So you're a LinkedIn user. You’ve populated your profile and joined groups. Maybe you've even started discussions and been answering some questions. Your primary goal is simple -- to use LinkedIn to stay connected with existing customers and generate new leads and customers.
Here’s a detailed, 7-step program to get you going. Each of the steps discussed below is designed to be very specific, so do your best to follow the plan.
7 Steps for Generating Leads With LinkedIn
Step #1: Commit that each Wednesday, you’ll connect with 5 current or former business associates. When you connect with people, you and your business jump to the top of their mind. When that happens, they may remember you when someone they know needs the product or service you provide. Connecting = Top of Mind = Leads.
Step #2: Over the course of the next 30 days, join 17 Groups. Why 17? Because it’s not 2 or 3, which is the number most people join. Your goal is to spread your visibility online, and the best way to do that is by joining many Groups, not just 2 or 3.
Step #3: Start a discussion in each new Group every day for 5 days after you join them. After doing it for 5 days, you’ll have made a few new friends in the group. If possible and appropriate, your discussion should include a link back to your website or a specific piece of content so people can download a whitepaper or sign up for your e-newsletter. When they download your whitepaper or sign up for your e-newsletter, you’ve captured their data so you can re-market to them in the future.
Step #4: Go to LinkedIn's Answers section, and answer 2 questions a week. The trick here isn’t to answer a ton of questions all at once. The trick is to answer 2 a week...consistently. Similar to your strategy for LinkedIn Groups, include links back to content when possible to help you generate leads. Also, keep in mind that turning Answers into leads is a long-term strategy. It may take 5 Answers to generate a lead, or it may take 25 or 50. The key is to stay at it consistently over the long haul.
Step #5: Create a DirectAd. The key here is to have a landing page on your website where you can sell something directly or collect people’s contact information when they sign up for something you’re offering, like free content. If you’ve already got a landing page on your site, go into the DirectAd function and create an ad for it. It’s surprisingly simple, and it might only take you about 30 minutes to an hour to write.
Step #6: Add applications on your Profile Page. If you’re interested in making your Profile Page as engaging as it can possibly be, then applications are the way to go. The ReadingList app by Amazon and the Wordpress application are two of the best and most popular. But don’t stop there -- take a look around and add your favorites.
Step #7: Rinse and repeat the above steps. The key to making LinkedIn work is consistency. Don’t believe anyone who tells you it’s easy or that you can get rich quick doing it. The secret is to be there regularly so you can build a following and an audience. Once that happens, you’ll generate a steady stream of inbound leads.
These 7 steps are designed to help you get started with LinkedIn lead generation. As you take a deeper dive into this platform, you’ll find hidden LinkedIn nooks and crannies that can help you improve your results. The key is to execute these fundamentals over and over again. As you do, your results will start to snowball, and that’s what it’s all about.