95% of potential buyers aren’t ready to buy when you first approach them. But just because a lead isn’t in-market today, it doesn’t mean they won’t be looking for a solution in the future. 

To generate leads on LinkedIn, you need the right balance between going after new, cold prospects and engaging and nurturing old ones. An effective LinkedIn outreach strategy requires both, but it can be tricky not to neglect one or the other. 

One mistake people often make is seeing cold outreach and lead nurturing as completely distinct strategies. Actually, they work best together. 

Lead funnels help pre-sell your prospects without inefficient manual input, making your LinkedIn lead generation more effective and helping to generate sales.

What is a lead funnel?

A lead funnel is how a prospect becomes aware of your company, gets educated on your offering, and eventually converts to a sale. 

Each time you try to generate leads on LinkedIn using any of the following methods:

  • Sending a connection request
  • Sending an InMail
  • Replying to a post or comment

You’re starting a potential lead funnel. Each of these trigger events could result in a profile view that starts a lead’s buyer journey. 

If you optimize your LinkedIn profile, you can plan for success with two potential routes to engage these leads: via direct response outreach or your lead-nurturing funnel. 

An effective pre-sales funnel will engage hesitant leads and generate sales through extra insights, content, or landing pages. 

How a lead funnel can produce better LinkedIn lead generation results

Remember that while you can control the manner, message, and amount of outreach, your buyers ultimately determine if they’re ready to be sold to. Gartner’s study of the B2B buying journey found that buyers spend 45% of their time independently researching solutions and only 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers. 

To engage these prospects and generate sales, you need ways to optimize your LinkedIn account to capture more leads using lead funnels. 

Savvy use of your LinkedIn profile can help you warm up leads and funnel them into pre-sale workflows. Doing so will “catch” a wider segment of your audience, not just those at the very end of the buyer’s journey, and is a vital part of your LinkedIn outreach strategy.

Why your LinkedIn profile is the key to successful lead funnelling

When prospects receive cold outreach, they often head straight to a sales rep’s profile to take a look. It’s partly a trust-building exercise – they want to know more about you before welcoming you into their network.

When it comes to 2023 lead generation, prospects know sales reps have adopted subtler tactics. They don’t want to waste time on a pitch they have no use for or get stuck answering generic questions before they know where a conversation is going. Instead, they want to feel in control of their own buying journey.  

Intrigued (or suspicious) prospects will sometimes click through to your profile for more information. Based on what they find, they’ll either:

  • Click away without engaging; 
  • Respond to your message or accept your connection request; 
  • Engage with your LinkedIn profile material. 

Obviously, the ideal outcome is they respond to your message. But the next best thing? An engaging LinkedIn profile with content that gets them thinking about your offering. Because if this content gets them to opt-in to further company communications, you’ve just won yourself a warm lead. 

Creating a lead funnel to generate leads on LinkedIn

To create an effective funnel as part of your Linkedin outreach strategy, you first need to understand how they work. 

A lead funnel aims to capture a cold lead and turn them into a warm one by educating them on your product. 

The easiest way to attract and convert these leads is through high-quality content that speaks to their business needs. Think:

  • An e-book outlining best practices,
  • A strategy guide,
  • A book of templates,
  • Market analysis

Because such content is valuable, it is usually gated. Gated content requires leads to input their contact information and opt-in to marketing communications to gain access. 

Produce the right content for your target market, and you can be sure prospects that engage are pre-filtered to fit your ICP. The result? A highly-relevant, warm list of leads.

This form of content funneling is win-win: prospects build trust in your brand and expertise, and you have permission to continue informing them about your product. When they’re warmer and ready to buy, it’s much less effort to convert the lead to a customer. 

You can continue directly messaging these warmer leads and benefit from higher outreach conversion rates. Alternatively, you can lead them through the marketing funnel once they’ve opted-in to your lead list. Either way, you’re set up for 2023 lead generation success.

One of the best ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile and pre-sell leads is using your profile’s “featured” section.

This profile section was designed for users to showcase skills and work projects. However, LinkedIn places no restrictions on the type of content you can highlight through external links and posts.

You can use this section to generate leads on LinkedIn in three ways. 

  1. The first is simply by highlighting key posts you’ve authored or shared that explain your offering or add value to a consumer. You might, for example, choose to feature an evergreen piece of content you first posted 6 months ago on “Why automation is necessary for [your industry]” or “5 ways [your solution] can help teams sell more effectively and grow revenue”. The featured section ensures prospects see this content first, helping to educate them on your product and generate sales. 
  1. The second way is to link to external media like product explainers, infographics, or contact pages. It’s great for your LinkedIn outreach strategy, as leads who are on the fence can easily access these insights and keep you in mind for future needs. For example, you might link to your company’s product description page or a new feature release. 
  1. The third – and most effective – way to use the featured section for LinkedIn lead generation is to include an external link to a landing page that attracts and converts prospects via opt-in lead lists. 

How to add a landing page to your featured section to generate leads on LinkedIn

Build your landing page

  1. First, use a landing page builder such as Unbounce or Hubspot to create your lead funnel. 
  2. Decide what content to produce or host. Remember to focus on content that gives leads value for the most effective LinkedIn lead generation results.
  3. Make sure that, to download the content, your leads must submit contact information and agree to join your communications list. At a minimum, this information should include their name and email address. Asking for a job title is also a good idea so you can segment your lead funnels over time.

Add your landing page to your LinkedIn featured section

  1. Navigate to your LinkedIn profile. 
  2. Select “Add to Profile” and then “Add featured”.

3. Select the “+” symbol and click “Add a Link”. 

4.  Enter the link for your landing page.

Now, prospects who land on your profile can opt-in to download a guide, report, or e-book. They get additional value and learn more about your product. You educate leads and build your list of opted-in contacts for lead nurturing. Overall, you both win from the simple process of optimizing your LinkedIn profile to attract warm leads.

Generate more sales from LinkedIn using a lead funnel

With this LinkedIn outreach strategy, if you directly message a prospect and they’re unsure about replying, are too busy, or don’t have enough pain to overcome the inertia of not getting on a call, they have several options for moving towards. Rather than just immediately converting or missing out on your offering forever, you’ve optimized your LinkedIn lead generation to suit all stages of the buyer’s journey. 

Suitable prospects can either:

  • Hunt around for more information, get opted into your lead lists, and in time move down the funnel and convert; 
  • Engage in conversation and move through cold outreach to a demo to a closed won deal. 

You’re casting a wider net and building backup options into your LinkedIn outreach strategy. As a result, you benefit from a higher volume of leads with greater levels of engagement, optimizing your 2023 lead generation.

To improve your Linkedin lead generation results by further optimizing your profile, check out our tips on creating LinkedIn headlines and summaries that convert. 

Improve your 2023 lead generation 

Grow pipeline and revenue and obtain a sustainable, successful LinkedIn outreach strategy by ensuring you target both leads who are ready to convert and those that require time and attention. It won’t be long before you see an uptick in prospects that are well-educated on your offering, who know your brand, and who trust your expertise.

A tool like Salesflow can help you automate your LinkedIn outreach, run unlimited follow-up campaigns, and nurture your existing network of connections. Try it out for yourself with a free 7-day trial: