The Ultimate Guide To LinkedIn Lead Generation

Cover image of LinkedIn lead generation ultimate guide

Did you know that LinkedIn lead generation is one of the most vital activities for the sales departments of B2B companies?

“Why?” you ask.

Well, because LinkedIn is the #1 platform for generating leads. Its lead conversion rates are 3x higher than any other major ad platform. Moreover, LinkedIn alone generates 80% of B2B leads coming from social media channels. Lastly, 4 out of 5 LinkedIn users drive some business decisions, and its audience has 2x buying power than the average web audience (source).  

We can go on with the statistics, but you get the gist. LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for generating tons of new leads that convert successfully.

Sadly, many people do not take advantage of LinkedIn. Or they do not have the desired results using LinkedIn lead generation and just give up. 

Thus, in this complete guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about LinkedIn lead generation. To be more precise, you will learn: 

  • What you need to do before you even think about LinkedIn lead generation;  
  • 10 best intent-based strategies to make your LinkedIn lead generation burst with results and shorten the buying cycle;
  • How to perform outreach and what solution to use to streamline your LinkedIn lead generation workflow.
Let's do this LinkedIn lead generation meme

What do you need to do before LinkedIn Lead Generation?

LinkedIn lead generation is undoubtedly one of the main aspects of any online or offline business. With more than 850 million* monthly active users, LinkedIn is the goldmine for lead generation. 

However, you can’t just dive right into LinkedIn lead generation without first establishing the basics.

If you do, you will convert a miserable number of leads and not the good ones either. The reason for such an outcome is poor LinkedIn lead generation basic steps, strategy, targeting, and outreach method. Luckily we will cover everything below.

Are you ready? We will start with the basics and what you need to do first. 

Create Highly Converting LinkedIn Profile

Before you start any LinkedIn lead generation activity, you must improve your LinkedIn profile and optimize it for conversions. If you optimize your profile fully, it will stand out from other profiles and attract more people to visit it.

For example, your LinkedIn URL, headline created to boost LinkedIn lead generation will get you more profile views. Even profile, and LinkedIn cover photo can get you 14x more profile views*. More visits will result in a lot more connection requests and engagements. 

Let’s take a look at this way. What profile photo captures your attention first in the following example?

Image of LinkedIn profiles that demonstrates the importance of fully set up LinkedIn profile for LinkedIn lead generation

We would guess that your answer is the lady with the orange background.

The reason she captured your attention is the fact that she implemented steps that more than 80% of LinkedIn users don’t. 

Find out what these steps are by watching our Free Masterclass. 
Image of LinkedIn Profile masterclass

People are more prone to send you a connection request if they like your profile. Furthermore, they will accept your requests frequently. Thus, your success in generating new leads, acquiring new users, and even selling will be increased significantly.

So, to stand our case, optimizing your profile will improve the conversion rate. Thus, it is one of the most important first steps to successful LinkedIn lead generation.

Define Your ICP And Buyer Persona For LinkedIn Lead Generation

Ideal Customer Profile and Buyer Persona are complementary documents that define your perfect customer and their company. In other words, these documents will show you what type of customer: 

  • Has shortest buying cycle;
  • Keeps high retention rate and LTV
  • Refer your product elsewhere.

If you do not define your ICP and Buyer Persona, you are not able to: 

  • Prepare your LinkedIn lead generation message that converts; 
  • Set up your LinkedIn profile; 
  • Or create thought-leadership content to appeal to your ideal potential customers. 

In other words, you can’t do all these things because you don’t know who you are doing it for, to begin with. So be sure to define both to make your LinkedIn lead generation strategies more effective.

We have a detailed guide on how to create your ICP and Buyer Persona with templates, so be sure to check them out. 

4 Easy Steps To Create ICP For Lead Generation [+ Free Template]
A Step-By-Step Guide To Creating Buyer Persona For Sales [+ Free Template]

Become Thought Leader

Here is an interesting fact for you. Did you know that many decision-makers, 54% of them to be more precise, claim they spend more than one hour per week reading and reviewing thought-leadership content*

Being someone others follow to discover more about their position-related news is one of the essential basis of LinkedIn lead generation. Keep in mind that being a thought leader is a continuous process, and once you get started with it, you need to be consistent to grow.

The best hook for any thought leader is offering valuable content to your network, especially when you have social proof of its actionable results.

By offering a lot of valuable content, you’re earning people’s trust and building the image of an expert in your field. This will help you gain influence status in your market and get tons of leads through your posts

Whatsmore, you will connect with people on a much deeper level by being proactive and initiating different conversations based on your content. 

How To Become Thought Leader?

Easy! Provide people with actionable steps to implement in their business. In addition, these steps should demonstrate your experience in improving your own or someone else’s business. 

You could share stories about tools and strategies you used to get incredible results. Let’s see how you can put this to practice through an example.

Post example demonstrating LinkedIn lead generation strategy through leadership

Why did this post work?

Firstly, the opening line promises a lot and engages the readers to discover more about the story.

Secondly, the author shows the readers the astonishing results and what it could bring to anyone who follows the same steps.

Thirdly, by explaining how the content he shares helped his company, he provides the direct benefit and why people should read it.

Lastly, he includes an effective CTA for people to further engage with the post. That CTA in the last sentence plays an important role in increasing this post’s tremendous reach (98,910 people).

Why?

Well, this post uses the LinkedIn algorithm to its fullest potential.

In other words, when you publish a post, this is what the LinkedIn algorithm does:

  • First, it shows your post to a small group of people called a test group;
  • Secondly, if the test group engages with your post, LinkedIn starts showing your post to all your 1st-degree connections and their friends;
  • Lastly, if the 2nd or 3rd-degree connections engage with it, it will appear in their network too.

That’s how the wider audience can see this post and engage with it. 

What the author asks of people who want to see the guide, in this case, is to first engage with the post by commenting on it. 

That’s why the post became viral. And not only did the post become viral, but more importantly, this paved the way for the overflow of new connections and prospects. 

Build Your Network And Relationships On LinkedIn

Being a thought leader is all nice and fun. However, you won’t get far unless you build your network and actual relationships with other members. 

There is no workaround for this one. The only way to build a relationship with your network is to reach out and start a conversation with them. Talk about their work, the experience with certain parts of their work, or what they find most challenging. You can also have digital coffee with them 🙂 

Establish a habit of finding new people to interact with each day. After all, from honest and good relationships, great customers are born. And that is Social Selling for you folk.

Wish to learn more about Social Selling? No problem. Check out our detailed guides on Social Selling Part 1: Best Tips And Metrics Apply and Social Selling Part 2: How To Create Social Selling Strategy With Examples.   

Create Personalization Spreadsheet

Speaking of Social Selling, you should know that its backbone is actually personalization in communication. Nobody would want to talk to you if you appeared generic or dishonest. Thus, if you wish to do LinkedIn lead generation right, you need to hyper-personalize your communication.

So, when you start generating leads on LinkedIn, you need to acknowledge what that person is all about so you can start the conversation and social selling itself. The one thing that will help you keep organized is a lead personalization spreadsheet. It is a simple yet effective document where you will gather everything about your leads, such as: 

  • First and last name; 
  • LinkedIn profile URL;
  • Company name.
  • The topic of the content they published;
  • What stood out for you the most from the particular post;
  • School they went to;
  • Field of study;
  • Jobs they posted;
  • The technology they use;
  • Company growth information;
  • Personalized message intro (the message you can create based on above mentioned);

Keep in mind that this spreadsheet needs to contain actionable data that you can use in your outreach. We will explain how it can become actionable in your outreach in detail after you gather leads using LinkedIn lead generation.  

Understand Buying Signals When Doing LinkedIn Lead Generation

If we needed to label the urgency of what you should do before LinkedIn lead generation, this would be Very Urgent on our list. Why? Because marketing and sales change their approaches rapidly. So you must keep up with these changes to stay relevant in the market. 

To be more precise, you need to be aware of this change called buying signals. It is the activity that leads perform to indicate buying intention for a specific product or a service. Or a buying signal can be an event that has taken place within the company that changed the company’s needs. 

For example, a prospect can post about a service explaining their good or bad experience and demonstrate their (dis)satisfaction.

Marketing and sales are already using buying signals to generate high-quality leads with specific intent because it is a way to faster conversion. Consequently, LinkedIn is no exception. 

That is what is happening in sales and marketing at the moment. People are figuring out holistic high intent approaches, and you should be one of them. Your job as a LinkedIn lead generation specialist is to know how to detect these signals on LinkedIn and use them to their fullest potential.

10 Best LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies To Generate High Quality Leads

Do not worry if you are still unsure of buying intent and how to create your strategy based on it. We’ve got your back. Almost every LinkedIn lead generation strategy listed below will give you an idea of how to detect these signals, find them, influence them, and reach out to your leads at just the right moment. 

1. Team Up Sales And Marketing Efforts For Ultimate LinkedIn Lead Generation

We cannot talk about LinkedIn lead generation and not mention the marketing and sales synergy. Today people are researching services of interest first before contacting sales or support. Thus, it became essential for marketers to cater to these research needs by creating content and working alongside the sales department to generate leads with personalized ads. 

Salespeople, on the other hand, are responsible for inbound and outbound activities. They are doing this thought leadership, and personal contact once the lead lands in the funnel.

Here is an example of how sales and marketing activities should be complementary to one another.

LinkedIn lead generation strategy to align sales and marketing activities

Thus, one of the main LinkedIn lead generation strategies should be aligning their activities on LinkedIn too. In other words, marketing and sales should:

  • Communicate the same benefits and messaging;
  • Create gated content;
  • Serve personalized content on LinkedIn;
  • Address immediate pain points and buying signals. 

It is essential to align your sales and marketing teams since they are both equally valuable. In other words, if sales target leads by discovering buying signals, marketing needs to do the same. For example, if sales send the leads to a demo page, marketing can create a LinkedIn lead generation ad to target people who visited the demo page but didn’t convert.  

Note: To reach the ultimate results using lead generation, the best-case practice is to extend your lead research beyond LinkedIn. In other words, discover other places to find B2B sales leads according to buying signals and trace them back to LinkedIn for the outreach. 

2. Check For Buying Impulses By Searching LinkedIn Hashtags And Groups

LinkedIn offers many holistic ways to generate leads. Thus, searching for the leads who shared their pain points or someone who wasn’t satisfied with your competitors via hashtags and groups is one way to do it. 

This strategy is perfect for zeroing in on leads based on buying signals. However, it might need some time as it requires manual work.

All you need to do is type your competitor’s name to find dissatisfied customers, search for the hashtag, or explore groups to find a person who asked for advice on their pain point. 

Image of post example where competitor's customers didn't like their product which is considered buying signal; LinkedIn lead generation strategy

Once you do, write down everything you discover in your Personalization Spreadsheet. This way, you gather all the information you need to personalize the message for the outreach.

3. LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategy That Includes Targeting Posts 

One of the interesting ways to jump over gatekeepers and reach decision-makers directly is to find a post that appeals to them. Let’s take a look at this post for example.

Image of viral post to use for LinkedIn lead generation

If you click the reactions or comments, you will for sure find some decision-makers out there.

Image showing how to generate leads from viral posts; LinkedIn lead generation strategy

This is a valuable LinkedIn lead generation strategy, as you will have the perfect conversation starter once you outreach the decision-maker. For example, your conversation starter, based on the previous example, could be:

Hey Tomer,

I noticed you liked Gary Vaynerchuk’s post on making decisions easier by watching consumer behavior, being customer-centric, and putting in the hours. I wanted to ask you how you make decisions in your company. Are there any obstacles and challenges in what Gary mentioned? Let’s connect on this.

Discover more conversation starter templates by visiting our blog post 10 LinkedIn Message Templates [Conversation Starters] For Getting More Leads.

Furthermore, you can even find your buyer persona’s post and reach out to people who engage with their content. Or you can even check the post reactions a dissatisfied customer wrote on your competitor and generate the people who agreed to it. The possibilities are endless.

4. Events LinkedIn Lead Generation 

If you wish to research your leads’ buying signals, you need to start thinking about what LinkedIn events your ideal audience attends. Whatsmore, you can find them all in one place. In addition, attending an event of this kind gives you valuable insight into their problems and needs. 

To target event attendees you need to first search for the events. Then, choose the event and click the Attend button. 

How to apply LinkedIn lead generation strategy that generates leads who attended events

Next, click the Attendees button and check for the list.

Image of how to find and generate leads from LinkedIn events, LinkedIn lead generation strategy

Once the event is live, be sure to write down all the questions, concerns, or comments your leads have to be able to personalize your outreach later on.

To learn more about how to generate leads using events, be sure to check out our blog How To Use LinkedIn Events For LinkedIn Lead Generation [+Templates].

5. Referral Program For LinkedIn Lead Generation

LinkedIn’s main benefit is networking. So why shouldn’t you use this benefit to your advantage and use it for LinkedIn lead generation?

The key here is to connect with your customer and offer them an incentive to refer your service to people who might be interested in using it. In other words, you can create a referral program for your current customers. 

Here is an example of how the LinkedIn lead generation referral program works. First, you can offer a 20% discount for 1 month to your customer for every LinkedIn user who comes to your demo. If they find three people, that’s a 20% discount for 3 months. 

What happens, in this case, is that if the recommended leads convert, they can branch out and find other leads for you to contact and convert. 

Image of how LinkedIn lead generation strategy that uses generated word-of-mouth works

This referral program acts as word-of-mouth and a passive LinkedIn lead generation. You get leads with the buying signal, and your clients become your advocates. In return, they receive an incentive. Win-Win.

6. Sales Navigator’s Technology Used Filter

One of the many useful features in Sales Navigator in the Technology used filter. If you are a SaaS business, then you know what this means. You can easily find people who use softwares similar to yours, or even your competitors and reach out to them.

Simply go to your Sales Navigator Account filters and find Technology Used or search by keyword.

Image of Sales Navigator Technology used filter as a strategy to use LinkedIn lead generation based on buying signals

Once you do, go to that company page and find the lead who you will outreach to.

7. Generate Leads From Your LinkedIn Post

Posting content on LinkedIn as a thought leader is the most beneficial way of attracting the leads you wish. The type of content you post is your decision and creative liberty. However, for LinkedIn lead generation purposes, be sure to post in a way to appeal to the leads in a unique and personalized way. 

Once you see the reactions piling in, you can gather the LinkedIn profiles in one place, and outreach them manually or use the Sales Engagement Platform to do it for you. But we will talk about this soon.

8. Gated Posts As LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategy

Another thing you can do for LinkedIn lead generation that includes your post is to create one intended for acquiring new leads. 

Do you remember the post example from How to become a thought leader? Yes, that was gated content on LinkedIn designed specifically for starting a conversation with new leads who are already interested in seeing his valuable content. What’s best is that they are the ones who initiated the contact. Thus social selling can go upright from here on now.

To post gated content for LinkedIn, you can create any valuable piece of content that your marketing team prepared for you. Or you can write from your experience – the choice is yours. However, keep in mind that this content needs to have good results as proof, be industry-specific, and aim to cater to your prospects’ pain points.

9. Search According To Your ICP Or Buyer Persona

One of the well-established ways to generate leads on LinkedIn is to use the search filters to their fullest. This is where your ICP and Buyer Persona come into play. If you read our guides, then you already know that every piece of information in these documents should be actionable.

Use the filters either in LinkedIn Premium or Sales Navigator accounts to narrow down your search and copy the link URL – you are going to need it soon 🙂 

Trust us. By combining LinkedIn lead generation with your ICP or Buyer Persona, you will notice far better results than before since your leads will be more qualified.

10. Job Posting Search

If a company publishes a job post, it usually means that they either got funding for the department, something is not right in the current process, or a person from the team is leaving for some reason.

Whatever happened here, this is your chance to investigate and detect the buying signal. 

In other words, this LinkedIn lead generation strategy focuses on job openings search, adding companies to a spreadsheet, and then finding decision-makers and reaching out to them. 

Here is how you can generate leads by discovering specific job posts. For example, let’s say your company outsources sales specialists. To find these job posts, simply type that keyword in the LinkedIn search field. For example, you can search for a Sales Manager and use all filters to get as close to your ICP as possible. 

Image of LinkedIn lead generation strategy that detects buying signals through job post

Once you find the desired company and the job post, add each company manually into a Personalization Spreadsheet. Then, find decision-makers within those companies and write down additional personalization info so your outreach can later be more effective.

How Should You Approach Outreach After LinkedIn Lead Generation?

The third and last part of our ultimate guide to LinkedIn lead generation will help you figure out how you can approach your outreach and how you can start converting leads seamlessly. 

First and foremost, you can outreach the leads you generated manually. Simply define the personalized message according to the info you gathered about them in the document. Then, start outreaching them one by one using LinkedIn or email. 

However, we think that the second method would suit you better. 

A question: why would you do your outreach manually and watch over each step of the outreach process when, in fact, you don’t have to? You can let a Sales Engagement Platform do it for you.

With Sales Engagement Platform, such as Skylead, you can streamline the process to:

1) Build your network to accelerate becoming Thought Leader;

2) Outreach your leads on autopilot;

3) Hyper-personalize your message with variables, Images, and GIFs to increase the response rate;

4) Find and verify your leads’ email addresses to multichannel your outreach;

That said…

Save The Time And Outreach Smart

Here is how you can use Skylead to get the outreach done easily and quickly. Firstly, go to your Skylead dashboard and click Create new campaign button.

Image of Skylead dashboard, Sales Engagement platform to outreach your leads after LinkedIn lead generation

Next, choose the lead source, aka where Skylead will pull your leads from. For the sake of this article and to show you how to use a Personalization Spreadsheet, we will choose to upload a CSV file. 

Be sure to create a new CSV file out of the information you gathered about your leads. The only condition here is to insert a person’s LinkedIn profile and/or email address. If you cannot find the person’s email address, you can use one of these ways to find emails yourself or let Skylead take care of that

Skylead provides the following native variables you can use to personalize your messages:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Current company
  • Years in current company
  • Total career positions count
  • Total years of experience
  • College name
  • Occupation

In addition, you can insert other information in columns such as the topic of the article they wrote, and Skylead will recognize them as custom variables. In other words, this column becomes actionable data you will use in your outreach. 

For example, your CSV file can end up looking something like this:

Image of CSV file created after LinkedIn lead generation

Now, go back to Skylead and upload it. Once you do, name your campaign and hit Next.

Image of Skylead campaign settings; Creating outreach campaign after LinkedIn lead generation

Be sure to set up your additional campaign settings, and set when your campaign will be launched.

Image of Skylead's additional campaign settings

Smart Sequence Creation

Now you need to create an action path that Skylead will follow once the campaign is launched. This action path, aka Smart Sequence will follow the leads’ behavior and act accordingly until they respond to your outreach. 

Simply drag and drop actions and use different conditions based on their behavior to maximize getting in touch with your leads.

Image of Skylead Smart Sequence; algorithm to outreach people after LinkedIn lead generation

Find out countless templates and multichannel outreach strategies that helped us grow Skylead from 2500 to 10 000+ users in just months. Download our Free eBook now.

Sales engagement platform smart sequence templates to use in LinkedIn lead generation

Do not forget to write personalized messages for an invite to connect, InMail, LinkedIn, or Email message steps. In addition, here is where you can use Skylead’s native and your custom variables.

After you define all the steps, you can finalize the process by clicking the Start campaign button and your campaign is ready. Easy peasy.

LinkedIn Lead Generation Summary

LinkedIn is the number one place to generate new leads by creating valuable content and reaching out to new connections.

However, before you get started with LinkedIn lead generation, you need to make sure to:

  • Create a highly converting LinkedIn profile
  • Define your ICP and Buyer Persona
  • Become a thought leader;
  • Build your network and relationship regularly;
  • Create personalization spreadsheet;
  • Learn more and understand buying signals.

Once you do, you can apply one or all LinkedIn lead generation strategies and outreach your leads. 

Best LinkedIn lead generation strategies image

However, you don’t have to do outreach alone. Skylead can help you out with that. And remember: LinkedIn lead generation works best if you combine it with other lead generation methods outside of LinkedIn and then circle back to LinkedIn to contact them.

Now go and skyrocket your business!


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The Ultimate Guide To LinkedIn Lead Generation
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