It goes without saying that before you put yourself 'out there' on LinkedIn, that you clean up and optimise your profile and you brush up on LinkedIn best practices and etiquette. Check out our helpful resources on both of these topics:
How to Create a Winning LinkedIn Profile in 10 Steps
LinkedIn Best Practices and Etiquette
A strong lead generation plan on LinkedIn should follow these four steps:
2. Making first contact
3. Building relationships
4. Taking the relationship to the next level
Step One: Prospecting
There are two ways to prospect on LinkedIn:
1. Your own independent search
2. Making it easier for them to find you.
There are two ways to initiate your own independent search: (i) the advanced search function; and (ii) through LinkedIn Groups. To make it easier for prospects to find you, check out our profile optimisation guide (add link).
Step 2: Making first contact
Once you have located potential contacts, you will first need to make initial contact with them. This process starts with a connection request (that you should ALWAYS tailor), introducing yourself and explaining why they should connect with you. The more thought you put into this initial step, the greater potential for success.
Step 3: Building relationships
Once a prospect has accepted your invitation to connect, you must then keep the momentum going. Keep the conversation flowing. If a prospect asks you to connect, send them a thank you and follow the same format as you would in Step 2. Why not share a useful article, blog, eBook, case study or other download?
Try to steer away from sending a sales pitch or sales material. They want to feel that their new relationship with you is mutually beneficial and not one sided. Trying to sell straight away is a proven way to kill a relationship in the beginning.
Step 4: Taking the relationship to the next level
This step involves taking the relationship offline. No relationship with a potential prospect should be kept solely on LinkedIn or on any online platform.
Be it through phone, skype, or an in-person meeting, if you have taken your relationship offline, you are ever closer to converting a prospect into a client.
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