3 Steps to Effective LinkedIn Lead Generation

Apr 12, 2022

Whether using LinkedIn lead generation is brand new to you or you’ve been doing it for a while, it can be hard to get results if you’re not taking the right approach. In fact, there are three main areas that, when you get each of them dialed in, make for an effective lead generation strategy.

In this episode, I talk about the three main components of an effective LinkedIn lead generation strategy, including how to find your ideal clients on LinkedIn, how to craft messages that get responses, and how to make sure you’re building an effective LinkedIn funnel.

Hello, and welcome to the Client Attractor Show, where we talk about concrete tactics and strategies that you can use to attract your dream clients. I'm your host, Jacob Ratliff, client attraction coach and author of the new book Client Attractor. If you've not gotten your copy yet, you can pick that up today at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or clientattractorbook.com

In today's episode, we are going to be talking about the three big steps for generating leads on LinkedIn, and these are the three big things you'll want to be considering if you are starting to use LinkedIn for your lead generation or if you're already using it for your lead gen. They are your targeting, your messaging, and your sequencing. To start off, I'm going to actually do something a little bit different; I'm going to go ahead and explain the three of them just from a high level before we dive into each of them on a deeper scale. 

The first is targeting, which is essentially how to find your ideal clients on LinkedIn, how to actually find people who fit the profile of your ideal client. The second is messaging, how you're crafting your messages and outreach in a way that connects with your ideal client and actually gets a response, and how you're doing that without coming across as spammy or robotic. The third is sequencing, how to structure an effective lead generation campaign or sequence that gets results without sacrificing a personal touch. That’s when we start talking about automation, and the great thing about how we're talking about sequencing, I'll go ahead and say, is that you can do it with or without automation; that's totally up to you. But the same principles do apply, whether you're doing it manually, or whether you're automating certain parts of it. 

We're starting, obviously, with targeting, with how you're finding your ideal clients on LinkedIn. Now, the most popular tool for doing this is LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which costs $100 a month, and that's a lot. If that's not in the budget for you, know that you don't actually have to use Sales Navigator. There are a lot of different ways to find your ideal clients on LinkedIn. If you can't afford a premium LinkedIn subscription, you can start by just using the free search tools built in to LinkedIn. That's one way—the free tools, Sales Navigator. There are also third-party search and targeting applications, so you don't have to use Sales Navigator at all, even if you can afford it. There are platforms like Apollo or Seamless.AI, where you can do similar targeting. Circling back to the free pieces that you can use, you can also use, to some extent, LinkedIn groups to find your ideal clients the same way you might do that on Facebook, finding groups that are primarily consisting of people who fit that profile of an ideal client. 

The problem that people run into, no matter what tool they're using, is that when your targeting is off, it usually doesn't have a whole lot to do with how you're finding them, what tool you're looking at, whether it's Sales Navigator, or Seamless, or just doing free searches. It's not actually the tool; it's usually the criteria that you're using to search. If your targeting feels off, it's probably around that criteria that you're entering. 

When you're conducting a search on any platform, any app, you always want to be as specific as possible. That’s why if you get, say, 25,000 results, for some search criteria, that's probably too many results, and it probably means that you're not getting specific enough. Now, that's not a hard and fast rule, but generally, having fewer results is an indicator that you are getting specific enough. If you are entering in all these search criteria and you're still coming up with a lot of or maybe too many results, remember that you don't have to search for all of your ideal clients in a single search. 

The value is in really segmenting those searches so that, for example, if your ideal client is life coaches, well, there's a ton of life coaches, but you can start to only segment maybe a portion of those life coaches, say, life coaches with a spiritual focus. That's going to give you a list of a lot fewer results. You're going to know when you reach out that that is the niche you're reaching out to, and you can then, in the future, do a similar type thing, where you do a search for life coaches with another kind of band or specialty. So, that’s usually the best way to go about it, to do multiple, really specific searches, rather than trying to create one big search that's going to encompass all of your ideal clients. 

The second piece is messaging. Once you have found your ideal clients on LinkedIn, how are you conducting those reach outs? What are you actually saying? It's important to make sure to keep the conversation, obviously, conversational. Keep it a conversational tone. But it's more important to understand the goal of these initial outreaches and the goal of getting a conversation started. 

The goal is to start a conversation with your ideal clients, not to sell to them. The sales piece comes once you establish that rapport—you've gotten the conversation going, and you have a good idea that you can actually help them. Oftentimes, what goes wrong with LinkedIn automation, or just lead generation in general, whether or not it has anything to do with automation, is that the goal is all wrong. To be successful, the goal needs to be to start the conversation, rather than to sell. 

And there are several other factors besides what you actually say that play into whether you get a response. Obviously, the goal of your messaging, or the message that you're sending initially, is to get a response, and there are four components that play into whether you get that response. The first is making sure that your LinkedIn profile is optimized, making sure that it speaks to your ideal client, is geared towards your ideal client. And when they go to look at your profile, which they will when they see a message from you, making sure that the profile supports them responding to you rather than hinders it. 

The second is the actual message itself. That's when it comes to remembering and considering that if they think that your main objective is to sell them, and if your main objective is indeed to sell them, they're not going to reply. The third is alignment back to that profile and back to the message as well. Does what's on the profile and what's in your message align with them and with what they need? 

The fourth is the timing, and you have less control of this. You can obviously do some search criteria to try to get it as close as possible, but does what you do align with what they need at the moment? That's perhaps the one you have the least control over, but it's still important to consider and to keep in mind. 

The third and final thing to consider is the sequencing, remembering, first, the ultimate goal of this funnel is to get them on a triage call or a discovery call or some other sort of sales conversation. This comes back to the message you attach to that connection request: What's on your profile, and what touchpoints are you creating before you send that message? 

For example, if you view their profile, they'll see a notification that says, “Jacob viewed your profile.” If you like a post of theirs, they will get a notification; they will see your name. If you comment on one of your posts, they will get a notification; they will see your name. The value of those is that those are really specific touch points to start to create some name recognition, so that by the time they get a connection request from you, they see a message from you, they will have already seen your name, and they might have even already clicked through to look at your profile, when they saw that you liked a post or commented on a post or just viewed their profile. Part one of the sequencing is before the connection request. 

The second is after the connection request. Once they've accepted your connection request, how are you following up with them? If they don't immediately reply, are you sending them a string of 10 messages over a month? Whether or not they reply, are you kind of harassing them in their inbox? Or, how are you following up in a way that is not too pushy, but that ultimately does get them to reply? 

So, those are the big three things you want to be paying attention to: the targeting, the messaging, and the sequencing. Again, the targeting is how you're finding your ideal clients on social media, or specifically on LinkedIn. In this case, the messaging piece is how you are phrasing those outreaches. And the sequencing is how you are structuring that overall flow, how you're structuring that funnel, so to speak, so that you go from, okay, here's someone who I have searched for, and I found that they are an ideal client or look like they are, all the way to connecting with them, starting a conversation, and getting them on a strategy session or a sales call. 

Those are the big three things you want to be paying attention to. Obviously, there's a lot more to each of these three things, but if you're just getting started, or if you've been using LinkedIn but haven't gotten great results, the problem usually lies in one or more of these three areas. 

As always, thank you so much for joining me for today's episode of the Client Attractor Show. I'm your host, Jacob Ratliff, and I'll see you tomorrow for our next episode. Take care.


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