Back in 2003, one of the biggest social media platforms, LinkedIn, was launched changing the manner that people in business development, marketing, social selling and networking, among others, do business online.
Today, it is accounted for about 64 percent of corporate traffic, making it indispensable for every business and professional.
Utilising its power may be a profitable source of leads and could generate new customers and clients for you.
So are you looking for effective ways to make the most out of it to generate leads, convert sales and eventually grow an online empire? Read on.
In my years of LinkedIn coaching, I’ve seen people’s wins and losses, joys and sorrows and triumphs and defeats in business development and sales generation using LinkedIn.
Admit it or not, it can be our biggest ally, but can also be a frustrating waste of time, depending on how well we utilise it.
Every now and then, people would come and ask, “Why are people not connecting with me and what should I do so that they would? I am not generating leads at all. What can I do?”
Let me clear this up and enlighten everyone here.
Here is a compilation of the best 5 ways to generate sales leads on LinkedIn and eventually to increase sales via LinkedIn for social selling.
1) Join LinkedIn groups because it is one of the easiest ways to generate leads! In groups, you will be able to highlight your value and connect with important leads. Also participating in a group, you will be exposed to a broad range of discussions and will be able to engage with potential customers/clients.
You can also share knowledge and expertise in discussions to help members find a solution on their problem. If you do, you can establish their trust and later on a long-term business relationship, as they find you dependable and valuable for their needs.
Connect with up to 50 groups, especially those in the same industry or niche because you can easily find influencers and contacts here.
Check out members of each group joined and create a list of prospects with criteria, such as company names, job positions, age, physical location and interests, among other factors you deem useful.
After, put these names together in a specific list for reference for ongoing and future campaigns.
2) Customize invitations. Do not rely on generic invitations with the message, “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” – It looks too lazy of you not to spend even a couple of minutes making a customized invitation to connect. Aside from looking lazy and unprofessional, you may be marked as a spam that restricts sending future invitations to connect.
Start with one or two sentences mentioning the reason you are connecting, the source where you found this prospect and the value you can offer if he would connect.
I also recommend that you read their interest not related to work and mention that in the invitation. A prospect may not be expecting it and may be surprised to know you exerted extra effort in research.
By sending a personal invitation and asking this potential prospect about his passion and hobbies, you are building rapport around what is important to them.
3) Contact them using the private messaging feature once you and the potential clients are connected. Do not spam by sending sales orientated messages but introduce yourself and ask how you may be able to help them. Avoid waffle, be straight to the point by creating a clear and short message because it is more likely to be read than longer ones.
Ask them what subjects are of particular interest to them so that you can forward any articles / blogs that you come across.
4) Generate Regular Content. Whether you are creating published posts on LinkedIn or status updates linking to your blog, ensure that you are posting regular (once a week) content.
Generate only high quality, valuable articles showing off your expertise in the industry, but not hard selling. Avoid sounding as if you were selling rather than creating and sharing a post relevant to their topics of interests.
When writing content, grab your readers’ attention by using a catchy title, illustrating examples based on research and ending by inviting them to write a comment for questions, suggestions or any concerns regarding the post. Engagement in key.
Respond to all feedback you receive to keep the conversation going, an important aspect of business development.
Posting valuable and highly readable content can position you as an expert or an authority in their eyes, thinking you know your stuff well and that you’re a real expert.
5) Utilize the entire power of LinkedIn along with all its features. Here is a checklist to do and apply.
- Optimize your personal profile.
- Include three website links.
- Add media into your profile. SlideShare for presentations and Youtube for video.
- Include links to other social media accounts, such as Twitter.
- Write an interesting summary that is ‘personally professional’ ie introduce yourself and talk about why you enjoy what you do.
- Use the right keywords throughout a profile but specifically in your headline.
- Connect with industry influencers.
- Establish a company page and monitor its followers—and their topics of interests.
- Share and comment on others updates on a daily basis.
- Check who’s viewed your profile and follow up where possible
How are you using LinkedIn for your business? Share your thoughts below. Finally, contact me for any ideas, concerns or questions on LinkedIn business development at firstname.lastname@example.org today!