With multiple online guides telling you how to boost your SEO results, many users do not recognise why hiring a professional SEO specialist or agency may be beneficial for their business. While trusting a large company with a global recognition may be easy for prospective clients, it takes superior marketing skills to achieve similar marketing effectiveness on your own. Reaching out and getting the best customers in the market is becoming progressively more difficult even for industry professionals. However, success stories in this field suggest that having the right tactics can get you there if you are persistent, have a good offering, and use the right instruments.
We have created this detailed guide on how carry out lead generation using LinkedIn, for SEO professionals looking to improve their lead generation effectiveness with limited marketing budgets.
Lead Generation Significance
Leads are the fuel for your SEO business. While not all of them will be converted to paying customers, the number of leads at the top of the sales funnel influences the maximal number of prospective consumers who can use your services. Moreover, the quality of these initial contacts may define future conversions when a general interest in your company transforms into the intention to conclude a contract. Hence, your primary goal is to create the maximal amount of quality traffic and leads and nurture them properly to close these deals later. Unfortunately, this challenge is one of the greatest ones in modern marketing, which is partially explained by the difficulty of finding and contacting multiple companies and decision-makers on a single resource or platform.
LinkedIn as a Lead Generation Platform
LinkedIn can be seen as the optimal platform for generating a large number of high-quality leads due to a number of reasons. Up to 75% of this platform’s users have income levels exceeding $50,000 while all executives of Fortune 500 companies have profiles on this professional network. This social media platform is also ideal for B2B marketing as it generates up to 80.33% of business leads in social media marketing as compared to the 12.73% of Twitter and the 6.73% Facebook. These factors suggest that a well-targeted lead generation campaign launched on LinkedIn may produce higher conversion rates at lower costs than similar campaigns on other social media. This effect may be explained by the higher concentration of companies and decision-makers potentially interested in purchasing B2B services such as SEO.
Automating the Process
Being a small business means that you will have limited resources to market your SEO marketing agency. Therefore, you should carefully select your focus to minimise unnecessary spending and concentrate on the important things. One of the advantages of lead generation with LinkedIn is the capability to filter companies and individuals by the industry they work in as well as the number of followers or connections. This way, you can focus on commercial businesses and advertise only to the users interested in online marketing that may become your customers. This is important for separating sales qualified leads from marketing qualified leads. The need to maximise the number of initial contacts and consequent lead generation volumes also means that the manual approach may be highly ineffective. Sending personal messages to thousands of organisations to establish contact is a definite ‘no-go’ for a small business owner. Linked Helper to the rescue. This powerful instrument has an abundance of integrated tools allowing you to automate some communication stages, which leaves more time for focusing on key leads. Below are the 10 possible ideas to speed up this process using this tool and other marketing instruments.
1. Automated Following
This tool allows you to automatically ‘follow’ all your 2nd and 3rd tier connections. While this instrument does not involve the distribution of marketing messages (yet), it ‘warms up’ your prospects before you start sending invitations to them. This is necessary to lower their defences and not view you as a ‘spam sender’. This instrument also generates passive traffic to your profile page, which may stimulate some prospects to establish contact with you proactively. So be sure that your page is well-optimised.
2. Automated Invitations
This step requires greater awareness and customisation to avoid the associations with generic e-mail spam. You may want to group your prospects in terms of industry, position data or other unique qualities to make your invitations look genuine. Custom fields may assist you with this purpose to make your pitching more natural. Additionally, it may be a good idea to set random timeouts. On the one hand, this prevents you from being banned by the platform for sending hundreds of spam requests simultaneously. On the other hand, this further contributes to the personalisation approach when you send your invitations at odd times rather than 9:00 a.m. It may also be a good idea to account for different time zones if you target international audiences.
3. Lead Personalisation
Such instruments as Linked Helper allow you to overcome some of the targeting limitations by using the integrated Company Extractor tool. It collects the headquarters location, the industry the organisation operates in, the number of followers, and other information that can be used to personalise follow-up messages or identify key decision-makers in the organisation. Similarly, Profile Extractor allows marketers to extract the information about the interests, skills or education of key executives. Mentioning the specific company sphere such as PhD services is convenient for establishing communication in a less obtrusive manner.
4. Managing New Contacts
Newly added prospects may feel abandoned if you do not contact them after they have accepted your invitation. Hence, Linked Helper allows you to send follow-up messages automatically and custom-fit their contents to the earlier collected facts about every prospective company or key contact. This may be valuable for reducing potential rejection before initiating the next step of lead generation. You may want to attach some interesting links to this message or simply thank your new followers for accepting your invitation.
5. Google Alerts
Follow-up messages and group posts may be aided with Google Alerts or a similar service tailored to produce the relevant information for a specific consumer on the basis of the customer or company data extracted earlier. The marketers can trace all information related to key prospects to identify their SEO needs or organisation-related facts. This information can greatly aid you in formulating your future commercial offers by giving you specific knowledge about the company tactics in this field and its potential areas of inefficiency.
6. Group Invitations
The Group Inviter tool sends automated invitations to group pages to any 1st tier connections. However, many marketers misuse this instrument by aggressively promoting their services through the groups they own. Using the ‘pull’ marketing may be a better option to dispel negative customer expectations. Publish some free cases demonstrating your SEO skills. Provide weekly updates on the recent news and techniques in this sphere. The key goal of your LinkedIn group invitations is to invite your consumers to the resource demonstrating your professionalism and building their confidence in you to nurture the leads for using your services on a commercial basis.
7. Content Marketing
The automation functionality also allows you to ‘tease’ your audiences prior to publishing new content and maximising your ‘pull’ marketing effectiveness. Like-based marketing is another powerful option. You can also set your Linked Helper tool to automatically add the persons liking your post or commenting it to your mailing lists for sending follow-up messages later on. They can get a non-intrusive text such as, “Thank you for your positive reply to the recent post about… By the way, our paid SEO services are even more powerful and allow you to quickly improve your online recognition”.
8. Managing Invitations Pool
Properly setting up the Invites Canceller tool is highly important for avoiding bans and limitations as having 500+ unanswered pending requests instantly raises the level of suspicion to your profile. It may be reasonable to set a specific ‘time of life’ for every invitation and automatically cancel it if the user does not want to get engaged.
9. Social Engineering
Usually, the prospects you seek are already subscribed to groups related to SEO services such as SEO and Social Media Marketing Tips and Secrets or SEO Secrets. Using specialised instruments to extract the lists of subscribers from such communities instantly gives you a perfect list of companies and decision-makers for applying the targeted marketing steps described earlier. You can also refer to their interest in SEO and their membership in these groups as the reason for approaching them in your automated messages.
10. The Proof of Methods is in their Conversion Rate
As an SEO professional, you would not buy backlinks for an SEO campaign before performing in-depth keyword research. We recommend adhering to a similar approach when using Linked Helper and other tools for your LinkedIn marketing. Conversion rate should be your key indicator if your primary goal is to get sales qualified leads rather than to increase the prospects’ awareness of your SEO agency. Unconventional methods can work wonders for certain businesses. Do not rely on DIY guides and try several instruments or lead generation strategies to see which ones bring the maximum number of customers approaching you with deal-closing intentions.
Closing the Deal
Closing a deal is an end to a complex process of lead generation and nurturing performed throughout the earlier phases. Ideally, the 10 steps above should have raised your customers’ interest to your professional competencies. Some of them may have already approached you with cooperation requests on their own. The ideas below present some time-tested ideas that will allow you to close the deals with the remaining ones more effectively.
1. Create a Sense of Urgency
While such sales techniques as “use this offer within the next 24 hours before it expires” have a poor reputation in the online environment, offering time-based benefits to interested customers is always a good idea. You can provide a small discount or bonus services to the people and companies on your list who closed the deal promptly. However, you should keep in mind that these promotional discounts are aimed at creating long-term customer loyalty rather than securing one-off deals.
2. Use the ‘Puppy Dog Close’ Idea
You can reduce the perceived sense of threat if you offer a ‘90-day money back guarantee’ or a similar ‘safety net’ to your prospective consumers. According to the statistics, only a small number of customers uses these options if they are satisfied with your future services. At the same time, keep in mind that you want to engage your prospects and not to bribe them into a deal. Being too proactive in this field can make your services seem like an inferior product that needs to be aggressively discounted.
3. Provide Testimonials and Guarantees
Social proof may be a powerful way to increase your attractiveness. As an independent SEO specialist, you must have a lot of positive reviews from your prior clients that may confirm your trustworthiness. Additionally, the analysis of your statistics may suggest the average ‘growth rates’ in terms of organic traffic and conversion that were realised by your customers. Offering realistic figures may be more convincing than sending generic marketing promises.
4. Think about Your Prospects
The information collected earlier should provide sufficient insights into their specific needs and SEO problems. Even if you use automated instruments to send your ‘deal-closing’ messages, make sure that these texts include some company-specific information such as its industry statistics or conversion effectiveness. This will contribute to the ‘personalisation’ strategy and increase your perceived trustworthiness. It may also be a good idea to avoid automation at this phase if you seek to convince certain key clients that are ‘almost there’.
The offered tips primarily focus on a single instrument utilised by LinkedIn marketers. You can also combine it with similar automation software to collect profile URLs, learn more about your prospects or send InMail messages to your 2nd- and 3rd-tier contacts. The key takeaway of this article is to perform a thorough analysis of your potential customers before initiating the process of lead generation. Keep in mind that a customer disappointed with your promotional message will probably avoid your company in the future. Hence, your strategy should focus on maximising the targeting accuracy and relevance rather than the overall coverage. This will also save you substantial resources because you will have to service a smaller number of prospects. This will leave you more time for personalised communication with key prospects.
Author Bio :
Ellie Richards is an online Marketing Manager for SEO Outreach agency Outreach Lab. She specialises in research, content and article writing on various topics, including Education, Marketing, and Technology.