With over 187 million monthly unique visitors, it’s no surprise that companies are turning to LinkedIn to generate new business leads. However, without a thorough plan and strategy for success, it’s very easy for these lead generation efforts to turn futile and become lost in the pool of users looking to expand their networks and promote business.
If you are responsible for business development, then getting in front of more of your ideal prospects and remaining top-of-mind with them is vital. But, we often get lost in our daily routines and forget some of these simple yet effective activities that are essential to building relationships on LinkedIn and keeping our pipelines full.
Here are 5 ways to distinguish yourself and generate more leads on LinkedIn.
(1) Focus on Your Ideal Buyer
Before you can ever hope to put yourself in the mindset of your future customers, you must first identify your ideal buyer. Understanding their industry, pain points, and professional interests can allow you to tailor your marketing content towards that specific direction.
From an individual standpoint, this also means that your LinkedIn profile should be thorough and laid out in a neat and communicable format. Optimize your profile so that your headline and summary so they are “client-focused”. As LinkedIn trainer and author John Nemo puts it, “that means you put away the bullhorn (I worked here, I did this, I won this award, I do this, etc.) and instead talk about the problems you solve for clients (I help [IDEAL CLIENT] achieve [IDEAL CLIENT’S GOAL].”
Know your audience, focus on them and their needs.
(2) Position Yourself Favorably
Once you know who your buyer is, you need to establish credibility among that specific audience. Contributing as a thought-leader in LinkedIn groups where your ideal buyers belong will set you apart in the buyer’s eyes as someone who holds genuine passion in what you do.
Every movement you make online can play to your advantage in establishing a personal and corporate brand. The connections you make, the posts you give a like to: these all can either make or break your credibility in the market. Yes, this means that you might not want to add every connection request. Accept connections with a strategy in mind.
Writing long-form posts such as this can help raise awareness of your efforts while also demonstrating the knowledge you have of the pertinent industry. It’s easy to “talk the talk,” as they say, but actually allowing your audience to see first-hand the value you carry is a surefire way to “walk the walk”.
(3) Say No to the Cold Call
Joann Black, author of “No More Cold Calling” defines cold calling as contacting someone who does not know you and who is not expecting your call. Cold calls can be made on the phone, in person, by direct mail, by email, and through LinkedIn. I believe there are far better ways to reach your target audience.
Buyers are looking for someone they like, know, and trust. They don’t want to be sold to OR receive cold calls. Don’t blindly send out connection requests and inmails if you are looking to grow your business and want to be viewed as a trusted authority in your space. The five minutes you spend to do your homework and tailor your messages will allow you to stand out amongst your competition.
Take advantage of the ability to request an introduction on LinkedIn. From the buyer’s standpoint, having an established connection act as the host allows for a level of trust that wouldn’t be present otherwise. Two tips when requesting an introduction. (1) make sure you know the person you’re asking to do the introduction and (2) write the introduction paragraph for them, so they can quickly tweak and forward.
(4) Grow and Nurture Your Network
Regularly adding new quality 1st degree connections and remaining top-of-mind with your existing connections are key to growing your personal network. Your connections are not just potential clients, these are relationships that you can grow, nurture, and leverage for years to come. As my friend Brynne Tillman puts it, “There is Gold in ‘Them There’ 1st degree connections.”
Utilize the built-in advanced search criteria and LinkedIn groups to find an audience that fits your target profile. This allows you to focus on and engage with your potential clients, rather than aim blindly for their wallet.
LinkedIn’s “People You May Know” and “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” features, as well as LinkedIn groups are three great sources for people you can reach out to (reference why you are reaching out to them) as opposed to cold outreach.
Make it part of your daily routine, to connect with new people and engage with your existing connections.
(5) Tailor Your Message
How many times have your received the generic invitation message and debated on whether or not you know that person? Then ask, how many times have you received a custom message from a relative stranger and understood why that potential relationship is valuable? Crafting a unique message allows you to set your story straight from the get-go and reach individuals who you might otherwise have never been introduced to.
Set a message subject that’s relevant to your cause, introduce yourself, and demonstrate your value so you might close with a request to borrow 15 minutes of their time. By utilizing the knowledge acquired when attempting to understand your ideal buyer, you already know the pain points and desired solution to their problems.
Even if they might not be interested, still include your desire to connect regardless. You never know when that connection might strike up future opportunity.
These are just 5 of the many ways that you can generate additional leads for your business. Make these part of your daily routine, focus on quality over quantity, and you’ll be well on your way to developing more business.
If you are looking to increase revenue through leveraging the power of LinkedIn, content marketing or email without ever having to cold call again, I invite you to have a conversation. Whether or not we decide to work together, I am confident our call will be full of insights that will help you grow your business. To make scheduling easy, here is a link to my calendar http://ScheduleaCallwithMark.com, please pick a time that works best for you.
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