Reaching enough users to succeed on LinkedIn takes more than just consistent effort. The most effective LinkedIn lead generation strategies help companies engage their ideal target markets to get the best results.
Why LinkedIn lead gen strategies are necessary
Many people make the mistake of confusing lead generation with prospecting and outreach. However, they’re not the same and have different aims.
Lead generation can include outreach activities. But compared to prospecting, it’s not so specific and covers a broader range of activities. Put simply, it’s anything that helps to create leads for your company – individuals from your target market with some awareness of interest in your brand. It’s then the job of prospectors doing outreach to move these leads down the funnel to create a healthy sales pipeline.
Generating leads requires many different approaches to produce as much interest in your offering as possible. It makes sense, then, that to find enough leads, you need plenty of strategies. We’ve rounded up the most effective tips and tricks for both inbound and outbound, sales leaders and individuals, in this one post for easy reference.
Different types of LinkedIn lead generation strategies
Lead gen strategies for inbound
These are ways to generate leads from LinkedIn by making them more likely to come to you. Here are the most effective techniques:
1. Optimize your profile
Three-quarters of B2B buyers use social media to make buying decisions, and half use LinkedIn as a trusted source. To make your lead generation as effective as it can be, it’s important to spend time improving your LinkedIn profile before using the other techniques in this list. The chances are high that when an interested prospect views your post, event, or ad, they’ll come back to look here first.
Fill out your headline, summary, and experience first, then move on to more advanced techniques like building a profile lead funnel. Check out our guide to optimizing your LinkedIn profile to make it the best it can be. If you own a company page on LinkedIn, don’t forget to clean this up as well.
2. Build a LinkedIn lead funnel
Once you have a thought-out LinkedIn profile that highlights your product’s elevator pitch, you can start creating leads right from your profile page by building a LinkedIn lead funnel.
We get into all the steps in our LinkedIn lead funnel tutorial. In brief, it involves using the ‘featured’ section of your profile to highlight either evergreen content, important product features, or a landing page with gated content that will entice leads into an inbound funnel.
3. Create a social posting strategy
Another strategy for generating inbound leads from LinkedIn involves taking a close look at your social posting strategy. Posting regularly can do wonders for your engagement: LinkedIn found that Pages that post weekly have 5.6x more followers than Pages that post monthly. However, while it’s important to post regularly to build authority, consider where you’re posting as well for maximum impact.
One way to find leads is to look for relevant groups where you can share tips and tricks and engage a new audience. Look for a ‘Goldilocks’ group: one that’s big enough to contain enough prospects, but not so large that interested parties miss your posts in all the noise.
Also crucial for an effective social strategy is a hashtag plan. By spending a few hours researching what hashtags your ideal audience uses, you can develop social posts around these topics to increase your reach and awareness in key markets. For more in-depth tips, check out our guide to LinkedIn content marketing.
4. LinkedIn ads
Whether LinkedIn ads are the most cost-effective option for your brand will depend on your target market, aims, and the results of your other lead generation efforts. However, for companies willing to experiment and with the budget to spare, they can be a great addition to your strategy. In fact, audiences exposed to brand messages on LinkedIn are up to 6x more likely to convert.
LinkedIn’s ad platform has several different options, from sponsored content that appears in users’ LinkedIn feeds to dynamic ads automatically personalized to your target audience. For each campaign, you’ll set an objective, ranging from building brand awareness all the way through to lead generation and website conversions. Users can target audiences by job title and industry and set how much budget they’re willing to spend per campaign.
It’s a great technique for brands looking to increase their reach by engaging leads that might otherwise remain unaware of their offering.
5. Influencer partnerships
Another way to attract inbound leads is to partner with LinkedIn thought leaders to access their large networks.
If you have a working relationship with an influencer in your industry, see if they’ll partner with you for a guest post, contribute a quote to a LinkedIn carousel of insights, or take part in a webinar. Not only will you get valuable content to share with your audience, but it’s also likely they’ll share any collaboration with their wider network. This will increase your brand reach and produce more inbound leads.
Once an ongoing relationship has been established, you can tag them in regular social posts and their followers will see your posts, too.
6. Promote user-generated content
This technique is similar to influencer partnerships but on a smaller scale. It involves asking engaged users to post about their experience with your brand, or send in videos and reviews that you can share on your company’s LinkedIn Page.
User-generated content increases consumer trust and is another way you can keep your Page active with regular posts. Video recommendations produce particularly noticeable results: according to HubSpot, short-form videos are the most effective content formats on social media.
Plus, people are more likely to act on referrals from their networks and friends. Adopting this approach lets you capitalize on leads from each engaged user’s LinkedIn network.
7. Host events
Finally, the last great way to increase inbound leads from LinkedIn is by hosting Live Events or webinars. These offer users valuable industry insights or training while increasing awareness of your brand and product.
While you’ll probably need to consider an ongoing prospecting strategy to move new leads down the funnel, an event is a great way to capture initial interest. You can share event invites with all of your existing network, and they can share the invite with other users in their networks as well. (The chances of this happening are higher the more upfront value you offer).
To generate the most leads, consider ways to promote your event, such as via your website, sponsored ads, or a regular newsletter. You can even combine this strategy with an influencer partnership to benefit from their network of invitees, too.
Lead gen strategies for outbound
LinkedIn lead generation strategies for outbound are all about ways to make prospecting easier. Here are our top tips for finding more potential leads and proactively engaging a wider pool of prospects.
8. Advanced Sales Nav filters
A classic for a reason, making proper use of Sales Navigator is the number one way to improve your outbound lead generation technique.
This strategy is all about finding better, more efficient ways to target your ICP. A stronger prospect pool means you can adopt outreach that’s more targeted, work from more relevant lead lists, and improve results.
Advanced search filters such as Company Revenue and Headcount growth ensure you’re targeting audiences with the budget to purchase a new solution. People filters such as shared experiences/commonalities, leads following your company, and leads mentioned in the news can pinpoint new audiences ripe for engaging. And to refine your results and identify the best potential leads, faster, consider adopting Boolean search. Check out our guide to Sales Navigator to learn more.
9. Company and user triggers
Another way to hone your potential lead list involves reaching out to identified targets at the right time. For this, you need to identify the right company and user triggers. Luckily, Sales Navigator has company and prospect alerts so you can keep tabs on what’s happening in your target market.
By narrowing potential target lists by recent funding announcements, recent company moves, or big strategic updates, you can identify your most relevant leads. And by targeting more relevant leads, you increase the chances a prospect will convert into a paid customer.
10. Data Scraping
To take these company and user triggers further, consider pairing your LinkedIn lead generation with other insights. These can tell you more about your ideal target market. They can also help you find audiences with the exact pain points to convert.
By using data scraping to pull information from sites such as Crunchbase and Glassdoor, you can create lists of companies that have recent funding, are hiring, or are in your local area. It’s a great way to generate leads your competitors might have overlooked with relevant issues you can solve. Learn more in our guide to finding relevant prospects using data scraping.
11. Sponsored InMail
Another way to generate more leads involves sending sponsored InMail. This works like regular InMail but is used most often for marketing purposes. You could use it to make sure your prospecting message lands at the top of a user’s inbox, but it also has several other use cases. For example, you could use it to invite potential leads to events or offer gated resources that could move them through your lead funnel.
One advantage of sponsored Inmail is that LinkedIn only sends messages when your target user is active on the platform – increasing the chance of engagement. Because they can be sent to a wide cross-section of users, they’re a great way to test the potential of new target markets and work out the best strategy for generating more leads.
12. Group and Events invites
For LinkedIn members already in your network, consider inviting them to a Group or Event that you own or run. If they join, it’s a good signal they’re interested in your offering. You’ll move them from network member to the start of your lead funnel.
Group and Event invites come with different notifications to connection requests. They stand out and generate more interest by being different. Once users are part of your Group or Event, you can nurture them from within it. Alternatively, send a Groups and Events outreach campaign, or direct them to resources such as a sign-up page, newsletter link, or gated download.
13. Outbound campaigns
Finally, the most obvious way of generating leads from LinkedIn is by sending outbound messaging campaigns. Check out our compilation of LinkedIn outreach strategies for all the best tips, tricks, and techniques for proactively engaging leads via sales prospecting.
Top-down LinkedIn strategies
Some lead gen tips only work when implemented strategically. Here are top-down approaches business owners and sales leads can take to improve LinkedIn reach:
14. Hone your ICP (Ideal customer persona)
To generate more leads, you first need to know your total addressable market. Then, you need to narrow this down to your ideal audience and customer persona. The better you define these at the outset, the more successful sales and marketing teams will be at finding and engaging the right audience.
To find your ICP, start by speaking to current customers, looking at where your largest deals come from, and doing a competitor analysis. For more tips, see our post on honing your ICP.
15. Add ABM (Account-based marketing)
Many lead gen strategies involve going as broad as possible to engage a wide network of potential leads. ABM requires a different approach. Your energy is focused on 1-2 ideal target accounts that sales and marketing will work together to engage. This requires buy-in from department leads and C-suite executives, who may be required to champion a salesperson’s efforts. While it requires a large amount of input, it’s a great way to engage potential leads at accounts that would be transformative for your business.
To learn more about it and discover how to get started, check out our complete guide to account-based marketing on LinkedIn.
16. Adopt lead nurturing
Lead generation is all well and good, but what you do with those leads if they don’t convert is important, too. Once you’ve developed an approach to lead generation that’s working for your business, pair it with a lead nurturing strategy to recycle leads and get more out of your efforts.
Check out our post on lead nurturing to get going.
Lead generation strategies for sales professionals and individual users
While many lead generation strategies require buy-in from managers, there are plenty of activities individual users can adopt to improve results. Here are just a few:
17. Create a personal brand
Inbound lead generation works by engaging users with a brand or product. By creating your own personal brand on LinkedIn, you can capitalize on user loyalty to improve your reach, standing, and engagement. Try it for yourself with our guide to building a personal brand on LinkedIn.
18. Become a thought leader
As part of creating your personal brand, consider using your industry expertise to develop your position as a thought leader. It increases the chances other LinkedIn members will follow your account or add you to their network to keep up with your insights and activities. That’s the first step to generating a healthy network of potential leads.
19. Join relevant groups and events
Before creating your own groups or events, one of the best things you can do is join groups and events frequented by your ideal customers. You’ll increase your understanding of what’s important to them, helping you to create more relevant and engaging content that has a greater chance of converting leads. You’ll also become increasingly familiar with an audience of potential leads, slowly warming them up for prospecting. When it’s time to start prospecting to your new audience, groups and events campaigns offer an easy way to message hundreds of leads with little effort.
20. Keep up with your existing network
It’s a mistake to believe all potential leads have to come from new arenas. Don’t overlook your existing network, and remember that anyone can turn into a lead if they switch jobs or discover a need for your product.
To maximize the amount of leads that come from your existing network, try to check in with your contacts regularly. If you don’t have the time, you can use a Salesflow existing network campaign to speed things up by messaging users in bulk.
Get more out of your LinkedIn lead generation strategies
This guide gives you everything you need to know about getting started with LinkedIn lead generation. To take it to the next level, try our guide to ChatGPT for sales, including a downloadable collection of plug-and-play ChatGPT prompts.
To get even more out of your LinkedIn account, pair the lead gen strategies above with Salesflow’s LinkedIn automation platform. Convert interested leads to prospects with dedicated InMail, Groups and Events, and New Connection campaigns. Get your free 7-day trial below – no credit card required: