Using LinkedIn for lead generation is quite different to other popular social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn definitely offers a wide range of advantages for sales professionals and digital marketers. Knowing what you can do on this professional networking channel has many benefits. It can enable you to expand on your network by establishing new connections. It’s also the perfect platform for marketers to conduct research, find sales opportunities, getting in touch with decision makers and generate leads.

LinkedIn lead generation

If you are targeting a business to business (b2b) audience, you are in luck because LinkedIn is the ideal network to connect with this audience. LinkedIn is an excellent network if you want to market to professionals and businesses with almost any demographic. How do you start using LinkedIn effectively for digital marketing purposes to generate leads?

Here’s a couple of tips on using LinkedIn to start generating leads.

100% complete profile

Complete your profile on LinkedIn to be 100% complete. If you have an incomplete profile, it will encourage people to not trust you. In today’s digital connected world, it’s all about being trustworthy and transparent. People online are making decisions every second especially when they are trying to reach new people to connect with. Complete your profile so that you are easy to find and explains exactly who you are and what you stand for.

Keywords

Research and create a list of keywords relevant to your target audience. These keywords can consist of positions, industry, company, associations and interests. Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to narrow down your search and connect with people or brands that you want to connect with. The advanced search of LinkedIn is an excellent way to find exactly what you are looking for.

Relationships

If your sole intention is to market services and products, you mostly likely will have a bad experience on LinkedIn. Networking and connecting with like minded individuals on LinkedIn is similar to traditional networking. You don’t start waving around your business card yelling at people what you are selling. It doesn’t work and it never will. Even if people are desperately looking for the services and products that you offer, at the speed at which information can be retrieved online, if you are taking the pesky salesman approach, you will be ignored. Let me repeat that again – you will be ignored.

Even though you can use LinkedIn’s advanced search to find who you want to connect with, take time and establish relationships with your network and nurture the relationship. How can you help your target audience/connections lives better by helping them with the problems they are currently experiencing?

Introductions

Ask your network to introduce you to people in their network you would like to connect with. The six degrees of separation is a reality on LinkedIn. If you want to connect with specific people, do some research on these people. What groups do they belong to? Where are they active? Who’s in their network that can introduce you? It’s actually very easy if you follow a simple process of adding value instead of just desperately trolling about.

Local connections

Local marketing is huge and can be a key driver in your marketing efforts. When you are travelling around, search on LinkedIn for members in the area you are in or visiting. It might be a perfect opportunity to plan a LinkedIn get together and invite them to network.

Though leadership

With LinkedIn you can become a thought leader and expert in your niche.  Asking questions on relevant groups and your profile is an easy way to start engaging with people and it can grab the attention of the people who are interested in the topic. Share your expertise on LinkedIn and position yourself to your network as a valuable resource.

Join groups

There are various groups that you can join on LinkedIn with members you can connect to. You can use LinkedIn groups to participate in discussions. Use the group’s member section to browse through the profiles of all the members. When you interact with any of the group members, be concise and clear. Let them know what you have in mind and that you want to connect.

LinkedIn ads

With these ads you can target specific categories of LinkedIn members. These ads on LinkedIn may cost more than the ads on other paid advertising channels or even traditional display ads, but these ads are targeted and can be displayed in front of the demographic you specify. LinkedIn ads is a massive and the targeting is great. Want to target specific people at working at a specific company? You can, but it’s going to cost you.

With LinkedIn marketing especially to generate leads, it is very important to connect with the right people. Do your research first on how you can start using this network to your advantage.