HOW BUSINESSES USE LINKEDIN TO GET MORE QUALIFIED LEADS
LinkedIn is a social networking site with over 100 million members. It is an excellent resource for business owners to connect with other professionals and companies. With all the tools and features that LinkedIn offers, there are several ways to locate qualified leads or have prospective clients find your company. At Name.com we want to help our customers achieve their business goals by offering various tools and strategies to create success.
11 Ways to Use LinkedIn
1. Create a Company Profile
The first step is to create a company profile to garner the attention of prospects. Use marketing techniques such as a descriptive headline. The best keywords for your products or service should appear in the headline. The company profile should summarize what your company does, again using the most relevant keywords. With good keywords, you appear on the search results page. Have a personal profile is also beneficial to finding leads.
2. Build a Network
The only way to build a network on LinkedIn is to make connections. The first level connections are people that you already know. You start building your network by inviting those you know professionally or personally to join your network. You then expand your network by connecting with people who know your first level connections. These are now your second and third level connections. You invite people to join via their email address. By connecting with lots of people, you are bound to find prospects and qualified leads.
3. Use the Search Feature
The LinkedIn search tool allows members to look for people in various ways. You can search by industry, company, job title or location. The advanced search feature lets you search using keywords, function (accounting, marketing, R & D, etc.) or company size. By using the search features you can compile a list of prospects, and then do online research to qualify them before contacting them.
4. Join LinkedIn Groups
One of the best ways to find qualified leads is to search the groups’ directory. There are numerous LinkedIn groups you can join. These groups revolve around industry, profession, skills, personal interests, colleges and schools, and any category you can think of. By joining groups that serve your industry or relate to your business, you increase your connections, enlarge your industry network, and find people who are looking for your services or products. Once you join a group, interact with the other members by offering useful information. It’s not a good idea to use this opportunity for a hard sell.
5. Create a LinkedIn Group
Another good way to find prospect is by starting your own group. With your group you can decide on the type of people you want by creating a mission statement that clearly states the purpose of your group. The group profile needs to define what the group is all about and who the group best serves. You can also start a group specifically for your product or your business. With these methods you can get prospective clients to join by offering them something they want. This helps to bring qualified leads to you. It is important that you keep the groups active by initiating discussions. An inactive group doesn’t do you much good.
6. Ask for Recommendations
When recommendations appear on your profile, this establishes your credibility as an expert in your industry. People usually prefer to deal with companies that have a good reputation for quality. A recommendation on LinkedIn gives you an edge over your competition when people are searching for vendors or partners. The best way to get recommendations is to ask current clients to recommend you. These testimonials are excellent ways to get potential clients to take you seriously as a leader in your field. The recommendations appear on your profile so they are visible to anyone who visits your profile. Also, as an added bonus, the people who recommend you have this reference sent to everyone in their network. This widens the number of people who see your recommendation.
7. Ask for Introductions
LinkedIn also makes it possible to ask those in your network for introductions to people you think are qualified leads. Getting an introduction first requires finding someone you want an introduction to. Once you have a prospect, you use the link on his profile to find someone to do the introductions. In your message, give a good reason for wanting to contact this person. After you request an introduction, the person you ask then decides if he wants to pass on your message. With a large network of connections, you have a better chance of getting qualified leads from introductions.
8. Attend LinkedIn Events
LinkedIn also has events that you can attend in your city or state. There is an events directory that allows you to look for events by industry or location. This is a good way to meet prospects in person if you go to the right event. There is also a list of events that people in your network are attending. This helps you locate industry–related events that you might not have known about. Another possibility is to host an event in your city and invite people in your network.
9. Use LinkedIn Answers
LinkedIn Answers is a special feature that allows members to ask and answer questions. Using this feature is a great way to show off your expertise while also helping others. Members post questions and any member can answer them. If you answer a lot of questions, many will see you as a SME (subject matter expert). There is also a “This Week’s Top Experts” section that gives visibility to the company or individual answering the most questions. Asking questions is also a good idea. It will help you to understand what your prospective clients want to know about. A potential lead may even answer your questions.
10. Add Informative Content
LinkedIn lets you add content to your profile page. By offering useful advice to members, people see you as helpful which is always good for business. The content you have on your profile page needs to be relevant to your target audience. The goal is to get qualified leads for your company. By updating your page with new content, the search engines rank you higher, and this generates more visitors to your profile page, some of whom may be leads.
11. Buy an Ad
Advertising on LinkedIn generates leads and sales. The LinkedIn Direct Ad helps you to target only those you want to reach. The ads can be pay-per-click or pay-per-impression. The only way to know if advertising works is to experiment with different ads. If the ads get you the results you want, continue placing ads. In addition to Direct Ad, there are other ways to advertise on LinkedIn.
By using LinkedIn regularly, you make connections with new prospects and find qualified leads. By visiting Name.com, you get marketing tools and business advice that makes your business more profitable.