How-To Guide: Use LinkedIn To Generate Business Leads

LinkedIn isn’t only for busy employees looking for new career moves. This first-of-its-kind professional network is a haven for businesses to generate new contacts and leads in ways never before possible. Whether you’re new to social media marketing, or simply trying to expand your prospects beyond the world of Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn is a vital strategy all business owners should get acquainted with.

Below, we discussed some hot tips and tricks on how to set up your LinkedIn business page and immediately begin growing your business with it.

Preparing Your Profile For Lead Generation

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If your page is not filled out to its fullest form and instantly recognizable as your brand name, your campaigns will suffer. Before sharing any content or trying the strategies discussed below, be sure that your page has at least the following:

  1. Your company and brand name
  2. Your logo prominently displayed
  3. An overview of your entity and what it specializes in
  4. Links to other social networks
  5. Your industry, company type, and other relevant classifications
  6. Your location and contact information

You should also add any employees you have working with your company under the careers section of your page. All of these qualities help solidify your organization as a legitimate entity and not a hollow promo page.

Joining Up With Relevant Groups

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Members of LinkedIn with common career goals and interests sometimes form groups where they can discuss anything related to that theme. Groups enable users to connect with each other, exchange career hacks, teach strategies and more. There is no “typical” group size – depending on the nature of the group it could have just a few members or thousands.

As a brand, becoming a part of relevant groups means being in direct contact with your target audience. You should aim to join several new groups each week until your presence is felt across your industry. To find these groups, perform searches for:

  1. Industry lingo (ie – Infographics, Digital Postal Mail, or Sales Deck)
  2. Professional affiliations or certifications in your niche (ie – PMP)
  3. Common job titles in your niche (ie – Chief Privacy Officers)
  4. Strategies used in your industry (ie – Google search marketing)

Don’t be afraid to branch out beyond your niche. Becoming a recognized name across several related fields is how you will create the most significant business growth.

The Power Of Starting Discussions

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It isn’t enough to simply join a group and passively wait for the leads to pour in. In order to make new connections and drum up curiosity around your brand, you need to began starting and participating in thought-provoking discussions.

Web marketing giant HubSpot recommends starting one new discussion in each group you’re a member of every day for five straight days. These discussions could be opinion questions (not related to your specific brand, this is no time to spam), an atypical thought on a trending topic, industry ninja tricks, or anything that is bound to get people talking.

Once you start a conversation, keep up with it and participate when appropriate. Social media users are inundated with new information every day, so building brand loyalty and trust isn’t a “set and forget it” process. It takes a commitment of talking to anyone who was thoughtful enough to engage in your discussion, and proving time and time again why your brand is special. Do this often enough and you’ll see new connections and leads pour in.

Contributing Your Expert Answers

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Discussions aren’t the only way to engage potential leads on LinkedIn. In fact, it might not even be the most directly effective approach, as that title arguably lies with LinkedIn Answers. This section of the social network consists of thousands of users asking pointed questions on nearly every professional subject available.

The best part about LinkedIn Answers is that questions are open to response from any knowledgeable professional with insight to share. Needless to say, this is your chance to shine! You should make a daily habit out of searching this corner of LinkedIn for any and all questions that you are qualified to speak on.

There is no faster and more direct way to prove your value to a potential lead them to offer an effective solution to their problems. This establishes you as an expert who genuinely wants to help their market. If you do this often enough, you can expect many grateful new leads to become connections of yours.

Using Direct Advertising

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Much like the other major social networks, LinkedIn enables brands to run targeted advertisements to users. In fact, if you are familiar with Google AdWords, Facebook ads or other similar networks, you should have no problem adapting to LinkedIn ads.

The process is simple but incredibly effective at lead generation. When you create a new campaign, you will be asked to write an ad. This will consist of a catchy headline, some brief body text, and a destination link. Remember that these need to be as concise but convincing as possible. Consider creating several ad variations and asking coworkers and friends which ones they find to be the most enticing.

The true power of LinkedIn’s advertisements shows in its targeting capabilities. You can choose exactly which types of people will see (and conversely which types of people won’t see) your ad. Targeting capabilities include location, company, job title, LinkedIn Group membership, gender, and age. Think hard about exactly who your customers are likely to be, and start your campaign off targeted at users who match those general qualities.