In my last article, I mentioned the importance of not adding every brand-new connection to your email list (without their permission). However, it is a good practice to send a message with a (valuable) lead magnet to anyone who invited you to connect.
Let’s dive a little deeper into this strategy.
1. Lead magnet & responding to invitations
With all the talk about social selling – it’s important to note that LinkedIn is not actually about selling! It is about creating better relationships with your connections so that they begin to know, like and trust you enough to eventually buy from you.
“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust” – Bob Burg
So, first and foremost, you must know who your audience is and then create content that they would be interested in.
I have a client who works in the arena of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He realizes that M&A is much more than just a bunch of accountants looking at numbers. He really focuses on marketing and equity building strategies, and has excellent videos and articles he shares with his new connections. All his lead magnets are pieces of content that businesses can use to build their equity. He is really beginning to position himself and his company as the “go to” M&A company in Europe.
2. Add a lead magnet in your publisher articles
If you are already creating content for a blog post, you should re-purpose that content for LinkedIn publisher! (I have a whole article on how to use LinkedIn Publisher here)
If people are reading your long form posts (and they should be long – 900-1400 words,) then they are invested in you and your content. So why not put a lead magnet right in the heart of your article?
One of my clients in Toronto, Canada, is bespoke men’s clothier. They have some of the coolest lead magnets I’ve seen – from how to tie an ascot tie – to how to properly wear a morning jacket! Would a female realtor be reading their articles? Probably not. But male sales and marketing professionals in Toronto sure are. And the content in their posts are tailored (get it?) just for their niche audience.
3. Send private messages to carefully curated connections
One thing I make all my clients do (they hate me at first but thank me later) is to “manage” their connection by tagging them. Why? So that they can sort their network by those tags and then send private messages to that carefully curated selection of connections.
LinkedIn got rid of the tagging tool on the latest user interface. But free users of LinkedIn can use a free Chrome app called Dux-Soup to tag and take notes on their connections and contacts. Sales Navigator (LinkedIn’s premium sales platform) still uses Tags and Notes.
Once you have organized your connections into curated lists, you can message them with content (and lead magnets) designed specifically for them.
While you also will want to share some of that content in Publisher or as an update on LinkedIn, you have a much better chance of them seeing your content if you send it to them a private message.
- Review your connections.
- Tag them accordingly.
- Create content for that targeted audience.
- Send them a private message with the content link and a description of the content. (You should only send free lead magnets – not something you’re trying to sell them.)
4. Use Sponsored Updates to Promote an Article or Update
Finally, if you are sharing your content – either through updates or sharing Published Posts, consider paying to sponsor those updates so they are seen by a bigger network on LinkedIn.
If you have a clearly defined target market, but are not connected to them all yet, then sponsored updates will help you to reach these new leads.
One of my clients is a very successful realtor, but was new to LinkedIn, so didn’t yet have a great network. She came to me to help her create a strategy to grow her visibility. The first thing we talked about was how she was NOT going to try and sell houses on LinkedIn. Rather, we were going to use LinkedIn to promote her as the “go to” resource for her community. We had her write and share content about her community activities (where the best yoga studios, best doctors, salons and farmer’s markets were.) In fact – we repurposed a lot of content she had already created for Facebook and Instagram and lead magnets– that were still business-relevant. Since she didn’t have a big following yet, we promoted some of those articles to her very specific local market. And she started getting invitations to connect! If she had just plastered houses she was trying to sell all over her timeline or messaged every connection with a list of her latest properties, she would have remained invisible on LinkedIn. Instead, she shared relevant community information with the right prospects in her area – and in turn, they think of her when they need – or hear of someone who needs – a realtor. She sells several homes a year through LinkedIn in this way.
You can see that LinkedIn can in fact be a great place to grow your network, grow your visibility, grow your influence and grow your funnel. While the tools and strategies are all there – you might just need a little help in figuring out how to put them together the right way for the best results!