13 Creative Ways to Use LinkedIn for Lead Generation

linkedin for lead generation

LinkedIn is a great platform for connecting professionally, finding work and sharing content. But have you ever thought of using LinkedIn for lead generation?

We asked 13 members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to explain their best tips and tricks for taking full advantage of the career based site:

“What is one creative way to use LinkedIn for lead generation?”

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Introduce Yourself

“If you feel comfortable enough with the relationship to make a connection with someone on LinkedIn, feel free to go through his contacts. Copy and paste a short list of names you’d like to be introduced to, and message him asking if he would be willing to make a quick introduction for you to each of them. Include a blurb the person can use to do so. It’s a quick way to get warm intros.” ~ Darrah Brustein, Finance Whiz Kids | Equitable Payments

2. Participate in Discussions

“There are targeted discussion groups on LinkedIn for almost every niche imaginable. These are typically full of people looking for support and answers. Give your expert knowledge freely, and start relationships in these groups — you’ll quickly become a go-to source and will generate new leads for your business. ” ~ Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes

3. Search for Connections

“A Boolean search on Google is an amazing way to source leads based on keywords in LinkedIn. In the Google search bar, simply type in your string, which could be something like: site: www.linkedin.com AND (“keyword 1” OR “keyword 2″) AND (Seattle OR Tacoma). Hit search, and all the people on LinkedIn that match those conditions will show up. ” ~ Ronnie Castro, Porch

4. Find Common Interests

“There’s a very cool function within the group settings so that you can send free messages to any member of that group, regardless if you’re connected with them. You can join up to 50 groups, so maximize that limit with groups of people or prospects you want to connect with. Make sure that you provide a mutual benefit for both parties when you message potential connections. ” ~ Andrew Vest, Preferling

5. Use Flattery

“One tactic I used a lot, especially when reaching out to other startups, was to compliment their business. I would say that I thought there were interesting ways for us to work together. It sounds stupidly simple, but it’s extremely effective. I’ve closed hundreds of deals reaching out cold via LinkedIn with this technique or slight variations.” ~ Carlo Cisco, FoodFan

6. Collect Leads

“LinkedIn Ads actually has an optional feature called Lead Collection. This feature allows advertisers to collect leads directly through their LinkedIn ad campaigns. Members who click on your ad are taken to your landing page with a button to request you to contact them. It’s incredibly easy for the user, and it’s easy for you to build up a nice lead gen list. ” ~ Brett Farmiloe, Internet Marketing Company

7. Research Profile Views

“LinkedIn has a feature that shows you people who visited your profile. I’d contact those people, if they’re a connection, by sending a message that says, “Hi, is there anything I can help you with?” If they’re not a connection, then do a bit more research on them, and send a note saying, “Hi, I noticed you recently visited my profile.” Someone who spent time on your profile is likely a lead worth reaching out to. ” ~ Devesh Dwivedi, Idea2Inception

8. Search with Advanced Filters

“One of the best features of having a LinkedIn premium account is being able to use advanced filters in search. Not only can you search by company and relationship, but premium advanced search on LinkedIn allows you to search by function, seniority level and company size, too.” ~ Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

9. Ask Questions

“Ask questions to the people you’re connected to. Most people connect with great professionals but don’t keep in touch with them. Use your status updates to engage the people that are connected to you so you can stay top of mind. Post about industry trends, motivational quotes and general business questions. You’ll be surprised by how many people start talking. ” ~ Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union

10. Stay Active

“I think LinkedIn Today is a great tool to find newsworthy content to share with your target market. Staying active on LinkedIn with at least a weekly post will keep you top of mind with your network. That passive awareness becomes important when you reach out for an introduction or when someone in your network has a need for your specialty. ” ~ Lauren Perkins, Perks Consulting

11. Connect with Twitter

“Chances are you are pretty active on Twitter. If you are, you can amplify the reach of your updates simply by connecting Twitter to LinkedIn. Now every Twitter update will be reposted to your LinkedIn followers. ” ~ Pablo Villalba, 8fit

12. Publish Articles

“We promote our guest contributions on LinkedIn and engage with prospective clients by asking for feedback on the content. If you utilize LinkedIn to educate leads, you’ll provide more value and ultimately form stronger relationships. ” ~ Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.

13. Be Aggressive

“I’m constantly checking who has viewed my profile on LinkedIn; it’s one part vanity, another part strategy. I sell to a very niche audience and if I see a target customer sniffing around my profile, I reach out to them to learn what they need. Sometimes it’s just to pick my brain but more often than not, they are looking to hire and because I caught them at the right moment, they hire me.” ~ Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media

LinkedIn Photo via Shutterstock

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The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.