How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Leads

Forget six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon. The odds of most small-business owners selling anything to the Golden Globe-winning actor are astronomical.

However, in the context of professional networking on LinkedIn, the six-degrees concept can help you boost your bottom line by connecting you with people you can convert into paying customers.

Try these seven ways to generate leads on LinkedIn:

1. Link up. It’s perfectly polite to peruse your connections’ connections on LinkedIn. Make a list of the people in your extended network you would like to meet and then ask your close colleagues to make introductions. Include a blurb about yourself that your contacts can cut and paste into an email to make the process easier for them.

2. Participate in discussions. Insert yourself into relevant conversations taking place on LinkedIn at any given time. Look for opportunities to provide useful advice and do so. This will help you position yourself as an expert on certain topics and encourage readers to pay for your counsel in the future.

3. Google your way in. Conduct a Google search for “LinkedIn” with other specific terms to find prospects for cold calls. For example, searching for “LinkedIn chiropractors Los Angeles” will return pages of people in that target market.

4. Flatter people. Flattery will get you just about anywhere in this world, and LinkedIn is no exception. Identify good prospects and something relevant and kind to compliment them about. For example, you might say something like “I really like the look-and-feel of your website” or “That was an insightful blog post” and then suggest ways you might work together. This might sound trite, but it’s a more effective strategy than you may think.

5. Ping back profilers. LinkedIn shows you who has viewed your profile in the past 90 days. Some of the profiles are public in the free version of LinkedIn. A complete listing of those who have checked out your profile is available in the premium version of LinkedIn. These people probably didn’t look at your profile randomly. Contact them and say something like, “I noticed you recently viewed my LinkedIn profile. Is there some way I may be of assistance?”

6. Use advanced filtering. LinkedIn’s premium accounts let you search for people by name, job function, company name, and company size. Take advantage of this feature to build a customized prospecting list tailored to your needs.

7. Promote your digital content. Share information you’ve published on your company’s blog or elsewhere by posting it on LinkedIn. Solicit feedback to engage interested parties and build relationships with potential customers.

About Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke is an award-winning writer and editor who has written about business, technology, and marketing for Oracle, Symantec, VERITAS, and HubSpot and about food, travel, and lifestyle for Robb Report, Atlantic Monthly, Taste for Life, and the San Jose Mercury News. Follow him @HologramPublish.
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4 comments
NathanBrook3
NathanBrook3

Thanks for writing this. I really feel as though I know so much more about this than I did before. Your blog really brought some things to light that I never would have thought about before reading it.

akasha968
akasha968

Thanks for sharing these useful tips for linkedin in lead generation. It is mainly used for professional networking. As a registered user on LinkedIn, one can creates a profile with details about their education, work experience and competencies.

Sanaya653
Sanaya653

Thanks for the podcast; it wasn't your most riveting show, but useful nonetheless. I was surprised there was no discussion about using video. Is that because video isn't especially effective on LinkedIn?

I have a question about the note about 500+ followers. My husband is in that category and recently received a note from LI that he was a "super" user essentially. So I'm confused now about benefits/disadvantages for high numbers of followers.

ResultBaba

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  1. [...] How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Leads: “In the context of professional networking on LinkedIn, the six-degrees concept can help you boost your bottom line by connecting you with people you can convert into paying customers,” writes Dave Clarke on the Intuit blog. He goes into detail as he offers seven ways to use LinkedIn for this purpose. [...]

  2. [...] How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Leads: “In the context of professional networking on LinkedIn, the six-degrees concept can help you boost your bottom line by connecting you with people you can convert into paying customers,” writes Dave Clarke on the Intuit blog. He goes into detail as he offers seven ways to use LinkedIn for this purpose. [...]

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