So, you want to attract new clients and top talent. Expanding your network and earning some street cred – or ‘thought-leadership’ as they call it nowadays – wouldn’t hurt either.
You’ve undoubtedly heard that LinkedIn is a game-changer for lead generation.
But, because you clicked on this blog, you either haven’t started yet or it’s not working for you. Honestly, we’re not surprised.
LinkedIn can be overwhelming at best and an echo chamber at worst.
It’s enough to turn any professional away to daydream about the old days when traditional marketing was enough.
We’re here to help professional service providers embrace LinkedIn lead generation with fail-proof strategies.
They’ll help you make meaningful connections with clients and colleagues and get tangible results for your business.
Let’s get started.
1. Make Sure You’ve Covered the Basics
Before you dive into the deep end and start posting, take a moment to evaluate your business’s LinkedIn identity.
For professional services such as insurance and financial advice, success with lead generation hinges on whether your prospects deem you as trustworthy.
That comes down to how your profile and your activity. What does your LinkedIn identity say about your business?
Profile and cover photo
This could be your individual page (if you’re a standalone financial advisor or lawyer) or your company’s page.
Make sure your profile photo and cover photo are high-resolution images. If your LinkedIn page is for your business, your profile photo should be your company logo. Duh.
But, unless it wasn’t obvious already, business profiles with their logo as their profile picture get six times more views.
Your cover photo should be engaging but not cluttered. It doesn’t have to feature a tagline or mission statement – that can look gimmicky.
Choose or create an image that aligns with your brand’s colour scheme and ‘personality. It’ll instantly make your LinkedIn page look professional.
Job title and bio
Images only communicate so much. What do your job title and bio communicate to prospects?
Many professionals make the mistake of selling themselves short with this aspect of their LinkedIn bio. On the other end of the spectrum, there are LinkedIn users who get a little too abstract with their descriptions – ‘ninja’ and ‘changemaker’ have become quite a cliche.
Rather than playing it safe and copy-pasting something from your resume, we challenge you to write a 2-3 sentence-long bio that is both authentic and useful.
Something that tells prospects who you are and why they should listen to what you have to say.
- Try to use short, provocative sentences
- Bust a myth or misconception about what you do
- Be candid about what you love about your job
- Also, be candid about what makes you different
- Don’t be afraid to get a little personal
We all know that reviews and testimonials are a powerful form of marketing. 92% of people look at reviews before buying. And if you’re using LinkedIn to promote your services, your profile is the first place prospects will go to suss you out.
Having a diverse range of reviews on your profile will leverage your LinkedIn lead generation efforts.
By showcasing the praise and positive experiences of your clients, colleagues, and managers, reviews ensure that any visitor to your profile is immediately impressed.
Building a bank of testimonials is solid proof of your skills, personality, and impact on others. It’s a surefire way to build trust, influence buyer decisions, and expand your audience.
And it costs nothing. All you need is a list of people who’d be willing to rave about you.
Send a personalized email to your favourite (and most recent) clients and co-workers. Be genuine, just ask if they’d be willing to help you out by writing a review.
LinkedIn isn’t just a place for you to shout about your company. It’s a community where you can discuss important topics with other thought-leaders in your network.
It’s a place to congratulate others on their success, share your own thoughts and challenges – maybe even call out something you don’t like about your industry.
Whether you want to be supportive or controversial, your contribution to the LinkedIn community will influence your lead generation.
If you’re a financial advisor, your next client might find you in a LinkedIn group called ‘Women in Finance’ or ‘Small Businesses in ‘Your Town’.
It’s well worth taking the time to reach out to groups and take part in the discussion.
2. Use Paid Lead Generation Strategies
Let’s be honest. No one has the time to painstakingly write personalized messages and send them directly to every person on LinkedIn that followed ‘Family Law Services’.
LinkedIn’s paid lead generation strategies are a powerful tool for getting your message in front of the right people – automatically.
Sponsored InMail vs Sponsored Content
Sponsored InMail enables you to send personalized messages to your target audience via their LinkedIn inbox.
We looked at InMail when we spent $100k on LinkedIn. It’s clear to us that if you’re conversational, straight-to-the-point, and ensure the message revolves around the customer’s needs – you can increase your click-through rate substantially.
Personalized experiences make consumers 80% more likely to purchase a service.
LinkedIn’s automated messaging tools are the perfect way to market your business directly to the people who are likely to be interested.
Plus, if you’ve already got some outstanding content handy, such as:
- Case studies
Sponsored InMail messages are the perfect tool to maximize engagement and lead generation through your content.
The business management software company, VistaVu Solutions, which plies its trade in the energy and oilfield sector used the Sponsored InMail strategy and got a whopping 23.8% conversion rate. Impressive, right?
Lead Generation Forms
Forms are a fantastic lead magnet. They’re a non-pushy, cost-effective way to get information about your audience in exchange for valuable content.
To get started, you need to create content that is worth offering. Your potential customers want to be educated – and, often, entertained as well. Provide insights into industry trends, statistics, research, and success stories related to your services.
- Kickstart a more targeted email drip campaign for prospects who downloaded a particular piece of content
- Capitalize on popular content and move away from the subjects getting less engagement
If you’re asking your audience to answer questions in exchange for content, try not to get carried away with your form fields. The more you ask, the less likely a lead is to complete the entire form.
Global Digital Manager of IR, Nik Love, stated how traditional landing pages push visitors away from the platform.
He claimed that Lead Gen Forms are a seamless way of making sure prospects stay on LinkedIn.
3. Use Organic Lead Generation Strategies
If you want to establish yourself as a thought-leader in your industry, creating and sharing original content is the way to go.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform for posting blog posts and videos to generate leads organically. If your content is received well, your network will respect you as a knowledgeable connection and future customers will recognise you as a credible source.
Types of content to use
Stuck for ideas? The following types of content are winners for professional service providers.
|Type of Content||Why?||Example|
|Case study||People love to read stories. A success story about your business demonstrates your value. Prospects see how you helped a client and identify with the challenge your client was facing||If you’re an accountant, share a story of how you’ve helped a local business. Top tip – focus the case study on the type of customer you’re wanting to attract|
|Whitepaper||Before investing in professional service, people do extensive research. Providing in-depth scientific analysis that proves the value of your service helps end-of-funnel leads make the final decision||If you’re a financial advisor, create a whitepaper on retirement saving that shows the positive impact of financial advice ahead-of-time|
|Industry insight||Providing commentary or analysis on a popular and relevant topic within your industry helps you gain exposure and shows audiences that you know what you’re talking about||If you’re a lawyer, provide some insight into what you’re seeing with your job – offer advice, bust myths, and demonstrate how your profession is relevant to current trends|
|Company news||Lighthearted in-office banter or company news shows the human side of your business. Being able to show the personality and community of your business will help you gain trust and respect from your network.||Welcome new employees, share photos from staff celebrations, show off the new office, or even just a candid selfie of the team on a Friday.|
Organic content is a highly valuable yet largely underestimated marketing tool. For professional service providers, this is what will fuel your LinkedIn lead generation campaigns.
You can post the above updates directly into your feed, or use them to fuel your paid LinkedIn lead generation strategies we just talked about.
Content marketing is well-worth investing in. If you’re looking to maximize your ROI on b2b marketing efforts, taking the time to plan your content and engage specialised content writers will put you ahead of the competition.
What works for LinkedIn content
- Speak authentically. Write how you would speak naturally.
- Keep your headline within 40-49 characters
- Try to use listicle and how-to headlines
- Avoid using questions in the title
- Break-up walls of text with lists, bullet points, tables, images, and even memes
- Opt for shorter sentences to make more impact
4. Test, Test, Test!
This is the most crucial part of any marketing campaign. On average, 1 in 4 marketing dollars are spent on paid marketing campaigns.
Without testing the effectiveness of your LinkedIn lead generation activities, you might as well be throwing your budget in the bin.
If you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t working, you won’t be able to allocate resources effectively to maximize ROI.
This is where you need to start considering A/B testing.
When you know what’s working for you, you can allocate resources better to maximise them and get the most desired results.
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing is a systematic way to understand and rank campaign variants.
Split testing, which is also what it’s commonly referred to, is a procedure where you show target audiences two types of marketing messages and campaigns to test their engagement.
The two marketing campaigns should be identical except for one factor. Ah yes, the independent variable. Thanks, high school science teacher whose name I can’t remember.
The results of the test show you which campaign performs better, presenting the conclusion that one variant is better than the other.
The more optimized your messages are, the more prospects will engage with them. This will help make it easier for you to convert your target audiences into paying customers or clients.
A/B Testing on LinkedIn
As far as A/B testing on LinkedIn Ads is concerned, many people mostly concentrate on two specific channels – Sponsored Content and Direct Sponsored Content.
However, another fantastic way you can use A/B testing is via outreach messaging.
Direct messaging has a bad reputation because LinkedIn is flooded with companies and businesses that are constantly sending generic, insincere messages, or spam.
What are the steps you need to consider when testing?
If you’re A/B testing sponsored LinkedIn ad campaigns, the procedure is relatively easy.
|1||Create two identical ad campaigns||A lead generation form with a pet insurance eBook|
|2||Change one factor about the campaign||Write slightly different captions – one with a statistic from the eBook, the other with a quote from a pet insurance customer|
|3||Check which campaign is performing the best||You notice that pet insurance customers are responding more to the heartfelt quote|
|4||Continue to finetune the ad campaigns by split testing different factors||Images used, emojis, special offers,|
Try and change only one thing at a time when testing so that you can pinpoint and determine what’s actually making the difference.
How long should you test for?
LinkedIn advises users to run their campaigns for at least 14-days. This will give you enough time to get all the relevant real statistics you need. Although, you can run the ads longer if they’re giving you back good results.
With that said, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should quit all your split testing when the 14-days are up. You might start getting some interesting and helpful insights, in turn, deciding to narrow things down even further.
5. Follow These Do’s & Dont’s
We thought we’d summarise a few helpful tips before you get started.
Don’t be annoying
Starting a conversation with a prospect is exciting, but it’s easy to overdo it.
Getting straight into selling insurance policies and hounding people with information is super jarring – you’ll find yourself blocked fairly quickly.
Ever had an old school friend send you a nice message on social media, only to harass you into joining their dodgy MLM? That’s the vibe we want to avoid.
- Ask for permission before proceeding with questions
- Ask simple questions directed at your prospect’s challenges or pain points
- Offer something for free – some content, a consultation, or a webinar
- Space messages out appropriately
- Offer prospects opt-out – you can be direct “hey, if I’m annoying you, just let me know and I’ll stop asking”
Do personalize your connection requests
If you’re taking the time to connect to someone – either a potential client or someone in your industry – it’s essential to include a personal message,
It shouldn’t be long-winded. Just a short, polite, engaging message explaining why the person stood out to you and why you’d like to connect.
It helps to reference something they mention on their profile, like a skill they have that you’re interested in or a project they worked on that you admire.
Don’t just be an advertiser
LinkedIn is so much more than a marketing platform. If you’re only there to advertise your services and bombard your network with ads, you’re not going to generate high-quality leads.
To get true value from LinkedIn, you have to give something back to the online community.
Contribute to group discussions, share your colleague’s success stories, and congratulate others on their achievements.
Do be consistent with updates
The campaign itself might be automated, but LinkedIn lead generation is no set and forget task.
To stay on top of people’s dashboards and feeds, you’ve got to post regularly and with consistent effort.
Incorporate LinkedIn posts into your large-scale marketing plan or personal routine. Some groups will have helpful hashtags to keep you in regular content – like #WhiteboardWednesdays.
Don’t be afraid to stand out
There are thousands of professionals on LinkedIn offering the exact same service that you are.
So, what sets you apart?
Learning to embrace and showcase what makes you different can be challenging at first, but it’ll help you attract high-quality leads who find your messages relatable.
This is where it pays to be a little personal – talk about your values, your passions, your hobbies, and even your mistakes.
Conclusion: Need Help With LinkedIn?
We’ve covered a lot about LinkedIn lead generation. Hopefully, by now, you feel less overwhelmed and more driven to put a strategy together and start getting results.
The best way to get started is to start working on your content. Start planning blog topics, talking to case study participants, and discussing a webinar with your team.
Otherwise, if you’re looking to delve deeper into your digital marketing tactics, it might be time to call in a team of experts.
An agency of technologists with a results-driven approach to marketing on tricky platforms like LinkedIn.
An agency like us. At GrowthGurus, we have the proven tools and processes to help you scale up your business and enhance your online presence. We’ll show you how to put the right content in front of the right people.