How Marketers Can Turn LinkedIn into a Lead Generation Machine

If you want to know how to generate sales leads through LinkedIn, you’ve come to the right place. This article will prove to you that using LinkedIn for lead generation is highly effective and exactly how to do it.

But first, why LinkedIn? Let’s take a look at the facts. According to LinkedIn:
  • There are more than 610 million users worldwide on LinkedIn
  • 4 out of every 5 members drive business decisions
  • And, it’s rated the #1 platform for lead generation by marketers
LinkedIn lead generation is on the rise, especially for B2B businesses, precisely because it provides you with a high-quality audience you have direct access to and it’s a place that delivers results. In fact, a recent study supports this, showing that LinkedIn was rated the most effective social platform for B2B businesses.
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Now that we know why more and more businesses are using LinkedIn for lead generation, let’s talk about how to generate sales leads through LinkedIn. There are two primary approaches that are both repeatable and consistent we are going to detail today: the outreach campaign and the paid traffic campaign.
LinkedIn Lead Generation Through Outreach Campaigns
Simply put, an outreach campaign is an organic campaign where you carefully connect with targeted prospects and then build a relationship with them through LinkedIn messaging.

This route is best for you if you:

  • Sell to other businesses or to business professionals
  • Sell a high-ticket product or service that warrant a high-touch relationship, in most cases at least $2k but this works for $50K-$100K+ as well (definitely not for $50 widgets)

What Kind of Results Can You Expect?

Done right, you can build an outreach system that potentially brings you 10, 20, 30 quality appointments or more every single month, and when translated to revenue, that can mean hundreds of thousands added to your bottom line every year depending on your sales process and your offer.

For example, Dan Demers, a consultant, was struggling to create cash flow and get leads until he enrolled over $200k in client engagements using this approach.

Another example is Tom Swip from Swip Systems an IT and App Development Firm. Using this same approach he has generated over $900,000 and now experiences a new level of control and certainty in his business, something that referrals alone can’t provide.

Then there’s Aaron Agius, who went from unknown in the marketing industry to a go-to authority in the space. Since using these outreach campaigns he has seen 384% ROI.

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Now let’s talk about how you can use the same approach Dan, Tom, and Aaron did to grow your business as well.

For an in-depth look at what other high-growth businesses in the U.S. are doing to generate leads on LinkedIn, click here to access a recent study by LinkedSelling.

How to Implement Your Own Outreach Campaign On LinkedIn to Generate Leads

Here’s how to use LinkedIn for lead generation through outreach campaigns.

Step #1: Know Your Prospects

You need to know exactly who you want to target because you’ll be reaching out to people one on one. You don’t want to waste your time with people who don’t fit your ideal prospect profile.

You need to answer this question in detail: Who is your ideal client?

The answer to that lies in the intersection of these three factors:

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To find that sweet spot, you’ll want to look at both professional demographics and professional attributes. Professional demographics include things like job title, industry, company size, and company revenue.

Within LinkedIn you can search and find potential prospects based on these professional demographics.

To find professional attributes, you’ll want to go a bit deeper. The best way to find this is simply to talk with your prospective clients to find out certain things that motivate them to search for services like yours, including:

  • Their pain points and why they’re looking for your service.
  • What solutions they’ve looked into already
  • Who they report to and what are the deciding factors in making a purchase
  • What influences them and what do they value?

Step #2: Optimize Your LinkedIn Presence

Here you’ll want to use what you know about your prospects to optimize your profile and develop an easy system for sharing content.

To optimize your profile, take a look at some of the profiles of people you admire. They are professional, they talk directly to their prospects letting them know exactly how they’ve helped others like them, and they build trust and authority – even just in their headline.

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From there, you want to research content you can share (or create, if you want) that will interest your prospects. It’s easier if you create a backlog of content you can access or share frequently so you don’t have to search it out everyday. Tools like Feedly and Evernote are great for finding and collecting content you can use later. When judging content to share ask:
  • What are your actual prospects (or clients) sharing on social media?
  • What gets them excited to read about and share with others?
This will not only help you increase your visibility among your prospects, but they’ll start to see you as a valuable resource and you’ll begin to develop a certain level of trust with them.

Step #3: Your Messaging Campaign

Your messaging campaign begins with the connection. This is why you need to know exactly who your prospects are. Once you know that, you can easily use LinkedIn’s search functions to search prospects out by name, industry, company, or title and then connect with them.

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But, before you send a connection request, always click “Add a Note”:
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This increases your chances that your prospect will connect with you. Your note should be simple and say nothing about your services. Something like this:

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In the template above you can see that we are positioning the client as the founder of a community or group which we refer to as your Authority Leadership Platform.

From there, every few days you’ll send them a sequence of messages in a Multi-touch Messaging Campaign leading to a sales call with you (or your sales team). The important thing to remember is that you want to avoid being “salesy” at all costs. Your goal here is to develop trust by offering value before you try to get your prospect on a sales call. Here’s an example of what a messaging campaign looks like:

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LinkedIn Lead Generation Through Paid Traffic Campaigns

Paids ads takes all the work and momentum you’ve built up through organic campaigns and allows you to scale it.

This route is best for you if you:

  • Sell to other businesses or to business professionals
  • Are looking for a higher volume of quality leads each month
  • Have monthly revenue to reinvest in your business
  • Have a tested funnel that drives leads to a sales appointment or buying opportunity

What Kind of Results Can You Expect?

While it’s difficult to promise exact results because it really depends on how well your offer resonates with the people you’re targeting, as well as how much you invest in ad spend, the important thing to look at here is your ROI.

We at LinkedSelling, on average, generate 820 new leads and have campaigns that get between a 7-10x return. Here are other results we’ve seen with our clients through paid traffic campaigns:

  • A Training & Consulting Firm that helps Financial Advisors grow their business getting Webinar Opt-ins for $34.72…and booking appointments with 28.4% of their list
  • A Marketing Agency for IT companies who saw 44x return on ad spend for their event ticket sales.

How To Generate Sales Leads Through LinkedIn With Paid Traffic Campaigns

Step #1: Place LinkedIn Insights Tag On Your Site

Before you launch your LinkedIn ads campaign, we first recommend you place the LinkedIn Insights Tag on your website. This small snippet of code will allow you to utilize Conversion Tracking, create Matched Audiences (for retargeting), and look at your Website Demographics – which will allow you to refine your targeting based on the exact type of prospects who are visiting your site already.

To add the LinkedIn Insight Tag to your web pages, log into your Campaign Manager and follow these easy steps from LinkedIn here.

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Step #2: Determine Your Audience

In order to take advantage of LinkedIn’s new and improved targeting capabilities you’ll need to know your prospect’s professional demographics and interests. That’s because it’s not just about getting any leads – you want to get the right, quality leads for your business.

Currently, LinkedIn’s ad platform offers over 200 total professional interests you can target.

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Tips to Choose Your Ad Targeting Audience:
  • Keep your audiences segmented. For example, some people might want to target both CMO’s and CTO’s for their executive leadership training services – but this is a common mistake. These groups of people have very different interests and different factors that motivate them to take action. You’ll want to make sure that you take advantage of LinkedIn’s ability to target those interests by keeping your audiences segmented so you can put tailored ad copy in front of the right audience.
  • Determine the ideal size audience based on how you want to connect with them. We determine the audience size based on what kind of ad product we’re using. LinkedIn Sponsored Inmail is often ideal for a smaller size audience, while Sponsored Content works better with a larger audience.

Step #3: Choose Your Approach

From there, we follow three pillars of a successful LinkedIn Ads Campaign:
  • Pillar 1: The Report-To-Appointment (RTA) Funnel
  • Pillar 2: The Direct-to-Appointment (DTA) Funnel
  • Pillar 3: Dynamic Retargeting
Pillar #1: The RTA Funnel
This is an approach where you set up a lead magnet funnel that quickly converts opt-ins into sales appointments or high-leverage buying opportunities. This is useful when you want to shorten the sales pipeline and take advantage the leads you have coming in, especially because they are more qualified and typically come with a higher cost per click (CPC) than other platforms.

It’s a very simple funnel, streamlined to the bare necessities required to from your prospects from one step to the next. Here’s what the RTA funnel looks like:

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Here’s an ad we’ve set up for an RTA funnel:
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PIllar #2: The DTA Funnel
The approach in this second pillar is even more direct: your ad takes your prospects straight to a sales appointment/call with you or your sales team. With the higher-quality audience on LinkedIn, you’ll want to give them what they are looking for sooner.

Here’s what the DTA funnel looks like:

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The key here is that instead of “warming” your cold leads up with a report before you ask them to book an appointment, you need to warm them up with a video right in your ad. So compelling video content is essential here.

Here’s what our ad looks like:

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PRO TIP: Remember to call out your audience in the copy like we did here. (“IT Service Firms, MSPs and MSRPs”).
Pillar 3: Dynamic Retargeting
This approach takes advantage of the “low hanging fruit” where you retarget the people on your current email list or the people who have visited your website.

There are three ways we approach this:

1. Text Ads

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2. Dynamic Ads
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3. Sponsored Inmail
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We recommend you start with Sponsored Inmail, one of the best products on the LinkedIn Ads platform, especially for retargeting. We often see ad clicks for less than a dollar and are able to book appointments for pennies on the dollar.

For more information on our approach to using LinkedIn for lead generation via paid ad campaigns, check out the LinkedIn Ads Rocket Launch Playbook that goes into more detail for each of these ad pillars.

The Takeaway

More than anything, the biggest benefit in using LinkedIn for lead generation, whether you’re using organic outreach campaigns or paid traffic campaigns, is the quality of leads that we see. It’s not just the volume of leads you want, but the right leads. Leads that will become your best clients and actually help you grow your business.

Just like with any successful marketing campaign, in order to make the most out of the audience LinkedIn has built, you really need a system in place. One that builds momentum from your efforts, instead of one-off posts or messages that fizzle out.

To learn more about how to generate sales leads through LinkedIn and to find out which approach would work best for your business, download LinkedSelling’s 2019 Client Acquisition Report.

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