To get started with LinkedIn marketing, most individuals and businesses have 3 options: DIY, hire a freelancer, or hire a marketing agency. When I first started out on LinkedIn, I had little to no marketing budget, but I did have some free time I could invest to get the process started, so I opted for DIY.
The major downfall of DIY LinkedIn marketing that I personally encountered was the constant balancing act of juggling content creation, posting, outreach, engagement, and ads management with all of the other responsibilities I had as CEO.
That’s when I turned to LinkedIn marketing automation.
Well, that turned out to have many pitfalls as well, many of which I wrote about in my recent guest post on Zapier about the 8 tools you need to automate your LinkedIn marketing without losing the human touch.
In my long and winding journey of trial and error, I figured out the best way that most businesses and individuals can get started with LinkedIn marketing without spending a ton of time and money on trial and error, so let’s dig in.
First and foremost - Is LinkedIn marketing right for you in the first place?
Before you waste any time, let’s first talk about which industries and verticals LinkedIn is best suited for, and which ones are a waste of time for LinkedIn.
When it comes to B2B lead generation, LinkedIn is solely responsible for 80% or more of B2B leads generated. Needless to say, it’s the king of B2B social platforms.
LinkedIn is best suited for companies looking to generate B2B leads. That said, research still suggests that around 51% of companies acquired a B2C customer through LinkedIn as well.
The fastest and easiest way to see how active your target audience is on LinkedIn is to grab a free trial of LinkedIn sales navigator. From there, you can type in some details about your target audience such as the industry, company size, geography, and job titles of key decision-makers in the sales process.
Now let’s drill deeper into how active these people really are on LinkedIn. To do this, click add “posted in the past 30 days” to the spotlights filter to see how much of the audience is really active on the platform.
From there, you can make a pretty good judgment call about whether or not it makes sense to even test LinkedIn to see if it’s a viable platform for marketing your business.
How to decide between DIY LinkedIn marketing and hiring someone
If you have a budget of less than $500 per month, your best bet is probably to DIY and use some automation to save yourself as much time as possible in the process. It’s possible to find LinkedIn marketing services for less than $500 per month, but the quality tends to decline quite quickly. You get what you pay for!
If you’re going to DIY, make sure you don’t over automate or get in LinkedIn jail. Automation should be used very carefully with LinkedIn so you don’t end up falling into the category of a spammer, which has become quite common on LinkedIn.
I made this mistake starting out and learned to only automate the initial connection request and reporting/analytics. All of the follow-ups should be done manually so they are personalized, relevant, and timely.
Here are a few resources to help you if you decide to go with DIY LinkedIn marketing.
If you don’t want to do your own LinkedIn marketing, in the next section, you will learn how to find the right LinkedIn marketing partner.
How to find the right person to manage your LinkedIn marketing
When I first started outsourcing, I made a ton of costly mistakes like hiring unqualified candidates, dealing with people in challenging time zones, and failing to give proper requirements to workers.
Whether you are hiring in-house, outsourcing to freelancers, or hiring a marketing agency to handle your LinkedIn marketing, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Option 1: Hire a freelance LinkedIn marketer
There are lots of great freelance marketers out there, but if they aren’t specialized in LinkedIn marketing, you will end up paying them to deal with the learning curve due to unforeseen challenges. Trying to find an affordable, yet highly skilled LinkedIn marketing expert can be a challenge, but it is possible. You can try looking on sites like upwork, but you're probably going to end up spending $50+ per hour for a decent U.S based freelance LinkedIn consultant. You're other option is to hire overseas workers, but that comes with a whole other set of challenges like timezone differences, and language barriers.
Option 2: Hire an in-house LinkedIn marketing expert
Hiring someone in-house can be costly due to onboarding, training, and paying your employee benefits like paid time off, healthcare, etc. However, if your company is large enough, or if you're trying to orchestrate a full blown LinkedIn marketing strategy involving organic content marketing, outreach and paid ads, it might actually make sense to have an in-house LinkedIn marketer. But for most companies, LinkedIn marketing isn’t always something that requires a full-time employee to manage, so it usually doesn’t make economic sense to have 1 full-time employee dedicated to LinkedIn marketing.
Option 3: Hire a LinkedIn marketing firm like Intelus Agency
Intelus Agency has the process, the experience, and the resources to put your LinkedIn marketing on autopilot without costly onboarding or a learning curve of trial and error. We can get your campaign up and running within a couple of weeks and we don't require contracts.