Your offer must be valuable for prospects to convert. That’s the first lesson I want to share. I became active on LinkedIn at the end of January 2019. Within this timeframe, I’ve generated over 10 leads from LinkedIn. Not bad for a newbie.
I get a lot of messages from connections who want to know how I do it. They complain they’ve been on LinkedIn for ages but people aren’t asking about their services. When they send messages, no response.
A commonality I found on their profile is that they have minimum activity. No updates, articles, post, nothing. They make an occasional post advertising their services and that’s about it.
When I decided to establish Zenith Copy in November 2018, LinkedIn was crucial to success. I watched some LinkedIn influencers for three months. How did a successful influencer post? What type of content got the most engagement? Could I apply their style to my strategy?
After studying for three months, I was ready to become active. My first post introducing my website was well received.
The second post got over 36k views and 700 likes. I only had 500 connections when I made that post. It generated qualified leads that put me in business.
It all begins with a good profile image
I look at an image before viewing a profile. I’m not going to send you a request if you have a snapshot filter on your head or you’ve turned your back to the camera. Don’t get me started on those who use their cats or dogs as profile images.
People want to see who they’ll be doing business with. Not everyone needs a headshot. But if you’re looking to attract new business, its’ a start.
Most people on LinkedIn haven’t met before. An unprofessional selfie is a turnoff. A high-quality image complemented by an intriguing biography piques the reader’s interest.
Pimp your profile
Think of your LinkedIn profile like a Google search result. When a user searches “copywriter” they don’t want to see all copywriters on LinkedIn. If they filter the result down to “Nigeria” and “2nd Degree connections”, I want to show up.
Start with your headline. Ensure it delivers value to a prospect at first glance. Use actionable words to persuade people to take a closer look at your profile.
In your summary, begin with the solution. Use active verbs to show how your service benefits prospects or those who will hire you. The first three sentences are crucial. Remove fluff. Look through profiles of experts in your niche. Use their profile for inspiration.
Leverage LinkedIn Premium for Leads
See that LinkedIn Premium button you’ve ignored for ages? It’s time to use it. Don’t be afraid. The first month is 100% free and you cancel your subscription before the 30 day expiration to avoid deductions on your credit or debit card.
I once wrote that it’s not the number of LinkedIn followers you have but the quality of your connections. There are folks on LinkedIn who have 10k-25k connections but no engagement.
You need two types of connections. LinkedIn connections from your niche and LinkedIn connections that convert. Knowledge is just as important as sales. No one is a custodian of all knowledge. We constantly grow, learn and evolve. Experts and thought leaders in your industry help you on your quest to greatness.
Before sending a connection request, ensure they haven’t reached 30k connections. Personalise your request to increase your chances of acceptance. I am a copywriter looking to learn from copywriters, SEO experts and marketers.
I filter the results by
- People who have posted in the last 30 days
- Individuals working in small companies with a staff strength of 50 or less
- 2nd-degree connections
My request would read
Hello Peter. We have a shared connection with Tobi Ademola. We don’t know each other but I’m looking to connect with search experts like you. I hope you accept my request.
It’s hard to personalise all my requests but I try, especially when using a desktop. I limit the search result to 2nd-degree connections. I want to have someone in common with the search expert (Tobi Ademola).
My interest is two-fold. I want to learn from them but I won’t mind if they outsource their copywriting to me. Those who run small companies are more likely to outsource than large companies.
When choosing leads answer these questions
- Who would benefit from my services or product?
- Are they on LinkedIn
- Are they active?
- What type of content would attract them?
When am not using LinkedIn Sales Navigation to generate leads, I choose connections after adding someone. LinkedIn shows you suggestions. They are 2nd-degree connections of someone who was recently added to your network.
Images are everything. I’m looking for leads who have a good headshot on their profile. I look at their profile details to check if they need my services. Sometimes I add connections based on intuition. It’s hard to explain. I just go with my gut.
Use Content to Engage Leads
Once your lead accepts your request, thank them for connecting. Introduce yourself and wish them a blessed week. DO NOT SELL.
In the early days, I couldn’t help myself. I pushed my services like the novice I was. They read my messages but they didn’t reply. Now that hurt.
Instead of pushing your services in their face, create content. Your content serves as your marketer and lead nurturer. With each piece of content, the lead becomes familiar with you. They comment on your posts, like your images and look forward to your articles.
Once they’re ready, they’ll come to you. Alternatively, you could say Hi, after a month or two and introduce your services. At this stage, you’re not a complete stranger. They know the quality and value you bring. Most importantly, they know you.
Your activity on LinkedIn is super important. Got a lead you want to engage with? Like or comment on their posts. Share insightful comments that drive people to look up your profile. Soon, you’ll be bantering with your lead like old friends in the comment section.
Love something but too lazy to comment? Click the tiny “like” button or share it to your timeline. When you engage with content on LinkedIn, it appears on your connections’ timeline, increasing the reach of the post.
If you have a small following, leverage your connections by tagging them in your post. Use relevant hashtags to promote your content to the entire LinkedIn platform.
This is where you enjoy personalised one-on-one conversations with leads. It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. They said “hi” and you’re excited. Be brief, direct and non-patronising. People can smell crap from a mile away.
Don’t try to sell what you don’t have. Honesty always wins. Address them with their first name and don’t be afraid to say what you’re thinking. Messaging is where a lead becomes a customer. If you’re able to convince them, you’ll get their business.
What about other platforms?
LinkedIn is not the only place I generate leads. When I set up Zenith Copywriting, I told my friends to make a post about my new business on Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook. People used the Zenith logo as their display image. To incentivize them, I offered a 10% referral bonus on any business they generated.
Within 24 hours, I got my first referral. We agreed on terms last week and he made payment yesterday. It’s a big project that has the potential to become a long-term relationship.
Don’t limit your business to one platform. I saw a gap in the market and I’m going to exploit it. Many businesses in Nigeria don’t have a website or good content. Instead of waiting for them to come to me, I’m going to them. I go to schools, hospitals, law firms, hotels and other business to pitch my services.
I’ve teamed up with a web designer, graphic designer and digital marketer to bundle our services as an enticing package. People want value. If you give it to them, they will pay good money for it.
Always explore new avenues for your business. If you don’t have a website, create one today. Portfolio websites are decent but a full website shows ambition. Update your pages and create pillar content that nudges your leads one step closer to conversion.