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When it comes to sales prospecting and lead generation, the same advice has been offered for years – websites, business cards, networking events, LinkedIn – these are all things that you’re supposed to ‘do’ as a sales leader or a business owner to generate new business. While there are a ton of resources encouraging you to use these tools, there are very few that tell you how (or why). You’re just supposed to ‘do’ them (without knowing how).

When it comes to LinkedIn this is especially true. What does ‘doing’ LinkedIn even mean? Usually, it means spending time spamming people with messages and going down some rabbit hole reading things that interest you, not things that interest your prospects. Ultimately, this is not a very effective use of time. There’s a better way, folks. 

1. Identify Your Perfect Prospects

How do you generate more sales leads on LinkedIn? Stop wasting time reaching out to people your products or services don’t serve. Efficiently prospecting means targeting the right people.  

Have you ever actually gone through this exercise outside of LinkedIn? Have you ever actually sat down and tried to identify a hundred or a thousand of your actual perfect prospects? Business owners are told to spend all this time creating buyer personas or avatars, but have you ever actually applied those hypothetical people to real companies and then created a path from them to you or from you?

Identifying your target audience is key and LinkedIn makes it easier than many other tools. The trick is using LinkedIn’s search correctly. How do you use LinkedIn as a lead-generation tool? Boolean search, of course. Using the right combination of terms and operators when entering a query into LinkedIn’s search bar gets you incredibly valuable information about location, title, company, etc. Boolean search strategy lets you cut through the noise of search results even more effectively than using the filters built into the search tool. Using them together? Even better. 

For example, your target audience might contain sales reps for education companies.  Enter sales AND education into the search bar and voila. You’ve got a list of people who are in sales for education companies. Further refine the list with filters for things like location, size of company, etc., and you can much more easily target messaging and maximize your lead generation efforts. 

If you really want to ensure you’re reaching qualified leads, consider Digital Sandwich’s LinkedIn as a Service offering. We take this Boolean search hack several steps further and produce a list of your perfect prospects complete with LinkedIn profile, URL, page URLs, emails, phone numbers, etc.

2. Post Valuable Content

Post interesting, relevant, helpful content with your target audience in mind. Valuable content is not universal – your target audience might not find value in the same content you do. Consider this when crafting posts.

You want to feed the algorithm so it understands who needs to see your content, who you’re looking to engage with, and who you might be interested in what you’re doing and sharing. 

If that sounds challenging, don’t be intimidated. You can engage with and share content others have posted, too. Share someone else’s post (an influencer or authority figure in the space) after adding your own thoughtful comments. Or, create your own content in responses (reaction videos are a thing). Go engage with members of your target audience by commenting on and interacting with their posts. 

See, social media so often gets treated like broadcast media. It’s a one-sided conversation. It shouldn’t be. 

3. Act Like a Human 

No one wants to be treated like a potential customer.

LinkedIn may be synonymous with sales and job-hunting, but it is still a social network. It’s meant to encourage connections and relationships (albeit professional ones).

Treat connections like you’d treat someone in a real-life social situation.  Sending people you’ve never met or interacted with a series of messages with sales language and they feel like a target, a potential customer, a commodity. No one likes that feeling.

Think about your LinkedIn inbox. How many of those messages are personal? How many are from connections you know? How many are spammy messages from near-strangers pitching you their products and services? Now, of those pitches, how many have you actually pursued or responded to? Likely zero. Because you don’t know, like, or trust the sender. 

Put yourself on the other side of that. Just as you are more likely to read a message sent from someone you know or recognize (because they’ve engaged with your posts and activity) so are your prospects and targets. 

Be polite. Ask questions. Have conversations. You know, act like a human.

Key Takeaways

  • Utilize Boolean search to ensure you are connecting and engaging with your ideal prospects. Targeting the right individuals puts you in front of more qualified leads from the start. 
  • Engage with content that is helpful, interesting, and relevant to members of your target market. The content should be meaningful to them (regardless of whether it’s meaningful to you). 
  • Treat connections and prospects like people, not commodities.  The purpose of LinkedIn isn’t just to send out cold emails and hope something happens. It’s to build relationships.
  • Give it time. Apply these strategies consistently for 90 days and you’ll definitely see an improvement in your conversion rate. 

Digital Sandwich Agency

At Digital Sandwich Agency, we just want to see small businesses market themselves better. So go. Get on LinkedIn. Spend a few minutes a day for about 3 months following these steps and you’ll definitely ‘do’ LinkedIn better.  .Sound like too much work? We can help. Let us help you leverage your presence on LinkedIn by executing these strategies and then some. We’ll optimize your page and your business page, refine your audience further and make sure you’re omnipresent to your targets. Utilizing ads and smart sequences to maximize outreach, we’ll ‘do’ LinkedIn with you – all while you spend just a few minutes a week on the platform.

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