1. Look at individual profiles
Discover if your prospects contribute to blogs. Learn what events they are attending and even the books they are reading. This is the beauty of LinkedIn: how many other sources will tell you where senior execs of your prospect organizations used to work?
2. Use the information to change a cold call into a warm call.
Receiving an introduction received on LinkedIn is a lot warmer than having received a cold call because it comes with some trust. You’re not the stranger trying to upsell something; you come with a recommendation from a person that the receiver is connected to, or you share a common membership in a professional group.
Even if you can’t find a path to connect to someone, sending a direct message via LinkedIn is better than sending a cold email because LinkedIn implies a business context. So when checking out a prospect, you can review their profile, discover their interest and determine if you have something in common with them to help warm up your call with them.
3. Search with Advanced Filters.
One of the best features of having a LinkedIn Premium account is being able to use Advanced Filters in search. Not only can you search by company and relationship, but Premium advanced search on LinkedIn allows you to search by function, location, seniority level and company size, too. Pair that with InMail, and now you can contact them directly without a referral.
When I write personal and relevant emails with research I get via LinkedIn; I almost always get a response.
4. Create your own LinkedIn group and share related content.
Starting your own group provides you control over its content and reach. You can choose to open the group only to people you know or if appropriate, and if you have the time, you can open it up to a much larger audience. The goal is to engage your audience and leverage your thought leadership to make a difference with members of your group.
LinkedIn offers tips for consultants using the channel to build their business, demonstrate areas of expertise and leverage their network. Check out the B2B Lead Gen Roundtable Group on LinkedIn. I founded this group, and it’s all about sharing ideas that focus on the many aspects of B2B lead generation such as lead nurturing, lead management, teleprospecting and more.
The group has grown to 17,742 members, but I’m even more excited about the quality discussions. I’m learning a lot from other members. We have created rules about what type of posts are acceptable, and there is a group manager dedicated to ensuring these rules are followed.
If you are going to do this, be ready for the time commitment this will need to be a successful group.
5. Make it a habit to post regular updates.
Spend a minute posting an “Update” or “what’s on your mind” to your LinkedIn network each day. You can use updates to share a link to an article, blog post or a video that you think is relevant to your potential customers and network. Or use the “Pulse” feature on your LinkedIn dashboard. When you post an update, your post gets displayed in the feed of all the people you’re connected with. Remember this isn’t the place to sell. However, don’t be afraid to share important announcements or news either. Add value with each update.
It’s that keeping up the process that will spark conversations about opportunities for both you and your contacts. It’s in these conversations (which could also be done by email) that ideas will arise about prospective clients, possible partnerships and other revenue-generating projects.
Implementing these tips into your daily routine requires a time commitment. However, it’s not hard to join the conversation for only a few minutes each day and check in with various groups. Also, LinkedIn is constantly evolving, so keep an eye on it. As it continues to grow, people will find new and smarter ways to utilize it. You’ll want to be there, ready to dive in.