LinkedIn is the largest social network for professionals, making it great for generating business leads. Benefits include having access to details like job titles and connections along with the ability to communicate on the site. To generate leads, you’ll need to decide on a target customer and whether you’ll run ads or send direct messages.
Once you generate leads from LinkedIn, you need a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to help build relationships. Zoho CRM is great because, in addition to helping you capture leads from your social interactions, you can manage contact details and communications throughout the sales cycle in one place. Check out Zoho’s social lead management tools today with a free trial.
Here are the five steps to generating LinkedIn leads.
1. Create a Customer Persona
Before you start looking on LinkedIn for new leads or prospects, create a customer persona of the typical customer who buys your product or service. This will save you time from hours of going through LinkedIn profiles of people who may not be ideal for what you have to offer. A customer persona keeps you focused on your target audience and saves you from wasting time. See our article on how to build a customer persona.
Here are a few considerations for building a customer persona.
Define Their Demographics & Psychographics
When building a customer persona, consider demographics like age range, education, and income. LinkedIn profiles include education and even information about where you received your education. It also includes job titles, which gives an indication of income. This information makes LinkedIn a great source for demographic data, which can be useful in building rapport.
Also, consider psychographics like values, attitudes, aspirations, and challenges. If your target audience tends to share or write articles on LinkedIn, makes comments and participate in forums and discussions, you can pick up on key psychographic information and use it to build rapport. Along with demographics, this helps build a complete picture of who your target customers are.
Consider Industry, Company & Organization Type
The next thing you want to consider when building a customer persona is the industry you’re operating in and the types of companies you’re targeting. There may be customary ways of interacting with customers in your or your customer’s industry. For instance, in the healthcare industry, there may be multiple people involved in a purchasing decision. Knowing this helps you find the right people on LinkedIn to connect with.
Identify Job Titles & Responsibilities
Knowing your target customer’s job titles helps you know which ones to look for on LinkedIn. If your target customer has a job title of marketing manager and people with this title are willing and have the authority to buy your product or service, you’ll want to target them or people with a similar title. You should also consider job responsibilities as titles don’t always tell the whole story. Job responsibilities also give you insight into what they do.
Research Their Pain Points & Their Goals
Learning your customers’ pain points and their goals will help you develop messaging to connect with them. If you can demonstrate that you understand their needs quickly, can solve their most pressing problems, or help them achieve their goals through your product, you’ll have a better chance at connecting with them on LinkedIn and in other environments where you’re prospecting or generating leads.
2. Determine Your LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategy
Once you’ve developed a customer persona, you need to decide on a lead generation strategy to use with LinkedIn. For instance, you may decide to run ads that prompt your prospects to contact you, or you may reach out to prospects one by one by sending direct messages.
Below are a few strategies for generating LinkedIn leads.
- Lead generation through ads: One way to generate leads on LinkedIn is through ads. You place ads on the platform about a topic relevant to your buyer and the problem you’re solving and use a lead magnet to collect their email and other contact information.
- Inbound lead generation: Here’s where you create a compelling LinkedIn profile and even take a leadership role relevant to your customer and offering like starting a LinkedIn group or contributing to LinkedIn’s blog, compelling your target audience to contact you.
- Outbound lead generation: With this strategy, you identify prospects on LinkedIn or software that extracts LinkedIn contacts and reach out to them on the platform or via email or phone with your pitch.
These are three major strategies for generating leads on LinkedIn. You may decide to use just one, or a combination of all three, but once you’ve identified the best strategy for your business, considering writing a strategy statement that customized for your business. This will help you stay focused on your plan to generate LinkedIn leads. Based on how it works for you, tweak it so that you get better performance.
3. Choose Your Lead Generation Tools
Once you have created your customer persona and decided on a LinkedIn lead generation strategy, you must decide on what tools you will use to generate and house your LinkedIn leads. LinkedIn has a number of built-in tools to help you generate leads. However, there are also other external options like Get Prospect, a lead generation tool that pulls data from LinkedIn. Once you’ve generated your leads, CRMs allow you to house, nurture, and track them.
Internal Lead Generation Features & Tools
LinkedIn has several tools and features within its platform. When considering tools and technology, start with LinkedIn and look at the tools and features available that can help you generate leads.
Here are a few tools and features you should consider to bring your strategy to life:
- LinkedIn profile: A complete, branded, and optimized LinkedIn profile can attract your target audience without outreach.
- InMail: LinkedIn’s free plan allows you to receive InMail, which is great if you have an inbound strategy or optimized profile that entices prospects to reach out to you on LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn posts: The free plan allows you to create posts which can entice prospects to reach out to you directly.
- LinkedIn articles: Creating articles on LinkedIn is a great way to establish leadership, authority, or to share knowledge about a topic relevant to your customer. Your articles can prompt prospects to reach out and connect with you.
- Groups: LinkedIn has groups around professional topics, fields, or industries you can create or join. Establishing yourself as a group leader can prompt prospects to reach out to you.
- LinkedIn ads: One way to generate leads on LinkedIn is through ads. You can create ads that entice people to learn more about your product or service and provide you with their contact information.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator: This tool allows you to connect with your target audience on LinkedIn by allowing you to reach out to prospects via InMail and to identify them with advanced lead and company search features.
- LinkedIn premium business: The premium business plan helps with lead generation by providing insights on people who have viewed your profile. It also allows you to reach out to prospects using InMail.
- LinkedIn Recruiter: For recruiters, this tool allows you to get leads for unfilled roles with advanced search features based on skills. It also allows you to connect your applicant tracking system to LinkedIn.
External Lead Generation Tools That Work With LinkedIn
There are a number of tools outside of LinkedIn that are helpful in generating leads and maintaining connections with them. For instance, CRMs can help capture leads with lead generation forms and help you nurture them with lead management tools. Other tools can help you build lists of leads based on LinkedIn contact information.
Below are a few tools outside of LinkedIn you may find helpful for lead generation:
- Zoho CRM: Zoho CRM is great for lead generation because of their web forms that allow you to capture contact information. You can use this feature along with LinkedIn ads to get leads into your pipeline.
- GetProspect: This is a tool that allows you to search a database and filter a wide variety of criteria like job title, geography and more to build a list of prospects that fit your target customer criteria.
- Mailchimp: Mailchimp has email features that allow you to communicate through email campaigns with prospects you get from LinkedIn. It also lets you create landing pages that you can use with LinkedIn ads to capture lead information.
4. Set Up Your LinkedIn Profile & Purchase Upgrades
After you’ve decided on your LinkedIn tools, it’s time to set up and optimize your profile and purchase any upgrades or other technology you’ve decided to use. Here, we’ll focus more on setting up and optimizing your profile as it’s the foundation to your presence on LinkedIn
Here are the steps and best practices for setting up your LinkedIn profile:
- Make sure your profile is complete: A complete profile can help your prospects find you and can give them a reason to stick around once they’re on your page. Make sure your content is engaging and speaks to your buyers’ needs.
- Add an eye-catching header to your profile: Adding a header to your profile gives it some personality or character. It also shows a higher level of professionalism.
- Add a professional photo to your profile: A professional headshot on your profile page makes it more personable and gives your prospects an idea of what you look like. A photo can make you more relatable.
- Get recommendations from customers in your network: Recommendations are great coming from current and past clients. This lets your prospects know who you’ve done business with and why your customers are happy with you.
- Make sure your profile includes keywords your prospects are searching for: A great way for your prospects to find you is through keywords. Research keywords your prospects are searching for when they’re looking for your product and include them in your profile.
5. Execute Your LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategy
Now it’s time to execute your LinkedIn lead generation strategy. While you’re implementing your strategy, stay focused on your customer persona. LinkedIn has more than 500 million members, and it can be tempting to generate a large number of leads. Narrow your focus on the right people for your product or service, and you will convert a lot more prospects into paying customers, which will save you time, energy, and money.
If you decide to implement a LinkedIn ad strategy, you’ll need to go through the process of setting up your ad campaign. Specifically, you’ll need to use your customer persona, which will include target job titles, education, interests, and so on. You’ll also need to select your campaign objectives, such as LinkedIn lead generation or website visits. Based on your target customer and your objective, you’ll need to select your ad type, like text-based ads or job ads.
One of the best ways to generate leads on LinkedIn is to have your ideal customer approach you after they’ve searched for the product or service you offer. This is the primary reason you want to optimize your LinkedIn profile so that it includes keywords your target market uses to search for offerings like yours. A well-optimized LinkedIn profile can generate a lot of leads from your ideal customers.
Messaging & Outreach
If you choose the messaging and outreach approach, start with your customer persona and spend your time contacting people in your target audience. This will save time as you’re focused on the right customers. When you’ve found your target customer, and you’ve done your homework, send them a thoughtful direct message with the goal of beginning a dialogue and not selling a product to them right away. Once you’ve built rapport, engage them outside of LinkedIn.
While executing your strategy, be sure you have a CRM to capture your leads and provides you with tools to nurture them until they become customers. Zoho CRM can help you capture your leads from LinkedIn with its web forms. It can also help you manage your leads and move them through your pipeline. Click here for more information on its lead tracking features.
How LinkedIn Lead Generation Works
LinkedIn lead generation works by first identifying your target customer, creating a lead generation strategy, choosing and setting up your tools and technology, and then executing your plan. It’s important to determine who your target customer is and then use LinkedIn tools to find them or make it easy for them to find you.
Generating LinkedIn leads works best when you remain focused on your target customer. Your target customer needs will dictate your messaging and how you decided to connect with them, whether it’s through an inbound or an outbound strategy. LinkedIn lead generation can take place on the platform or outside of it. Whichever way you choose, it’s important to have a CRM to capture and nurture your new leads.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is LinkedIn lead generation?
LinkedIn lead generation is where you identify and connect with prospects on LinkedIn who may be right for your product or service.
Why should I use LinkedIn for leads?
LinkedIn has more than 500 million members on its platform, making it a phenomenal place to find business-to-business (B2B) leads for your business.
Can I generate LinkedIn leads for free?
LinkedIn offers many free tools to help you generate leads like a free profile, the ability to write and post articles, and the ability to start and lead LinkedIn Groups.
How do I measure ROI?
Measuring return on interest (ROI) depends on your lead generation strategy. If you’re running ads, take the profit generated from the leads that came from your ads and divide it by the cost of your ads to get ROI. For direct outreach and organic search, you have to take profit generated and divide by costs. For direct outreach, you’ll have to establish the monetary value of your time.
LinkedIn is a terrific platform for generating leads for your business. It’s especially good for generating B2B leads as the purpose of the platform is on professional connections. Because it has job titles and other professional information, you can learn a lot about your prospects before reaching out that you can add to your outreach strategy.
Zoho CRM is a robust system you can use to capture your LinkedIn leads with their web forms. It also has lead management features you can use to nurture your leads throughout your sales cycle. Sign up for a free trial with Zoho to learn more about these features.