Generating Leads on LinkedIn (Really Easy)
As a new business, old business, or any business in between, it is imperative that you start integrating social media and LinkedIn, in particular, to generate leads and convert them into the long-term sales you need. There are many ways to do this, but we will review a few of the key steps you need to take to generate leads on LinkedIn and help move your business long.
1.Developing a social media strategy
If you are tired of cold calling, and your efforts are not paying off, maybe it is time to get a new social media strategy. Social media marketing is a great way for accountants and financial institutions to get a higher appointment rate and garner more profits.
Social media tools like Twitter, blogs, Facebook, but especially LinkedIn all provide faster and better opportunities to get in touch with potential clients, not to mention save your company money. With social media, you can recruit new accountants, monitor any industry trends like changes to tax laws, and keep in touch with your contacts.
Savvy professionals have already jumped on the chance to gain exposure for their firm, and if you want the same success, you have to do more than have a great looking website. You have to create great social media profiles too. Of course, you cannot just dive in without a strategy. Your marketing efforts need to come from a calculated strategy.
Developing a strategy
You will only get social media success if you develop a strategy. It can literally be any strategy, so long as you are consistent. What next?
- You need to know your target audience. Figure out who your target audience is. Figure out what message you want to get across from them and which social media platform you are going to use. Are you using social media profiles to connect with clients? Who are your target clients? Which industry experts do you want to learn from and connect with?
- You also need a campaign theme. A campaign theme can help you build integration and wide distribution including social media and mobile. This begins with knowing where your audience is. You want to be able to share content, ask questions, and follow industry experts. You want others to share your content, ask you questions, and follow you.
- You need to find a way to track ROI. There are many tools and professional groups out there which can do this for you, so that you can dedicate your time to something more important. These companies will make sure your content is driving traffic to your website. They will continually monitor how many users are converting to customers. If you are not capturing visitors, hire a company to help you change your call to action so that you do.
- Help your clients solve their problems. Do this with a blog. A professional blog will let you solve problems for your clients before they even ask. Combined with your thought leadership, you can set your firm apart from the competition.
2. Mastering Lead Generation
There are two things you’ll need to master if you want to be successful generating leads via social media: engagement, and calls to action.
- Engagement – Engaging your audience is of vital importance. If people stop engaging with you on a regular basis, it means they are no longer reading your posts. And if people are no longer reading your posts, it clearly doesn’t
matter how stimulating and original they are, you cease to exist to them. But, the importance of engagement doesn’t stop here. People in your target audience who are engaged with your brand and more likely to turn into actual buyers since they feel a more direct and personal connection with your business. And since these buyers have a more personal connection with your business, they are typically much more loyal.
- Calls to Action (CTA) – Sadly, many business owners do not value the importance of using strong CTA’s in their social media posts, and think they only belong in blog posts and articles. But the fact of the matter is that if you don’t use CTA’s, you’re not going to generate many leads. The most effective calls to action are short, sweet and to the point. Tell your audience exactly what you want them to do, without mincing words. Use as few words as you possibly can, without losing the clarity of the point you want to get across.
By focusing on effectively engaging your audience and using strong calls to action, your social media marketing campaign will generate a steady supply of quality leads for your company. Just remember one thing: Rome wasn’t built in a day. So unless you’re planning on running an advertising campaign to kickstart things right off the bat, don’t expect to start generating massive amounts of leads overnight. You will likely end up very disappointed if you do.
Of course, you need to get to know your target market on LinkedIn so consider the following demographics:
|DEMOGRAPHIC % OF ALL INTERNET USERS|
|High School or less||9|
|Less than $30,000 year||17|
|$30,000 – $40,999||21|
|$50,000 – $74,999||32|
Notice that a majority of users on LinkedIn have higher levels of education so use this when you start crafting material for your target audience.
What is trending for your target audience? All demographic groups are subject to trends, which is why when you are choosing how to most effectively reach your audience, you also need to be sending them messages that are both relevant and appealing. Typical things to consider are currently popular keywords in searches and tweets, broad emotions and trends, and popular forms of messaging (pictures or videos, inspirational messages versus humor, etc). This is where analytic software becomes valuable. Services like Followerwonk analyze Twitter posts from various demographic angles. Other approaches apply psychographics to assign ‘personalities’ to brands. You can use this approach to give your brand a personality too, which in turn helps you send messages that resonate with your target audience. You may find the brand personality wheel above helpful during this process.
3.Integrate Storytelling Into Your LinkedIn Profile
Research tells us that it is human nature to create stories for purchasing decisions. People prefer stories to cold, hard facts. Therefore, it is imperative to integrate storytelling into business to business (B2B) industry insiders on LinkedIn.
Businesses need to go to the imagination, to storytelling as a way to achieve better lead generation and LinkedIn marketing. As humans, there is an insatiable need for a story behind everything. People love vivid pictures, penetrating examples that can be taken to hear, even anecdotes that stay in memories. Nothing trumps that feeling of knowledge gained from a personal story because personal stories, in the end, make people feel connected, help people to relate.
One example of customer satisfaction from a company will have a stronger emotional impact on other potential customers than a static statistic declaring “89% of customers prefer our product over the competition”.
A single example, a single storyline makes things feel real—something that sterile, cold numbers cannot do.
That said, statistics give companies a broader understanding of how large groups of people behave, but the allure of a story cannot be overestimated.
Businesses need to base marketing decisions on real data, supplementing numbers with a story.
And where exactly does that story go? Your LinkedIn Profile is an excellent place.
- Find your story: B2B leaders can decide on which story to tell on LinkedIn by finding the one which shares something powerful with prospects, the one which draws them in. Choosing the right story is important. Why is one company better than another? Because they told a story about their roots, their efforts to grow, and that was more convincing of their work ethic and customer service than a few statistics about financial growth.
- Tell your story: B2B leaders who are writing can’t just put the first draft in the profiles. Instead, refine the stories to get the results you want. Keep stories alive through LinkedIn Publications.
Research in behavioral economics and psychology shows that actions, such as purchasing decisions, are guided by the inner primitive areas of the brain. Since this part cannot be consciously accessed, people typically do not always have answers to behaviors, so they compensate by writing their own versions. The prefrontal cortex paints a lovely picture to explain the things we don’t understand.
So, as a business, take advantage of this natural need for storytelling and integrate it into your LinkedIn profiles.
4. Use prospect profiles
Growing revenue means finding the best possible prospects, not just fishing for anything and everything. LinkedIn provides a great source of tools you can use to create prospect profiles. With specific profiles, you can create more targeted campaigns.
Growing revenue with lead generation does not mean selling to anyone who might be interested. Casting a wide net and hoping to catch as many prospects as possible is an insufficient use of limited resources. You must determine your best prospects by narrowing down prospects based on prospect profiles.
LinkedIn has 433 million registered users spanning over 200 countries. As such, it is an immeasurable source for lead generation. There are specific sections of LinkedIn that can help you further investigate those who meet prospect criteria.
Use LinkedIn to determine your prospect profile.
Include prospects within your specific industry, specific geographies, company sizes, with specific titles, or companies most likely to need what you have to offer. The more targeted your niche, the better. These demographics can cover the average salary or age range of buyers too.
If you run into problems, there are criteria questions you can ask yourself to narrow down prospects. Beyond the aforementioned demographics, you want to know the psychographic profile of the prospects, understanding their behaviors, values, and characteristics.
Knowing this helps you determine if a prospect is more interested in image, value, price, savings, convenience, relationships, etc… You need to know how to target a prospect, and you cannot do this without building a LinkedIn prospect profile.
Use LinkedIn Search tools.
This tool can help you find prospects who fit your target criteria. You can search for people within the aforementioned specifications, such as within a given industry, company, or with a specific title.
Now it is time to target. Making a profile to refine your prospects is not just so that you can understand them better or do less work. It is so that you can target them better and do your work better.
Consider it a cheat sheet for each prospect profile. You can identify the best methods for reaching different prospects. Small business owners in your industry, for example, might be reached by direct outreach, webinars, or email marketing. These are people you can find on LinkedIn, but once you found them you can get them on the phone, email them, or get them to attend a webinar. In essence, you create mini-campaigns while simultaneously balancing your budget and the tactics at your disposal.
Creating prospect profiles is a great investment. Using the predispositions of prospects enables you to balance your budget and your tactics, figuring out how best to target different prospects with effective marketing campaigns.
5. LinkedIn Profile Views: Why They Matter
Your LinkedIn profile should be there for a reason. That reason is to be viewed by the right people and connect you to the right opportunities.
LinkedIn profiles can connect you to great things if they are used correctly. Having a profile is not enough, the same way that having a book draft or a business idea is not enough. You need it to work for you, to be viewed by others, to connect you with the right opportunities.
Getting more profile views can help you others find you, and present to you the right opportunity.
How to get profile views
In order to get more profile views, you need to update your profile so that it has the latest information.
People who are seeking will use specific searches, specific keywords. When you use outdated terms and outdated content, you miss out on the opportunity to connect with the people who could be the most help. Current information connects you with the people you need to grow your network and get found when and where it counts. Success on LinkedIn is when preparation meets with opportunity. You cannot meet those opportunities if you are not prepared.
When you are pressed for time, do not fret. There are resources out there that can help you to update your profile, grow your network, and capitalize upon more opportunities.
Once you have the newest information, you need to do more than just post it. You need to engage with your feed so that it is visible to the people who matter the most to your career. Getting views for the sake of getting views is not going to beget growth or change.
Again, while this is a necessity in order for your LinkedIn Profile to work for you, it does not mean you have to be the one responsible. You can outsource this particular aspect of your social marketing strategy to professionals.
Overall, profile views do matter. Without higher views, you miss connections with the right opportunities. In order to make the most out of your profile and get the highest number of views, you need to update your profile to include the latest and greatest information. But don’t stop there. Actively engage your viewers to really seal the deal on the connection.
6. Finally, lead nurturing with LinkedIn
Lead nurturing is a simple concept: it embodies the process of building a relationship with prospects who might not be ready to buy your service. The ultimate goal of reaching and subsequently nurturing prospects is to “acquire” them, then drive them toward being a customer. You reach them first with increased awareness, building a brand, and shaping perception. Then you nurture them with improved lead quality, increased conversion, and better pipeline and revenue.
For prospects, 90% of their journey might be complete before you reach them. That said, marketing is responsible for keeping your message in front of your prospects throughout the sales cycle. When marketing you might conduct lead nurturing with automated email, but only 5% of website visitors will share an email address. Of those, only 20% will ever open automated emails and 99% of the people expressing interest in your services do not regularly receive emails you send anyway.
Therefore, using advanced nurturing means is imperative. You can use your LinkedIn account and other social media messages for your prospects based on their online behavior and business demographic.
So, start by defining the personas. You really need to understand who you are speaking to, to create a conversation which is relevant to them. With that, you can create relevant content for every stage of the funnel which really speaks to the target audience.
Then, segment the audience. This lets you personalize and customize the messages to your prospects. Marketing automation software is one effective tool that lets you create hundreds of segments.
Create content for each segment at every stage of the buying process. Content can welcome new customers or nurture cross-sells or upsells.
The measure, test, then optimize the nurturing programs. Examine which email subject lines, for example, are generating the highest open rates or which content is leading to better sales. Figure out how to deliver measurable returns on your investments.
Maintain an updated database. Accurate data is key. Industry and revenue data helps you improve your nurturing impacts, even as prospects change. 62% of companies do not have a clean and updated database. Do not become one of them.
Move the process beyond email. Email is great, but 80% of prospects who get an email will not open it. Use multi-channel programs and social media advertising. When you use LinkedIn, View profiles regularly, use endorsements, interact with posts by liking or sharing content, tag people when you share things, and re-connect using excuses like birthday or anniversary updates or even professional updates. Use all these tactics sparingly so you do not overwhelm prospects but remain a respectful distance.
Lead nurturing lets you build trust with prospects, and define how you can help them better. Keep their attention online without being overbearing, which can be hard given the endless array of online content.
Overall, if you begin to slowly but surely integrate these key steps and follow the requirements for each, you will have what it takes to take LinkedIn and make it a social media platform that helps your business improve lead generation and long-term customer acquisition. It is important not to get ahead of yourself and try to do it all at once. There are so many social media channels out there, and they each require different levels of nurturing which is why it is important for you to take things slowly. It is better to do things correctly for your company, even if it means more time required of you than it would be to do things poorly but rushed. It will take longer to undo the damage done as a result of a rushed job. When you work with LinkedIn and always look for new strategies, you can turn all of your leads into hot ones.