Additionally, while B2C startups can pay for ads in the App Store, on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social platform, the options are very limited for a B2B startup. For the latter, you must do boring things such as hiring sales reps, generating leads from limited channels, and trying to convert the Leads to paying customers. You will not get enough customers without generating high-quality leads first, and based on my experience running the sales and marketing department for a digital content agency (Penulis.id), most of our important customers come from LinkedIn. In fact, 60 percent of our leads come from there, including “VVIP” corporate customers such as telco and cigarette companies.
How then do we actually generate high-quality leads from LinkedIn? Here we go. (Spoiler: It does not involve spam.)
LinkedIn Leads – not like Facebook
So please don’t use your mega-cute selfie photo or a photo of your beloved cat on your profile. Before using LinkedIn to generate leads (or using it for any meaningful purpose), you need to make your profile page as professional as possible. Use your best suit or dress and ask your photographer friend to create a professional look. Do not use your passport photo either—it looks stupid. Make sure that your profile photo is professional enough to make your prospective leads trust you.
Consider your profile on LinkedIn as your portfolio and credentials. You can share your client case studies, recommendations, or testimonials. If you have the extra money, you can go premium for US $59 a month. This can help you look more professional in front of your prospective leads and also give you extra features such as unlimited search and InMail.
Do not spam your connections
When someone accepts your connection request, it is very easy to send them your sales pitch and try to sell them something. However, this will only ruin your social value and earn you and your B2B startup a reputation as a spammer. Not a good scenario, right? So what should we do after someone accepts our connection request?
Simply introduce yourself and offer them case studies that may relate to them. Do not try to sell anything. Instead, try to give them case studies similar to their potential problem. Make sure they know that you’re available to talk further if they want to discuss. In the end, the target is not sales, but a coffee meeting with your new LinkedIn buddy.
You must position yourself as someone who wants to help them, not to sell them something.
Share something related to your industry
It can be a case study, research, PDF content, or other such useful information. You can also use the LinkedIn post to share about anything related to your industry. It will build your credentials and if you’re lucky it will generate leads for your startup as well. My department once released a PDF document on a new way to write in social media, and it generated more than 3,000 leads without us paying for any ad service.
However, do make sure you send the actual PDF. Why? Because there are some jerks who offer PDF content to generate leads but don’t actually send them. It is truly bad for business if you are lying to your prospective leads.
Scroll over LinkedIn home and groups
Sometimes, you will find something interesting in LinkedIn home or groups. People share whatever they want and sometimes there is an opportunity.
For example, my startup offers digital content services for companies. When I saw one of my connections post a job ad for a writer position, I tried to reach them and share my expertise in digital content. I know they needed a new writer because they wanted to create content for their business, and they wanted to create content for their business because they needed to generate their own leads. So, I reached out and offered them advice on digital content. More often than not, this technique helps me secure invites for coffee meetings and get leads to try our content services.
Keep the relationship even if they don’t buy
Of course, most of my connections on LinkedIn don’t end up buying something from me. However, I make sure they know who to call when they need digital content. With the combination of strong credentials and a personal relationship, a lot of my LinkedIn connections recommend our services to their own connections.
There were some cases when previous LinkedIn connections bought our service when they started at a new company. Sometimes, the timing may not be right for your leads to buy, so you will need to keep in touch with all your connections for the right time. The worst case scenario: you will get an additional friend.
Those five B2B startup growth hacks for LinkedIn Leads have something in common. The key is to just be organic, real, and human. Remember, LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals, not a sales tool for your company.
While several might not view LinkedIn as a network with the capabilities of direct sales, it is one of the best networks to demand lead generation. Aside from the raw and organic measurements of obtaining leads via LinkedIn, the platform now offers personalized means of identifying new leads, engaging with those potentials and transforming them into consumers.
Prospects are likely to posts questions. By listening, networking, and responding, the potential of a new lead via LinkedIn becomes more imaginable. If the answer you return to the prospect is what the potential client is looking for, then they will initiate communications.
It’s a common misconception that social media is only for B2C companies in order to build overall brand awareness and develop a marketing strategy. As a B2B marketing expert, you are responsible for several tasks including lead generation, reputation and providing real, measurable results. B2B marketers net undeniable results on LinkedIn.