Before we dig into the detail, let’s start with the basics! Your LinkedIn activity needs to align with your business goals & objectives if its going to positively impact your b2b lead generation efforts. The standard questions are:
- Who are your ideal customers?
- Where are they located?
- What roles do they typically have in the company?
- Which sectors, industries, niches do they operate in?
From this point, you can start to think about how to use LinkedIn to your advantage, to get one step closer to generating leads.
Complete Your Profile & Add your Picture
Completing your profile information will help your visibility within LinkedIn. It sounds obvious but make sure you add ‘keywords’ to your profile so you rank higher in user searches. Just like SEO is important for website traffic – LinkedIn viewings are impacted by ‘profile keywords’.
Start Building Your Network
Initially by connecting with your colleagues and importing your email contacts into LinkedIn. Then you can start reaching out to your current clients & suppliers. This will help to expand your network and provide visibility to 2nd and 3rd tier connections.
Join Relevant Groups
That target the right type of customers, prospective customers, partners, suppliers & industry experts. There are groups that also focus on Industry Bodies, University Alumni and other associations which will help boost your network. Be careful to read group rules and the group description to make sure it’s for what you are looking for!
Use LinkedIn Contact Search
There are good search features in LinkedIn that you can use to target and break down results. At a simple level, you can of course search by name. Taking it a step further into the advanced features will allow you to sort by company, location, job role / function, groups joined etc. You can use the Boolean searching techniques too!
Research Target Companies
Need to create a new target list of companies? Search companies by industry, location, size etc. This is a great way to start creating your Target Account List.
Join Groups to Contact Members Directly
LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to connect to just anyone on the network, and some users protect their account with various privacy settings. By joining a group however, you are then able to send a direct message to another member (providing they have not blocked it) without being a first tier connection. This is a nice way to make an introduction.
Invite Connections to Your Own Group
Send a message to your connections telling them the value of joining your group. Provide relevant, valuable discussions and be informative (not pushy sales).
Be Active in Group Discussions
It’s not rocket science! Providing useful comments and information to group discussions will undoubtedly raise your profile within the community. Also, being recognised before approaching another user will increase your chances of being listened to. There is an ‘Answers’ section in LinkedIn that you can search and contribute too as well – narrow down your discussions and target responses!
Add Your Company Blog
and share updates to your connections. Boost your credibility with industry advice, company news and success stories.
Integrate LinkedIn with your CRM
Some CRM systems (e.g Salesforce, Zoho amongst others) offer LinkedIn integrations. These systems help you find out more about your contacts and companies directly from the CRM interface. It's a good time saver that arms you with background information before you make contact.
This is a just short post to help you get started! The key will be to write down a schedule for providing and distributing content as well as targeting a sensible number of companies and individual connections.
What are some other ways LinkedIn can help increase sales efforts?
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