Five Simple Tips for Generating Leads with LinkedIn

Is your business model B2B?  If so, then LinkedIn is quite likely the most important social media tool available to you.  While Facebook may be the online party, think of LinkedIn more like an online trade show.  You are given a virtual “booth” where you are allowed to create your presence as simple or elaborate as you desire.  Once you’ve set up your “booth” i.e. “profile”, then it’s a matter of figuring out how to get people to come to your table and hang out for a while.  At a trade show, the booths that are fully decorated and have the best give-away items typically gather the most attention and attract not only visitors but also repeat visitors.  You can use the same strategy to attract the decision-makers in today’s business world to you through LinkedIn.

Managing social media accounts for many small to medium sized businesses allows us to see first-hand some of the mistakes that business owners and entrepreneurs make with their LinkedIn accounts.  For most, LinkedIn is often a mystery with users being unsure of how to fully leverage the LinkedIn platform.

Here are a few tips for running a successful B2B LinkedIn campaign…linkedin tips

Make sure you upload your photo.  It is surprising how many users fail to upload their picture to their LinkedIn profile.  Doing this is probably the fastest way to get ignored.  People like to do business with people and they expect to see your personal photo on your profile.  Omitting it or using your company logo instead of your personal head shot will cause you to lose some credibility and potential business.

Complete your profile.  This will take some time and attention to detail, but it’s a must- for a couple of reasons.  First, anyone interested in doing business with you will want to see a full profile and could change their mind if yours is incomplete.  But perhaps more importantly, anyone searching for a business or specialty in your industry will have a more difficult time finding you if your profile is not complete.  This isn’t the time to take shortcuts.  Rather, invest the time to build a complete and comprehensive profile.

Find the right groups.  The key here is to search for groups where the members are within your target demographic.  For instance, if your industry is commercial real estate, you might consider joining groups consisting of business owners who tend to need office space.  If you are a commercial plumber, then joining groups with restaurant owners could lead you to your desired audience.

Post useful information.  Those who generate leads and new business with social media have mastered one specific skill-  providing worthwhile information to their target demographic.  Doing this consistently builds credibility, attracts loyal followers, and encourages social sharing.  Remember the trade show concept?  Strong give-away items attract more people to your virtual booth.

Refrain from self promotion.  Social media is a really poor place to talk about yourself, your product, or your service.  Your posts and updates should be centered on the needs and problems faced by your potential customers rather than the features and benefits of your business.  The best strategy here is writing useful content on your company blog and then posting links to it within your groups.  Doing this gives your prospects an easy way to find their way back to your company website.

Keeping it simple, your LinkedIn strategy should begin with having a complete profile, then find your ideal audience, provide them with information that they actually want and need, and then give them a mechanism (via a link) to end up at your company website.  Do this consistently for an extended period of time and you’ll reap the rewards of new business!