Hi again, LinkedIn’s core value proposition remains pretty much the same. It legitimizes putting your CV online, keeping it up-to-date, and putting your best foot forward for future job prospects, for most people. That’s fundamentally its core proposition. A lot of us use it for different purposes, but that’s essentially it. That, therefore, means that lots of people keep their profile really up-to-date, which makes it a great source for leads. Today, I want to explore how to get leads from LinkedIn.

I’ve explored great advice from other bloggers, including a couple of our own articles, and I’ve brought it down, I think, to these conclusions:

  • Create a great profile and keep it up-to-date, self-evident.
  • Connect to everybody you know and no one that you don’t know.
  • Monitor movements and reach out to people who’ve moved, whether you know them or don’t know them, come back to that later.
  • Commit to 20 minutes a day.
  • Don’t be afraid to start cold.
  • Start an information sharing dialogue, not a pitch.
  • Don’t be afraid to climax.
  • Stick around and I’ll explain why.

As I’ve said, I’ve got 5 sources plus one of our own, actually, 2 of our own, that I want to refer to today.

The first one is from Jeff Haden. He’s a contributing editor from Inc. Answer the question, “What do you do in a 30-second intro video?” Really what it’s getting at is, pimp your profile. “Connect using people you know to broaden your network.” I’m actually not so fond of that; I’ll come back to that. “Don’t connect with people you don’t actually know,” and that’s why. Third point I strongly agree with: “Use LinkedIn to create leads by investigating people you may know.” Yeah, but how? Asking common connections? Maybe. I’ve got a better idea for you. “Monitor current clients and top prospects,” absolutely. “Share and update daily,” good idea. “Join groups.” I’m not on groups anymore, not so keen. “Congratulate anybody on what they’re achieving.” Yeah, maybe. I actually do that, to be honest. Take the time to write a recommendation of clients. A nice courtesy, if nothing else. What he’s really getting at there is, do the 20 minutes. Don’t do 3 hours and then, nothing.

Next contribution is from HubSpot. 6 ways to generate leads for business. Unfortunately, this might be an old article because a lot of the recommendations don’t hold anymore. “Use LinkedIn answers,” but that’s no longer available. “The applications function use,” unfortunately, also no longer supported. “Join groups outside of your industry,” perhaps. “Use LinkedIn people to get industry names.” “Consider using LinkedIn direct ads.” Consider? Okay, I’m not sure. “When at trade shows, use the mobile app to increase your network.” Well, that’s just an efficiency for data entry. Really, the point is you’re connecting with them. Less there than normal. I quite like HubSpot. I just don’t think there’s a huge amount in that particular article, or perhaps, it’s just been taken over by changes in the technology.

Next up, John Nemo, author of LinkedIn Riches. Clearly, he knows something about the subject. Unfortunately, this article doesn’t really do it. I suspect his book does, in fairness. Three ways to generate leads: 1. Join relevant industry groups. 2. Avoid the generic message, providing a personal statement. That’s about pimping your profile. Avoid a hard sell. Definitely agree with the third point.

Lewis Howes, he’s got 10 ways: “Be specific, add websites, be creative, ask to connect, add contact info, answer questions,” which is no longer a feature, “Discuss in groups, create an event,” which is no longer possible, “Introduce others, and recommend others.” Possibly.

The most shared article with, get this, 248 shares on Facebook, 41 on LinkedIn, 178 on Twitter, 4 on Pinterest, and 48 on Google+. Google+ actually got up on this one. That’s clever. The recommendations are: First is, “Appoint 2 new members per second of joining up on LinkedIn.” Yeah, that just says why, not how. “Join groups and be active,” in a moment I’m going to draw a different conclusion. I’m not so keen on groups anymore. “Explain who you are in simple terms,” yeah, of course. Good idea. That’s about pimping your profile.

Also checked out one of my own prior blogs called, “How to Generate leads through LinkedIn,” which is another video. One that my partner Brett Bonser did, entitled, “The Importance of a good VBR.”

Let me synthesis all of that for you because I think it comes down to some pretty common sense advice. Most of which I agree with, but I’m still going to twist it. Let me give you first what I think that synthesizes to:

  • Pimp your profile and keep it up-to-date.
  • Connect to everyone you know and no one you don’t know.
  • Monitor all movements.
  • Join relevant groups.
  • Spend a little time each day rather three hours and then nothing.
  • Use the platform to engage with current or potential clients.
  • Show interest in a potential client rather than going for the hard sale.

I actually agree with all of that. I’ve already argued I’m not so keen on groups anymore, but other than that I do agree with those recommendations. However, I think I can get more concrete for you in terms of distilling that to things that you actually should do, and some concrete steps.

Let me have a go at that now. The first step, clearly is to create a great profile, and keep it great. That’s evident. If people go and look at your profile, and you look like a nilly they’ll switch off really quickly.

Secondly, connect to everybody that you know. Why everybody? Because when they move roles, then if they know you only have some kind of relationship with them, then that’s a good time to reach out to them. You really want to connect to everybody you know. Frankly, no one that you don’t know. I get a reasonable number of connection requests every day, and I don’t accept them unless I know the person. Why? Because when they move, I don’t care, so why would I connect with them, and when people look at profile and see who I’m connected with, I don’t want to say that I’m connected to this person if I’m not really. I try to make LinkedIn reflect my real world.

Which gets us to the monitoring of movements. Basically, anybody that I know when they move, I reach out and say, “Hey. Congratulations on the new role. Love stay in touch. What are your details?” I do that to keep my contact information up-to-date and just for a little soft touch. I’m definitely not trying to sell them anything. I’m not even selling them on a content journey because they’re probably already on it. If we’re connected, they’re already getting my stuff on LinkedIn. If we’re connected via e-mail, they’re also getting it either via the blog or the monthly wrap up we send to the people that we know well. I just want to keep my contact database up-to-date and to touch base and say, “Hello.” I may well take it further if I think there’s something I can do with them, but I’ll do that after saying, “Hi.”

Equally though, people who I don’t know. You definitely want to connect or at least monitor those. If there are key role, there are two elements: Don’t bother unless the account is one that you really care about, and don’t bother unless the role is one that you really care about. For anybody, any key role in a key account, if somebody moves into that role who you don’t know, you should still reach out to them. “Hey. Congratulations on the new role. We haven’t met, but this,” now explain your value proposition, and here’s the point. It’s at the end of my list here, but I’m going to jump forward to it now.

The dialogue that you are going to start with that person is a content dialogue, not a pitch. Clearly. It’s not I want to sell you something, it’s got some great information on a topic that I think you’re going to find relevant to your new role. Let’s connect and you’ll find my content that way. Nice soft request.

Definitely spend 20 minutes a day, I’m not great at this. I am going to make it a habit. This year, I’m going to work much harder at it. Definitely I love the idea of 20 minutes a day, rather than three hours once a week or whatever it takes. Frequent, small touches, really good idea.

Next three points kind of tie together. Don’t be afraid to start cold. By that I mean, if you don’t know that person, don’t be afraid to reach out. I’ve already kind of described what that reach out looks like. You’re in this role in this company, I’m relevant to this role at this company for these reason, would love to share some content with you that you might find useful. Not, I want to pitch you a product or service.

Make it a content journey. You actually want to take them on a little bit of a journey. Don’t be afraid to build your climax with that content journey. What I’m saying there is certainly the first touch is going to be wholly informational and maybe allude to some value. The next one might allude a little more strongly to that value, but the value is not going to be the service that I offer, but something I want you to do. I’m building up to this thing, maybe the thing is subscribe to my blog, maybe the thing is fill in this form and let’s talk. I don’t know what the final thing that you can actually achieve.

Geico James Tackleman, good day James, uses the term, “the ultimate online transaction.” Probably a good expression. What’s the final best outcome that you can achieve online. Build up to that thing. Your content is building a crescendo to that point. Allude to it, and then speak to it, and then really sell it hard. It’s a journey, and don’t be afraid to reach a climax.

Occasionally when you do, they’re not going to be interested in moving forward. That is perfectly okay. Put them into your nurture program, and keep recycling them. Don’t be afraid to try for it, as long as you build up progressively over several touches.

That’s it. That’s my best advice on how to get leads from LinkedIn. I hope you found that useful. I request if I may, if you haven’t already. Let me start at the beginning. If you got a bit of value from this, and I hope you did, then you probably want to know when the next tip’s out. We do it once a week. Why don’t you subscribe either on the blog, go to align.me/Blog or on YouTube if that’s your preference, go to youtube.com/alignmeb2b. Either way, subscribe because you’ll be the first to hear about these tips that come out once a week.

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I almost forgot. The third thing is if you’ve done all those things, thank you. Really, thank you. Can I help you more? Send me an e-mail and here’s the e-mail: [email protected]. Send an e-mail to that address, and let me know topics that you’d like covered. I would love to cover a topic that you would find really useful. So let me know. That’s it for this week, lots more coming next week. Until then may your funnel be full and always flowing.