Most people use LinkedIn for business, with no real purpose, and then wonder why they don’t get leads from it. Does this sound familiar? Do you know that you should be using LinkedIn for your networking but you don’t know how? If you’re wondering how to generate leads from LinkedIn, here is how to do it and how to do it consistently.
You first need to focus your business networking
Ever heard of the networking triangle? As you can see from the diagram below, the networking triangle helps you to narrow your focus when it comes to your networking by outlining 5 distinct groups of people.
Take a look at your contacts on LinkedIn and categorise them into each relationship level. Recognising the state of your relationship is key to being able to successfully leverage your relationship to win new business, so be honest here.
Once you’ve done this, you can then use the model to improve your networking effectiveness. For example, you should now know what you need to do to identify the right kind of people to meet as well as who your ‘A-listers’ are. Your A-listers are the contacts who you need to focus on, support, and interact with the most. They are your golden ticket for generating referrals.
- Diagram: The Excedia 5-level relationship level modelTM
The secret for how to generate leads from LinkedIn is really just about identifying and targeting the right people and then building a relationship with them to move them up towards the top of the networking triangle. Once you have a strong relationship with your A-listers, and you maintain it, you’ll soon see that generating referrals and leads becomes a whole lot easier.
How to generate leads from LinkedIn: four essentials
If you want to get better at networking on LinkedIn, you need to develop a daily habit to make sure that you’re interacting with potential leads and are continuously building your online reputation.
So, you have your networking triangle and you know what contacts are the most important for you to focus on…now you need to set yourself a daily LinkedIn routine.
Here are a few things that you need to be doing every day:
- Turn up as human first, professional second. No-one likes interacting with a soul-less person. It’s our quirks, opinions, vulnerabilities and openness on LinkedIn which will attract people to you. All too often we think we have to be ‘professional’ on LinkedIn. (Whatever that means!) As a result we tend to take all the interesting bits out of our posts and comments on LinkedIn. Or we get so worried about what people will think of us that we decide to not post or comment on other people’s posts.
- Interact with your A-listers and other core network members. You want to be front of mind with your most important connections so comment on or “like” relevant people’s updates. It’s amazing how these simple actions can maintain (or develop) your relationship with them as you keep popping up in their notifications. Let’s just say after a while, curiosity gets the better of them and they will check out your profile. Contrary to what a lot of professionals fear, continuous interaction on posts isn’t annoying, it’s appreciated. After all, it’s helping them get their name out there too.
- Periodically check that you’re keeping in touch with your A-listers. It’s really easy to let a few weeks go by (dare we say, months?) without posting on social media yourself, never mind interacting with your potential leads, so make sure to check that you’re communicating with them frequently. Thankfully, LinkedIn has a tag function which allows you to check this easily! This will give you a list of people in a given tag and when you last contacted them. See, simple, flexible and really useful (thanks LinkedIn!).
- Make off-the-page-contact with key members of your network. How often do you make contact with key members of your network on LinkedIn, and then OFF of LinkedIn? Sometimes a phone call can work wonders! Once you’ve started to establish a relationship online, it can be really beneficial to reach out via the phone or even a video call so that you can have an actual conversation. Not only can you better explain what opportunities you’re looking for and how you can offer value, but there’s power in putting a voice and face to a name.
Here is an extract from a video within the Progress To Partner Membership Site which will give you some more ideas on how to get noticed on LinkedIn.
Start using LinkedIn for at least 25 minutes a day
Aim to start using LinkedIn for at least 25 minutes a day at first. 25 minutes is an ideal period of time for focusing on a task and it’s also not too long that it’s difficult to fit into your day and start building the habit.
If you do 25 minutes of networking on LinkedIn, five days a week, that’s just over 2 hours spent on generating leads. Let’s be honest, this is 2 hours that you wouldn’t have spent on this task otherwise, even though it’s of utmost importance. (Discover the 3 rules to find the time to use social media effectively without getting badly distracted)
So what do you do with your 25 minutes and how do you make the most of it?
If you want to know how to generate leads from LinkedIn, you need to spend your time online very differently. You need to think beyond just gathering connections and lists of names. You need clear objectives, a strategy, and a whole lot of discipline. Here are the essential steps:
- Choose who are your most important contacts.
- Create a strategy for who you want to connect with and how you’ll use those connections. Use your networking triangle here in conjunction with your networking plan. Download our networking plan template (email required) to help you focus your networking on LinkedIn.
- Develop a social media routine that works for you (maybe at 4:30 pm every day, you dedicate 25 minutes to LinkedIn).
- Using this time, network with your A-listers by doing at least the first 3 out of the 4 steps mentioned above.
Read: Business Development Clinic: How can I save time with social media?
If you find you struggle to create time for business development – let alone spending time on LinkedIn – then this short video will give you some handy tips on how to create the time for business development. The full version of this video is within The Progress To Partner Membership site.
Generate leads consistently with your online efforts
LinkedIn is a goldmine for generating leads because you’re not just hitting a generalised demographic of individuals. With LinkedIn, you can target your audience on a much deeper level, targeting them geographically, by their current company or past company, by their industry, their non-profit interests, even their profile language. To put it simply, LinkedIn allows you to filter your communication to a very specific “micro” demographic which in turn, gives you much better opportunities for high conversion rates.
So, you need to be networking on LinkedIn, that’s not even a question. The question is, how to generate leads from LinkedIn (and how to do this consistently).
The answer really is this simple: narrow your focus, so that you know who are the most important people you need to be in front of, and spend some time every day interacting with them. If you develop a LinkedIn routine every day where you check the profiles of your contacts and like and comment on their posts, you’ll soon start to build relationships online and generate leads from your efforts consistently.