How To Get Leads On LinkedIn (Sarah Clay)

Sarah Clay

LinkedIn is for business; it’s for generating leads.

There, I’ve said it.

If you’re using LinkedIn but you’re not generating leads, are you doing something wrong? Are you “on” LinkedIn every day and still not getting leads?

According to research by HubSpot, 65% of businesses say generating traffic and leads is their top marketing challenge.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, owner-managed SME, or a large corporation, you can generate leads on LinkedIn without having to spend all day there.

LinkedIn isn’t a quick fix; building relationships takes time. Neither is it a “one-stop shop.” If you treat LinkedIn the way you’d train in the gym—do a bit of everything—then you should start to see those leads banging on your DM box!

Here are 10 things you can do to help you get more leads on LinkedIn:

1. Optimize your profile

Before you start venturing out on LinkedIn, it’s important to present yourself to potential leads in a way that encourages them to connect with you.

When you connect with someone on LinkedIn, the first thing they (should!) do is look at your profile. Make sure it’s fully completed and optimized with a completed headline and About section.

You will also need a banner, an up-to-date profile photo, and maybe even a profile video and voice recording.

Phew! There’s a lot to building your LinkedIn profile!

If you need some help, please check out this article to get you started.

2. Create thought-provoking, value-add content

The second step to getting leads on LinkedIn is to create posts which your potential clients WANT to read.

Showcasing your knowledge on LinkedIn is one way of increasing your reach and connections. By adding value to your potential clients, you will bring them closer to you—and they’ll more likely to enquire about working with you.

BOOM! That’s a lead!

You may want to read this article: ‘How to write scroll-stopping posts on LinkedIn’

3. Start with your current contacts

Is there a phrase “networking begins at home”? (There is now!)

Rather than spending time looking for new potential leads, start by looking at your current connections. Could any of those people be a lead, or introduce you to a lead or two?

Sometimes we overlook friends and family as potential clients and collaborators, but people who already know you could be very powerful allies. It may be that many people in your close family and friendship circle don’t even know what you do! Connect with them on LinkedIn—you’ll remain top of mind when a potential opportunity arises.

4. Get out of your comfort zone

So, you’ve exhausted all the people in your direct network; now it’s time to go out and make some connections!

This is where many people get stuck. If you just stay in your home feed communicating with the people there, it’s unlikely you will find enough relevant leads to make your time on LinkedIn worthwhile.

By commenting on comments and on posts of people you don’t know, you can spread your reach enormously! Look out for content which your connections have commented on and reacted to. Starting to read those people’s posts and commenting on them will enable you to build relationships with them. It’s just like being at a party and chatting with friends of friends!

5. Make the most of the search option on LinkedIn

The LinkedIn search bar is a band of gold with opportunities a-plenty! A tiny and very pale strip, and it provides so much value! You can type in the search bar and search for people, companies, posts and many more. Its powers are vast—and it’s such an underused tool.

Using the “All Filters” button on the right will help you niche down by company, area, school and more. Please explore and use these tools—they’re there for you to use, and they’re free!

6. Target the decision makers

If you’re targeting a company, think carefully which person in that company pays the bills. That’s who you need to speak to. Spending hours preparing and writing an initial pitch can be time wasted if you only send it to people who don’t have decision-making powers.

You can start making relationships with more junior members of staff, but use them to get you further up the tree to the decision-makers you need.

7. Build on existing relationships

It is much easier to deepen an already-existing relationship than to start from scratch. Don’t run around LinkedIn making hundreds of connections and not building on them. Nurture the leads you make before making new leads. This will be a faster, easier and more effective strategy.

8. Give people a reason to connect with you

Why should someone connect with you?

People are bombarded with new connections on LinkedIn; they can afford to be choosy. Give them a reason why they should connect with you.

What problems can you solve for each person you connect with? What information can you give them to appeal to them?

Most people on LinkedIn are thinking, “What’s in it for me?” If you can answer that question, you’re on your way to getting a client!

9. Don’t be spammy

No one likes being sold to. If you go in with a sales pitch before the person is ready, they’ll be gone—and they will never be a lead.

Just like in real life, relationships on LinkedIn are not created overnight! Would you ask someone to marry you on a first date? Not likely! You spend time getting to know someone before you launch into a heavy relationship. It’s the same in sales: people need to know, like, and trust you before they buy from you.

So be patient, grasshopper: build the relationship, and wait for the sale to happen.

10. Join, and engage in, groups

By joining and engaging in an active group you could be joining a whole community of relevant leads and referrers.

LinkedIn Groups are a hit-or-miss affair, but worth investigating. Find groups in your sector using the search option at the top of your profile and request to join. When you’re admitted, introduce yourself and make friends!

So there you have it, my friend. Ten things you can be doing on LinkedIn to help you get more leads. I know you don’t have tons of time as you’re busy running your business—but spend just 20 minutes a day doing some of these things and not only will you be creating more leads, you’ll be converting them, too!

Sarah Clay @sarah2
I train companies and entrepreneurs how to get more leads on LinkedIn. I work 121, with groups and I also have a fabulous community of LinkedIn learners

Tell Us Below:

Are you consistently generating business leads on LinkedIn? How?

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Such a great reminder, @sarah2! I love the gym analogy, where you say it’s about doing a little bit of everything. So true!

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Hey there @sarah2! Thank you so much for this. I have been playing with LinkedIn a little more.

I am having a hard time engaging with other people on the platform. I tend to see the same 5-7 people’s posts every time I go on. How can I make that change?

I noticed that you talk about using the search filter! Do you recommend just using that and search for people that I want to connect with?

I would love to know your thoughts on this!

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Hey Jeremy great questions. Thought I would jump in to conversation here as well. Depending how active the people you follow are really is the issue with the feed. You don’t have to actually ask to connect with everyone - start following people in the fields that relate to your work. This way you should start to see a lot more content presented to you that you can then make comments on. (there is a choice to follow or to connect ).

I generally will only accept a connection request if it comes with an introductory comment and if that comment is not an immediate sell. I also accept requests if it’s someone I have physically met although i still prefer the comment as it is a nice way to remind someone of how you did meet .

I always show clients that search bar when training - it’s a great way to look for specific people, find out how active a particular hashtag is or the people who are using one, look for industry connections or posts. It’s a great feature as you can filter the search to some degree.

Love LinkedIn as generally the quality of posts is such that it encourages conversations, and there is less “filler” type content. These are all great tips Sarah and I recommend that if folk are not doing these things yet - then get onto it!