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Successful LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies Used In 2020

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results” - Winston Churchill

Last week I was asked by a friend if “LinkedIn really works for lead generation”. And here’s the short answer: LinkedIn remains far and away the best online platform to use for connecting with businesses and generating B2B leads.

With over 700 million users on the site, and 100 million of these are active each day, the site is a veritable goldmine. If this is not enough, according to HubSpot, LinkedIn is even 277% more efficient for lead generation than Facebook or Twitter.

Which prompts the million-dollar question: how do you actually get leads?

Well, with so many people using LinkedIn to find leads, you can bet that a lot of strategies have been devised. At The Scalelab we tried many (and we continue trying new ones) so we thought it’s about time we share with you what really works. Some of these are simply best practices while others are a bit more advanced. In fact, paying attention to both will without a doubt help you generate more or simply better leads.

In this post, we're going to look at some of the steps you should take and strategies you can deploy to get leads. Keep in mind though that, as with all good things, getting leads on LinkedIn takes time and effort.

Step 1 Build Strong Foundations

We'll start off with some of the more basic, common-sense steps you should take to give your LinkedIn lead generation campaign a boost and then go into some more complicated steps.

1 - Have a Quality Profile

Ok, this one is definitely "common sense" however it's sometimes overlooked. Don’t underestimate it. Having a high-quality profile is the foundation upon which every other aspect of your LinkedIn presence is built.

You can check your Social Selling Index on this link. For your reference, LinkedIn claims that high SSI (you can take 70 as a reference) may lead to 45% more opportunities and even 51% higher likelihood to hit a quota.

Like Facebook, LinkedIn is a social network - therefore, businesses are going to be looking at your profile. You want it to stand out.

The first thing you'll need is a headshot, and we advise to get one that fits your personality/brand. We’re talking about making a good first impression because regardless of what you offer, if you don't have a photo of yourself on your LinkedIn profile, you could be overlooked. If you have a bad photo of yourself on your LinkedIn profile, you'll definitely be overlooked! (for privacy reasons we decided not to share any but you can avoid the bathroom selfie. Free tip, just for you 😉)

Next, create a catchy headline that'll not only show up in search results but also draw eyes. Make sure you add the keywords that fit best with what you do so that people can find you.

Here’s an example of a keyword search for “Web Developer” with location set in Hong Kong.

If you’re a web developer in Hong Kong who would like to be found and you don’t have the keyword on your profile. Well, my friend, you’re not in the 8,700 search results.

Also, you can use the headline to describe what it is you do in a witty, perhaps humorous way and, if it makes sense or fits your brand, mention awards you have, x number of satisfied clients etc... We also like to use emojis (it helps to stand out in a search or when adding someone - but it works because our brand allows it. => Not for everyone.)

Finally, highlight your experience and add your contact details and a link to your calendar for people to connect with you.

Here’s an example from my profile.

You want to make it easy for people to get in touch beyond just LinkedIn.

2 - Engage With Your Profile Frequently

It's not enough to have a pristine looking profile - you'll also want to post updates so that potential clients know you're active on LinkedIn and will be more encouraged to connect and reconnect with you.

Take a look at the difference in trends between when I post and when I don’t:

You might wonder what to post about? We will dedicate a blog post to this in the coming weeks. But as an example, say you're a Marketing Agency. You should publish posts about the latest marketing techniques, how companies succeed with your services, etc. You can position yourself as an expert or simply express your opinions with results to prove your thought process.

Whatever field you're in, post your opinions about it from time-to-time. You can also share content from others ("curated content"). Be genuine about it, you’re looking to create a dialogue not just validation.

Step 2 Finding the right prospects

Perform Better Searches

Unfortunately, LinkedIn isn't a place where you can just set up shop and have waves of clients start flooding your page (inbound). 🙃

You have to reach out (outbound), and this means performing searches for people who are likely to be interested in your services.

That being said, there's one thing you can't really go without on LinkedIn, and that's Sales Navigator.

Sales Navigator allows you to perform "advanced" searches. Advanced search gives you a plethora of filters that let you narrow down your results to the exact type of client you want, or as close as possible. Some of these include seniority level, company headcount growth, annual revenue, groups, technology used and many more.

If you don’t have it, we suggest you jump onboard asap. You can trial it for 30 days and see for yourself. We use it daily.

Step 3 Personalisation and Automation

1 - Send Out Personalised Messages

Now, here’s what will make you standout. Personalisation.

First things first, this post is about how to generate leads on LinkedIn. Reason why we’d like to remind you of this is to emphasise that there’s a specific motivation behind connecting with individuals on LinkedIn.

When adding someone, a trick many of us have figured out, is to use the “Add Note” function. How you use it will also determine your results.

As you’re limited to 300 characters, you have to make a difference to really shine. LinkedIn templates, while popular, are the scourge of the website. They usually run something like this: "Hi there, I was browsing profiles and thought yours looked interesting and was hoping we could connect. Thanks!"

Yawn yawn, everyone has seen it too many times.

Whether using the default LinkedIn connection message, which reads, "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn." or something simplistic along those lines, both scream "I'm lazy!" and it’s best not to add a note in this case.

You'd want to know that the person trying to connect with you was diligent enough to research your business a bit, or at least feel like they're not simply sending out hundreds of copy-paste messages.

So here's what you can do:

- You write a genuine message about what you have in common with the person (something they posted, a common connection…)

- Why you want to work with them

- Add a call to action (just one)

Our standard message is:

“Hi {{First Name}},

I run {{My Company}} and we help companies like {{Prospect’s Company Name}} achieve {{Result}}.

I thought it’d be useful to connect. Are you free to chat Tue or Wed morning?”

And here is a snapshot of the stats we got with the above message (the yellow is the amount of people who answered the note regardless of accepting the connection request or not - 53.29%)

34.73% of leads have accepted our connection request. Of those accepting, 60.32% replied our messages.

People can tell when you've put effort into something or not - even if they might not buy your services, they will appreciate that you did work on it.

Sending out personalized messages is your first step to establishing relationships with prospective clients - ask them if they have any questions about your field, find common points of interest, etc. You don't need to pitch to them right away and, by communicating with them, you'll get a good feel of what they're after and how slow or fast to take things.

2 - Should You Use Automation?

What about automation? Many successful LinkedIn lead generation strategies utilize automation tools, and so do we. Truth is they simply can't be ignored if you want to scale your personalised approach.

Luckily there’s wide range of automation tools to support your lead generation and we would like to introduce 2 good ones to you.

This is one of our all time favourite. You ca use it across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many more. We use it to extract data from Sales Navigator searches and use this very data to blast out hundreds of personalised messages.

LinkedIn only tool that allows you to create sequences of personalised messages and follow ups to prospects. You can base the outreach on a simple LinkedIn search or via a Sales Navigator search export file.

Using them is an option, but the trick here is to make it so the messages seems personalised. You'll notice that, in every successful lead generation strategy using automation that's posted online, the templates are friendly, have a bit of humor in them, a call to action, and are personalized.

Some Lead Generation Strategies

Finally, as promised, let's go over a couple of lead generation strategies.

Try this:

- Use Sales Navigator's many filters to find people who are likely to require your services.

- Extract the results via Phantom Buster's "Sales Navigator Search Export"

- Create a dedicated sequence that does the below:

- Take a look at the prospect's profiles so that you show up in their "recently viewed" list

- Engage with one of their recent activities.

- If, and only if, they pay a visit to your profile, send them a personalized connection request.

(you can use Phantom Buster or Prospectin to automate this).

- Finally, you can send them a message about what you do and how this can fit with their company.

- Make sure to use a call to action as you want to trigger a reply.

This is a very simple strategy, but it's one that has great potential to work. Think of it as the "connect and nurture" strategy.

Try also this:

- Use Sales Navigator to perform a detailed prospect research

- Extract the results via Phantom Buster's "Sales Navigator Search Export"

- Go on Prospectin and create a campaign where you will upload your search export CSV

- Use a sequence that has a connection request with Add Note, and 3 follow up messages spaced through a period of 10 days.

- Make sure to use 1 call to action for each of the messages as you want to trigger a reply.

If you like, you can try these strategies out and see if they work for you - keep in mind, though, that if it's not expertly crafted, you could tarnish your reputation by being labeled as a spammer. Therefore, if you decide to go this way, you need to really do your research, first.

We here at the Scalelab prefer a more organic process as the personalisation is very important (hopefully we've hammered that into your head well enough!).

Wrapping Up

There are three main things you need to be successful on LinkedIn:

1) a solid, active profile,

2) Reliable Searches (with Sales Navigator and extract on Phantom Buster)

3) Personalized messages and automation (via ProspectIn)

In our opinion, that's really the foundation of any successful LinkedIn Lead Generation strategy. The cherries on the top are the level of detail you put in your search, in your personalisation efforts and finally in your copywriting.

Since LinkedIn is a social network, it's making human connections (or make connections seem human) that really matters.

Take your time, put in some effort, and you'll be getting new leads in no time. LinkedIn is really one of our favourite platforms for generating leads.


Co-founder, The Scalelab

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