How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Lead Generation

If you’re B2B, it’s about time you sorted out your LinkedIn lead generation strategy. 45% of B2B marketers have already won customers through LinkedIn—and the platform generates nearly 300% more B2B leads for marketers than Facebook does. 
LinkedIn is a staple for any B2B marketing funnel, but it doesn’t just happen. The platform is growing rapidly, which means you have to fight for your potential customers’ attention just like everyone else. Keep reading for some LinkedIn best practices to help you stand out and get leads!

Proven LinkedIn Strategies, and How to Implement Them

Your Profile
One of the easiest things you can do to optimize your presence on LinkedIn is to optimize your own profile. LinkedIn is mostly professionals, all trying to utilize their influence and highlight their accomplishments. You have to do that, too. The more filled out your profile is, the better. Not only does it make you more search-friendly, but it will also help grab the attention of your leads. 
Make sure your headshot is professional, clear, and friendly. Your “About” section should be a solid elevator pitch that lets people know upfront what you do and what you’re about. You’ll include your resume and work history later down the page, so this isn’t the place to list off every job you’ve ever had. An elevator pitch is a 30-second, memorable description of what you do or what you sell. The goal here isn’t to convince the reader to buy your product—it’s to earn a second conversation. 
Here’s a good elevator pitch structure to help you write your own:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What does your company do?
  3. What’s the value proposition?
  4. Grab their attention.
  5. Read and edit. 

When you’re in the “read and edit” phase, one of the best things you can do is read your elevator pitch out loud—how does it sound? Would you feel comfortable saying that to someone? Make sure it sounds natural and not too formal or braggadocious. 
Be Choosy With Who You Reach Out To
If you want to be proactive in finding and nurturing leads, there’s a simple way to search for them effectively. LinkedIn’s native search is a little awkward, but it makes it relatively easy to find who you’re looking for. Start by typing in a specific role you’re looking for, like “content director” or a specific company like “Uptick Marketing.” 
What if you’re trying to find a role in a specific company, but you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for? Go to the company page you’re looking for, and go to the “People” tab. There you’ll find a full list of potential contacts, with job titles and relevant connections included. It’s as simple as that. 
Resist the urge to start blindly sending connection requests! Double-check titles, and consider first connecting with people whose shared connections are actual colleagues. Don’t rely too heavily on the friend-of-a-friend connections. Those are fine, but coworker connections are a stronger start. Also consider following the profile of an outreach candidate, instead of connecting with them—they’ll get a notification that they don’t have to accept, and it’s generally a more subtle way to introduce yourself without bugging them. 
Be Picky
There’s a big trend on LinkedIn right now—one that you do not want to be a part of. Managers and C-level executives are being constantly flooded with cold messages from every direction. Some professionals are downright ignoring their inbox on LinkedIn for that very reason. Don’t panic—that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out, but you should keep in mind that it’s not about the size of your net. It’s about targeting the right people and focusing on relationship-building. That’s what most marketing is about these days anyway, and for a good reason. 
Research suggests that B2B buyers consume 13 pieces of content before making a final decision, on average. So, what does that mean for you? It can’t be a quick pitch and ditch anymore. You’re playing the long game here—if you’re too aggressive too soon, you’ll get the spammer label very quickly. You should be personalizing each and every one of your outreach messages. The internet is filled with cold email marketing fails. You know, the “Hello [insert name here], how are you? I’m a robot!” Odds are, you’ve gotten at least one of those in your lifetime—and it’s embarrassing for the brand. 
The focus should always be on what’s in it for the other person. If you look at your message template and realize there’s nothing of value for the person you’re messaging, it’s time to re-evaluate. You could offer them a newsletter shoutout, a link back to their website, a blog mention, whatever. Just make sure they’re getting something valuable.
It’s All About the Algorithm
You know this one by now, but it really is crucial. Make sure you’re actually being seen, because the more you interact on LinkedIn, the more likely it is that you’ll seem like a real person. You’ll be visibly adding value—not just coming out of the woodwork to ask for something. 
So, what’s the best way to satisfy the algorithm? Thankfully, LinkedIn’s is very simple—just participate! Publish content, post comments, and react to posts on a regular basis. Some more good news? Even just a “congrats” on someone’s job promotion or a thumbs up on someone’s post will help. All of these things will increase your visibility to people who aren’t following you yet, but will be soon!
Just like with any social platform, make sure you’re researching the optimal times to post things. Once again, the LinkedIn algorithm isn’t as tricky as other platforms’—sticking to weekdays and business hours is your best bet. Just think about when professionals will be on their phones or laptops checking their inboxes. 
Join the Discussion
We talked a little bit about interacting with the LinkedIn community; now, we’re going to talk about a little more than liking posts. While it’s not all about making connections, joining group discussion is a great way to signal that you’re an active participant on LinkedIn, not just an empty suit looking to sell. 
Private groups can allow you to build your influence within niche communities—you can not only learn from others, but share your own expertise. Always, always review group rules before pushing your product or service. If it’s allowed, still use caution. Again, it’s about adding value and building relationships. You don’t want to abuse your access to a community. 
Dig Into the Data
Pay attention to how you’re doing! How else are you going to know what’s working and what’s not? Figure out which posts are gaining the most traction with your audience, and which posts are getting the most clicks to your landing pages. At the end of the day, the numbers are what really matter. There are plenty of social media analytics tools out there if it’s just you, or you’re working on a small team. Or, LinkedIn gives you a lot of data on its own, like clicks, reach, and other engagement metrics. 

Need Some Help?

We just threw a lot at you. Whether you’re looking for a team of experts to manage your social, or you just have more questions—we’re here to help. Get in touch