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Do you use LinkedIn to generate business leads?

Although activities and functions may differ between different businesses and sectors, there are best practice guidelines that can help you on your way. It should provide a framework that you can incorporate into your current social media activities and get you thinking about how best you want to undertake the various processes.

Get Found

Take time to get your profile right, which can be a lot harder than you think. You should prepare and optimise your profile with your potential customers in mind.

A step further is to actively participate across your network. This increases your exposure; posting in groups/answers section and updating your company page will ultimately put your content and business profile in front of more relevant people that may have an interest in your business.

Go Find Them

After you have finished creating and optimising your LinkedIn profiles, you should start proactively searching for your potential clients.

LinkedIn has an extremely useful advanced search engine that allows you to find the exact people you will be looking for. Upgrading your LinkedIn account also means you can send InMails straight to targeted leads, instead of sending a connection request and waiting to hear back.

If you want to invest money in further exposure, the LinkedIn advertising platform can be used to target and reach a wider audience.

You should always be trying to leverage your other networks, from other social media platforms to mailing lists, so that everyone that has found your business or taken the time to contact you is knowledgeable of your LinkedIn profile. If they were interested in some way or another before, then that interest may reoccur with a little reminder.

An undervalued approach to finding potential clients is manually monitoring different streams and sections of the site for business opportunities. It’s easy to forget that taking the time to search and monitor social media streams can provide a wealth of opportunity.

Convert

After a business lead has been identified, the crucial step is to convert them into a business customer. There is no one-sentence explanation of how to do this as it is dependent on each business and each customer. There are, however, some general guidelines that could increase your conversion rate’s effectiveness.

Always put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about why they have communicated with you and what problems they seek to solve by using your product/service. I would always steer away from the hard sell and instead provide a clear explanation to how your business can provide value and why they should use your product/service instead of the competitions.

Analyse And Repeat

The final step is probably the most overlooked of the four. After you have successfully converted a business lead into a paying customer, it is time to analyse how you undertook each component of the sales process and how you could increase the efficiency and effectiveness next time round… and there will be a next time!

What do you think is the most important thing to remember when using LinkedIn to generate business leads?