Like many of you, I’m using LinkedIn to connect with work friends and colleagues. But I’ve been intrigued by how LinkedIn has quietly developed into a useful lead generation tool for marketers and sales people to build relationships with potential customers.
I’ve discovered that it’s a pretty simple process if you’re willing to invest the time to freely share your expertise and thought leadership with others.
Here are 5 ways you can generate leads via LinkedIn:
Step #1 – Create a polished and personally branded profile on LinkedIn. Start connecting to your current and past contacts – focus on connecting with contacts where trust already exists.
Step #2 – Join LinkedIn groups where your clients/customers gather and participate.
Step #3 – Post relevant content on groups. Start building your credibility in the group by sharing relevant content. This can include things like relevant blog posts, links to articles you have written, articles that quote you and event notices for webinars etc. Be sensitive to the dynamics of your group and don’t dominate the conversation!
Step #4 – Answer questions posted on LinkedIn. Answer questions that are relevant to your expertise or something you're passionate about. Group members often post questions on LinkedIn. Answer them and demonstrate your expertise and add value to the conversation. You can also visit LinkedIn Answers.
Step #5 – Create your own LinkedIn group and share relevant content. Starting your own group gives you control over its content and reach. You can choose to open the group only to people you know or if appropriate, and you have the time, you can open it up to a larger audience. The goal is to engage your audience and leverage your thought leadership to make a difference with members of your group.
Here are a few other resources that have helpful tips on using LinkedIn for lead generation.
Ford Harding’s blog: Leads from LinkedIn
Hubspot blog: LinkedIn's Little Secret: It's a Great Lead-Gen Tool
What have your experiences been with LinkedIn for lead generation? Which LinkedIn Groups do you find the most useful as a B2B Sales person or Marketer and why?