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social media how toDoes LinkedIn bring you a steady stream of prospects?

Is your LinkedIn presence optimized?

Adjusting how you use LinkedIn changes the way prospects respond to you.

In this article you’ll discover six tactics to attract LinkedIn leads and show them how you can contribute to their success.

attract more linkedin leads

Discover six ways to attract leads on LinkedIn.

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#1: Improve Your Presence

If you treat your profile as a cover letter and resume, you’re missing a prime lead generation opportunity.

Brynne Tillman from Social Sales Link points out that prospects don’t care about what you’ve done—they want to know how you can help them. To convey your worth, find out what kind of value your prospects are looking for and optimize your LinkedIn profile to woo them.

brynne tillman linkedin summary

Tell your prospects about the solutions you provide.

Rather than listing personal accomplishments, use every part of your LinkedIn profile as a marketing tool to speak directly to your prospects and demonstrate that you have the solution they need.

#2: Create Influential Content

Eric Gruber, chief content officer for Get LinkedIn Help, says that content shared on LinkedIn is going unnoticed—even if it’s filled with great information.

His advice is to stop using LinkedIn Pulse as another place to post blog articles, and start creating content that positions you as a thought leader. When people view you as an expert, you get more attention.

As you plan your posts, think about what type of content other influencers provide. Most of them share content that takes a stance, discusses trends and changes in their industry. They make predictions and provide real examples and case studies.

The Allant Group tried this tactic with their article, Everything You Know About Digital Advertising Is About to Change. The article is about the rising technologies and emerging trends that will shape and change the industry. In a matter of 48 hours the post had more than 3,000 views and almost 200 likes.

mike lesisnki linkedin content article

Write content that establishes your expertise.

Choose your content topics carefully—make sure they fit well with your LinkedIn discussion groups and challenge traditional thinking. Try to get decision-makers to think twice about their own approaches. Intriguing content usually results in click-throughs to your blog for more information.

No matter which topics you choose, your posts should be op-ed style, not the “how to” or “top mistake” articles that are saturating LinkedIn right now.

As you create content to share in different groups, status updates, company pages and showcase pages, think about whether it actually supports your lead generation efforts.

Ask yourself whether you’re just giving prospects a reminder or providing relevant information and solutions they can’t find elsewhere. Does your content inspire prospects to take further action?

#3: Target Prospects

Take a good look at your connections. Many business owners and sales and marketing leaders have built their connections based on quantity, not quality. They end up with connections who are irrelevant to their business. Those are the people you want to avoid when targeting your messages.

linkedin connections

Work to connect with the most appropriate prospects for your business.

Rather than using a shotgun approach to pursue leads on LinkedIn, I suggest directly targeting the decision-makers who will most positively impact your business. Define who your primary and secondary prospects and influencers are, and then use hot-button topics to connect and engage with them.

#4: Build Community and Engagement

Remember, B2B buyers are looking for quick access to trusted experts and relevant content that helps them with their business issues. Build a community that gives them both and they’ll keep coming back.

The best LinkedIn communities have a sustainable plan. To create your own plan, define how your community is different from the hundreds of other groups like yours. Next, figure out how you’re going to draw attention to your LinkedIn group and communicate its value to your prospects.

With those pieces in place, determine what content you’ll share to hold your members’ interest and keep them engaged. Creating a group dynamic that encourages actual conversations entices more prospects to join, and even better, stick around.

#5: Integrate LinkedIn With Content Marketing

LinkedIn is not a stand-alone tool—it’s more effective when you combine it with content marketing.

adobe creative cloud content on linkedin

Adobe’s Creative Cloud content offers time saving tips for product users.

If you want to generate demand and increase leads and opportunities, you need to have value-added offers (like webinars and white papers) that attract decision-makers and a way to show them why they must download your free offer right this minute.

As you cross-promote your content, make sure you have a plan for how you’re going to develop and nurture those relationships both on and off LinkedIn to offer a cohesive experience.

#6: Nurture Relationships

Occasionally you’ll connect with people who have problems they need solved right now, and when they find out you have the solution, will take immediate action. But that’s not usually the case—most prospects won’t be ready to act that quickly.

Many of your prospects may not even realize they have a problem until you’ve presented the solution. These are the prospects you should nurture. Provide them with relevant content instead of pushing out product and service information.

mike lesisnki linkedin content article

Marketo offers free solutions to help them stay top of mind with their connections.

Your goal is to make leads want to talk to you about their options. Decide how you’re going to pique curiosity with your value-added content (i.e., case studies, white papers, videos, webcasts and third-party research that supports your claims). Next, plan out how you’ll move prospects into your pipeline and keep them engaged.

Wrapping Up

The number-one thing to remember on LinkedIn is to sell your value, not your accomplishments. Tell prospects how you can help them. Use your entire profile and all of LinkedIn’s tools to show how your value contributes to their success.

Carefully plan your LinkedIn content so it positions you as an influencer and encourages targeted leads to join your discussion groups. The community you nurture should be a place where prospects can engage with your content on a regular basis and network with peers in their industry.

What do you think? Have you tailored your LinkedIn efforts to your prospects? If not, do you have plans to change your LinkedIn approach? Share your comments below.

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  • Justin Fuller

    Great article! LinkedIn is a powerful tool … if it is done right.

  • Excellent article Kristina Jaramillo! I enjoyed reading your LinkedIn insights. Thanks for sharing.

  • Alain Belanger

    Great article and I will make sure to implement some of the tactics

  • Great information…now I must go log in to linkedin..LOL Thank you for all your great information

  • Anthony Barge

    thanks for the tips

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  • Kimberly A. Kline

    LinkedIn is definitely my “go to” social site for my business….and I love your suggestion to really focus on what you can do FOR your connections. Great reminder!

  • Kristina Jaramillo

    Hi Justin,
    Yes, LinkedIn is a powerful tool if you take a strategic approach. Unfortunately too many sales and marketing professionals are taking a tactical approach which is only leading to increased brand awareness and that’s about it.

  • Kristina Jaramillo

    Hi Mark,
    Thanks for liking my article. Which insight really hit you – and what changes are you going to make to how you’re approaching LinkedIn after reading my article?

  • Agree with your tactics. I have used #3 & #6 to successfully generate several quality leads for my company as well.

  • Francesco Vallecoccia

    Great Inspiration! Thinking about opening my blog and use Linkedin to share best posts and getting people to contact me for freelance jobs. Thanks!

  • Only managing a professional profile is not sufficient for marketers. Build-up new connection & interact with the targeted group of people is also important. The best way to interact with users is to join the community discussion & share there your marketing
    experiences.

  • An “expert” told me in the Fall of 2014 that if I diligently posted pertinent “tips” for one month for the written communication industry, I’d have more leads for new press release distribution clients than I could handle. I followed that advice and diligently posted “tips” from recognized sources 2x/business day for 2 months, with posting to both LinkedIn and Twitter. The end result? I’m still looking for those leads. So, I take it with a grain of salt when anyone boasts about how they were able to create incredible market success these days. I’m an optimist, but also a realist in this still very tough economy.

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  • Your comments about using a strategy rather than simply posting on a social network is valid, and we have a strategy of efficiently providing info about our press release distribution service once a potential client contacts me … via one of my posts. At the very beginning of this diligent “posting” campaign, I was advised to simply re-post recognized content rather than providing content about our pr distribution services.

    One digital “expert” told me one thing to do, and now as a different digital expert, you tell me something different. No wonder there’s so much confusion today with how to make the social media an effective tool for capturing new business leads. Bottom Line: Social Media is probably best used for simply socializing.

  • Matthew Burke

    These are all great tips, especially one and two. Quality content (especially the kind that targets particular people or audiences) is how you’ll break through to people. Too many companies post fluffy, light articles without real, tangible information, so coming across one with real value is always a relief.

  • Kristina,
    Nice article. You’re spot on. Relationships are key in business. Where I’ve found the most LinkeIn success is by:
    1) Identifying and seeking out influencers that will help me meet my goals, and that I can help as well.
    2) Start relationships by contributing meaningful insight and info to their contributions.
    3) Post both pertinent info and articles. For maximum effect, these should be both curated and original posts.
    4) Engage your contacts outside of LinkedIn, too. I’ve found Google+, Twitter and their own blogs work very well, but depending on the market, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are great candidates also.

    Your point 5 is essential. As a content marketing provider, I’ve seen first hand how leveraging content though LinkedIn can be the difference between success and failure for campaigns, especially in the B2B space.

    Thanks,

    Steve

  • lapierrejohnna

    just as Jamie answered I didnt even know that any body able to make $4455 in 1 month on the internet . read more……….

    =============>

  • Great article – spot on. Just shared with my network!

  • Kristina Jaramillo

    Hank – you have to remember that you have to have a strategy for different social media platforms. Now, I’m not telling you to post information about your services – I am telling you to post your own unique “publicity” related content. On LinkedIn where you can go directly to key decision makers, you dont want to be a resource. You want to be a thought leader.

  • Hello Kristina

    I don’t want to “beat to death a dead horse”, as my grandparents would say. However, there exist only very subtle differences between being a resource and being a thought leader. People who admire others as being a “thought leader” will typically wish to consider that same person for being a valuable “resource”, right?

    Everyone in business is basically in it for “What’s in it for me!”. Therefore their goal for being a recognized “thought leader” in a given area of expertise, is that those who recognize this person as a valid “thought leader” will next contact that person as a “source” for the goods / services they provide … within their area of expertise.

    Kristina, I share this above info after acquiring professional experience and expertise in both newspaper advertising and press release distribution. The distinction between the two is at best … subtle.

    With newspaper ads, the client wishes to be recognized as the “source” for a particular service or product, for which they also wish to be recognized as the “thought leader” for that particular service or product.

    Conversely, with press releases, the press release author wishes to be recognized as the “thought leader” for a particular area of expertise, leading to a recognized “source” for a particular service or product.

    Respectfully, both originators of the above means of communication (ad or press release) have the same goal in mind: to sell their service or product. What more can I say?

  • Kristina Jaramillo

    There is a subtle difference between between a thought leader for a particular area and a recognized source for a particular service of product. But there is a big difference between being known as a thought leader in the industry and a resource for information. On LinkedIn, when you can go directly to decision makers, you want to share your unique knowledge and expertise – not someone elses. All you’re showing me (a prospect) is that you can provide me with educational tips that can help me that someone else has offered. It doesn’t show me why I should recognize you as an expert in your industry and why I should use your services. Anyone that has you using the same content strategy on LinkedIn as you do on Twitter and Facebook does not understand B2B social media. If you’d like to discuss this further – and get a better understanding of how you should be approaching LinkedIn, email me at kristina@getlinkedinhelp.com and we can schedule a free LinkedIn strategy session.

  • Sophie Johannsen

    Very good tactics! I have to agree that Linkedin is a big advantage as a business development tool. This article is a must read. Tweeted this! 🙂

  • Jeremy He

    REAlly USEful to ME. Great.

  • Roger Moore, Jr.

    Kristina, This is a great article. However, I often wonder how I can apply your suggestions to my situation. I’m a Network Engineer. You stated, “Use your entire profile and all of LinkedIn’s tools to show how your value contributes to their success.” That is challenging in my realm because the work is classified. My potential clients can’t publicly state their specific needs and I can’t publicly say what I’ve specifically done in the past. Any suggestions?

  • Nora Flint

    These are some really great tips. Thank you @kristina_jaramillo:disqus for sharing.
    Have a nice day!