, you’ll be able to find out exactly what your audience wants to hear about, what they value, and how they wish to participate.

Call to action using social networks - Concept with Fibonacci sequence

Utilise the advanced search option

This is how you’ll find your future leads. LinkedIn’s advanced search options lets you search for professionals according to title, location and industry. With so many users out there, this function is going to be invaluable as you drill down and find contacts in your target market.

Write a personalised invitation to connect

Now all you need to do is invite them to connect with you. Steer clear of a template invitation. Make it personal according to details on the person’s profile. Mention if they work in the same suburb as you, if you have any mutual connections or have worked at any of the same companies. Don’t send out mass invitations either. Try a few different compositions to see what works best, and work through your list slowly. If they accept, send them a follow-up message thanking them for connecting and/or inviting them to join your LinkedIn group (if you’ve created one).

Nurture your relationships with your new contacts

Now that you’ve connected, keep working on growing the relationship. It’s important that you don’t approach this task with the sole purpose of generating leads. This is a short-term tactic and probably won’t get you very far. Online marketing expert Neil Patel recommends sending 5-6 messages to a connection before asking for a phone call or anything that could lead to a sale. These nurture messages should focus on adding value to their lives or educating them. You could send them relevant articles, resources or case studies.

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Make the call

You can build new relationships on LinkedIn, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to make any sales there. Once you’ve developed some good relationships over LinkedIn and have built a rapport, it’s time to take the next step and ask them for a phone call. Keep in mind not everyone will accept, but don’t discard these contacts altogether. Continue to send them value-adding resources, invite them to relevant webinars, or inform them of updates to your LinkedIn Group if you manage one.

Get ready to do it all over again

This is a long-term strategy that will need constant attention. Once you’ve exhausted your current list of potential contacts, start again by using the advanced search option. Continue to educate yourself about your industry so that you’ll always have interesting content to share. With more than 400 million users on LinkedIn, it’s unlikely you’ll run out of potential contacts any time soon.

By Cassie Chorn

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