LinkedIn can be a powerful way to promote your business and yourself. The professional networking website is designed to connect professionals socially, and can also be a powerful lead generation tool when used correctly.
LinkedIn is uniquely positioned to be the most effective lead generation tool among social media platforms. The majority of small and medium sized businesses are using LinkedIn, and many have already found the value in the social networking site. These companies are leveraging their connections to generate new leads and new business.
Wondering how you too can use LinkedIn to connect with prospective clients, build stronger relationships with existing customers and promote your brand by posting company news or information about new products or growth? Here are a few things to consider.
Before you can start effectively using LinkedIn, you must first have a complete and detailed LinkedIn profile and a company page. LinkedIn has various resources that allow businesses to share their resources and expertise with their customers and potential customers through your profile and company page. The important thing to remember here is that any content posted or shared on LinkedIn needs to be relevant, quality content that showcases your business.
After you have established your profile, you can start connecting with other professionals to grow your network. Connect first with those you know—industry connections, professional business connections, fellow alumnae and members of industry or community boards with whom you are acquainted. Reach out, catch up, and grow your professional network.
Once your personal network is established, use your network to reach out to potential customers or clients through referrals. It’s also important to join groups and to offer meaningful contributions to discussions. After you have established yourself as an active member of a group, it is acceptable to respond to questions or discussions with links back to your website where additional answers can be found. Share white papers or case studies, or encourage your prospects to sign up for your newsletter where you share industry tips and news.
Just like any professional connection, it is important not to turn off any potential clients or customers by being pushy or by blatantly selling yourself. Be yourself, be useful and—most importantly—be engaging.
Utilizing soft selling is the key to effective lead generation on LinkedIn. This may seem like a lot of work, but if you can show that you are valuable to the prospective client—by sharing your knowledge, resources and offering advice—you will form a relationship with a potential client. You’ve gotten your foot in the door, turning a cold call into a warm lead.
LinkedIn now allows businesses to advertise through sponsored updates. This a type of soft sell, and allows you to get your message in front of prospective customers without having to make direct contact with them. This could be a powerful tool for businesses looking to reach a specific professional audience or who is seeking to establish their brand.
LinkedIn is easily one of best social networking options for connecting with potential customers simply due to the professional nature of the site. Know that it takes time and energy to create and maintain a professional presence on LinkedIn, and your focus should be on continually offering quality, relevant content to attract new customers. LinkedIn can be a powerful lead generation tool, and should not be overlooked by anyone wanting to grow their business and professional network.
Interested in learning more about using LinkedIn to grow your business and get leads?