LinkedIn Marketing For Lead Generation. 

As the fastest growing social media platform globally, LinkedIn represents a huge opportunity to grow awareness and demand for your small business.  In my last blog LinkedIn Marketing for Small Business I discussed the importance of getting the LinkedIn basics right first, including tips for creating “best-in-class” individual profiles and company pages.  In this post, I’ll cover how to grow and engage with your network, targeting your ideal prospects and contacts, and generating new leads using this platform. It’s time to harness the power of LinkedIn!

LinkedIn Marketing Step 1 – Build Your Network

LinkedIn has a powerful built-in search function to help identify new contacts. The main question to answer is –  who are the professionals and potential customers you’d like to connect to?  Once you have defined these ideal connections, the search function and LinkedIn filter can be used to locate connections based such areas such as job title, industry and location.

Personalisation is key

It is important to personalise your connection request with a message that shows context and the relevance of connecting.  Referring to shared contacts within your networks is a good place to start (eg. “I notice that we both know Effie Cinanni from Small Chilli Marketing”)

Review your connections

Once your network has started growing, it is possible to export your connections from LinkedIn.  This can be useful to compare with colleagues, for example within a sales team, and create a target list of contacts to engage with.  This function is available within the “Privacy” tab within your “Me” icon on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Marketing Step 2 – Engage Your Network With Awesome Content

After expanding your network, it’s time to start sharing content that provides new insights, plus news from your company.  Aim to post a status update on your professional page regularly, and encourage all of your employees to follow your company page and regularly engage with it (like, share, comment).  This engagement creates a multiplier effect to share your content to potentially thousands of people in your employee’s networks.  Your company LinkedIn page should also include a hyperlink back to your website to drive further traffic.

Be creative with content

In Part 1 of this blog, I covered the types of content that could be shared on your company page.  Also consider using a mix of content types, such as video, imagery and infographics.  Great content can come from third party sources (eg. Latest industry research), and sharing this content can demonstrate your company as a thought leader.

LinkedIn Marketing Step 3 – Generate Meetings and New leads

The content you share on your LinkedIn page should begin to establish your credibility in your industry / area in which you do business.  This credibility creates a sense of trust with your network that you are a person worth engaging with.  After a period of time, you can approach your high priority connections with a meeting request.

Get personal

Once again, the meeting request should be personalised, contexualised and relevant to your connections.  The development of sales opportunities can then progress “offline”, but you can see that LinkedIn has provided the crucial online introduction.  Please note, it is not recommended to approach a person straight away after connecting with them, as this can leave the person wary of a “hard sell”.

Following these steps (after creating a best-in-class professional profile and company page) will set you up for success on this growing social media platform.  I wish you best of luck with expanding your network and marketing your small business on LinkedIn!

Tennille Wong is a senior marketing consultant at Small Chilli Marketing with over 20 years of experience. She has worked in managerial roles for IBM and Motorola Solutions Australia and has led marketing campaigns for large and complex information technology and telecommunications solutions.  She is passionate about marketing and understands all aspects of industry, product and channel marketing across both traditional and digital mediums.