3 Ways to Generate Leads With LinkedIn Groups
Are you participating in LinkedIn groups?
LinkedIn groups are the easiest way to generate leads.
In this article, you’ll discover how to maximize LinkedIn group networking to highlight your value and find and connect with important prospects.
Why LinkedIn Groups?
Since it launched back in 2003, LinkedIn has undergone a remarkable transformation. What started as a basic “careers” website with 4500 users is now a global B2B lead generation and networking phenomenon with almost 300 million members.
LinkedIn is an indispensible social network when it comes to doing business online. It accounts for 64% of all corporate website traffic that comes via social media channels.
Think about that for a minute: 64% of ALL of the traffic coming to your corporate or business website via social media channels is coming from LinkedIn!
So how can you make the most of the fertile marketing ground that is LinkedIn? The fastest and easiest way is to join a few of LinkedIn’s 2.1 million professional groups.
When you join a LinkedIn group, you have the wide-open opportunity to find, engage and do business with your ideal prospects. You can offer your expertise to solve problems or create conversations that encourage others to do the same.
Use these three lead generation tips to make the most of your time on the world’s most powerful business-themed social network. The relationships you build within LinkedIn groups can be invaluable now and later.
#1: Use Search Filters to Find Leads
LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups. I suggest joining as many as you can for your particular niche or industry. A great perk of being in groups is that you can filter the membership list to find influencers and prospects based on different criteria.
After you’ve joined a group, go to its Members page. See that list of group members? You can run a filtered search and instantly create a list of ready-made prospects based on specific job titles, company names, physical locations or any other criteria you want to sort by.
Use your new list to put together an ongoing LinkedIn campaign to find and connect with influencers, prospects and customers.
#2: Personalize Every Invitation to Connect
Once you’ve built your list of ideal prospects inside a group, it’s time to engage!
One of the biggest mistakes I still see people making on LinkedIn is not taking the time to send a personalized invitation.
Relying on the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network” message isn’t just lazy and ineffective, it can get you blocked or flagged as a spammer which restricts your ability to send invites in the future.
An effective LinkedIn invitation is personalized and clear. Start out with a personal sentence or two, and then explain why you want to connect, how you found the person and the value you bring to the person as a connection.
Here’s what I like to do. When I find someone I want to connect with, I open his or her profile in a new tab and scan it for something personal to mention in my invitation. Where did they go to college? Where do they live? Do they have any hobbies or volunteer organizations or causes listed?
When I send an invitation, I love mentioning something not related to work. People aren’t expecting it, so my invite stands out because it’s different.
By asking someone about their hobbies, passions and interests outside of work, I’m building a relationship and context around something important to them. Not only does that help me continue to stand out, it paves the way for future messages.
#3: Reverse-Engineer Your Content
Another great way to generate leads via LinkedIn groups is by sharing valuable content that demonstrates your expertise and insight on a particular product or service.
A mistake some people make is joining groups, and then taking the spray-and-pray approach. Their interactions and contributions are only sales-related. A more effective approach is reverse engineering.
For example, let’s say you want to sell video marketing services to small business owners and you’ve joined several LinkedIn groups where they hang out. Instead of coming in with the hard sell, write and share a post on a topic of interest to them that highlights your expertise.
In this case, you could write an article explaining how video marketing helps small businesses create trust. Use a compelling title, cite case studies that illustrate your point and end with a call to action encouraging others to share links to their own video marketing clips in the comments—then share one of your own to get the ball rolling.
That type of post does two important things. First, it positions you as an expert on the topic—someone people will want to follow and pay attention to as a trusted resource.
Second, it drums up business. When a group member reads your post and sees your work, they may think, “This guy makes a good point and knows his stuff. Plus, I loved his example in the comments. I wonder what I can do to work with him?”
Another option is to start your post with an open-ended question: “Does your small business use video in its marketing efforts? Why or why not?”
Your post still shares the value mentioned above, but the approach is softer and may entice people to respond and engage with your direct question.
A third option is to look for opportunities to share your wisdom. When another member posts, respond with an insightful comment. This is an effective way to find and engage with people who are looking for the product, service or expertise you have to offer.
LinkedIn offers you a treasure trove of personal and professional information about your ideal prospects. Take advantage of it! Use it to personalize your connection and engagement with potential buyers.
Leverage your knowledge, approach and personality in all of your LinkedIn interactions. Remember, the only thing that truly separates you from everyone else who offers similar services or products is YOU!
What do you think? How are you using LinkedIn groups to generate leads? Do you have other tactics or advice to share? Leave us a comment below.
Social media consultant John Nemo is the author of LinkedIn Riches: How to leverage the world's largest professional network to enhance your brand, generate leads and increase revenue! Other posts by John Nemo »