If you’ve ever had the responsibility of generating sales leads, you’ve probably been told that LinkedIn is a great way to connect with new prospects and create new sales opportunities. While this is definitely true, you probably also realized pretty quickly that it’s not quite that easy.
LinkedIn has over 562 million users across the globe. With an audience of that magnitude, it’s simply not enough to create a bunch of posts and randomly comment when you feel like it in the hopes that the right person will stumble upon it. If you want to have an impact, the fact is simple. You need to have a plan.
Building Your Business with LinkedIn: The Basics
Using sites like LinkedIn for marketing without a clear plan in mind can be extremely frustrating.
Putting ourselves out there and receiving little to no engagement or feedback starts to feel like a huge waste of time. While this might seem discouraging, with a little effort and intention, LinkedIn can be a great tool. Its whole purpose is ‘networking,’ after all.
Here are a few ways to make the most of what LinkedIn has to offer.
Get comfortable using it – First and foremost, complete your profile. This will boost your credibility when you start interacting with potential customers. Next, start exploring. LinkedIn is a vast, but welcoming digital landscape. There is plenty to discover. Look for your favorite companies, thought leaders, and influencers. Spend some time getting comfortable with how LinkedIn works.
Make some connections – Preferably, connections that are in your field. Connect and follow people within your industry. This can be anyone, from across the globe. Observe the way they interact on social media. Pay attention to who they’re talking to and what they’re talking about. Take notes.
Stay engaged – Start engaging in conversation in the places where potential customers hang out online. This can be on posts written by other people in your field, or within groups which cater to your niche. When engaging with people on social media, remember to aim for authentic and genuine conversations. In today’s society, people are turned off by an immediate sales pitch. Engaging with other users can be as simple as a “like.” Although seemingly insignificant, these subtle forms of interaction keep your name top of mind.
Reach out for guidance – Reach out to someone in your field who you feel has earned considerable success. If you lead with a compliment, more often than not, they’ll take a couple minutes out of their day to offer you some useful tips. Just make sure your question is specific and thought-out.
Be the expert – Market yourself and share information related to your niche regularly. Whether you write your own blog posts or share posts written by other people, you should be putting information out that would be useful to your current and future customers. In terms of lead generation, this builds credibility and gets people familiar with you. Should a problem arise that you have the ability to solve, they’ll be much more likely to remember and reach out to you.
Utilize LinkedIn marketing for qualified leads – Tools like LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator make it easy for you to find qualified leads, while LinkedIn Lead Generation ad’s bring customers to you.
No matter what, make sure you do the leg work first, starting at the top of this least. Leads without established credibility and authority aren’t likely to result in many closed deals.