How to Be Strategic Using LinkedIn To Generate Leads

Having a LinkedIn account is essential to not only expand your social media presence but to generate leads. But it’s not enough to create your profile and let it just sit there — that isn’t going to generate leads. You must utilize the tools in LinkedIn to make your account work for you.

Finding Leads Using Advanced Search

Using the basic search feature is pretty much the same as using any standard website search. Type in a person’s name, company name or keyword and hit go. This is fine if you know the name of the company or person you’re looking for, but sometimes we’re looking for connections in a specific target market. So using the Advanced Search feature may be a better use of your time when trying to generate targeted leads.

There are several search filters on the advanced search page you can use to narrow down your findings. They include Location, Industry, Function, Seniority Level and Company Size.

We work with a lot of Building Service Contractors who would like to connect with Facilities Managers in various target markets such as medical offices, universities, and commercial office space. In the example below, we used the Advanced Search function to find Facilities Managers for Medical Offices in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Notice that the filter for “Function” has been grayed out. Depending on your level of membership, you may or may not be able to access all advanced search functions in LinkedIn. The right side is Seniority Level, and I checked Manager, Director, and VP, as I’m looking for decision makers.

LinkedIn1After looking at search results, I found a “Suspect” from Allina Health Care, which has medical offices throughout the Twin Cities. The suspect is the Director of Operations, Business Development, and Corporate Security. He provides a detailed description of his job responsibilities on his LinkedIn profile (see screenshot below).

Notice that his position reports directly to the President, so he is a high-level connection. He also lists the positions and departments that report to him, including the Director of Facilities Management, who would likely be responsible for outsourcing building services such as cleaning. Many Building Service Contractors also provide security services. Notice in the last highlighted area, that he is also in charge of Corporate Security.

On the right side, you can see that Jon is a 2nd level connection on LinkedIn. So if I felt comfortable contacting my 1st level connection, I could ask for a 3rd party introduction. Warm introductions like this are always met with a better response than a cold contact.

LinkedIn2Finding targeted prospects is important and connecting with the right people is the best way to generate leads on LinkedIn. By utilizing the Advanced Search functions, you are likely to find the people you most want to connect with.

Make Smart Connections

Another way to get new leads is to cultivate the relationship you have with your current clients. You should be connecting with them on LinkedIn and viewing their connections as possible new connections for you.

Also, start operating under the policy that everyone you meet or have a conversation with is a potential LinkedIn connection. If you meet someone in line at Starbucks and have a 30-second conversation that leads to an exchange of business cards, connect with them on LinkedIn. They could be a potential client and better yet, they may be connected to that ideal client who is looking for the services you provide.

Joining groups is another great way to connect with potential clients. There are two things to remember when using a LinkedIn group to generate leads. The first is that you may not want to start your own group unless you already have a following of engaged prospects and clients. The easier way is to be active in whatever groups you do join. Giving valuable advice and sharing great resources is the best way to engage with the people in your groups. So participating important because you can’t be found by people who are looking for your service if you are silent.

Lastly, make every connection personal. If you connect and immediately try to sell to them, you will alienate your new connections. Take the time to connect on a more personal level and help them along the way. If they run a business, learn more about it and stay on top of what they are up to; even if it doesn’t have much to do with what you do. You just may have a connection that needs what they have to offer, and a referral is a great way to get their attention.

Prove Expertise Through Your Content

If you want to look like an expert in your field, then you must do what the experts do — ask engaging questions, share useful content and create original content. Sharing content instead of making a hard sell makes you more approachable and trustworthy. Don’t make them feel as if you are there just to get your hands on their money. Instead, put relationship-building and helping others behind your intentions.

You can share your content in two ways.

  1. Status Updates. If you write a blog, this is a great way to amplify your content. Give people a reason to read the article, and then link to it in the post. We also post thought-provoking questions to stir engagement. In the example below, I asked a simple question that generated several responses.LinkedIn3
  1. Publish Articles.You can now publish articles to LinkedIn, which is a great way to showcase your expertise. Just be sure to use compelling titles and graphics because you’re competing with other LinkedIn users for your Connections’ attention.


Closing Thoughts

LinkedIn is a phenomenal tool for businesses to find leads. It is by far the leader for B2B companies versus other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter because it is used primarily for business connections. If you use it right, you are sure to get lots of targeted leads. And if you put some time and energy into those leads, they are sure to turn into clients and that will ultimately grow your business.


Jean HansonJean Hanson is a long-time entrepreneur, co-founding two commercial cleaning companies, running a virtual assistant business, and in 2005, launching a business portal for commercial and residential cleaning business owners. Jean is also a Certified Consultant for the world-renowned Duct Tape Marketing System. For more tips like this one sign up for Strategic Marketing Tips at

How to Attract Quality Leads with Your PPC Strategy


photo credit: photopin

Your PPC campaign is useless if it doesn’t provide you with quality, converting leads. You can spend any amount of money on ads, but if your campaign isn’t optimized, it will certainly fail you in the end.

After managing PPC accounts for over 8 years, there are certain tips I find help everyone optimize their campaigns for lead generation. While optimization is a unique process for every account, take these first steps to jumpstart lead generation and bring quality leads into your sales funnel.

Leave no stone unturned

Your PPC campaign will only do as well as its worst-performing part. If your keywords, ads, and network are optimized and effective but your landing page is a disaster, your lead generation will suffer.

This is why you need to focus on every aspect of your campaign. Check and double-check your ads, keywords, landing pages, CTAs, copywriting—everything. Failure to keep on top of any one of these pieces could create a bottleneck in your PPC campaign.

In addition to this, make sure you focus on your existing bottlenecks. Spending time optimizing your ad copy won’t help you much if your issues lie on your landing page.

Bonus tip: Have a chat with your PPC account manager. They can often help you identify bottlenecks in your PPC process and give you tips on how to manage them based on their past experiences. Your account manager wants you to succeed and they usually have valuable insights that can help you in the testing phase.

Test, test, test everything

Once you identify those bottlenecks, it’s time to come up with a solution. But I mentioned before, optimization is different for each and every campaign. So what is your solution?

The only way for you to know is to test.

Test different combinations of keywords, test different landing pages, test different colors. Test anything and everything. You may never know what works best for you, but the only way to find your best setup is to test each component of your campaign.

After you’ve run tests on every aspect of your PPC campaign, you’ll have a better idea as to what will generate leads the best. Because this is unique to you, the only way you’ll find out is by testing.

Bonus tip: Test just one component, optimize it, and move on to your next test. That’s why most marketers refer to it as split testing orA/B testing. You always want to be testing something side by side, one piece at a time.

Cast a wide net

Long-tail keywords are a powerful tool in targeting your PPC ads. They allow you to find niche areas with less competition, where you can snatch up leads. Now what I’m going to say may be a little counter-intuitive.

Don’t use long-tail keywords. At least, not at first.

Too many people jump the gun and fill their campaigns with these keywords. However, in doing so you could be foregoing some high-performing long-tail alternatives.

Imagine you’re selling auto insurance. You use the long-tail keyword “affordable auto insurance in New York City.” This might be ideal for you. But you could also be missing out on golden opportunities in “auto insurance coverage in Staten Island.”

Rather than jumping straight to long-tail keywords, start broad. Use “auto insurance in New York” to start. Start to narrow down your keywords from this point. You may find new long-tail options that reach more quality leads, or keywords you haven’t even thought of before.

Bonus tip: Talk to your customers and find out what they’re searching for. Maybe your potential leads are primarily searching for auto insurance comparison sites. These insights can point you in the right direction when setting up A/B tests.

Cater to your customers

Your ideal PPC strategy will cater to your customer. Once you’re able to find what they’re searching and where they’re searching for it, you can put together better campaigns and attract more quality leads.

Use geotargeting, dayparting, and device targeting to pick and choose where your PPC ads appear and to whom. Once you segment your ads, they’ll naturally cater to higher quality leads for your business.

Bonus tip: Test these targeting tools, too! You want to figure out what time, location, and device settings work best for your clientele. Optimizing your PPC campaign for lead generation is a never-ending cycle. If you want the best leads to come out of your clicks, follow these tips over and over again to stay on top of any changes.


EliEli Martin is the Director of Sales for eZanga and a frequent writer on all things advertising, marketing, and sales.

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