Turning LinkedIn Into A Lead Generation Magnet

linkedin

linkedin-logoIt’s safe to say that LinkedIn is at once the least understood as well as the most powerful of all the social media platforms. Over 250 million members with average household incomes of $109K it is certainly the most affluent and influential.

Only about 2% of members are taking advantage of all that LinkedIn has to offer, and in this short post I’m going to show you how to elevate yourself into that top 2%.

What is it that most LinkedIn members are getting? This social media platform is a great place to connect with like minded professionals, for building a network for business promotion, for job hunting and finding candidates for hire. It’s also an excellent platform to run highly targeted advertising campaigns.

So what is it about LinkedIn that most members are simply not getting?  Most of us are simply not aware that it’s possible to generate highly qualified and targeted ‘organic’ leads straight to your inbox. The problem is that LinkedIn has so much ‘hidden functionality’ and quite a few ‘hidden tools’ that unless you really take some time to discover you’re probably missing out.

Let’s do something about that, shall we?

I’ve broken it down into three simple steps so that even the most time-stretched among us can take action:

    • Profile Optimization
    • Database Build
    • Build Your Own Group

Profile Optimization

Decide on a couple keywords where you want people to find you with LinkedIn search.
Example: inbound marketing dallas
From the screenshots below, notice that there are 5,588 results for a search on ‘inbound marketing dallas’, and yet my profile ranks #2.
linkedin-keywords
I’ve also included a screenshot of the resulting page when you click on a selection from the search window, showing the keywords highlighted in yellow.
linkedin-keyword-2
Personal results: within a couple days of optimizing for this keyword I saw a doubling of (1) profile views and (2) being presented in search results.
The most valuable piece of real estate on your LinkedIn profile is the Summary section. One highly recommended uses of this section is to start with a testimonial followed by a bulleted list of benefits that you offer in your line of work. In the limited space that LinkedIn provides it is best to provide a free piece of content or a free service in return for the visitors contact information.  Make the offer something of value to your target market that is available through an easy to remember domain such as SQoffer.info.
summary-linkedin

DataBase Build

LinkedIn will allow you to join up to 50 groups and up to 50 subgroups. You will have 1st level access to anyone in a group that you’re a member of.  Therefore the trick is to join groups that house as many contacts who are in your target market as possible.  This will enable these group members to show up in your advanced searches so that you can send them direct connection requests.
After having become a member of your 50 target market groups, use the ‘Advanced Search’ to pull up a list of your target market in your 2nd level. LinkedIn gives every profile 3000 connection requests, and with this search you will use up that allotment. You will also have about 3000 more highly targeted 1st level connections.

Build Your Own Group

Once you’ve built your database, you want to take advantage of the most powerful functionality of LinkedIn, that of Groups.  Start a group that will generate valuable discussions for your target audience. Because you’ve already built up your database with your target market, you will have very little trouble getting your target audience to join the group (you will be able to directly email your 1st level connections to invite them to the group). By starting value-added discussions (not self-promotion) in the group you will remain top-of-mind and be elevated to thought leader status with the members of the group, becoming the go-to person for your product or service.

Steve Chenoweth is the founder and CEO of SQmedia, an inbound marketing and innovation agency. He is also the host of The Steve Chenoweth Show, a seven day per week podcast featuring interviews with influential business leaders on the topic of thought leadership in marketing.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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