How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Leads and Sales?

How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Leads and Sales

The Internet’s impact on business over the years has been and continues to be, profound and ubiquitous. It has enabled what were once, local and small industries and business owners to reach people around the world. Businesses can no longer define their competition by geographical boundaries or a level playing field where all players are bound by the same rules.

Major market disrupters like Airbnb, Uber, Netflix, and Alibaba are turning what were at a time considered A-grade business models into relics of the past. The impact is set to continue, even more rapidly, over the next several years. For many companies, it will mean an even tougher business environment. There will continue to be more disrupters emerging, which will become agile and nimble businesses that will dominate the markets. There will be more start-ups with savvy entrepreneurial backing that will become overnight successes.

LinkedIn has emerged as one of the main powerhouses on the Internet for business leads and sales and now has more than 500 million users around the world. The business networking platform was started in 2002, by the founder of PayPal, Reid Hoffman. The company has seen steady growth since its official launch in 2003. LinkedIn has earned a reputation as the social media platform that entrepreneurs can use to find the right buyers and quality leads online.

LinkedIn stands out from the other social media platforms because the majority of LinkedIn members log into LinkedIn with the intention of networking with other like-minded individuals. One of LinkedIn’s greatest benefits is its ability to enable entrepreneurs to connect with small business owners, CEOs, VPs, key decision-makers, other entrepreneurs, and potential customers. The professional networking platform gives entrepreneurs an effective digital platform for finding and engaging with their ideal customers and building a sustainable business relationship with them.

Unlike decades past, LinkedIn allows you to research companies and locate the decision makers without having to resort to spending your days cold calling. LinkedIn allows you to engage with your ideal prospect through groups and recommendations from your first-degree contacts. This new strategy, also known as social selling, hasn’t been fully embraced by the business world yet. However, those businesses that have embraced social selling and integrated those strategies into their sales process have yielded greater benefits.

Understanding how to utilize LinkedIn as a business can create a substantial difference in the number of highly targeted leads that you can generate.

If you aren’t already using LinkedIn marketing in your online marketing strategy, the following article will show you how you can optimize your LinkedIn profile and use its unique features to generate more targeted leads and dramatically increase sales for your business. The networking opportunities afforded by being a member of LinkedIn are invaluable, and the marketing opportunities are vast.

How To Create a LinkedIn Profile that Converts More Leads?

When it comes to marketing your business, you have to have a complete and update profile. Having a complete profile is the best way to increase views and connection requests, as well as showing up in searches run by potential clients and connections.

LinkedIn provides a completion tool so you can keep track of what parts of your profile are complete and what still needs your attention. It also provides you with tips to help you complete your profile, and even writes a complimentary summary for you based on the information you put in when you are creating your profile.

If you want to start increasing the targeted leads you receive from LinkedIn then you need make sure that you have an interesting, eye-catching, and easy to follow profile. It is important that you have a clearly stated mission statement for your company. Your company’s profile is where you can show your target audience why you are the best choice for their solutions. There are many ways that you can use your profile to your advantage.

Keeping Your Profile Up to Date

An important aspect of your profile is always ensuring that it is up-to-date and accurate. You need to continually review and refresh your profile, profile photos, connections and skills because all of these elements will change over time. Make sure that your contact information is always up-to-date so that potential customers can reach you if they have a question or want to move forward with working with you. Along with including your email and phone number, you also want to include your web address, Facebook and Twitter handles, and any other communication avenues that you use.

You want to make sure that your personal and company profiles are kept separate. Company and Showcase pages are free on LinkedIn and have more customization options for your company and has distinctive features for your business to use.

Adding a Profile and Cover Photo

You want to include a profile picture that clearly represents your company. It is important that you use a clear, concise photo of your logo that is approximately 1400 x 425 pixels. Your cover photo should also be representative of your company and its products or services.

Recent studies have shown that an active photo helps to draw attention to your profile. Choosing an active photo that represents your company provides a level of personability to your company. Since buyers are more likely to purchase from companies with some level of humanity, you want to show that you company is approachable, warm, and friendly. Your profile photo should be your company’s logo, while the cover photo should be representative of what your mission statement is.

If you are an individual marketing yourself, your profile photo is your first impression on people who are viewing your profile. You want to make sure that you keep it professional, as well as infusing your personality. Adding your profile photo will increase your visibility by seven times, while not having a photo will make your profile either seem shady or as though you aren’t serious about building your network and elevating your company. It is also crucial that you set your profile photo to public to increase searchability.

Your cover photo can be used for many additional impressions of you. Again, pictures showing you in action tend to get a better reaction from your target audience.

If you can show yourself doing your job, buyers can make a better connection to you in a position or the products or services that they are seeking from you. Your cover photo can show things like promotions, parts of your portfolio, or things that build your credibility or authority on your subject. Do not limit your cover photo to just generic pictures of mountains or skylines.

Your company cover photo should represent your mission statement. If you can show employees of your company, you will further humanize your company. This is especially important in a world where business connections are increasingly done online, being able to connect your potential customers with a real-life image of who they will be working with can encourage relatability and build trust with your target audience. If you are a small company with only a few employees, you can use your cover photo as a mini-collage of your business in action, or even place your most effective ads in the spot.

Creating the Profile Section

If you want to increase your leads then you have to have a complete profile. You want to make sure your “About Us” section includes your mission statement and clearly states what your company offers. Check that your employees have linked their personal profiles to your company page as well so that their connections can see your company updates.

When you are working on your “About Us” portion of your profile, you want to write it with your target customer in mind. Create an emotional response by telling a story that identifies a problem faced by a client, point out the obstacles that cause the problem, and then offer your solution, being sure to state why your solution is the best. Make sure to complete two to four related content pieces that are relevant to your purpose. You might also want to consider including how your other clients have been successful with you.

Make sure that you complete all of your company details, including where you are located, what you do, when your company was founded, and your website. Include different media, photos, and videos to break up the text and increase engagement. Having a text heavy profile will make it look as though you don’t know how to use other formats and it will show your lack of creativity.

Be sure to include customer testimonials on your company page, especially ones by influencers and those with large networks. The more trusted and well-known your clients are, the easier it will be to grab new leads, and you are nine times more likely to pull business from word of mouth over cold solicitations.

While having customer testimonials is necessary for promoting your company, you don’t want to keep all of them on your page. Be sure to remove old and out of date testimonials and those that highlight accomplishments or skills that you have retired from your profile. Recent reviews are valuable in keeping your profile current and fresh.

Additionally, if you receive a current recommendation that is either not well-written or focuses on a subject other than how you helped a client, you probably won’t want to include those on your page because even endorsements and recommendations written by others will reflect on you and your professionalism. Creating a profile with the intent to market your product or service is essential to your marketing objective.

Including Keywords In Your Profile

Including keywords in your profile is important. The keywords that you use in your profile are what makes your company searchable. You want to be sure to frequently use keywords that are related to your products and services. Marketers, salespeople, and recruiters all have a specific set of keywords that they are searching. The keywords that you use to describe your business are essential.

If you aren’t sure about how many keywords you have in your profile, you can copy and paste your profile into a wording program like Wordle to see which terms you’ve used and how many times they are used in your profile.

If you find that you haven’t included enough of the right keywords, you can take the time to adjust your wording to increase the frequency of the preferred keywords. If you don’t know what the popular keywords are, you can analyze the profile of others in your industry the same way. Just make sure that you rewrite the text in your own words to avoid any issues with plagiarism.

Publishing Content

A substantial part of your profile will be the publishing section. It is important that you use this section to publish content that you care about and that relates to what your company represents. You want to keep your articles and whatever else you publish on the site free of typos and other errors. The content that you publish will show your audience that you are knowledgeable about the subject and that you can clearly communicate your ideas.

How to Use Content Marketing on LinkedIn?

You need to clearly understand what content marketing is if you want to effectively use it on LinkedIn. Content marketing is marketing that doesn’t focus on a “pitch,” but rather focuses on informing your target audience about solutions to their problems. With content marketing, you want to focus more on making the buyer intelligent rather than just saying that they need to purchase your products and services.

Content marketing allows the buyer to better understand what they are getting, why they need it, and how it will help them. To accomplish this, it requires a regular placement of necessary information, either via private email, articles, or blog posts.

Publishing content on LinkedIn is becoming more and more popular for companies to market their items because it helps them to build trust with their customers, creating brand and company loyalty. This, in turn, leads to a longer relationship between the company and customer, which leads to repeat customers and customers who are referred by others, which helps to offer a more sustained relationship.

Rather than creating a demand for your product or service, content marketing anticipates the needs of your customers and delivers to them information on products and services that already exist.

Since content marketing is primarily done online, it’s easier for companies to target their audience and deliver the information that their customers need to feel informed enough to make a decision on which product they should buy. The goal of content marketing is that the company that consistently delivers the most valuable information in the best way possible is rewarded with the business.

Using LinkedIn for Content Marketing

Since LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world, it makes sense for businesses to use LinkedIn as a part of their online marketing efforts. LinkedIn recognized this idea and created tools to help businesses run effective marketing campaigns from start to finish. It even allows users to track and gather data on their ideal target so they can deliver content in a variety of formats.

It also provides tips to help with marketing campaigns, including how to measure the effectiveness of the campaign. Content marketing on LinkedIn is a vast ocean of potential customers.

When you first start to use LinkedIn for your content marketing, it is important that you know what your goals for the campaign are, and your company mission statement. When you know these, then you will be able to start an ad campaign on LinkedIn. When you know your goals, you can start to create content to meet those goals. Your mission statement will outline the reason why your company exists. Your company’s mission statement needs to feed into three marketing components.

  • Core target audience
  • Type of content
  • The desired outcome of the advertisement

When you go about creating the ad campaign for your company, you want to clearly document the strategy that you will take to reach your goals. You can document your strategy in any way that works best for you, just as long as you do it. When you write down your documented strategy, you are more likely to succeed and be effective, feel more capable with your content marketing, and you’ll be able to visualize each step in the process, which will help to draw connections for you for a more comprehensive plan.

When you document your strategy, you will be able to further elaborate on the objective you are seeking more easily. You’ll be able to see where you need to place your content mapping and personal development when you are planning your campaign. These two steps will help you to recognize buyers, as more than just numbers but as individuals with problems, as well as help create content that addresses the questions at each stage of your campaign development. Take the time to organize your plan, decide what you are doing and who is assigned to do what part.

Finding Your Target Audience

Next, you will need to identify who your target audience is before you can create your ad campaign. LinkedIn has over 500 million members and counting, with 61 million of these members senior influencers and 40 million are decision-makers. These are the people that you hope will be purchasing from you.

When you are creating your content you need to consider the questions and problems that they have, as well as your solution to those problems. Content marketing is supposed to anticipate the needs of your audience and supply information for meeting those needs while impression that you are the ideal company to help solve their problems. For you to do that, you need to research your target audience.

Take some time to look at what your target audience is posting on their news feeds, consider the industries they work in, and look at what other products and services are available to them. Your target needs to be narrower than simply, everyone.

Your ideal target audience should be the people you want to sell your items to, otherwise you will be wasting your time and marketing resources on people that you won’t be able to convert to paying customers. Not everyone is someone who will need or want your product or service.

Use your current connections to see what your target audience will want because these are usually your direct buyers or associates of your target audience. Generally, your target market is already aware of the type of product or service you are offering.

LinkedIn has a marketing tool called Web Demographics, that will allow you to track the kinds of people who are visiting your site by cataloging their profile information. This will allow you to see company names, seniority level, job title and other necessary information that will help you to tailor your content.

Creating Content

Once you’ve determined your target audience, you can start to create your content. You will need to decide what you want to say, how you want to say it, and when you want to say it. Carefully consider what you want your readers to do with the information that you are releasing. Start by defining your topic and deciding:

  • What is the outcome that you want?
  • Who you are writing for?
  • What are the obstacles of your intended audience?

Once you have answered these questions you can set aside some time to brainstorm and take the time to shape your thoughts into meaningful ideas. You are trying, ultimately, to decide what stories you want to tell of your company, and what information is going to get you to your objective and then creating the outline to tell the stories or determining what is missing from your company story.

Next, you will need to narrow down your topic to fit the timing of your article. The content that you are creating needs to be relevant to the market landscape at the time of your marketing campaign.

If you skip this step, you may end up with out-of-date content or content that is based off information that hasn’t been released yet. Your content should be original and should initiate engagement and discussion.

Make sure to add graphics to your articles and blogs, and choose an eye-catching and effective cover image for articles, and remember to always cite your source. Publishing the right information for the right customers will help to boost your thought leadership in your industry.

Releasing Your Content

When you’ve created your content, you will need to plan when you want to release what pieces on different areas within LinkedIn. You need to have a variety of content that includes everything from long-form blogs, articles, videos, sponsored content, InMail, status updates, and infographics. It is also important that you find a way to measure the performance.

You will also need to decide on how frequently you will publish content. Do you want to publish daily, weekly, or monthly. You have to strike a delicate balance because while you want to stay at the forefront of your potential leads’ minds, you don’t want to become overwhelming. You should post status updates no more than one or two times per day, and news articles and blog posts should be posted one to two times a week.

Once you’ve published content, keep an eye on the comments so you can interact with those who are commenting on the article or sharing it with their network. The measurement tools in LinkedIn can help to increase your followers, click-throughs on your information, and inquiries form viewers.

Utilizing Video Ads on LinkedIn

Video ads can be utilized for all aspects of your marketing funnel. Video ads make it easy to share your brand and customer success stories with your audience. When you create your video ad, you want to make sure you put the most important information within the first two to three seconds so that you can grab the viewer’s attention before they lose interest. With video ads, you can give previews to webinars, offer demos of your products, and explain upcoming events.

Utilizing LinkedIn Groups to Increase Your Leads

LinkedIn Groups provide businesses with a place to connect with other members who are in the same niche or industry and share information, make connections, share content, post job vacancies and network. As a member of LinkedIn you can join up to 50 groups at a time. However, even though you can join up to 50 groups, this can spread you thin. It is much better to be active in just a few groups than to deplete your resources by trying to participate in too many.

LinkedIn Groups offers you the opportunity to connect and interact with other members, join discussions, share your knowledge and build influence, authority, and credibility in your industry, become a top influencer, expand your reach and find followers, and source information and increase your knowledge base. However, it is important to remember that you shouldn’t use LinkedIn Groups to blatantly promote your products or services.

Joining a Group

One of the major advantages of joining a group on LinkedIn is that members appear in the search results of that particular group. So, if you go to a group and click the number stating how many members the group has, you can see whether any of your connections are already members.

To find groups that you are interested in, you can click on the “Interests” tab on the top menu of your profile and then click on “Groups” in the drop-down menu. This will allow you to search groups based on keywords that you enter and start filtering and viewing the results. You can view “Open Groups” without joining but you can only view content of member-only groups once you’ve joined.

There are over a million groups currently on LinkedIn so you can afford to be selective when choosing the groups you want to join. Before joining, however, you need to make sure that you’ve worked out what your goals are. Are you looking to build connections and relationships or do you want to gain knowledge from key influencers, or establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry? If your main goal is to drive traffic to your website or blog, then you need to look for groups that will allow you to post links.

When searching for groups you can view the descriptions of the group along with the group statistics. The group statistics will show you the number of members the group has, and the number of discussions and comments that have been made. Joining smaller, lively groups with a lot of interaction may be more advantageous for you as opposed to joining larger ones with little activity.

This is where quality can significantly outweigh quantity. The demographics of the group are also important. It might be a huge waste of time joining a group where most of its members are international if you are running a local business. Taking a look at the group’s activity feed can help you see whether the group is relevant to you and whether you think you might be able to contribute in some way.

After you’ve made your selection and joined a group or two, you can introduce yourself and start commenting and joining in on the discussions. If you are looking to build influence then you need to stay active and engage with the other members and contribute to the discussions taking place.

LinkedIn keeps track of the interactions that take place in groups and appoints ‘The Top Influencers of the Week.’ You can view this list at the top right of the group page to see who have contributed and participated in discussions and liked and commented the most. This is a tremendous opportunity for your business to gain exposure and for your brand if you are appointed to the list.

LinkedIn Discussions

Discussions on LinkedIn are a great way to communicate with others in your niche and build connections with like-minded individuals. To start a discussion in your group, hit the ‘Discussions’ link at the top of the group page and add a title and description for your discussion.

You can add an article or ask a question. You also have the ability to post relevant content with a link to your company page, website or blog. You should also check to see if your group has a special section for adding promotions and jobs.

You can participate in discussions by liking and commenting on the discussion and you can also follow a particular discussion and receive updates anytime someone comments on the post.

The Benefits of Starting Your Own Group

If you are unable to find a group that meets your needs, you might want to consider starting your own LinkedIn Group. Creating your own group has a multitude of benefits, especially if you are a company focused on B2B sales.

Raises Your Profile

When you create a group on LinkedIn, your name, as the creator, will be clearly featured as the owner of the group. Being able to successfully run a group will help you to be seen as a thought leader in your industry. The more you contribute to the group personally, by interacting with its members and offering valuable content, the more you will build your credibility and be considered an expert in your niche.

Lets You Send Weekly Emails

As a creator of a LinkedIn group, you are afforded the ability to send emails to your members every week. This provides a great opportunity to gain attention by sending your members the links to your top quality content relating to the group subject matter.

Drives Traffic to Your Website

There are a few ways that you can use your LinkedIn group to drive traffic to your website or blog.

  • Add your URL to the group profile to gain more exposure.
  • Include your URL in the welcome message that you send to the group.
  • Include your URL when you send valuable content to your members in your weekly email.
  • Create discussions within the group and including your URL.

Creates Community

People love to be part of a community and join with like-mined people and engage in discussions. If you are the creator of a thriving group on LinkedIn, you can bring people together and help them make connections. This will create trust with your members and goodwill toward you and your brand.

Expand Your Personal Network

Creating a group on LinkedIn is a great way to build connections with others. If your group is active then members are going to want to connect with you because you are the authority and you are likely to receive numerous invitations to connect with other LinkedIn members.

Generate Leads and Sales

When you send out your initial welcome email and thank people for joining your group, you can include details and benefits of joining the group and provide a brief background and description of you and your business. You can also invite them to join your newsletter or invite them to connect with you on your other social networks.

LinkedIn groups is a great way to become active on the social networking platform and can help you get connected with potential customers and other though leaders in your industry.

How to Measure and Monitor Your Results on LinkedIn?

Measuring and monitoring your results and performance against your original goals and objectives is essential. This is where many businesses tend to fall short of utilizing LinkedIn to generate leads and increase sales. Many businesses and marketers, aimlessly post content without checking to see if it’s working. Then after six months they wonder why their campaign isn’t making a positive impact on their business’s bottom line.

When you take the time to measure your results, you’ll discover more information about your campaign which will allow you to steer your campaign in the right direction to achieve your goals and objectives, while stopping those efforts that aren’t working.

When you work out your strategies and tactics for your campaign, you will be estimating what you need to do to accomplish your business goals and objectives.

However, as your campaign runs, you will be able to see exactly what you need to do to achieve what you originally set out to do.

For instance, after your campaign has run for a while, you might determine that you need to increase the amount of money that you spend on advertising to attract new followers, or you may need to change the kinds of posts you are making to increase engagement and reach. You need to learn how to make your marketing campaign work for you, which means you need to constantly measure your success against the goals that you set and then constantly adjusting your strategies accordingly in order for you to achieve results.

LinkedIn Analytics

LinkedIn analytics provides you with the metrics and trends of your company page. It is split into two sections, Company Updates, and Followers.

The Company Updates section tracks three areas on your company page,

  • Updates
  • Reach
  • Engagement

The updates area provides you a table with the most recent updates from your company page. 

The table includes the following information.

  • A preview of the post.
  • The date that each update was posted.
  • The audience that the update was sent to, either your followers or targeted audience.
  • Which campaigns you have sponsored an update in.
  • The number of times each update has been shown to members.
  • The number of clicks on your company page, logo, or content.
  • The number of times people have liked, commented, or shared an update.
  • The engagement percentage of your content.
  • How many followers you gained by promoting an update.

The reach area of LinkedIn analytics displays a graph that shows the number of times your updates were seen through a paid campaign or organically. You can select your preferred date ranges from a drop down menu to further customize the data that you view.

Within the engagement section of the analytics there is a graph that shows the number of times a member clicked, shared, or commented on your organic or sponsored content. The graph includes the following information.

  • Where your followers are coming from.
  • The total number of LinkedIn members following your page.
  • The followers that you gained to your page without advertising.
  • The followers you gained on your page through sponsored updates or company follow adverts.
  • The top five places where your followers are coming from as a percentage of your total followers.
  • A breakdown of who is following your company page.
  • How your number of followers has changed over time.
  • The number of followers compared to other companies.

Utilizing Google Analytics

For a more detailed look at your LinkedIn company page analytics, you can utilize Google Analytics. For example, Google Analytics can provide you the number of people LinkedIn is sending to your website or how many of your connections and followers are converting into customers. With Google Analytics you can receive advanced reports that let you track the effectiveness of your campaign with a number of social reports.

The Overview Report

With this report you can see how much conversion value is generated from all of your social channels. It compares all your conversions with those resulting from your social media profiles.

The Conversion Report

The conversion report helps you to quantify the value of social and shows you conversion rates and the monetary value of conversions that occurred due to referrals from LinkedIn and any of your other social networks. Google Analytics can link visits from LinkedIn with the goals you have chosen and your e-commerce transactions.

To do this you will need to configure your goals in Google Analytics. You can do this under the Admin menu, in the goals section. Goals on Google Analytics allows you to measure how often visitors take or complete a specific action. You can either create goals from the templates that are offered in the program, or you can create your own custom goals.

The Networks Referral Report

This report tells you how many visitors LinkedIn and the other social networks have referred to your website and shows you how many page views, visits, the duration of the visits, and the average number of pages viewed per visit. From this information you can determine which network referred the highest quality of traffic.

Data Hub Activity Report

The data hub activity report shows you how people are engaging with your site on the social networks, like LinkedIn. You can see the most recent URLs that were shared, how they were shared, and what was said.

Social Plug-In Report

The social plug-in report will show you which articles are being shared and from which network. This is important to understand which sites are driving traffic to your site, and providing you with the insight to change your marketing approach if necessary.

The Social Visitors Flow Report

This report shows you the initial paths that your visitors took from LinkedIn and other social sites through to your site and where they exited.

The Landing Pages Report

This report shows you the engagement metrics for each URL and includes the number of page views, average visit duration and the pages viewed per visit.

The Trackbacks Report

This report shows you which sites are linking to your content and how many visits those sites are sending to you. This can help you work out what kind of content is the most successful, so that you can create similar content. It also helps you to build relationships with those who are constantly linking to your content.

Tracking Custom Campaigns

Google Analytics lets you create URLs for custom campaigns for website tracking. This can help you to identify which content is the most effective in driving visitors to your website and landing pages. For instance, you might want to see which particular updates on LinkedIn are sending you the most traffic, or you may want to see which links in an email or particular banner on your website are sending you the most traffic. Custom campaigns allow you to measure these results and see what is and what isn’t working by allow you to add parameters to the end of your URL. You can either add your own URLs or use the URL Builder.

To use this feature, simply type “URL Builder” into the Google search box and click on the first result. The URL builder form will only appear if you are signed into Google. You can then add the URL that you want to track and complete the rest of the fields and click submit. You can then shorten the URL with bit.ly or goo.gl/. Once your custom URL is established you can track the results through Google Analytics.

Tracking the results of your marketing campaigns on LinkedIn is an essential part of generating more leads to your website. By running these reports and adjusting your strategy based on the results you can adjust your current marketing strategy to increase the leads you receive and improve sales.

How to Use a Premium LinkedIn Account to Get Even More Leads?

Like all networking platforms, LinkedIn is free for basic accounts. The basic account has features that offer a good start to marketing your company. With the free account, you get things like building your professional footprint online, network with people you know and people that you should know, and search for companies or people and receive alerts about them.

When first starting out with LinkedIn, you will probably do well with the free account, but as a business and interest in what you do grows, you may find that you can get your business to the next level by upgrading your account. Deciding to pay for an account on LinkedIn is recommended when you have maxed out the features you get on the free account.

There are different kinds of premium accounts and they all have costs associated with them, however, you can try one for free for 30 days, and you can cancel your premium account at any time. Job seekers will want to try Premium Career, which gives them access to career coaches, the ability to see who views their profile, the ability to send messages to recruiters, see how they measure up to other applicants for the types of jobs they are searching for, and the ability to become a “featured applicant.” Recruiters can sign up for a Recruiter Lite account that is feared toward hiring managers and recruiters.

LinkedIn Learning is an account that offers learning resources to learn skills, improve your skills, train employees, and gives you the ability to upload your own video content that is specifically made for your company. You can add tags to your content to make it searchable, and you can filter training based on things like job function, skills, and across all fields and levels, from beginner to expert.

While all three of these accounts have marketing aspects, they are not tailored to marketing, sales, or growing a business. However, the other premium accounts are primed for marketing with them, and they encourage certain marketing elements.

Premium Business

LinkedIn premium business accounts are created for growing your company. This includes expanding your network, searching out potential leads, and offering information about your competitors, industry trends, and measuring your own company growth.

This type of account provides access to LinkedIn Learning, the ability to see who has looked at your profile and how they got there, unlimited browsing of member profiles, and 15 InMail messages per month so you can message anyone you would like to connect with even if they aren’t in your network.

If you receive an InMail response from a member you have sent one to, you will get a credit for that message.

The “who’s viewed my profile?” feature is useful in creating personal connections with potential leads that find you instead of you having to go out and find them. Following up on leads that come to you generally means someone has been referred to your company or has heard good things about your company and wanted to find out more. These members who have viewed your profile or company page typically lead to a pretty easy sale since the initial work of bringing them to you have already been done. The prospects who view your profile and connect with will bring along their network of potential leads.

The Premium Business account offers a filter for seeing where your views come from so that you can tailor your marketing materials. Or, if you see that your profile is being viewed by people who are unrelated to your planned marketing audience, you can use that information to update your keywords and materials to reach the right customers. LinkedIn Business allows you to see how you rank against the competition and others that are using LinkedIn.

Another helpful marketing and lead generation feature with LinkedIn Premium Business is the advanced search tool that offers more specific fields of search, like company size and member years of experience.

This can help you target your messages and saving the search lets you keep the results so you don’t have to run the same keywords more than once.

With Premium Business you get 500 search results at a time and up to 5,000 saved results, along with the ability to view the full profile of the results found, even if they aren’t in your network. An added bonus is that you can get alerts when something changes on anyone who was found in the search your saved, which can increase the possibility for you to gain even more new leads.

You also have access to analytical data on your page when you upgrade to a Premium Business account, including who visits your page and who follows your page. Each category can be broken down into various demographic categories like industry, job function, level of seniority and others. Graphs are created to show you the metrics regarding the engagement on your page. With LinkedIn Premium Business, you get “Business Insights,” which tells you a variety of useful pieces of information, both within your own company and with others.

To see any connection to your search results, you can click the “How You’re Connected” button. This will allow you to invite second-degree contacts to connect. You can see industry and company news and updates, which departments are increasing their budgets or cutting back, open jobs, and employee count. All of this information shows a company’s stability.

Upgrading your account to Premium Business is beneficial if you have a small business that you want to grow and network or if you are not necessarily a sales company. However, if you have a large company or a sales team, then you should consider upgrading to Sales Navigator.

Sales Navigator

The premium Sales Navigator account is suited for businesses for many reasons. It is a useful tool for lead generation and advanced search filters to see where your target audience lies. The average sales navigator member sees an increase in their opportunities for leads and sales, more goals being met, and a more productive sales team. The Sales Navigator is also helpful for marketing as well as sales because it helps you to pinpoint your target audience and understand what you audience is interested in.

There are three plans available in the Sales Navigator Account:

  • Professional
  • Team
  • Enterprise

While Sales Navigator is geared toward sales teams, it can also be extremely helpful for marketing. The advanced search options allow detailed search fields with a wide range of keywords, beyond job function and geographical location. This can allow your marketing team the ability to compare their traffic against the size of the target audience.

Your sales and marketing teams can work together to increase the company profitability using LinkedIn tools. Having the two departments working together results in a more comprehensive picture of the client and increased profitability. When you have potential customers that have viewed your ads and been on the receiving end of one of your marketing strategies, your sales team will usually see an increase of opened and answered Sponsored InMail messages sent by your salespeople.

Personal relationships between potential customers and your sales team also help to boost the sharing of content media by the potential client. This makes it beneficial to share the marketing content with the sales team and showing them how to use it.

LinkedIn’s basic profile is a good place to start when you are just starting out on LinkedIn, but as your business gains more connections and a larger network, upgrading to one of the premium accounts can justify the expense by making it up in new revenue.

How to Find and Sell Your Prospects on LinkedIn?

Your marketing efforts are what draws prospective clients to your LinkedIn profile and company website, but getting them to buy from you is another story. Showing the right leads what you have to offer at the right time starts the buying cycle for your clients, but how can you ensure that their cycle ends with you becoming their supplier?

Most of the time, consumers are advertisements, call to actions, and people wanting to sell to them all the time. Marketing can help you stand out in the noise, however, even the best marketing campaigns don’t have the ability to get clients who aren’t looking for the solution that you are offering at the time that they see your ad to buy what you are selling if they don’t need it, regardless of the size of their business.

Small businesses can’t waste their money on a product or service that they don’t need, and larger businesses have to justify the expense. At this point you need to find the contacts that are in the market for your offering at the right time to see your message.

LinkedIn can help you and your team do just that. Targeting on LinkedIn is a good place to gather your leads because there are so many professionals on the site. Conversion on LinkedIn ads happens three times as much as other ads, and you can track your conversion rate with the click of your mouse.

Ask for Introductions

LinkedIn, is first and foremost, a professional network, which means that you probably have someone already in your contacts that is somehow connected to the lead you are interested in. Ask your connections to introduce you. Around 50 percent of business opportunities arise from a recommendation or knowing someone who knows someone. If you have a solid idea or solution, don’t be afraid to ask others for introductions. Many times, previous satisfied customers have no problem facilitating connections that benefit both parties.

Join Groups

Join the groups that appeal to your prospects. When you do this you can see their profile, even if you aren’t a first-degree connection. It will also give you a way to keep up with news and changes in their industry, and you can request a connection based on being in the same group. Answering questions posed by group members will establish thought leadership and authority on the subject, which will allow a good relationship to begin and build trust between you and your prospects.

Publish Content

News leads can also come from the content that you publish on the site. When you or your company publish content on LinkedIn, take a look at who viewed it, who shared it, and who commented. Look at the words that they use in the comment or share, and you can easily turn it into a conversation starter.

Monitor Your Competitors

Keeping up with the reviews posted about your competitors can help you monitor where they are missing their opportunities and pick up their slack. You can approach their former customers in a way that show you a better solution to their needs. On the other hand, if your competitors are successful, you can also see what’s working for them and expand on it.

Follow Influencer’s Pages

Another great way to generate leads is by following the pages of influencers. Influencers talk about the hot topics in their field and talk with the best people in their field. Look at their companies, and the demographics, and track down what their needs are. If your niche fits in with theirs, you’ve opened up opportunities. Identify the key people, those who are most likely to be part of the buyer’s circle for the company.

Create a Compelling Call to Action

Your call to action is key for generating new leads. If you have a clear, simple form available, or a subscribe button, or an easy registration process, the number of leads you get will increase. Having a compelling call to action works like a beacon to potential customer.

LinkedIn Mistakes that You Need to Avoid

If you want to generate new leads and increase sales, you have to prepare, and the better prepared you are, the better your results will be. That preparation also extends to the things that you shouldn’t be doing. When you are setting up your LinkedIn account, there are several things that you need to avoid if you want to create a LinkedIn account that will achieve results.

Content Not to Post

LinkedIn is a professional network and needs to be treated as such. The connections you make on LinkedIn have no interest in your social life, your family, knowing what your kids are up to right now, or looking at the endless cat photos that are prevalent on other social networks. All of that content has its place on other social networks like Facebook and Instagram.

LinkedIn is the place where you share information that serves your connections and followers. Everything that you add to this platform should be things that will benefit your connections in some way.

Privacy Settings

One of the most significant mistakes that you can make is setting all or part of your profile to Private. When you have all or part of your profile set to Private you are limiting the information people can obtain on your company. This is not something that you want to do, especially if your goal is to generate more leads and increase sales.

Adding Your Connections to Your Email Database

Aside from being illegal, this is a really bad idea. Just because someone has requested to connect with you, or have accepted your connection request, does not give you permission to add these people to any form of database. What you can do is contact them directly through LinkedIn. More and more emails that are being sent outside the LinkedIn platform are being reported as spam.

Over-posting Updates and Publishing Too Many Articles

While you want to create content on LinkedIn and provide updates about your company, you want to do it sparingly. When you add to much content, either through posting links to content on your website, or publishing directly to LinkedIn, you run the risk of being seen as unprofessional and worse a spammer.

Sharing a minimal volume of content means you can save your best stuff for LinkedIn. Think of it like inviting your best customers to a dinner part where you bring out the best cutlery and plates. LinkedIn is your fine-dining experience, whereas Facebook and other social media platforms is for the block party.

Spamming Your Groups

When you are a member of a LinkedIn group, you have the ability to message other members directly, however, this doesn’t mean you should message them all the time. Before you message anyone in your groups you have to consider whether what you are sharing serves them more than it serves you.

Sending Generic Messages

LinkedIn allows you and encourages you to send messages to your connections on their birthdays or work anniversaries. This is a lot like a post they share, a reply to an InMail message, or a recommendation you have requested. LinkedIn will also provide you with a default message for each instance.

Sending one of the generic messages LinkedIn suggests is about as engaging as handing someone a birthday card that simply reads Happy Birthday without any personal message from you. The likelihood of the recipient feeling warm and thought of from these messages is highly unlikely.

Instead, you need to think of contacting your connections in a way that makes them feel appreciated. All you need is a few seconds to change the impersonal default message to something different that actually means something.

Self-Promoting

Again, LinkedIn is a professional network, and to get the most out of it and generate new leads you have to provide your connections with value-added content. This means that you shouldn’t only be posting self-promoting content or sending messages that don’t provide any value to your network. There is a big difference between social serving and self-promotion.

Conclusion

Using LinkedIn as a marketing tool is a great start for generating new leads and increasing sales. LinkedIn is used by over half a billion people, with 40 percent of the members in positions of decision making. Between the mergers with LinkedIn and other useful business ideas and the purchase of LinkedIn by Microsoft, LinkedIn is set to become even bigger and reach more people, providing you and your business the opportunity to dramatically increase the number of leads you receive.

Creating an engaging and informative profile is critical for turning a casual browser into a highly targeted and qualified lead. Your profile photo, along with a complete and detailed profile section and published content can help you build your brand credibility and establish you as an industry leader and encourage more people to look to you and your business for the best, quality solutions to their needs. The use of content marketing will not only help you to build leads and make sales, but it will also allow you to build stronger relationships and create loyal customers as well.

Upgrading to a premium account will allow you to go farther in marketing your company. With the many tools and features included in premium accounts, like access to advanced searches and suggested profiles based on saved searches, you can create, target, distribute, and analyze your marketing materials and makes your audience more streamlined and easier to manage. Using a premium account can also help to show stability in your company.

Now that you’ve gained more information about the many features and tools you can utilize to generate more leads on LinkedIn and increase sales, the next step is for you to take this information and apply it to your business. Get started on creating a killer profile and gather your marketing data so you can create a solid brand strategy that will help you generate even more leads and increase your company sales.

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