How To Use LinkedIn Strategies To Generate Leads For Your Sales Funnel
True funnel-hackers understand the ever-changing social landscape; for example, have you considered LinkedIn as part of your funnel strategy?
If you haven’t already tapped into LinkedIn as a potential resource for new leads, it’s time to understand why connecting directly to professionals has the potential to transform your next sales funnel.
In the marketing world, it’s tempting to want to be a lone wolf.
After all, who else can we stand to trust with our wealth of knowledge, hours of research and hard work? Why should we put our blood, sweat, and tears in the hands of someone else?
By forging our paths alone, we ultimately hold ourselves responsible for our successes and failures.
However, truly skilled funnel-hackers understand how networking can ultimately build your business and allow you reach new heights you could never imagine by flying solo. How so?
- The more you network, you more you inspire potential leads to come to you rather than having to dig constantly for them yourself
- Networking isn’t a numbers game: by calculating who you reach out to and having a smart strategy in place, you’re much more likely to build legitimate leads versus junk traffic
- While sales funnels have a life cycle, you should never stop selling: even after your funnel enters autopilot mode, you should constantly consider new ways to bring users in
What if there was a place where you could connect to high-authority influencers and hungry leads directly?
What if there was a site where you could get more mileage out of your content and drive a laser-targeted user-base into your sales funnel?
Enter the world of LinkedIn.
Representing the social network for B2B professionals, more and more funnel-builders are discovering the untapped potential of one of the fastest growing marketing platforms currently in existence.
With over 433 million active professionals, LinkedIn is a potential hotbed for new leads and funnel activity.
But why? Consider the two factors that separate LinkedIn from the rest of the social sphere:
You Have Direct Access to Higher-Ups – Nearly half of LinkedIn’s user-base represent professionals in upper management positions.
In other words, you have direct access to head honchos with cash on hand to spend on your product.
LinkedIn is a Qualified Lead Machine – LinkedIn is all about doing business, from networking and employment opportunities to industry-specific content.
With perhaps a bit less focus on the “social” aspect of social media, LinkedIn generates more qualified B2B leads versus its competitors such as Facebook or Twitter, whose user may be more focused on reality television versus transforming their business.
As 80% of B2B marketers want to bump up their LinkedIn presence, funnel-hackers getting in on the ground floor have nowhere to go but up.
Since LinkedIn is a relatively young and rapidly-changing platform, you’re going to need a strategy in place to get your funnel in front of qualified leads and pitch your products to hungry buyers.
So, where do you start?
Getting in Front of the Right People
Trying to find the direct contact information for any given business owner can be a grind, especially when it comes to outreach.
Considering that the average office worker receives over 100 emails per day, imagine how bogged down the average VP or CEO is with cold emails from prospects with little or nothing to offer.
Thankfully, LinkedIn allows you to break through the noise and get directly into the inboxes of the influencers who matter.
Connecting with big players in your space breaks down barriers as your communication with them becomes more akin to a personal message versus a cold email.
Of course, this means that your competition also has the potential to get reach out to the same people; therefore, the name of the game is setting you and your pitch apart, meanwhile knowing exactly who to reach out to versus blasting messages at random.
The Perfect Prospects
The first step of effective LinkedIn outreach is identifying prospects.
Again, you may have a few influencers in mind based on your current online presence; however, consider finding new blood to bring into your funnel.
Granted you’ve done ample competitive analysis, this should be relatively straightforward.
LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature allows you get incredibly specific regarding finding users in your space.
By allowing you to search by both keywords and job titles, you can hone in one exactly the sort of professionals you’re looking for.
For example, if you’re working in the big data niche, you can search directly for professionals with “Hadoop” or “data scientist” in their title.
You can utilize various filters to get your search even more specific.
By filtering by location, for example, you can pick out local prospects. LinkedIn’s connections also run off of a “degrees of separation” system where you can see how your current connections may link to bigger influencers.
By leveraging those relationships, you may find yourself one step closer to being in the inbox of a CEO.
LinkedIn also boasts groups which are a breeding ground for intelligent discussions and networking related to your niche.
Through groups, you can discover the content that those within your space are talking about and how you can leverage your own (which we’ll discuss later on).
Once you’ve compiled your list of prospects, what happens next?
The Perfect Pitch
Having the proper pitch in your back pocket can make or break your outreach efforts; therefore, you should do everything you can to make it count the first time.
Personalize Your Pitch – Whenever you send a connection request to a prospect, LinkedIn enters a generic message which you absolutely must personalize if you hope to be seen as anything other than spam.
Connections have the option to claim that they don’t know you, and if this happens excessively, you may lose your ability to cold-connect altogether.
In short, your connection invitation isn’t the time or place to put on the “salesman” vibe.
Follow Up – Once you’ve connected with an influencer, make sure to follow up either with a quick “thank you” or give them a shout on another social platform such as Twitter.
Remember: the more positive engagements you have with users, the more likely are they are to remember you and respond accordingly.
Saying “thanks” doesn’t have to be rocket science: simply be sincere.
Demonstrate Your Value – Finally, you have the opportunity to let your existing research and content shine, ultimately doing the hard work for you.
By sharing content in LinkedIn groups or providing insight directly to influencers without any sort of financial motive or call to action, you again seem like a legitimate resource versus just another spammer pushing their product.
Think of LinkedIn as a “slow burn” strategy. It takes the time to build relationships; however, the more carefully you craft your pitches and fine-tune your message, the more eyes on your funnel.
Get More Mileage Out of Your Content
LinkedIn allows you both republish and repurpose your existing content on their platform, which is a great way to get your funnel some much-needed attention.
By consistently republishing your content on LinkedIn, you get the most out of your content creation efforts and become viewed as a valuable resource by others within your niche.
Specifically, the best practices of LinkedIn content include the following:
- Relatively short titles for your posts (Between 40 and 49 characters)
- Image-heavy posts, with eight images being “”
- Broken up by headers and subheaders
- Emphasis on longer content (approximately 2000 words) versus shorter pieces
- Relatively simple and straightforward regarding readability rather than focusing on industry jargon and high-level language
The more content you put out, including first-hand research, statistics, and commentary, the more you look like an influencer yourself.
However, you should still focus on quality versus quantity: in other words, put only your best pieces out there.
Likewise, some have expressed concerns of duplicate content penalties from posting articles on LinkedIn; however, conventional wisdom says that it’s not a problem.
If you are concerned about such a penalty, you could also rewrite or tailor the content accordingly to be more in line with LinkedIn’s standards.
Over time, you can establish your own following of users in your niche who are hungry for what you have to say.
How Are You Using LinkedIn?
Treading carefully is the name of the game when it comes to LinkedIn.
While it’s natural to want to blast invitations and content, LinkedIn’s professional user base is incredibly spam-savvy.
Therefore, don’t treat the platform as you would Facebook or Twitter.
By taking advantage of LinkedIn’s professional users, you have the potential to grow your brand and exposure for your funnel to the people who arguably matter the most.
If you want to be taken seriously and find new prospects and JVs, there’s perhaps no better place on the web to find them.
So, how are you using LinkedIn these days and what has your experience been like as a funnel-hacker?