Updated: Jan 21
It is no secret that LinkedIn is the social networking site to be on if you are looking to grow your business. In fact, 80% of Business to Business leads that have been sourced from social media come from LinkedIn! If you want to generate genuine leads for your business, you need to be on LinkedIn as this is the best way to attract paying customers. But don’t just take my word for it. Keep on reading to discover why and how LinkedIn is the best networking site for your business to be on to help you generate leads…
LinkedIn - The Basics:
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 20 million active members in the UK alone! Due to the high concentration of businesspeople and entrepreneurs on the platform, of whom 40% check their accounts daily, LinkedIn is an invaluable tool in securing sales for your business. 🧑💼
LinkedIn’s own mission statement is commercially focused to help you by connecting you with other professionals, allowing you to become ‘more productive and successful.' As social media use increases daily, LinkedIn is the best way to market yourself on the global stage.
More than 2 new members sign up for LinkedIn every second and there are currently over 50 million companies listed. ✔️ If you don’t already have an account, then this is your sign to create one, and if you struggle to use the features, then this blog will break down the options available to you so that you can pick the ones best suited to your needs. Should you already have a LinkedIn account, it is important to ensure that your profile is perfect so that implementing these steps can be fully effective. For some tips on making your profile LinkedIn ready have a look at our advice here. 📝
The Workings of LinkedIn:
The brilliant thing about LinkedIn is that, whether you are start-up or well-established business, there are many routes to navigating LinkedIn to generate leads that will be beneficial for your business. LinkedIn offers both free and paid tools that will advance any business no matter what stage of development they are at.
💰Free features: (Creating your first lead) Connect -> Message -> Sale:
Show me one person that doesn’t love a freebie! LinkedIn’s whole focus is helping you connect. Set up your account and then connect away, this one-click process builds a
framework through which you can generate leads. Once your connection requests have been accepted, the next step is to send a mutually beneficial message. I went into depth on this subject in my previous article so check here to find out how to implement a system to create those all-important sales, which are all dependent on your first interaction…
💰(Creating subsequent leads) Skills and Endorsements:
Tired of sending the first message? When using LinkedIn it is important to build your profile so that other professionals see you as standing out from the crowd. Mutual connections go a long way, but a stronger way to showcase your business' talents is through endorsements.
Firstly, list your skills. Including your skills on your profile enables others to quickly note what you are offering, and if you appear to be a suitable match with what they are looking for, then they may just make the first move.
Secondly (and most importantly) endorsements can do wonders for your profile. This feature means another member who you know personally or professionally can vouch for the skills or expertise you have linked to your profile, and you can endorse them back. Let’s say you’ve connected with a client and made a sale. You could now add ‘professionalism,’ for example, to your skills section, and that client can endorse this skill. This broadcasts to potential clients that you are not just another user, who lists the same generic skills as other professionals, but you also have third party verification to confirm the skills you claim to have.
But remember, this is a compelling feature for driving traffic to your profile, so you should only endorse others where you believe in the skills you are providing confirmation for, and only seek good-quality endorsements in return. An endorsement coming from a respected long-time client, employer, colleague or influencer is more likely to further your reputation and strengthen your profile. IT Recruiter Paul Cameron said before that by using endorsements he would ‘typically get 10 to 20 invites to connect per day’, but after utilising this feature extensively, ‘LinkedIn put [him] on a “Recommended” list and over the next 7 days [he] received over 2,500 invitations to connect’. The numbers do not lie and this is a feature which is imperative to grow your leads. 📈
💰Getting out there – Participation:
We are all familiar with the phrase, ‘participation is key’ and for LinkedIn this could not be more true! LinkedIn has over 722 million users, located in over 200 countries; you are bound to find someone looking for what you are offering. Join groups and discussions and, as Logic Digital confirms, these are the spaces you can really utilise to show off your expert knowledge freely, to establish lasting relationships. Once you have built rapport with people within these markets, you will eventually become the ‘go-to source for all industry orientated advice.'
Don’t be afraid of sending out messages either. LinkedIn allows you to send free messages to first and group connections. However, don’t take this as a sign to spam potential clients with generic messages! Ensure each message is tailored specifically to the person/groups you are approaching, and make sure the content is mutually beneficial. This is a surefire way to build rapport with potential clients, helping you to generate leads, which can be converted into sales for your business.
Paid services: Sponsored Content
Should your business be at a stage where investing into the paid services LinkedIn has to offer would be beneficial to your company, then it is highly recommended that you make use of sponsored content. This is the fastest way to get the word out about your brand -> promote your business to your target audience -> meet your marketing objectives.
LinkedIn’s sponsored content is arguably the best paid feature LinkedIn has to offer. Sponsored content looks like a normal LinkedIn post with an image, followed by a text and link that appears in the newsfeed on your target audience. This allows you build genuine leads because you have control over who can see your post, which avoids the old-age problem of the hard sell ad.
The feature that makes sponsored content such an excellent tool for generating leads, is that you can track it in real time and make adjustments accordingly. LinkedIn allows you to track how well your sponsored content is doing and, if one piece isn’t doing quite so well as the others, LinkedIn gives the option of stopping that post and creating another with a different image or text to see if that works better. This is a fantastic tool to allow you to generate leads because you can physically change the content being supplied to your target audience so that it suits them, making them more likely to engage with your services.
LinkedIn Ads 📺
Another way in which LinkedIn allows you to generate leads, is through the use of their paid advertisements. It is worth noting that these ads are more expensive than Facebook and Instagram's, however, the investment is worth it.
The ad is quite small and comes in the form of either a single sentence above the newsfeed, or appears to the right of a newsfeed, displaying your logo with the targeted individual’s profile picture, inviting them to follow your company page. Now this may sound like a small feature, but it is worthwhile because LinkedIn is a professional site; your ad is not going to be situated between a picture of your neighbour’s dog or a couple photo! LinkedIn is the best social media site for effective ads for B2B leads and so the people interacting with your ad are more likely to be in a business frame of mind and therefore more likely to engage with your ad. Your ads have the ability to be targeted, as LinkedIn allows you to focus on professionals by job title, industry, and even enables you to target ‘warm’ audiences who are likely to be most receptive to what you have to offer. (BL) The statistics speak for themselves once more, with 2x higher engagement and 3.5x higher CVR for B2B.
As you can see, LinkedIn is an excellent service for generating leads and it is the number one social networking site your business must be on to generate leads, that can be converted into paying customers!
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About the Author:
Camara is a third year Law student at the University of Exeter, with a passion for writing. She’s currently an intern PR Assistant and Blogger at GuidedPR. When she isn't writing or hitting the law books, you can find Camara either working on her own blog that she has created, or on social media keeping up with current affairs!
Find Camara on LinkedIn.