Generation of leads through LinkedIn

What I find interesting is how underrated LinkedIn is. The most popular Facebook, Twitter, YouTube get all the hype and attention as this gold mine sits quietly and grows and grows. My guess is that because it’s a professional networking site, it doesn’t have the universal sex appeal of the others, but a savvy sales and marketing executive knows, or should know, the power of LinkedIn.

Generating more business is the job of everyone in a company, regardless of their position. Everyone should not only be a brand ambassador, but also a lead magnet. LinkedIn is essential for the B2B market and even for B2C companies. When you conjure up thoughts of vendors, strategic alliances, investors, allies, partners, employees, consultants, and prospects, START with LinkedIn.

Market research reveals that it’s the first place HR checks when looking for or vetting a candidate. Statistics reveal that the education and income levels of members is one of the highest of all social media properties, with the exception perhaps of specific practice sites for lawyers, accountants, and the like. Being successful isn’t just the result of hard work and intelligence, it often comes down to “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and LinkedIn will help you gain those valuable connections.

So what can LinkedIn do for you, and how can you start generating leads?

Before I dive into some of the suggested lead generation activities, spend some time with your profile and setup. Make sure your profile is complete, that you are incorporating keywords into your titles and descriptions, and most of all, make sure that you describe yourself in a way that clearly provides the value of getting to know you!

1. Grow your network: LinkedIn has tools that connect directly to Outlook and has the ability to search other email accounts to see who you already know on LinkedIn. If you don’t connect your email program, at least do a monthly new contact check in your database to see who’s on LinkedIn.

Tip: Every time you go to an event, take a small envelope with the date and name of the event. Put all the cards you collect in that envelope, and when you get back to your office, reach out to those people to connect and use a personalized message like “it was great meeting you yesterday at the EVENT, I’d love to get in touch.” and see how we can serve each other.”

2. Updates: there’s a feature much like Twitter and Facebook that allows you to post an update that will appear on your profile and in your connections’ network updates. Use it wisely.

3. Presentations: Give them, ask for them. The idea of ​​6 degrees of separation is evident on LinkedIn. If there’s a contact at a particular company you’re looking for, searching LinkedIn will reveal who you already know who knows who you want to meet. Presentations make a cold call a warm call and a faster way to close a sale.

4. Make yourself visible: LinkedIn provides updates to members with whom it is connected. Some people adjust their updates daily, some weekly, but the point is that the updates are delivered to your connection inbox and you need to find ways to get your name on those updates. Read on for some tips on how to accomplish this.

5. References: say thank you to someone (a supplier, partner, even a customer) for a job well done or simply recognizing a special talent or skill that made a positive impact. Most likely they match. And don’t be embarrassed to ask clients to write a recommendation, but be careful to only ask those who have actually worked with you and can speak of their professional brilliance.

6.Groups: Join groups that are relevant to your business and interests and where you can contribute in a meaningful way. Groups that your prospects participate in are a good place to start. Just like in real life, dating the right people is a solid step toward successful connections.

7. Books: LinkedIn provides the opportunity to mention what you are reading or have read with a short review about the book. I could write a lot about why this is an essential tool, but for now let me tell you that sharing this information is a very good idea.

8. Events: The events feature on LinkedIn allows you to explore what’s going on, and in some cases, people will actually make a note to attend. You may find out that the person you are trying to meet will be at an event in your area.

9. Share Slides: it has expanded not only to PowerPoint presentations, but now includes videos and other documents. This is a great way to showcase some of that industry-specific knowledge that no one knows you have.

10. Blogging: LinkedIn can automatically pull posts from your blog. If you want to grow your reader base, or just keep your contacts informed with the great stuff you provide through your blog, don’t forget to turn this feature on.

11. Twitter: yuck. Yes, LinkedIn will allow you to broadcast your tweets to your profile. I say yuck because I warn you that this can be annoying. I’m not a fan of this feature as I find it clutters up the page as most tweets are silly at best and often taken out of context and offer no real value. Everyone is different and it might work for you, but I would be careful here.

12. Saved Search: If you want to keep up with a company you’re interested in, do a search on that company and save it so any changes with people at that company are in your updates. Are they letting go of more people than they are hiring? Did anyone get a promotion? Did they hire someone you know?

The bottom line: LinkedIn is a professional networking platform where information is rich and powerful and there is an opportunity to break down barriers to entry. A lot of searches are done on LinkedIn and this is another opportunity to be found by the people you want to be found. Link your way to success!