Even though LinkedIn has less monthly visitors than social media giants like Facebook, it is emerging as one of the most powerful online tools for professional networking and lead generation.
How? LinkedIn is built for a special segment of the social world: professional development and connections. This specialization on the part of LinkedIn has led to a few notable features that are perfect for lead generation:
- Company pages for showcasing the benefits of your services
- Article posting and sharing for entering the conversation surrounding the problems you exist to solve
- Personal profiles for researching specific prospects and better defining your target audience
- Personal messaging and connections/introductions via other LinkedIn users
LinkedIn generates more leads for companies than Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. When used properly, it can be an incredible boon for your business.
So, that leaves one critical question: how to use LinkedIn for sales?
1. Research your leads
Explore your lead’s profile to learn their title, experience, area of expertise, and connections you share. Using LinkedIn to learn more about your leads is a quick and easy way to tell if some of them are qualified or unqualified. Others will take more digging, but the information you gain from LinkedIn will tell you what to look into further.
2. Keep an up-to-date company profile
Treat your LinkedIn profile with the same respect you give your website: keep it up-to-date and informative. Have your team devote some time to the following sections:
- Overview (about the company)
- Life (company culture)
- Showcase pages (a way to feature different services/target different audiences)
- Visuals (add at least one)
3. Post original articles or ads
Remember the leads out there who have a problem but haven’t yet diagnosed a solution? Be a part of that process by posting original articles on LinkedIn.
Showcase your knowledge and establish your company as a resource in your industry. This is especially powerful if you serve a niche market or have a unique approach.
Ads are another option — whether that means promoting your website, a specific service offering, or even a particularly compelling piece of content.
LinkedIn ads typically come in two forms — Sponsored Content (left) and Text Ads (right)
4. Follow up with leads via messaging
Use LinkedIn to send follow-up messages to referrals and leads you meet at community gatherings and networking events. Direct them to an article or other resource you feel would be of service to them, and invite them to ask you questions.
5. Use LinkedIn Search
Discover potential leads by browsing your clients’ connections. Filter search options according to your buyer personas’ industries, title, and location to find nearby prospects.
Keep Your Sales Pipeline Full
These are just a few of the ways that you can use LinkedIn to start generating more business for your company. If you want to know other ways you can improve your lead generation abilities, download our free checklist Proven Tactics For Filling Your Sales Pipeline, which outlines four strategies for maintaining a healthy funnel.