LinkedIn has been the #1 social media network for B2B lead generation for years. Engagement is twice what you see on other networks, and conversion is 3.5 times higher. Needless to say, that has attracted many sellers to LinkedIn. The volume of noise is higher than it has ever been.
Is that a reason to stop using LinkedIn? Absolutely not.
But it does mean you have to work harder to rise above the crowd. And it means you need to avoid the spammy techniques that everyone finds annoying.
What’s working now on LinkedIn?
Add Value, Build Trust
Buyers postpone talking to sellers for as long as possible. One reason is that they don’t want to be “sold.” They want to be in control. They worry that they will be manipulated into making a bad purchase decision or a bad deal.
You can address both of those issues on LinkedIn by building your reputation as someone who is deeply knowledgeable about the industry, the problems you solve, and the solutions you offer. You don’t have to go as far as being a thought leader – but make your experience visible and be generous about sharing your expertise. Let people see that it will be worth their time to have a conversation with you.
You also want to build trust. Show that you care about your customers, and you put their interests first.
This is who most sellers are in real life, but they don’t make it visible online. And online is where people are meeting you now.
Easy ways to do add value and build trust online include:
- Write your About and Experience sections as if you were talking to a customer (not to a recruiter). Talk about why you like to work with the type of customers you do, how gratifying you find it to solve their problems, and tell stories about what kind of results your customers achieve.
- Use your Featured section to provide in-depth information for people who want to learn more. You can link to case studies, intro videos, blogs (if you’ve written them), and presentations/slide decks.
- Share company posts with a comment that helps people appreciate why this matters. Cite data, say who should read the article or attend the event, and personalize for your market with industry buzzwords.
- Engage with customers, partners, and industry thought leaders. Always be kind, thoughtful, and encouraging.
Try LinkedIn’s Latest Features
LinkedIn introduces new capabilities almost every month. For example, you can add a 30-second video that plays in your headshot. There is a name pronunciation field that everyone who has a tricky name should be using. Messages can now include a photo, gif, voice recording, or video.
When you use these features, you stand out!
People will watch your video or listen to the recorded message because they haven’t seen that before. That gives them a chance to learn more about you.
Here are some features you can try:
- Record a 30-second video on your phone and upload to your headshot. Talk about how you help and who should contact you.
- Instead of sending an InMail to someone you have been trying to reach, take a quick video and put that in your LinkedIn message.
- Have you seen a bell on the right side of someone’s profile? Click on that bell and you will be notified when that person posts on LinkedIn. This is a great way to be one of the first to comment on a prospect’s news.
- Have you noticed hashtags on some people’s profiles? That’s a sign they have Creator Mode turned on. LinkedIn is giving people who post quality content on a regular basis more opportunities to promote their ideas. Try turning it on for yourself. (Go to Edit Profile, then scroll down to Resources. If you don’t see Creator Mode as an option, try posting more often for a couple weeks, then try again.)
Prepare Two Offers
People you meet on LinkedIn are earlier stage leads than those you get from Google Ads. Many of them are still learning about the problem and not yet ready to discuss a solution.
You want to have two offers you can make. The first is something educational that enables prospects to better understand their situation and helps move them down the path. This could be a briefing, video, webinar, or ebook. Ideally, this is something lightweight, no commitment, and easy to consume. (Yes, it’s ideal to have multiple options here depending on where they are in the buying process.)
Also have an offer for folks who have done their research and are now ready to have a buying conversation. Give them an incentive to talk with you.
How can you share those offers on LinkedIn?
- Use them in personal messages and InMails.
- Share links to download or register in your posts. Use the Documents option for PDFs and PPTs.
- Highlight educational materials in your Featured section.
- Put a photo or promo in your header graphic.
Put It All Together
A strong LinkedIn presence is one of the best investments you can make. Approach it strategically, and be reliable and consistent. When used correctly, LinkedIn will accelerate the growth of your business relationships, and ultimately generate significant new revenue for your business.
Use this LinkedIn for Business Development Checklist to make sure your LinkedIn presence is designed for successful lead generation.
For examples of sales executives with a strong LinkedIn presence, check out Excellent LinkedIn Profiles for Sales VPs and Chief Revenue Officers.