Social media marketing is a necessary and highly successful approach to raising awareness, generating leads, nurturing and converting B2C leads to customers. But can the same be said of B2B lead generation? If you answered “No” to that question, you might be missing one of the best B2B lead generation platforms of the decade.
But it is not your fault. Like many B2B marketers, you might have thought LinkedIn as the largest resume platform in the world—and not much of a powerful lead generation accelerator.
Many marketers have traditionally thought of LinkedIn as a prospecting, hiring and one-dimensional advertising network. There is more to LinkedIn than posting work histories.
Here are a couple of LinkedIn marketing statistics every marketer—digital or not—will find interesting, for example:
Are you taking full advantage of LinkedIn to generate new business?
This guide is dedicated to helping you discover powerful ways to turn your LinkedIn lead generation strategy on and accelerating to 100 to 200 leads a day in 5 weeks. The key to getting there is to not only read the insider information packed herein but to also go ahead and consistently practice what you’ll learn.
But, before we get right to it, how about finding out why you and your business need LinkedIn. Here are incredible LinkedIn statistics in 2018 demonstrating why LinkedIn is important to your business and digital marketing strategy altogether:
That said, there are ways to attract more, highly-targeted and qualified leads on LinkedIn.
The first step to zeroing in on the most profitable LinkedIn market is to identify your LinkedIn target audience. Is that easy to do? Not according to the 42% of marketers who do not know how to gather the right data to kickstart targeted campaigns. Neither is it impossible or even that difficult.
The simpler way to understand your LinkedIn target audience is to start by listing down a number of keywords that interest people in your niche or those that have similar interests and goals. Then you’ll want to use LinkedIn Search to search your keywords among groups that identify with your keywords. Feel free to use as many highly relevant keywords as you can find.
While keywords are popular for SEO purposes, they are also psychological triggers. That means LinkedIn users are more likely to join a group using a specific keyword that they are interested in.
Searching “Healthcare” will turn around results specific to that niche including healthcare pages, companies, and groups on LinkedIn.
It is all about specificity. And groups that use specific keywords in their names attract like-minded professionals working or conducting business in that niche or industry.
This is important.
You do not want to assume your target audience wants what you think they want. But keenly following up on the types of questions asked, posts that get the most views, thumbs up and comments, for example, you can understand what they truly want.
You want to use that insight to create on-demand lead magnets. Those lead magnets will seek to offer a solution to what is keeping many groups’ members awake.
Remember to monitor several groups. The more you do the higher the likelihood you’ll create an ebook, report, article, or other lead magnet form that appeals to multiple groups’ members.
You’ll need the lead magnet in the next LinkedIn lead generation acceleration step up next.
LinkedIn Groups is a neat, powerful feature many B2B marketers are still to take full benefits from. You can join up to 50 LinkedIn groups. On the Search filter tool, select “groups” and then key in your keyword to find targeted groups to join.
You’ll want to join the groups that have:
The point of joining LinkedIn groups is this:
By offering valuable insights, you’ll master a most important LinkedIn marketing technique: organic LinkedIn traffic generation.
And how do you do that?
LinkedIn users are business people or professionals that can see through your sales pitch from a mile out.
Moreover, unveiling your selling agenda too early—without making considerable effort to offer answers, spark valuable conversations, and such—will discourage group members from trusting you. Group owners can delete your membership and ban you for that, as well.
The larger problem with that:
If you are banned from a group and labeled a traffic pest or spammer, LinkedIn will ban you from other groups or joining others, too. That would be the end of your LinkedIn marketing road as far as this guide is concerned. And you do not want that.
Dedicate yourself to commenting only. You’ll want to do that for 2-3 weeks—without posting any lead magnets or links to your product/service or website. The point is to offer valuable information that will increase your credibility, authority, and grow your influence as a knowledgeable contributor and solutions provider.
Here’s the benefit:
LinkedIn group owners have to approve comments before the posts can go live. An owner who sees you offering valuable insights for free for over 2 weeks is likely to set your posts to auto-approve.
That means your posts would no longer have to peg in pending status before reaching the larger target audience within LinkedIn groups you have joined.
As your posts auto-approve, and you continue to offer useful insights, more group members are likely to be aware of your solutions provision capability.
Now you can post a lead magnet.
Choose to use this tactic once per week or bi-weekly.
No spamming. No group bans.
Be sure to include a specific call to action with or within your lead magnet. But you can also post a link for interested members to follow if they want to download a relevant resource such as an ebook for a specific solution they seek.
It could be a link to a dedicated landing page or website homepage—not the product or service pages, which are too direct.
The whole point is to get potential leads to your website, provide their contact details to get the lead magnet (such as a niche survey or special report), so you can follow up with your marketing system in future.
Keep in mind, 63% of website visitors are not ready to buy yet (Marketing Donut).
HubSpot found the best time to post on LinkedIn is 5-6 pm, Tuesday through Thursday.
There is more…
In the US, for example, you’d want to post during Central and Eastern Times because most people live in the CT and ET time zones.
To get the most LinkedIn engagement, you’ll want to post between 4 pm and 5 pm on Wednesdays, according to a Sprout Social LinkedIn Global Engagement study.
Source: Sprout Social
To boost LinkedIn post shares, the best time to post is 1-2 pm ET. And for optimal clickthroughs, 7-8 am, noon and 5-6 pm will help convert interested group members to highly targeted leads.
Moreover, LinkedIn sends a Daily Digest email of groups’ daily activities. You can get featured on it and broadcast your message to an even more targeted and larger audience by posting your content between 8 am and 9 am US Eastern Time.
That means more targeted views and potential clickthroughs to your lead magnet (and ultimately your website) from thousands of group members and LinkedIn network professionals—millions of which are decision makers at their company.
Better yet, you can create a LinkedIn group. LinkedIn allows you to create up to 10 groups free of charge. If you choose, you can create an additional 20 sub-groups under the main group—a sub-niche under each of the 10.
Creating a LinkedIn group is important for several incredible reasons—even better compared to joining owned groups.
You will have privileges you would never have as a joining member.
How is that?
There are only a few things to keep in mind (and these are important):
You can, once in a while, promote your product or service. You can add a link to a lead magnet or lead capture page within the Welcome Message.
Also, you can share group roles, responsibilities and restrictions in the same email message.
Here, you want to discourage spamming, irrelevancy, and outright chaos by letting everyone know what is expected of them. That is to help preserve the integrity and authority of the entire group for longer.
If you want, you can use a moderator to keep things clean and professional in the group.
However, only post offers that are highly relevant to most members’ need to solve a specific problem. You do not want to push members away with incessant sales messages. And neither do you want members to feel like the group is all about you or your offer other than a networking community.
The latter reason is also why it is not recommended to use a business name, logo, or contacts when naming your new LinkedIn group. Again, LinkedIn is a professionals networking platform.
You have busy professionals that are looking for ideas, inspiration, networking, solutions, and so on, within a community of like-minded or similarly-interested pool of professionals. Branding your business in their face at every opportunity will be overkill.
The goal, like when you join owned, top groups on LinkedIn, is to connect, offer valuable information, brainstorm, and solve problems.
That builds engagement—and organic LinkedIn traffic to your lead capture system.
And increasing LinkedIn engagement will not only have current members sticking around, but they are also more likely to refer other professionals in their circles to the group—technically, your group.
That would mean more warm leads that are likely to opt for your lead magnet or offer and convert to buyers.
Want to find out how to create a group on LinkedIn?
Notice how the group name doubles as a pre-qualifier? HubSpot reported 44% of marketers do not verify leads to filter qualified leads, which is imperative.
To boost your LinkedIn group engagement and encourage group growth, you can find valuable resources such as the LinkedIn Company Page Playbook and borrow inspiration from the top company pages on LinkedIn.
Using LinkedIn to generate highly targeted leads is a powerful approach to boost your lead generation strategy in 2018 and beyond. Thousands of more professionals are joining LinkedIn every other day.
That means the above LinkedIn lead generation techniques can help you to successfully triple or generate between 100-500 leads every other day, well into the next couple of years.
After your initial “contribute meaningfully” two-week stage, you can use a relevant lead magnet to implement in the following three weeks.
Remember, this is not a magic LinkedIn lead generation technique. You are going to want to practice the LinkedIn marketing tips herein to grow your email list and ultimately increase your sales.
LinkedIn Marketing Guide: Practical and Complete
If you’re looking to make important business connections, LinkedIn is the premier B2B and often B2C social media platform to use. You’ll find millions of Sales People prospecting using LinkedIn, recruiters finding job candidates; CEOs looking to grow their influence and build trust with buyers; and solopreneurs looking for freelancers to build their dream team. In the world of business relationships, you just never know who you’ll meet that will possibly send you your most lucrative client, so growing your network steadily and consistently makes good business sense.
However, if you think blasting LinkedIn users with connection requests is the way to go, put the brakes on your plans and rethink your strategy. Here’s some well-researched advice:
Networking on LinkedIn really boils down to common sense: Act professionally so you portray your business in the best possible light and be authentic in your interactions. Your ideal clients will be drawn to you once they get to know you as a person instead of as a salesperson.
Next on this LinkedIn Marketing Guide is….
With 90 million senior-level influencers, 63 million decision-makers, 303 million active monthly users (40% of which visit the site daily), LinkedIn may seem like your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to sell their product or services to 303 million people?
Let’s remember, however, that LinkedIn in NOT about sales: It’s about building connections and developing relationships with people who may (or may not) be interested in what you have to offer.
Here are some tips for networking naturally on LinkedIn so you don’t develop that pushy “used car salesman” reputation that makes people want to run away:
One note: There’s a huge difference between introducing yourself with your company name and what you have to offer versus introducing yourself with a hardcore sales pitch. Craft your introduction carefully and you won’t be perceived as a tacky salesperson desperate to make a sale. If you need help with LinkedIn Appointment Setting please let us know.
LinkedIn is the premier social media platform for professionals in all industries. With over 300 million monthly users, you have quite a large base to develop new connections and build relationships with potential clients.
However, there are several LinkedIn “sins” which can haunt you and affect your credibility and reputation. Here are just a few things to avoid doing on LinkedIn:
Judge others for their choices. No matter what their choice – whether a prospect chose a different coach or chose a branding color palette that you don’t like – posting your negative opinions on LinkedIn serves no purpose. If your prospect chose another coach, ask them privately what influenced their decision. Feedback is useful, public shaming is not.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you should NOT do on LinkedIn. Across all the social media platforms you’ve probably seen plenty of tacky things that made your eyes roll. Use your common sense and think before you post on LinkedIn. How will your posts be perceived? These tips are not meant to discourage you from being your authentic self; they are instead meant to act as guidelines to maintaining your professional credibility so your ideal clients will find you and trust you.
Next on this LinkedIn Marketing Guide is….
Since you’re not approaching LinkedIn with a sales approach mindset, you need to make every aspect of this platform work to your advantage in order to both attract prospective clients and then convince them that you are the expert they’ve been searching for. One way to achieve this is by showcasing your expertise in a natural, informative way which leads to increase your credibility as an expert.
Paying attention to small details on your profile can help build your credibility as will participating in groups and by publishing content on a regular basis. When people recognize your name as a regular, they will check out your profile and a possible business relationship can blossom from there.
So you have a LinkedIn profile, now what? In addition to searching out viable connections (such as people you already know or have worked with in the past), publishing content should be at the top of your to-do list. Publishing the right content on your feed as well as in your groups will attract potential leads and increase your credibility and expertise.
One word of caution: Do not publish an article to your wall and then publish that same exact article to the twelve groups you belong to. That single activity will get your LinkedIn account frozen faster than you can sneeze. LinkedIn does not tolerate spammers so post your content carefully.
If you want to post both to your wall and to your groups (which is a smart strategy), either post on two different topics or rewrite one article so it covers the same topic but not with the same wording. An editorial calendar is helpful when it comes to planning your social media posts.
But if the words “publish content” scare you to death, here are a few tips to follow:
When in doubt about what to publish, consider outsourcing the content creation to an experienced freelancer. They will brainstorm ideas and help fill in your editorial calendar rather quickly as well as prepare your content so all you need to do is approve it and publish. Extend your knowledge and expertise to your audience with your content. You just never know how your content will affect someone or to whom they will pass along your articles.
This LinkedIn Marketing Guide wouldn’t be complete without….
When it comes to using social media to market your business or brand, choosing the correct platform can make or break your marketing efforts. LinkedIn is one of the premier social media platforms and it boasts a very professional atmosphere. While Facebook and Twitter are geared toward the more casual user, LinkedIn was specifically built for professionals in business.
LinkedIn allows users to build a network of contacts through direct introductions or posting helpful information on their own feeds and in groups. While relationship marketing requires effort on your part, you can also encourage others to network with you by putting forth a professional image. As the old saying goes, “You only have one time to make a good first impression,” and that one time often lasts only a few seconds while prospects look at your LinkedIn profile.
Let’s discuss ways to make that right first impression:
Done correctly, marketing on LinkedIn will showcase your expertise; done incorrectly, you’ll be seen as someone who’s just looking to make a buck or who doesn’t know the first thing about marketing. Be smart with your marketing efforts and watch your business grow.
Making the right connections on LinkedIn (or on any networking platform) should never be hit or miss. Don’t leave your marketing to chance; instead, know exactly who you’re serving, who you want to speak with, and what you have to offer.
Don’t be intimidated by LinkedIn marketing. Consistency is important for online networking so develop a plan which includes specific content sharing, groups to visit, and qualifying leads you want to meet. Once you formulate a plan, implementation becomes much easier and less time-consuming. Consistency also shows these new connections that you are serious about your business instead of treating it like a passing hobby, so plan to visit LinkedIn daily.
A Practical LinkedIn Marketing Guide must contain new client acquisition tactics, e.g.:
As you probably know by now, consistency is vitally important for any of your marketing efforts but especially for LinkedIn. How many times have you noticed that someone is really active but then disappears for months at a time? Then, surprise surprise, they show up again but that’s short-lived and within six weeks they are inactive again. What kind of feeling or impression does that impact, especially on an uber-professional platform like LinkedIn?
The easiest way to be consistent with any social media marketing is to create a plan: a checklist or action steps that you can implement every day. A simple way to remember all the things to check or do when you log in to make sure you’re covering all your bases. A daily action plan will help you remember everything but it also saves time and prevents you from staring at your computer screen, not having any thoughts as to what to share or how to contribute to the groups you’re in.
Creating this list of content ahead of time allows you to have the prewritten content ready to just copy and paste when you log in to LinkedIn. If possible, outsource your content creation or block off time once or twice a week to create that content.
Participating in groups shows your expertise to others and puts you in a small spotlight so people get to know about your specialty and services.
Your name will stay foremost in people’s minds if you provide value in every LinkedIn post and by staying active in your groups. Create a daily action plan that works for you and then put it into action. Engage your audience and provide value every time you post and you’ll soon see a growth in your connections and possible new sales.
Even after doing all your target market analysis and creating your client avatar, some people will still say NO to your products and services. The reasons are numerous – ranging anywhere from the price is not affordable to not understanding the benefits you’re offering – but these responses are not reasons to give up. Remember that any kind of business marketing, both online and in-person, is not about the sale: it’s about building the relationship.
Relationship marketing is about just that: building a long-term relationship that fosters customer loyalty, interaction, and engagement. It’s not about a quick sale or adding new names to your prospect list. Right now, at the beginning of these relationships, it’s all about proving your worth and showing your expertise in a helpful way to gain trust from your audience.
I once heard a marketer ask, “Did you marry your spouse the moment you met them? Of course not, so don’t expect your prospects to buy your product the moment you meet them either.” That idea really stuck with me because we’ve heard time and again that prospects become customers when they know, like, and trust you. Hitting someone up with your sales pitch at a networking meeting eliminates the “getting to know you” phase and then you’ll always be remembered as desperate or uncouth.
Networking is vital to spreading the word about your business. LinkedIn is a phenomenal place to start but being seen on social media means being active every day of the week. Post to your feed and in your groups; share about live events you’re attending; add a personal element to your posts by sharing a new-to-you vacation spot. No need to spend hours a day on LinkedIn but posting a minimum of 5 days a week is necessary.
Also remember to network in person. Attend business events in your community. Inquire about joining your local Chamber of Commerce, BNI chapter, or Toastmasters group. If it’s in your budget, sponsor a youth sports team or, at the very least, participate at local community day fairs by renting a booth and meeting your local neighbors.
When you get to the point in your relationship that you’re asking for a meeting or a sale but the prospect says “No,” don’t take it as a personal affront and kick that connection off your list. Instead, get some feedback about why they said no and don’t be afraid to ask if they know of anyone in their circle who could use your service. This type of mutual friend introduction is much more welcoming than you randomly trying to connect blindly.
Also, you never know when your connection will change their minds and decide to hire you. It could be six months from now or two years from now but continued interaction on LinkedIn will keep your name front and center in their mind.
Consistency refers to posting to LinkedIn daily but it also means to keep your offerings updated and produce new content on a regular basis. Write a new article or record a new video for your LinkedIn feed on a weekly basis. Create checklists or short reports on a regular basis and hand offer them on your feed and in your groups. If your prospects and connections see the same old products or freebies on your site or in your feed, they will think your business is as stagnant as your offerings.
Hearing “no” is a disappointment but that doesn’t mean it will be a “no” forever. The timing of your offering for your prospect may not be right, plain and simple, so keep fostering that friendship/relationship and be ready when the prospect changes their mind.
LinkedIn was created in 2003 as a way to do business differently. It was founded as a business-related social network and has kept that reputation as the go-to place for business connections over these last 15 years. Not only can job seekers find hiring managers or decision-makers in their dream companies but business owners and sales executives can find prospects via LinkedIn as well.
Gone are the days when job seekers answer classified ads or send resumes blindly to large companies. Likewise, cold calling prospects usually don’t yield very good results in this technology age where the buzzword of the day is “relationship marketing.” Whether you want to get noticed on LinkedIn by hiring recruiters or by business prospects, LinkedIn is THE place to be seen.
But how exactly do you get “seen” in a sea of 300 million monthly active users? Let’s explore some simple ways:
Start by thinking about how your target audience would search for you. What are they looking for exactly? How do you want to be known? Use those keyword phrases throughout your profile where the LinkedIn search bots look, such as the Headline and Summary as well as the Experience and Skills sections.
No blurry selfies or brooding, artistic headshots. If you do make it to the top of a search, you’ll want to catch your prospect’s eye very quickly and a professional, happy headshot is the quickest way to do that.
Still address your top skill or benefit your prospect will receive but add some flare to it. “Business Coach” certainly describes what you do but in a very general way. “Business Coach to the Fastest Growing Multi-million Dollar Companies” adds some more flare and immediately identifies who you want to work with.
Like it or not, prospects will skim your profile instead of taking their time reading, so edit the important details into powerful sentences. No need for subtlety here; be straightforward and place the most important details first.
Business networking is never complete; it’s an ongoing process you should learn to love if you want your business to grow consistently. LinkedIn will only display your connections up to 500 but you can certainly connect with more people than that. You’ll find two different schools of thought when it comes to making connections. One side believes it’s vitally important to increase those numbers quickly because prospects want to see you – their coach – well-connected. The other side believes the smart way to connect is only with people you have met previously, thus creating a higher quality network of known names.
Don’t think of LinkedIn or networking as a one-time task or a “set it and forget it” process. Being active on LinkedIn means: creating content to share, joining relevant groups, and making comments on other people’s content. When you share content it displays to all your connections, thus informing them of your expertise and inviting them to make comments. Being active in groups means starting a conversation, asking a question, giving advice to others, and sharing content. If you are active and then disappear, it leaves a bad impression and your connections will start to question your dedication to your business.
LinkedIn Marketing can become the premier source to connect with business owners and decision-makers. Creating an optimized profile that looks professional is important but don’t just leave your networking to chance. Be active and show your expertise in your shared content and group interactions.
LinkedIn Marketing Guide Author: Dennis Dubner, CEO, and Founder of SONDORA MARKETING.