LinkedIn – a social media to die for.
LinkedIn is, without a doubt, the best platform for B2B lead generation. None of the other social media enables you to reach a network of decision-makers from over 40 million companies – by just tapping a simple “Connect” button!
According to Statista, the number of LinkedIn users grew from 37 million to 467 million in 5 years.
Louis Camassa, EMPATH brand&marketing consultant confessed that “…LinkedIn is where 80% of B2B leads are generated on social media. ” – Forbes
Considering the platform’s potential in the B2B environment, it can’t be ignored by pretty much every entrepreneur who wants to be part of the world’s business ecosystem. However, it is not about your online presence. Using LinkedIn can direct your revenue directly.
In this article, you will learn how to generate dozens of leads daily using your LinkedIn profile.
Guide: LinkedIn Lead Generation
Here’s a step by step instruction that will guide you through the whole LeadGen process.
1. Do some marketing basics
Enthusiasm is great, but it should be aimed towards something particular, measurable, and realistic.
- Define your goals. – “MY GOAL IS TO MAKE MONEY, DUH!”I know that, dear. However, you need to set clear business goals before starting the campaign. Make sure they are measurable and performance-based. These goals will be used to create KPIs for your campaign later.
- Define your offer. The better you understand what are you selling – the more chances you have to target a proper audience. If you have a wide range of services – be sure you have a separate Lead Gen campaign for every type of services. This way, you will be able to segment the audience and target your marketing efforts precisely.
- Figure out your USP. I know it sounds basic but you cannot overestimate the importance of this aspect. If you don’t know what makes you different from your competitors – all your LinkedIn Lead Generation efforts will be a waste of time.
- Make sure you are ready to process the leads. It is a very common situation when startups and small companies stop their LeadGen campaigns because they don’t have the capacity to pick up the flow of leads from LinkedIn. To prevent that – you have to be sure that you have your sales processes streamlined or even automatized. Figure out which form of communication is the most suitable for you (calls, meetings, emails, etc.) and make sure that you can process leads with the minimal delay.
Completing these basics is crucial for defining your target audience + creating an effective messaging script. These processes will be covered a little bit further.
Congratulations. This is the end of your philosophical search of purpose and business goals. Now we’re heading towards the practical tips that you craving.
2. Figure out your audience
The questions “why?” and “what?” are answered. Now it’s time to figure out “who?”.
“61 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers and 40 million are in decision-making positions.” – LinkedIn Marketing Solutions
That’s a lot of leads, isn’t it? However, you shouldn’t rush to motivate your Marketing Sancho Panza and run towards the windmills.
With great audience comes great segmentation! Am I right, uncle Ben?
To target your campaign properly, you need to define your buyer personas. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator allows you to use an extremely wide range of search filters. However, here are some of the starter-pack filters that should be enough.
- Keywords. It is one of the most widely used filters. Basically, it displays only profiles containing the keyword.
- Geography. Basic Geolocation targeting filter.
- Relationship. Here you can adjust your search. You can choose between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd connections.
- Company. The search will come up with the company page, as well as the list of employees of a certain company.
- Company headcount.
- Title. This filter allows you to make your targeting more specific. Usually, people not only include their current position, but also some other features like “Speaker” or “Investor”.
Using these filters, you will be able to conduct quite a precise search, flooding your network with all the professionals that could be interested in your offer.
Short tip: Defining interests, favorite football team, and other personal traits would be helpful for you to build personalized communication but is unnecessary at this point. There is no filter like that on LinkedIn.
3. Optimize your LinkedIn profile
It’s crucial to remember that each of the prospects, targeted by your campaign, would visit your profile. Therefore, it should be able to convenience the audience that you are the right person.
Just open your LinkedIn page and make sure that:
– The profile photo looks professional. Your face should be clearly visible. It doesn’t have to be a boring corporate photo. You can still be creative with it. (Just don’t overthink it).
– The headline is catchy. Avoid simple “Position + at + Company” pattern. It is the most visible part of your account. Make it more creative and tell people how can you help them.
e.g. “Innovation and disruption theorist, keynote speaker, best-selling author, executive, and performance coach”
– The summary is summarizing. This is the section to learn more about you. Don’t hesitate to mention your greatest achievements, virtues, life purpose, and hobbies. Use those 2000 characters to show your competence and don’t forget about the personal touch.
– Experience up to date. Treat your profile like a resume. Add some relevant experience and main achievements on those positions.
– Skills are relevant. The significant number of abilities compared with the significant endorsement list can become the main lever of the client’s decision.
– Recommendations are representative. Ask your previous clients to write some words about your common project. This would be another check in the reliability test.
Here’s a definitive guide on how to make your LinkedIn profile all-star. Make sure to check it if you need some help.
4. Write down your message script
Now it’s time to write the dialogue script for your lead generation campaign. These are the messages that would be sent to the target audience. The basic script should contain:
- Connection message. This is the first thing the prospects get from you. We don’t yet try to sell anything. Just say “Hello”, be polite and express the reason why are you contacting them.
In case they accept your request to connect, send them the next message.
- Offer message. This is the main part of the script. Here you should add your offer and list potential benefits a person can get from your cooperation. It should not be longer than 5-6 sentences.
Afterward, you have to be prepared for 3 types of response: positive, negative and neutral.
- Positive. The prospect is interested in your offer, feel free to proceed with your communication. Send them all the details, schedule a call and add +1 to your lead list.
- Negative. The prospect doesn’t show interest in your offer, but you shouldn’t abandon communication at this point. According to my experience, a negative lead that was picked up by an experienced sales manager can be converted into sale anyway. Just emphasize the possible benefits once more and let them think for a couple of days.
- Neutral. This is the most tricky type of reply because they are usually suggested by LinkedIn. They usually include something like: “Ok, thanks”, “Sure” or something similar. You can’t be certain if the person is interested but busy or if they are just indifferent. The answer should be similar to the previous one. Acceptance, patience and reminding about all the benefits.
Let’s sum everything up. You need to create a chain of messages that would get the person acquainted with your expertise, offer, and potential benefits. Besides that, you need to strike a good balance between a salesy, straight-to-the-point message and personalized friendly message.
Short tip: You can never over-personalize messages. Include at least the person’s name and company. Personalized messages are 45% more efficient in email campaigns. It is also true on LinkedIn.
5. Launch the outreach
Now the preparations are ready. Let’s start some actual lead generation.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a perfect tool for this task. It allows filtering the audience by all the characteristics included in the “figure out your audience” phase. Just enter all the parameters and receive all the potential clients waiting for your connect request.
Remember that LinkedIn will ban your account for doing too many daily actions. Actions include pretty much every click you perform, so you have to make sure you work only with your target audience.
Don’t send more than 150 connect requests per day (if your LinkedIn profile has less than 300 connections – limit your reach to 50 invites per day).
Send the offer message to everyone, who accepted your request, and respond to every reaction on your offer. Repeat this process for at least 7-10 days. Remember to use additional software to track your actions.
You will need a significant amount of patience and coffee. If you need some inspiration – we have managed to generate 10 hot leads daily, so you should just keep moving.
6. Analyze the results
After the first lead generation cycle is finished, you have to sit and analyze. Open the table with all the names, emails, and answers from your target audience.
On this stage you have to evaluate:
– Percent of people accepted your request to connect (Acceptance Rate);
– Percent of the prospects answered the offer message (Reply Rate);
– Percent of positive, negative and neutral answers;
– how many hot leads did you generate;
– how many leads were converted.
Here is a graph that represents Acceptance (invites/connections) and Reply (connections/replies) Rates throughout different industries.
This graph represents the average number of hot leads throughout different industries. Please mind that it depends on various factors and these numbers may vary during your campaign.
7. Improve and repeat
A perfect lead generation campaign doesn’t exist. There’s always room for improvement. The best way to improve a campaign is to change one of its parameters and analyze the results again.
You can change:
- the audience (company size, position, niche)
- the script (timing, offer, personalization)
- personal account information (headline, cover photo, summary)
Just change it one by one. One element at a time. Don’t change the script and audience during one circle. Then you wouldn’t be able to determine what exactly influenced the results.
It may take up to 5-10 cycles until the results would be close to your initial goals, so be patient.
LinkedIn is the lead generation platform for B2B by design. The combination of audience and tools enable marketers to supply their companies with clients merely by LinkedIn Lead generation.
Nevertheless, this process requires time, profound analysis and persistent A/B testing. Hope this guide will help you to get through it.