When I launched my first three businesses I did so with a sizable budget to fund my startup costs. But, when I started my consulting business back in 2007 I found myself in a very different situation. For the first time in my life I had no income coming in.
My husband was in the midst of a long season of unemployment after I had already sold my previous businesses. We had three hungry mouths to feed at home, so I was determined to launch my new business leaner than ever before — like as close to zero startup costs as possible.
That’s when I decided to figure out the LinkedIn thing.
LinkedIn is an incredible free tool to market your business. Once I invested the time to figure out how to get better at using it, I was able to track 6 figures of annual new business all came from LinkedIn.
So, if you want to start monetizing LinkedIn here are 9 tips to help you start generating leads for your business:
Lead Gen Tip #1. Have the Right LinkedIn Success Mindset.
Thousands of business owners are killing it with LinkedIn, but new clients aren’t going to come flooding in if all you’re doing is logging into LinkedIn to accept connection requests and post a few comments here and there.
LinkedIn will work for you if you put forth the right consistent effort. I love this famous quote:
“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas. They are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” ~ Russell Conwell
If you’re not sure whether your target market is on LinkedIn watch this video where I share 5 reason why you should be marketing your business on LinkedIn.
Lead Gen Tip #2. Craft a Stellar LinkedIn Profile for Instant FIND-ability and GET-ability.
Keep in mind the user experience on LinkedIn. People will land on your profile in 2 ways. Direct search and an indirect search. Direct search is easy low hanging fruit because they are typically ‘buy intent’ – ‘hire intent’ searches. Potential clients search LinkedIn for the type of person they are looking to hire. This is why you want your profile to be SEO optimized for the right keyword phrases. Your LinkedIn profile should also have a professional looking photo of you. Most people skip profiles where there is no picture or only a logo.
Indirect search can happen in many ways. For instance, let’s say you post an update on your personal LinkedIn profile and you share a few tips about a frequently asked question you get. Let’s say you currently have 1,200 1st degree connections and 45 of those connections liked or commented on your post. Not only does your post get seen by your 1st degree connections, it also gets eyeballs from the connections of the people who commented on your post. So if your 45 comments each had an average of 1,200 connections then your one post can also reach 54,000 2nd degree connections. You’re bound to get some of those people who saw your content click on your profile to find out what exactly you do. They will skim your profile for all of 3 seconds. If they don’t immediately get what you do, they WILL MOVE ON to find someone else.
So, you don’t want to miss out on this EASY passive lead generation opportunity simply because they don’t get what you do. That’s why it’s so important that your LinkedIn profile captures an immediate GET-ability (and wow factor).
Naturally, you want to have the updates you post on LinkedIn reach more people. So, be sure you develop the habit of sending targeted connection requests to grow your 1st degree connections.
Lead Gen Tip #3: Create Customized Connection Requests
When searching for connections on LinkedIn, you are given numerous filters to choose from. This allows you to get really strategic with your search.
You are able to drill down to where someone lives, where they went to school, what their interests are, and so on. With this information, you can take it and personalize your connection requests.
Lets say, For Example, you search for CEO’s and filter by 2nd degree connections located in Philadelphia. Instead of sending a pre-baked template to someone, study their profile and find a way to insert a question about their city in your request.
You can also ask about things like the weather, their sports teams, and much more.
By creating customized connection requests, you break the ice and open up an easy dialogue with the other person.
Lead Gen Tip #4: Don’t Spam Connections. Talk to Them.
When it comes to messaging your connections on LinkedIn there are two common pitfalls occur. Pitfall #1. You send out tons of requests to connect, but then fail to talk to them after they accept. Pitfall #2. You blast straight into a sales conversion. From its inception LinkedIn was not built to be a marketplace to bombard members with advertisements and solicitations. LinkedIn was designed to foster relationships.
If you use LinkedIn to blast straight into solicitation messages to cold connections, you’re just going to burn through those connections.
Instead, just follow the natural sequence of relationship building when having 1-1 conversations on LinkedIn. For instance:
Welcome / build rapport message
Give value message
Value follow up message
Invitation to call, coffee, interview, etc
If you have a well written profile and tagline often times you can go from step 2 straight to step 6, but it’s good to have a 6 step sequence like this to continue the conversation for people who aren’t ready to be a client of yours.
If the idea of messaging people individually feels too daunting, I use a tool called Auto Text Expander to speed my responses to FAQ’s when I’m on desktop.
When I’m messaging people from my mobile I just use the keyboard shortcuts on my iPhone which functions the same way as Auto Text Expander. I can reply 10x faster when all I have to do it type in 2 or 3 letters I set up.
Lead Gen Tip #5: Use Trigger Events to Engage and Re-Engage
Not all of your prospects will be ready to talk about your services immediately. However, they may be ready in 6 or even 12 months from now.
Your goal is to remain in their minds, meaning you’ll need to continue engaging them.
Fortunately, this can be done easily with trigger events. These are situations that will provide a comfortable way for you to re-engage with someone if they’ve shown no interest in your solutions so far.
These situations include:
they engaged on one of your posts (liked, commented, or shared)
they viewed your profile
they’ve published an article on LinkedIn
they’ve posted a status update on LinkedIn
they had a job change
they were promoted
they engaged on one of your posts (liked, commented, or shared)
they or their company were mentioned in the news
they’ve published an article on LinkedIn
they’ve posted a status update on LinkedIn
By re-engaging in this manner, you are more likely to stay on their radar and be top of mind when the time comes that they need the solution you offer.
When you’re posting an update, whether it’s a simple text update, a picture, a video or audio LinkedIn allows users to follow various hashtags. This way, they can get content on a topic in their feed, even if they don’t follow specific influencers for it.
Additionally, when you post an update, LinkedIn will auto-suggest hashtags, which can give you some inspiration for what to include.
You can also do a quick search a topic in LinkedIn and you’ll be able to see the number of followers on that hashtag.
Here’s an excerpt from SEO expert Neil Patel where he shares the importance of posting videos on LinkedIn to grow your business.
Advantages of Video
Native videos are videos that are uploaded directly to LinkedIn or created on the platform itself, as opposed to embedding videos from other sites, such as Youtube, Vimeo and more.
There are numerous advantages to using native video. According to Neil Patel, “A staggering 84% of buyers reported that they had been convinced to buy after watching a brand’s video.
And that same study found that 97% of businesses believe that their video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.
That means the right type of video will help you sell and engage more.”
How to Upload Native Videos
To upload a Native Video, go to your feed, and you’ll see a button with a camera icon next to “start a post.
From here, You can directly upload a video between three seconds and ten minutes in length. This will appear directly to your update feed, allowing your audience to start watching your content immediately.
The dimensions of a native video can be from 256×144 to 4096×2304, and the orientation can be Horizontal or vertical, though vertical videos will be cropped into a square in the feed. Native video’s will also loop automatically.
Another advantage of Native Videos is that, Once you post a video, you are able to see detailed analytics. This includes things such as the number of views, likes, and comments your videos are receiving.
Additionally, you can also see audience insights, including top companies, titles, and locations of your viewers.
You can find these insights in the dashboard section of your LinkedIn profile. This works on both mobile and desktop.
Click the drop-down that says “Me” and scroll down until you see “Posts and Activity.”, which brings you to a feed of every post you’ve ever uploaded to LinkedIn.
At the bottom of each post, you’ll see a breakdown of it’s likes, comments, shares, and views.
With this information, you can begin to understand if you’re reaching the people and companies that matter to your brand.
Lead Gen Tip #8: Get to the Point Quickly in Your Videos
On Social media, attention spans are short, so there’s no time for you to waste. This means that you need to hook your viewers by getting to your point quickly at the beginning of your video.
LinkedIn themselves recommend capturing attention with a hook in the first 0 to 3 seconds.
From there, seconds 3 to 15 should be used to identify the problem or opportunity, and should address one of the biggest pain points of your potential customers, in order to really draw them in and entice them to watch the rest of your video.
After you have successfully hooked your viewers and drawn them in, seconds 15 to 50 should be used to describe the solution. Explain what you’re offering and why it’ll help your viewers.
Lead Gen Tip #9: Use Closed Captions for your videos
Let’s ask Darren Travers, who shares, “Showcase pages are add-ons to your LinkedIn company page for highlighting a specific business unit, initiative, product, service, or for targeting unique demographics. They are standalone pages, meaning people can follow them without following your main page.
If you have multiple target audiences or brand personas, you need Showcase pages. With them, you can avoid over complicating your main page and creating confusion for your audience by spreading out your offers and messages across multiple pages.
To create one, simply click ‘Admin tools’ on the right of your company homepage and select ‘Create Showcase Page’ to get started.”
Lead Gen Tip #11: Make Use of Sponsored vs Targeted Updates
If you have a LinkedIn page for your company, then you are able to take advantage of two powerful features. Targeted Updates and Sponsored Updates.
With Targeted Updates, you can target your content to a specific audience. This is useful for many reasons, such as if you want to show specific content to your investors, and other content to your consumers. However, the segment you are targeting must have at least 300 followers for you to use this feature.
Sponsored Updates: Sponsored updates are paid posts that allow you to reach a broader network. If you would like some content to get even more visibility, or if you want to get your content in front of people who aren’t following your Company Page (or your employees) you can pay to sponsor it.
To use targeted updates:
Click on start a post from your Company Page
Click on “Anyone” and you’ll be taken to “Who can see Your Post?”
Click on Targeted Audience and you’ll be able to customize what audience you want the post
While Targeted Updates can be used to build an organic following, Sponsored Updates allow you to pay to get your posts in front of a larger audience to further build your following.
These will appear in the your audience’s feed and look like a normal post, the only difference being a “sponsored” label next to your company name.
You are also able to target specific audiences just like you can with Targeted Updates.
To use Sponsored Updates:
Post an update to your company page and click the “Sponsor Update” button.
Within the Campaign Manager, name your new campaign.
Target your campaign by choosing Location, Company, Skills, etc.
Choose Your payment option. You can select either Cost-Per-Click (CPC) or Cost per 1000 impressions (CPM).
So, there you have it. I just shared 11 tips to help you start generating more leads on LinkedIn. If you’re starting at zero, don’t be overwhelmed by trying to implement all 11 by tomorrow! Bookmark this page to review it each day and decide to implement one at a time until you add all 11.
If you’d like to nail down your LinkedIn profile faster check out our free and paid LinkedIn Profile Makeover services for you here:
QUESTION: What’s one thing that’s been working well for you on LinkedIn? Share With us in the Comments below!
Running your own business is hard. Running your business all alone is even harder. 😩
There’s so much advice out there it’s hard to know what to do and what to focus on first. You’re worried about following the wrong advice, or just as bad …. The right advice at the wrong time.
You can commit to working harder …. But, what if you’re working hard on the wrong things? You’ll easily waste months and even years spinning your wheels. 😭
Your friends and family don’t know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. They don’t understand the challenges you face running your own business or how to solve the problems that keep you up at night.
Right now, you have no one to talk to who can give you meaningful support and actionable advice.
📍You need to FIND YOUR PEOPLE.
Take the first step … right here … right now.
✅ WHAT IS ONE DECISION YOU NEED TO MAKE IN YOUR BUSINESS RIGHT NOW?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. By sharing a decision you’ve been delaying to make or a challenge that’s got you stuck … not only could you receive some 💡great ideas 💡 to help you … you’re also helping so many others who are facing the same challenge in their business.
The Internet is a pretty crowded place. Getting noticed among all the other websites vying for your customers’ attention may not seem easy.
That said, it can be easier than you assume. You simply need to apply the right tactics. If you’re looking for a way to optimize your siteso it draws in more leads (and yields more sales), keep the following tips in mind:
#1 Track Visitor Behavior
There are numerous heat map tools available which let users know where visitors are scrolling and clicking on their websites. Using one of these tools to monitor how guests behave on your site can help you better determine where certain offers and CTAs should be positioned for maximum effect.
#2 Track Conversions
Google Analytics offers site owners many ways to monitor traffic. Although it’s worth your time to experiment with its various features, it’s particularly smart to track conversion sources. This process essentially tells you which traffic sources are driving the most (and least) sales.
For instance, you might learn people who visit your site via social media channels aren’t making purchases. Depending on your strategy, you could work on improving your social media campaigns or using more of your budget to optimize channels which are already delivering strong results.
#3 Include a Video
Did you know 64% of online shoppers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it? Video content may cost more money to generate than simple text-based content, but it can also deliver a strong return on investment. Consider adding an explainer video to your site to boost sales.
Beauty brands, for example, might include videos of customers applying their products. If you run a coworking space, including a virtual tour could highlight what sets you apart from other shared offices in the area. One coworking space leveraged this strategy on their homepage to attract new members and improve their average time on site. These dynamic videos are a great way to give viewers a more accurate feel for your brand and your products.
#4 Include Testimonials
Savvy customers know they can’t simply trust you to represent your business honestly. However, surveys also indicate 85% of people trust online reviews to the same degree they trust recommendations from friends and family members. Thus, simply featuring reviews and testimonials on your site can help you turn new leads into paying customers.
#5: Test Landing Pages
Creating a website that maximizes your revenue is much easier when you experiment with different tactics to learn what does and does not work. That’s why you shouldn’t rely on one landing page for a particular service or product at first. Instead, A/B test different versions to see which one drives more sales.
#6: Audit Your Site
It never hurts to examine your current site in close detail to determine where you can make improvements to generate more conversions. Performing a conversion audit is often a smart first step to take during this process. Taking this step early ensures you know where you should focus most of your efforts when making changes to your site.
Again, there is a lot of distracting content on the internet. Keeping your visitors’ attention long enough to turn leads into customers requires designing a website that converts. These points will help you achieve this goal.
QUESTION: What is your #1 biggest challenge in your business when it comes to generating quality leads from your website? Shae your comments and questions below.
Often times our minds just want to focus on what we want now. The problem is indulging in what we want NOW is what keep us from what we want MOST. You can’t defeat these tricks your mind plays on your if you don’t define them.
So, I want to give you a simple 5 minute exercise for you to define and write down what you want now vs what you want most?
UPDATED! … Ever Feel Like Giving Up in Your Business?
If you’ve been trying to grow your business alone, discouragement can easily knock you off your feet and make you question whether you should be giving up on your business — wondering whether achieving your dream is even possible.
If you’re feeling this fear in your business you are not alone. I have felt your pain and so have thousands of other now successful entrepreneurs.
The good news is you are taking a step in the right direction just by reading this blog and seeking answers.
Here are 5 tips that will help you get up when you feel like giving up. Implement these tips to help you get your “A-game” on.
1. Expect to struggle with challenges.
Challenges are a part of life … and it’s also a part of growing your business.
A wise person taught me a long time ago, “a person’s reaction is based on their expectation.”
Being exposed to so many “overnight” success stories on social media it is no wonder how any normal person might feel like a ‘failure’ if you are going through a rough time in your business. Well, I rarely find those sound bytes on social media revealing the failures and hard times they had to overcome in order to get to the success they are today. If you’ve been an email subscriber of mine, you probably already know about some of the high points in my background like, hitting my first Million Dollar milestone … doubling my business 11 times over my 26 year entrepreneur career … starting, turn-keying and selling 3 businesses, etc.
But, you may not know about some of the low points and struggles I went through along the way, when I was …
Disheartened at the realization I could have made more money flipping burgers than what I netted in Q1 my first year of business back in 1992 … (I felt so inadequate!) 😭
Rejected being turned down for my first round of funding for my 2nd business … (blow to my ego!) 😓
Struggling to make payroll some months … (sweating bullets!) 😨
Dumbfounded at the damage it cost me from not firing a key employee when I should have – to the tune of quarter of a million dollars (Ouch!) 😖
Overwhelmed having to find 20 new hires to replace 20 under performing sales people … (Ugh! Felt like I got the ‘Go back to Start’ card in Monopoly) 😞
Blindsided being sued for pregnancy discrimination by a new employee 😱 — (Wow! never imagined that could happen to me as a working mother of 3 children myself)
Ok, I could go on and on … but I hope you get the point …
The point is … life is not easy, right? When you expect growing a business to be easy, then challenges will take you by surprise. Don’t let obstacles knock the wind out of you and make you dwell on negative thinking.
As Vince Lombardi famously said, “it’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”
I’ve learned, though it’s so much faster and easier to get up from setbacks when you have other people to help you. That’s why it’s important to …
2. Connect with like-minded entrepreneurs.
It’s pretty hard to encourage yourself when you’re in the midst of massive anxiety and frustration. First, you’ve got to make a decision to get out of solitary confinement and not operate your business like an island.
Don’t try to climb out of your discouragement alone.
Find a mastermind group or an advisory group where you get together regularly with like minded entrepreneurs to work ON your business.
Join a local networking group where you can build relationships with other business owners and entrepreneurs.
Reach out to a colleague and ask them to be your accountability partner. (Just don’t choose someone who is in the same place of contemplating giving up in their business right now).
3. Reconnect to your “WHY”.
I find that people think most about quitting and giving up when their business is not making enough money (you need to attract more clients) or the business just isn’t fun anymore (you need to develop high performing people you like being around). A business won’t survive long if you’re just in it for the money. Yes, it must make money in order to thrive as a business, but there has to be a much greater meaning that drives you in your business.
Discouragement can feel as insurmountable as climbing Mount Everest when you’re not supported by an experienced guide. Let me give you a visual:
That’s me struggling to scale this rock. But, I would not have even gotten that far up if I didn’t have my brother belaying me from the ground. Having him belay me protected me from getting hurt when I did fall. And, he knew how to belay me so I didn’t fall very far.
He also took me on walls he has scaled before. So, he could guide me on what steps I should take that was within my physical reach. He didn’t guide me in the same sequence he gave my son, who could take a different path getting to the top since he is 5 inches taller than me and has far greater upper body strength than I do.
If I were free climbing I would certainly give up after my first fall. But, I would never attempt to go free climbing by myself. I know my threshold for pain and at my age, I would not risk breaking any bones. It’s the same in your business. You can’t afford making costly mistakes. Hiring an experienced guide is worth every penny!
5. Evaluate your equipment.
When rock climbing you have to have the proper equipment to have a successful climb. The wrong shoes will make every step hiking up the mountain slippery and dangerous. A clothing line rope does not qualify as proper equipment. You may be able to hang clothes with it, but you wouldn’t depend on a clothing line rope to hold you from falling off a cliff.
If business is slow, you want to evaluate what equipment are you using in your marketing toolbox.
Don’t overlook the importance of having the right marketing tools. You can watch your sales climb much faster if you use the right tool for the right job.
These are some of the critical tech tools every business should be equipped with.
BONUS TIP #1. Shift your focus from seeing “problems” to seeing “opportunities”
If you keep focusing on your problem that your business is not making enough money right now, all you get is worry, anxiety and ulcers. The most effective way I know how to shift from focusing on the problem into seeing opportunities is by measuring your marketing metrics.
This is one of the most overlooked steps. But, measuring your marketing is like getting an instant X-ray of what is causing the problem.
Let me know if you want me to cover this topic in more detail in future blog posts, (just tell me in the comment box below) but let’s take one specific marketing tactic like your website. The numbers will tell you what opportunities to focus on.
# of new visits to your site = 1,000 # of subscribers = 5 # bounce rate = 90% # average time spent on site = 4 seconds average # of pages spent on site = 7
Can you see what opportunities the business with this above example should focus on?
If this is an area you are screaming for more help interpreting in your business right now you can sign up for a complimentary marketing assessment here.
BONUS TIP #2. Don’t worry about the storm. Worry about having a good anchor.
Falling sales numbers might be the storm in your business. Having a good anchor will keep you from worrying about it. When I am rock climbing I don’t worry about falling because I know I am anchored to my belayer who also happens to be my older brother.
Not only is he my safety net; he’s also my guide coaching me through what my next steps should be. Because my nose is so close to the rock, it can be hard to see what step I should take next. My belayer can see the bigger picture from where he is standing. Plus, he’s climbed the rock before, so he knows first hand the pitfalls and the easiest path to reach the top.
Who is belaying you in your business? Who is your safety net? Who is guiding your next steps when your nose is too close to see those opportunities?
Question: What do you do when you feel like giving up? Share your tips and questions below.