For many business owners and entrepreneurs, LinkedIn is nothing more than an obligatory profile that needs to be completed to maintain a consistent reputation on the Internet. However, LinkedIn can be so much more and is designed to help businesses enhance their networking efforts and generate more leads. Here are the top five tips for helping your business use LinkedIn to generate more leads and increase sales.
Tip #1 – Prepare for Action
Trying to find a new lead before being fully prepared can ultimately hurt your efforts. To get the most out of LinkedIn, you have to start by optimizing and branding your company profile. The most important thing that you have to consider is your profile picture. This needs to be something that conveys your professionalism and what your company stands for. Then you need to make sure that your company profile, including your biography and contact information, is complete.
Tip #2 – Look for Potential Leads
This is where LinkedIn can really help your business generate leads. Use the convenient search boxes at the top of the website to scour the over 500 million members for relevant contacts. The advanced search feature available with premium memberships will allow you to search based on job title, company, seniority level, and more to create a highly targeted list of prospects.
Tip #3 – Send Customized Connection Requests
Once you’ve identified the most promising prospects on your list, you’ll need to start sending out personalized requests to connect. Start by reaching out to common contacts and ask them to introduce you. When creating your message, be sure to include how you know the person, what you have in common, or even what you find interesting about the person. The point is, you want to avoid using the boring and generic invitations that LinkedIn provides.
Tip #4 – Establish a Method for Following Up
After your connection invitation has been accepted, one of two things will happen. Either the new connection will reach out to you and express an interest in learning more about your company, or they will wait for you to reach out. You’ll have to decide on how to move forward. Will you reach out right away, or will you wait for a few days or weeks before following up? The important thing is that you do follow up with the connection that you develop.
You can never have too many ways of generating new leads. By including LinkedIn in your strategy, you can diversify your customer base and build healthy customer relationships for years to come.