What is LinkedIn Lead Generation?

By Nigel Cliffe

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Generating leads – that is attracting and keeping the attention of promising and interested potential clients or customers – is one of the biggest challenges that most businesses face today. LinkedIn is often an underutilised tool to help tackle that problem. This brings us to the question, not just ‘what is LinkedIn lead generation’, but – ‘how can we use LinkedIn to generate leads?’

Before We Get Started…

Are You Connected to the Right Company on LinkedIn?

I would recommend ensuring that you are connected (by being employed by) the correct company on LinkedIn. Is there a correctly identified company on LinkedIn to represent yours or the one you work for? Make sure you are connected there. Blank LinkedIn Company Page logo

If your company logo looks like the image on the right, either on your Profile listed under your ‘Experience’ section or on a LinkedIn Company Page automatically generated by LinkedIn then you are possibly not connected!

If your business or employer’s business page does not have a LinkedIn Company Page, I’d encourage you/them to have one. It professionalises your business identity on LinkedIn. A large part of succeeding in LinkedIn lead generation is to make a winning impression on the platform after all!

Are you wasting too much valuable time searching for new clients via old-fashioned methods such as cold-calling and sending out unopened emails?

Referrals are possibly the best form of lead generation, but what if they are not driving enough new opportunities?

Is your competition always one step ahead because they are maximising the power of LinkedIn?

Let’s identify the factors you need to change that and be successful at finding and nurturing new client opportunities on LinkedIn…

What Is LinkedIn Lead Generation: Making Your LinkedIn Profile Attractive

There are many sections available to you on your LinkedIn Profile. From your About Section to your LinkedIn Headline and Profile Picture, make sure you complete them all. You will never know what piece of information on your profile attracts a new Connection!

For more on LinkedIn Profile tips head here. Alternatively, you might want to use my How to Use LinkedIn Effectively checklist to make sure you’re on the right track!

What Is LinkedIn Lead Generation: Privacy Settings

LinkedIn is a public networking platform, so we wish to be easily found for the right opportunities on there. However, our personal privacy is an issue.

You will be pleased to know there are some settings which will help you maintain a degree of privacy:

Who Can See Your Connections?

My recommendation is to change this setting to ‘Only You’. That way, you can’t make your trusted network visible to people who may not be as respectful as you amongst those Connections, including potential competitors, who might also be Connections.

Sharing Profile Edits

When in Profile improvement mode, turn this to ‘No’. You don’t want to potentially share repeated small edits to your Connections while you smarten up your Profile. It’s spammy, unnecessary and frankly a little annoying!

Viewers of This Profile Also Viewed

This is a very useful feature when viewing other people’s Profiles, but not on your own Profile. (Having it on can point potential customers in the direction of your competitors). I’d advise turning this off.

Profile Viewing Options

Did you know you can view Profiles anonymously? There are some occasions when it is good to do research ‘undercover’. However, in general, this setting should be switched on. (Otherwise, you can’t see, on the LinkedIn free account, who is viewing your Profile, which is very valuable intelligence.

It can also benefit you to be ‘seen’ when you view other people’s Profiles. If you’ve left a breadcrumb trail by viewing a potential client’s Profile, they are likely to return the favour and visit your Profile when they get a notification saying you have visited their Profile. If you have smartened up your Profile (see above) they are likely to approve of what they see and send you a Connection request.

Show Your Date of Birth?

LinkedIn is not Facebook. Thanks, but I don’t want people to know my birthday on its platform. Take it off to ensure that this important piece of security data is protected.

There are many fake Profiles lurking on LinkedIn. Why? To scrape your data. You can protect yourself by examining your requests to Connect very carefully. If in doubt, don’t connect or send them a message asking why they’d like to Connect before doing so. Think quality of Connections over quantity.

Here are some of the things I look out for before accepting (or rejecting) a LinkedIn Connection Request.

What is LinkedIn Lead Generation: Do You Know Who Your Perfect Clients Are?

It’s no good asking ‘what is LinkedIn lead generation and how can I be successful at it’ if you don’t know what an ideal lead looks like to you or your business!

Think about:

  • Have you made an ideal Prospect Profile(s) that includes characteristics of your ideal clients (are they senior managers in HR companies or professionals looking to return to work after an extended break or an SME business owner for example?) and what their worries, challenges, fears and hopes are?
  • Do you know how you can help them overcome their challenges?
  • Do you regularly curate/create and share content that helps them solve their problems with examples from real-case scenarios? Stories are very effective here.

What is LinkedIn Lead Generation: Do You Know How to Search for and Approach Your Perfect Clients?

  • Do you know how to use Advanced and Boolean search to find them?
  • Do you understand the etiquette of how to reach out professionally on LinkedIn to attract, engage and nurture the relationship?
  • Have you clarified your Call-to-Action (CTA) that you want your prospects to take? For example, would you like them to call you, have a virtual coffee with you or watch a video? Perhaps you would like them to download a PDF? Either way, make your CTA clear in your About Section on your Profile.
  • Being mindful of GDPR, do you have the means to capture the email address of your ideal prospects when they visit your Profile but are not ready to buy yet, so you can further nurture the relationship away from LinkedIn?

Remember, DON’T be guilty of ‘selling’ on LinkedIn. This is the place to engage. The selling should take place elsewhere.

What is LinkedIn Lead Generation: Do You Know How to Engage and Amplify Your Posted Content?

Having a great Profile and doing nothing with it will deliver you no benefit at all on LinkedIn.

Posting engaging content is one key aspect of successful engagement. When you find content that interests you, pass it along to your network, especially if you think it will help solve problems they regularly encounter.

Here’s what works best:

  • Post your own content
  • ‘Like other people’s content
  • ‘Comment on other people’s content
  • Write an occasional Article

A ‘Like’ is the easiest option, but it is also the least valuable. Better than nothing but…

A ‘Comment’ is really valuable. Commenting ensures you are engaged and offers you the ability to add your perspective to a discussion and turns you into a thought leader in your sector.

An ‘Article’ is a longer form of content that helps establish you as a thought leader and demonstrates that you have a depth of knowledge in your field of expertise. LinkedIn amplifies this type of content less than posts, but it is still useful to add this richer type of content to your Profile every few months or so.

The Very Best Thing You Can Do?

The world has turned to mobile. Much of our communication is received via our mobile handset. This brings with it the opportunity to turn out content into video.

make videos for LinkedIn

With a video option now embedded natively into the LinkedIn app on our smartphones, we have a great opportunity to create useful video content on-the-fly.

Put yourself in the mindset of a potential customer:

  • What do they want to hear?
  • What tips can you give them?
  • How has a recent experience helped solve a difficult problem?
  • Make it sort and sweet, 30-90 seconds is ideal.
  • Consider adding the transcript for viewers who don’t have a listen option.

The power of video is enormous. Having the confidence to produce video content will really set your LinkedIn Profile apart and help boost your LinkedIn lead generation.

Give it a go and see the results yourself!

You will now have pinpointed some of the areas you need to improve to ensure you are getting the most out of your LinkedIn Profile to attract new business opportunities.

Selling in the digital world is about educating and helpfully providing answers and solutions to people’s problems. If you do this, you’ll build a positive reputation (very attractive to potential leads!)

It also means when your ideal clients need what you have to offer, they’ll find you!

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