4 September 2012

Lead Generation With LinkedIn

This article is a follow on article to "How To Improve Your LinkedIn Profile".  For quite some time I was convinced that there was something wrong with my LinkedIn profile.  After all LinkedIn was a networking tool which generate some people enormous amounts of business. And for some reason I wasn't getting any business leads from the platform.   Then the penny dropped, I was not getting it in front of enough of the right people that mattered.
Please think about the above sentence very carefully.  Like all social media, generating your profile is one thing, but valuable content and connecting with others, is another thing.  It is true that you will expand your network most at its periphery, so this is where you have to go. 
In terms of LinkedIn, this means going through your colleagues connects and connecting with someone you don't know.  After all, if you are connected to one person and you cant get to do business together then you have to move onto the next prospect.  If you cant get an introduction do explain who the link is, that way people get a feel for where you are coming from, "I saw you also know so-and-so".  Obviously it makes sense to connect with someone whose psychographic as well as demographic profile matches your product or service.  Just bare in mind that the connections of one individual will link to the connections of another.  Equally by growing your contacts you are allowing others to grow theirs.  Its a mutual experience.  If you are tempted to ask where is the science in this, the answer is the science is in the sum of the parts.  I have met many who say that you don't need quantity but quality of connections.  The truth is it depends and you never know what leads to new business. 
One thing I learnt about making connection with LinkedIn is that there is a slow lane and there is a fast lane.  There are those who guard their LinkedIn contacts and there are those who would gladly share them.  You have to identify who you are dealing with.  As a group, those who are in the fast lane are the LinkedIn Open Networkers, they want to connect.
Having connected via LinkedIn with a new contact what are the options?  Naturally there is the option of a follow up Skype call or an email but that's not all.  If you want to stand out in someone's mind you will need to have engaged in conversation, discussed a topic, or examined how you could mutually benefit each other in the future.
All of your LinkedIn contacts can be exported to an autoresponder so you can use that contact for email marketing purposes.  Simply go to contacts at the top bar of LinkedIn, then to my connections and then press export to Outlook Express (CSV).  Balancing great content within your email campaign with product offering ensures a following and a higher open rate.  But most of all stay connected.

PS As of February 2013 LinkedIn contacts can no longer be exported.  The only alternative is to use LinkedIn's InMail with which you can contact 50 contacts at a time.

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