In part 1 of the series we looked at setting SMART goals and getting your LinkedIn profile right. In another article Mastering lead generation through social media I touched on 2 techniques which you can use with LinkedIn - Groups and using the iPad app to add unlimited prospects. So let’s explore some more lead generation strategies and tactics using LinkedIn. (You can also read Part 1 here)
The mindset of a winning LinkedIn member
When using LinkedIn we need to adopt the mindset of an educator, remembering that we want to be “the go to person” in our niche or local area. Being visible, helpful, polite and timely is imperative to success. We need to be discussion starters, opinionated (but able to listen to others too) and above all, knowledgeable on our chosen subject matter. It’s important to give out proper and correct information, even if it takes a little research before you “open your mouth”.
You could of course spend all day on LinkedIn trying to generate leads, which isn't the best idea! It should only be one tactic of many in your digital marketing toolkit. I like to assign 2 X 10 minutes blocks daily (10AM and 3PM as these are peak times for LinkedIn) to updates my status, browse around my groups to answer questions and prospect a couple of new connections.
How to grow your connections
Growing your connections is one of the main reasons we are using LinkedIn, and new connections can come from adding existing contacts, using People Search, participating in groups and adding group members, running adverts to your company page and so on. Anytime you're using LinkedIn don’t be afraid to click that add contact button if you think you could add value or nurture the prospect into a paying client.
Import existing contacts
If you’re just starting out on LinkedIn then you you should be adding all your current contacts as connections, even if your account is old like mine, its good to run the importer every now and again to see if anyone has joined up since last time. From the top navigation click Network > Add Connections.
Top Tip: If you want to import from a CSV file you need 2 columns, First Name, Last Name, Email, then using the same screen as above click on “Any Email” then a new hidden menu will appear with “More ways to connect”, one of the options on there is “Upload contacts file”.
Getting introductions from your connections
Of course you're using LinkedIn to get new connections, but adding your existing connections are a vital part, as they can now introduce you to their connections (known as 2nd and 3rd degree connections), this opens up a world of opportunities for prospecting. Two articles which will help you understand a little more getting introductions:
Requesting an Introduction - LinkedIn Offical Guide
Getting visibility for your LinkedIn Profile
Referencing a post from socialmediaexamier.com it takes “7 exposures of you before they really start to pay attention”. So getting visibility for your profile in the first place is obviously a huge deal.
Your profile must be 100% complete, so take a look back at Part 1 to ensure you have it just right, also this great post on “Why your LinkedIn profile is NOT showing up in people's searches” will give you some more detailed focus on getting your profile up to 100%.
Remember LinkedIn has its own search engine, so it needs to be fed by keywords that you put in your profile and company pages, without that you simply will not turn up on searches that people are making, right now, for your niche.
Timely status updates
Some people love to constantly regurgitate existing content and update their status every hour with the latest news story, well sorry - those people get unconnecting in my LinkedIn profile because I have my RSS feeds which give me that. You want to be providing content that is really helpful, unique and interesting to your connections, two to three times daily, max. It could be about a blog post you have just published, a new eBook you have read (and why it was good or bad), a post in a group you think is interesting, a public thank you to a prospect for becoming a client and so on.
LinkedIn Groups… in more detail
You can join up to 50 groups at a time on LinkedIn, but that would simply zap your time and energy. Look for groups that are healthy in numbers and contain prospects. I suggest joining 3 to 5, which means you can check one group daily at the very least.
Top Tip: Read 5 Ways to use LinkedIn groups to build influential connections, its another great article by the Social Media Examiner which covers off everything else you need to know about groups on LinkedIn.
Hopefully by now you have a great profile, have got into the mindset of a LinkedIn expert, started adding some contacts, updated your status daily and cracking on with joining in the conversation through groups.
In the next part of the series we will be looking at building the perfect company page.