Linkedin Lead Generation
I used to avoid Linkedin as a lead generating platform as soon as it became normal for users to connect with anyone–even if they didn’t know one another. Every decision maker I know (me included), was being bombarded with messages and InMails from strangers trying to sell their products or services. This ruined it for me as I stopped reading incoming messages and figured other decision makers were probably not paying as much attention to Linkedin as they used to. To add to this, the Linkedin ad tests I ran to generate leads had poor results.
Today, I know things have improved. There are different strategies and tactics that ‘Linkedin experts’ promote and use for lead generation–though most that I’ve tried have produced luke warm results. (If you’ve experienced tremendous success on Linkedin, I’d love to hear about it. Please let me know in the comments section below!)
There is, however, one easy tactic I occasionally use that works extremely well for me. Here is the cliff notes version.
The Simple Tactic
- Pay attention to businesses–the ones you’d love to work with–that you walk or drive by almost every day.
- Find the owner, decision maker, and/or marketing manager of the business on Linkedin.
- Conduct a cursory review of their website and SEO performance.
- Send them a short Linkedin message or InMail (using the ‘script’ described below) that mentions you always pass by their business.
- Wait for them to reply.
Sounds simple, right? It is!
When using this Linkedin tactic, I get near a 100% success rate connecting with cold leads who ask for more info.Click to tweet
Why has this tactic worked almost every time for me? First, I feel that by just passing their business every day, I somehow have built a connection with them. We aren’t complete strangers. Second, there are a couple of prerequisites that help improve our odds. They are:
- The business owners, decision makers, or managers have to use Linkedin and/or be part of an industry that uses Linkedin. If you want to talk with the owner of a fitness studio about your SEO and internet marketing services, but the owner doesn’t look active on Linkedin; well, it’s clear this tactic won’t work.
- Before sending a message, from my review of their website and SEO performance, I find something I can improve. I find or create a need that I know I have the solution to.
If I meet these requirements, I move forward with attempting to connect through Linkedin.
Take note, my success rate is based on the people I’ve contacted who read my message. Your target has to open your message. This is one reason I like using InMails over normal messages–you can tell if they’ve accepted your InMail.
The Process in More Detail
1. Pay Attention to Businesses Around You
As mentioned earlier, pay attention to the businesses you pass by on a daily basis and might want to work with in the future. When doing so, keep the following in mind:
- You’ll be reaching out to the owner or decision maker of the business through Linkedin, so pick companies in industries where executives or management will likely be on and use Linkedin. If you’re unsure, you can always check in the next step of the process.
- Choose businesses where the “boss” actively works on-site (at the location you walk or drive by) rather than targeting big brand chains and companies where the actual boss might work from the other side of the country.
- The possibilities are endless. I have had great success with real estate agencies, accounting firms, and law offices.
- If you notice new businesses opening shop, they are great targets for this prospecting method because new business owners are usually very receptive to meeting people ‘in the neighborhood.’
2. Find The Decision Maker On Linkedin
If you know the decision maker’s name, you can search directly for them. If you still don’t know who runs the show, search for the company on Linkedin. If they maintain an active Linkedin page, it’s likely that the decision maker’s profile is connected with their company page. Simply look through the profiles connected with the company, keep your eye out for the CEO, owner, founder, or other relevant position.
Once you’ve found the person, check out their profile. Learn more about them: read their bio, what are their interests, and what groups do they belong to. Also, view their job history, educational background, and see if you’re connected to the person through any of your connections. Here, you want to find any common grounds between you two, which you can use in your message to help establish a relationship (i.e. in addition to the ‘connection’ of passing by their business regularly).
3. Review The Company’s Website & SEO Performance
Think of this step as a cursory SEO audit of your lead’s website. Find things that can be improved or need to be fixed to increase their site’s SEO and conversions. This is the information you’ll use to segue from mentioning you pass by their location regularly to asking if they are interested in discussing how you can help them.
Here are some of the most common items I look for:
- Their website–do they need a new one?
- Keyword mapping–are they even using title tags and meta descriptions correctly?
- Content issues–any problems with keyword stuffing, duplicate content, or excessive internal linking with keyword stuffed anchor text?
- Faceted navigation (for e-commerce sites)–are they making any major mistakes that cause duplicate content and waste crawl budget?
4. Contact Them On Linkedin
Once you’ve found an area or two that you can help your lead with, it’s time to send them a Linkedin message or Linkedin InMail. If you’re not connected on Linkedin, you’ll need to pay for a subscription to send InMails. If you’re not connected, and you don’t have any common connections, don’t try to connect just to send them a message for free. Pay for the subscription to get a few InMail credits.
As I mentioned earlier, this tactic works only if your target opens your message. This is one reason I like using InMails over normal messages.
Here’s a general ‘script’ to start with and modify for your unique situation:
Good [morning/afternoon]! I hope you’re well. I [walk/drive] by your [office/store/firm/business] office daily on my way [to work/home from work]. I went online to learn more about your [office/store/firm/business] [and/but] noticed you [briefly mention the problem from step 3 and why it’s a problem].
I’m [your position] at [name of your company], and we manage the websites and online marketing for [the type of company your messaging, for example, “real estate agencies”] such as [name one or two of your noted clients in your lead’s industry]. [Do you have anyone in-house who can help you [optimize/fix/improve/etc.] [the problem from step 3]?
If you’re interested, I could drop by your [office/store/firm/business] to discuss how we can help. Have a great day!
5. Wait For A Reply
Now, cross your fingers and wait for their response. As I mentioned, if you meet the requirements above and if you follow the steps, you should have great success.
Here are some things to take note of:
- I don’t bother sending a follow-up InMail or Message, but do what you think is best. If they don’t reply right away, I don’t wait for them or expect them to. I continue looking for more business, and I recommend you do the same.
- This entire Linkedin process shouldn’t take so long that you feel like you’ve wasted time if you don’t get any replies. If it takes you a while to go through the steps above, don’t worry, you’ll get much faster.
After a half-dozen or so sent Linkedin messages, if you receive no responses, I’ll be surprised. I’ve tried to give you a ‘black-and-white’ email template to follow, but the truth is there are a lot of variables. So, the first thing I would do if you aren’t getting responses is to take a closer look at your email copy and tweak it as needed.
The Tactic In Action: A Recent Example
Here’s a screenshot of the Linkedin tactic in action, containing my original message and my target’s reply.
Well, there you have it. I’ve been having great success using this Linkedin lead generating technique, and I hope it works just as well for you. Let me know how things go in the comments section below.
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