LinkedIn marketing is one of the most effective B2B marketing channels for driving awareness, generating leads, and putting high value, qualified deals in the sales pipeline. The problem is, LinkedIn is loaded with features which can make it challenging to figure out where to begin, and how to fully leverage LinkedIn's platform to it's maximum potential. This article will empower you with 25 tips to fast track your way to success with LinkedIn.
1. Define Your Ideal Customer Profile and Buyer Personas
One of the key elements to be successful on LinkedIn and drive tons of sales is defining your buyer persona. This will dictate the content you share, the audiences you target, the groups you join, the people you message, and much more. Have dedicated time just to define who is that person you’re trying to help. Here are some ideas besides the basics of age, gender, location, etc. What are their interests? What do they desire and struggle with? Where is their attention? Where do they go when they’re looking for a solution? Do they know about your product/solution? Are they aware of their problem? Do they actively look for a solution?
Below is an example of an ICP we created which is later used in the LinkedIn account search:
2. Start Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Sales navigator is a must-use tool for all business owners who want to grow their sales and increase revenue. You have access to advanced filters when searching for leads, you can create saved searches with your customized criteria, you can search for specific companies, and people with specific job titles that can be potential clients. It’s especially helpful when doing account based marketing.
The ICP criteria we mentioned in the previous tip, gets entered into a LinkedIn account search to generate a list of companies that meet our defined criteria:
2. Start Doing LinkedIn Outreach!
Target 2nd level connections using LinkedIn sales navigator and start sending connection requests. When they accept, add them to Airtable or Google sheets to keep track of them and when they need to be followed up with next.
For 3rd degree connections that meet your ideal customer profile criteria, proceed to the next section to learn about how you can leverage LinkedIn InMails.
3. Check For Open InMails
3rd degree connections usually have a much lower acceptance rate compared to people who share a mutual connection. Furthermore, many people don’t check their connections requests very often. Therefore, you should take an extra step and see if they have an open profile for InMails. You can skip the connection request step and send them a message right away with an InMail, which also goes directly to their email.
Pro Tip: Since LinkedIn Sales Navigator only allows you to send up to 20 InMails per month, there is a workaround for premium members called open profile. With LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can send InMails to premium users who have "Open Profile" enabled in their account settings. The screenshot below shows how you can see if a user has an open profile or not.
5. Create Custom LinkedIn Lead Lists
This is a really useful strategy for outreach campaigns. Instead of just looking for people to reach out to, you should also follow their content on LinkedIn and engage with it in a meaningful way. Your prospects will be far more likely to notice you and respond to your messages if they see you engaging with their posts. by adding leads to lead lists in Sales Navigator, their content will come up in your Sales Navigator feed, which you can filter and engage with.
6. Expand Your Network
If you're doing outreach as we suggested, don’t limit yourself to connecting only with people you know personally. Make a habit of looking for new interesting profiles and contact them. Having said that, have a real reason to connect with them and try to build genuine relationships. The key is to make sure you only connect with 2nd level connections, meaning you share at least 1 mutual connection on LinkedIn. This will ensure you get a higher acceptance rate and don’t get banned on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn does a pretty awesome job of recommending leads that are likely to be a good fit based on your LinkedIn sales navigator search and LinkedIn activity.
7. Practice Your Messaging
Use the Buyer persona you created and craft messages specific to your audience. Those messages will relate much better with the people you reach with your LinkedIn content and you may even find it useful in sales conversations to reference content you shared on LinkedIn.
Here are some examples of buyer personas we've built for our customers:
As a data-driven LinkedIn agency, we really believe in A/B testing, so we do this as a standard practice to quickly flesh out the right messaging based on the buyer personas. We have our own system we use to do this, but it can also be done manually through a spreadsheet.
8. Don’t Forget To Follow Up
You’re the one offering something, be sure to follow up regularly. Don’t be spammy, but don’t be afraid to follow up regularly to see how you can help your prospects. People are busy and don’t always have time to take action right away. Some prospects actually appreciate a persistent, but polite follow up, which others prefer to reach back out if they are interested. Set the right expectations and ask for your prospects’ honest opinions to avoid wasting your time and theirs.
This is one of those things we don't recommend automating. At Intelus, we manually check each LinkedIn profile, learn more about the prospect and hyper-personalize each follow up to ensure the prospect knows they are talking to a real human, not a spam bot.
A few things you can look to personalize:
- Congratulate them on a recent award, aquisition, partnership, or change in their job role
- Compliment a recent LinkedIn post they shared
- Say what you liked best about a recent blog post they wrote, or podcast or webinar they attended
- Mention something about the prospect's geography or industry that you have in common
- Compliment them on a interesting testimonial or LinkedIn recommendation
- Ask a question that the prospect can't resist answering
9. Have Meetings On Your Terms
If a potential client sends you their Calendly link, instead of scheduling on their calendly, check their available times and schedule a meeting on your calendar. That way you're the one controlling the meeting. Otherwise, those types of prospects tend to feel like they should be the ones interviewing you and they can even mistake you as a prospect of theirs if you book on their Calendly.
10. Use LinkedIn Ads To Your Advantage
For years LinkedIn ads have had a bad reputation, regarding high cost and low conversion rates. Nowadays it's different. You can get amazing results by creating a well-thought sales funnel and driving qualified traffic to each stage.
LinkedIn lead forms makes it easier than ever to capture leads in the newsfeed without the prospect needing to leave LinkedIn or manually entering information since LinkedIn autopopulates the info from their LinkedIn profile.
If you're running outbound LinkedIn campaigns, and posting organic LinkedIn content, LinkedIn ads can help you boost the views on your posts to build awareness and show your ads to companies you are targeting with outbound sales efforts. LinkedIn awareness ads targeting the companies you are reaching out to can pre-warm your leads, making it easier to get a conversion from your outbound connection requests and InMails.
11. Use Retargeting Features
Costs will go down and conversions will go up with the right retargeting approach. Take advantage of the LinkedIn visitor tracking system and show ads to people who interact with your brand. Retarget followers, website visitors, people who interacted with your content, and see how conversions increase.
12. Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile can help you attract more profile views, get more inbound and outbound connections, and generate more leads. Think about your LinkedIn profile like a landing page. When people come to your profile, you want to grab their attention, provide some value and give them a call to action.
13. Have A Professional Looking Profile Picture
This seems too obvious. But to expand a bit more, ask a couple of co-workers to review your photo, then you’ll know if it’s a good one. Also, make sure your employees also have a professional photo. You’d be surprised at the number of people using wedding photos for their profile pics, which sends a different vibe altogether.
14. Design A Custom LinkedIn Banner
Besides asking your designer for a basic banner or doing it yourself, try to create custom banners for specific situations with a straightforward call to action. A new event your business is a sponsor of, new partnerships, or even that you’re hiring, get creative!
15. Create A Custom LinkedIn URL
You never know when someone is going to ask for your LinkedIn profile. Make sure that when it happens, you have a custom and professional-looking link. It’s crucial so when they google your name, you are more likely to show up on the top results.
16. Include All Your Experience and Education
Put relevant and “non-relevant” experience. If you graduated in 2010 but only have experience from 2015, what happened in those missing 5 years? Potential clients may wonder that. It’s very normal for people’s careers to evolve into totally new industries, so don’t be afraid to show experience from past industries and verticals. In fact, it can actually make you appear more well rounded and people will resonate with your story when they see the full picture of your journey.
17. Ask Your 1st Level Connections To Endorse Your Skills
Asking your connections to endorse your profile will show potential clients that people trust and validate your skills. As a founder/business owner, your image also makes part of the whole brand image.
18. Join and Participate In LinkedIn Groups
This is a great strategy if you want to know what your audience is interested in. Join those groups and actively participate in them, the insights you’ll get are amazing. Use all of that knowledge and apply it to your LinkedIn strategy.
19. Showcase Your Employees
Get your employees to also improve their personal profile by filling out the information we've mentioned in this article. It will give them more visibility, which will also give more visibility to your company. Give them a face and a name on your Company Page and see how your page looks much more professional and relatable.
20. Start Using Different LinkedIn Post Formats
Don’t settle for only one or two post formats you’re comfortable with. People love variety and different segments of your audience may respond differently to different formats. Try posting text only, text plus image, text plus video, polls, etc. Find a few formats that resonate well with your audience, but keep posting on all of them.
21. Create Content For Your Audience, Not Yourself
People can tell when someone creates content to satisfy themselves. Focus on giving value to them, not saying how great you are. Provide content that is useful and not overly promotional about your products and services. Using the buyer personas and tools like Google suggestions and Answer The Public, you can generate a plethora for engaging ideas that you already know your target audience should find useful.
22. Share Your Unique Insights
People can google industry statistics and basic information about your niche, instead, focus on sharing those things that only you know about your experiences. Those are 10x more valuable to your audience and position yourself as an authority in the industry. How do you think differently about a particular topic or industry? Don't be afraid to challenge the status quo and be bold with your thought leadership content.
23. Use LinkedIn Polls As Lead Magnets
Running LinkedIn polls allows you to ask questions and learn what goals and challenges your target audience has. A great benefit of this is also the ability to see exactly who answered and what their answer was. Doing so allows you to cherry pick potential prospects from the poll answers, reach out to connect and have a conversation to see if they’d be a good fit for your solutions.
24. Use LinkedIn Analytics Tools
At Intelus, we use Shield App to track our clients' content marketing metrics. This tool gives us a holistic view of how our client’s LinkedIn profile and content is performing. Within minutes, we can quickly filter down the quick content formats, topics, and hashtags resulting in the highest engagement and reach.
25. Combine All The Strategies!
The best part is that when you combine these strategies all together, results can potentially skyrocket. Use that buyer persona to niche-down and personalize all your communications, create valuable and actionable content for your audience, reach out to potential clients and build relationships, use LinkedIn ads to find new clients, increase your website’s traffic, and retarget leads. Once you start doing all of these things, and optimizing your processes, results will come.
If you need help with LinkedIn marketing or have any questions regarding these strategies, schedule a call with us.