LinkedIn lead generation is a long slog – but the secrets aren’t some closely guided mystery as Lenka shows here. if you haven’t got time to listen to the full podcast, we’ve done the legwork and extracted most of Lenka’s fantastic key points below.
So why LinkedIn?
With its professional feel and focus, LinkedIn remains THE place to network online. Add to this the fact it still continues to grow (it now boasts over 610 million users) and people are steadily returning to the platform, plus it has the highest growth across the board when it comes to engagement, you’re missing a big trick if you’re not leveraging LinkedIn to its fullest.
Before you start, have a game plan
One of the biggest mistakes people make is diving headfirst into LinkedIn and then complaining that they didn’t achieve the results they wanted. Is this really surprising? The bottom line is you need to have a LinkedIn game plan formulated before you start using the platform in anger and said game plan needs to be linked to your business strategy/goals.
Then, optimise your profile
Once you’ve developed a LinkedIn game plan, it’s time to optimise your profile.
- In a nutshell, your LinkedIn profile needs:
- A professional mugshot (not your last duck-faced holiday snap on a beach – unless that’s part of your branding, of course).
- A keyword optimised headline that outlines exactly what you do i.e. what your job title is, not just a bunch of buzzwords that don’t really mean a lot.
- An informative summary that explains who and how you help. Again, limit the hype and stick to the basics.
- A customised URL that’s intuitive and not just a bunch of random letters/numbers
- A link to your business page. If you haven’t got a business page, create one! It’s another shop window in which to advertise your services.
- Recommendations and endorsements from colleagues (past and present), friends and anyone else who may be relevant. Just remember that it’s give and take here, so be prepared to write a few endorsements yourself too.
- Correctly formatted text. Don’t have a wall of words with no paragraphs. People will soon click away from your profile if you do.
- A clear CTA – if you want people to send you a DM, tell them that!
- Proofread before you publish and/or get someone else to check. Imagine being a proofreader and your own title or summary has typos – oh dear!
- Keep everything clear, concise and informative.
Proactively build a presence
One of the best (and easiest) ways to start building a presence on LinkedIn is by sharing content and getting involved in relevant conversations. The trick is to add value and be helpful, not drop a sales pitch at every opportunity.
So, if you come across an article that contains some useful information or interesting insights, share it on your LinkedIn profile. Add why you’re sharing it and tell people what to expect. It’s also a good idea to ask a question at the same time to naturally encourage engagement. You can also use hashtags to not only help organise your content but help it get found through searches.
And you don’t even need to share links. LinkedIn loves pure text posts too, which is why they tend to do pretty well in terms of organic reach. Again, ask some questions to encourage a conversation to start and be prepared to share your own insights (this helps promote you as a thought leader) wherever relevant.
Take it up a notch or two
Once you’re comfortable with the platform and have been sharing some stuff for a while, you can look to take your LinkedIn game up a notch or two.
Further, grow your network and connect with the decision-makers of companies you’d love to work with. Actively seek out conversations, job opportunities and conduct research on your ideal customers’ pain points. All of this will help you establish yourself as a person who knows what they’re talking about in their niche, and shows others you’re a font of knowledge regarding all things .
LinkedIn is pretty open as social networks go, so you can find out a lot through searches. Just don’t get all creepy and stalkerish – it’s not a good look.
Finally, it’s not about you (sorry)
As with all social media platforms, the key to cracking lead generation on LinkedIn is to remember that it’s not all about you. People (potential clients/customers) have problems and pain points which they need solving. So showcase your talents and add value in a way that makes people think you can help them (which you can, right?).
Lenka Koppova is the enormously popular social media consultant being Social Media Day which runs every year in Cambridge.