HOW TO DEVELOP AN EFFECTIVE LINKEDIN OUTREACH STRATEGY
If you work in B2B sales or marketing, you know the importance of having a large prospect pool comprised of genuine, qualified leads who have the potential to become paying customers.
Spamming indiscriminately guarantees that you’ll spend a lot of time and money on every customer conversion. Targeted prospecting, on the other hand, means you are speaking to the right people from the outset.
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools available to marketers and sellers when it comes to B2B. It is the world’s leading professional social network, with more than 675 million users worldwide, and more than a quarter of those in the United States.
Many of the people who use LinkedIn are in decision-making roles within their organization, which means they often have the power to engage with your business on behalf of that organization. It is telling that 70% of American LinkedIn users are in the 36–55 age demographic and that 45% earn more than $75,000 per year.
Moreover, LinkedIn is where your target audience is likely to be found. Additionally, the type of information that users provide about themselves, combined with the search tools available on LinkedIn, means it is possible to find exactly who you are looking for as you filter potential leads based on industry, job title, years of experience, and so forth.
This is why B2B marketers using LinkedIn for sales estimate that 80% of all their B2B business leads generated via social media come specifically via LinkedIn.
But how exactly do you find and reach new prospects on the platform? In this guide, we will take you through the fundamentals of developing an effective LinkedIn outreach strategy.
Developing An Effective LinkedIn Outreach Strategy
Developing an effective LinkedIn outreach strategy relies on knowing your target audience and having the tools at your disposal to pinpoint them specifically on LinkedIn. You then need strategies in place to make these connections and engage them through personal messaging, all backed up by a strong and compelling business presence on the platform.
1. Set Up A LinkedIn Business Page
To get started on a LinkedIn outreach strategy for your business, first, you will need a business page.
In order to create this page, you will need a personal LinkedIn profile that uses your legal name and that has been active on the platform for at least a week. It needs to be a fairly complete profile, with at least a score of intermediate, and you will need a reasonable number of connections.
To create the business page, you also need a website for the business and company email address, and the business must be listed as your current employer. When you create the page, you will also be asked to verify that you have permission to work on behalf of the company.
If you have all of these things in place, follow our complete instructions for setting up and optimizing your LinkedIn business page. The guide includes tips for making your page appear more professional, appealing, and complete, which will help promote trust in your brand.
Once you have set up your page, you can start connecting your business right away by asking your personal contacts, and the personal contacts of others who are associated with the company, to invite their connections to connect with the company as well.
2. Identify Your Target Audience & Connect With Them
Once you have a business page in place, you need to consider with whom your business needs to connect.
Limit your potential pool of prospects using key criteria based on your business model. In the first instance, you are probably going to want to limit yourself to a pool of potential companies. Key defining characteristics are likely to be geographic region, industry, and size of the company.
You will then want to look to connect with the right decision-makers within each company. For example, if you are selling a major IT system, you will want to speak with the IT manager and directors rather than the art director. If you have a recruitment-based SaaS, you’ll want to speak to HR managers and not financial directors.
Once you know who you need to connect with, you need to find them. You will be able to find some connections using LinkedIn’s simple search. But this will limit you to finding first-, second-, and third-degree connections (so your friends or friends of friends), which limits your pool significantly.
To move beyond this limit, it is worth investing in LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which is the premium version of LinkedIn targeted specifically at sales and marketing professionals. It has features that allow for advanced searches and for making contact outside of your network.
You can read our complete guide to LinkedIn Sales Navigator and how to use it as a LinkedIn outreach service here.
As you find new prospects, you might still be thinking, how do I reach a new prospect on Linkedin?
As you find potential new prospects, you are going to want to invite them to connect with you. You do need to be a bit careful in how you do this, as if you invite 500 people to connect the day after you create a new business page, LinkedIn is likely to flag this behavior and block your account.LinkedIn is always looking to identify spam and robots and limit their activity on the platform, so you do need to place limits on your own activity to avoid receiving the red flag. Click To Tweet
It is recommended that you limit yourself to five connection requests per day for the first five days of your new LinkedIn business page. You can then double that number every five days until you are sending up to 50 connection requests per day.
You should always try to ensure that you maintain an acceptable rate above 60%, and keep your number of requests per day to no more than 5% of your total existing connections.
It is also a good idea to periodically delete open connection requests that have not been accepted. It is advisable to keep your total number of open requests to fewer than 500. You can delete requests that are 10-15 days old, as the user is either ignoring your request or not very active on the platform.
3. Move From Connection To Prospect
Once someone is a connection, you need to take the next step to introduce them to your product or service. The best way to do this is through personal engagement, which means sending them a direct message.
Usually, you can only send direct messages to your first-degree connections, which is why it is important to invest in expanding your network. But LinkedIn Sales Navigator also lets you send a limited number of messages to people outside of your network each month.
Just like with connection invitations, you should limit the number of messages that you send each day in order not to be flagged as spam. Depending on the size of your network, you should be sending a maximum of 30-50 messages per day.
How do you write a prospecting message on LinkedIn? Personalization is the key, not only to avoid spam filters but to effectively engage prospects with your brand and product.
The best way to manage personalization is with LinkedIn outreach tools such as Growth-X. With tools like this, you can easily send your 50 messages a day including highly personalized elements. Include the LinkedIn user’s name, job title, company name, and even their website.
You also have options for things such as time zone settings, so that you can ensure prospects receive messages while they are in the office.
If you prefer to take your contacts out of LinkedIn and integrate them into your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, Growth-X also gives you options for CRM integration or simple Excel exports of key details, including email addresses.
4. Implement A LinkedIn Content Strategy
How do I improve my outreach on LinkedIn when I am already doing all of the above?
While you will actively seek out many of your best prospects, a good LinkedIn content strategy can help make sure they come to you. It will help people think of you when they are looking for a new solution and warm them up if you do decide to make first contact.Publishing relevant and informative content, thoughtful advertising, and actively engaging in conversation with relevant professional networks within LinkedIn can all help raise awareness of your brand and product. Click To Tweet
You can read our complete guide on developing a LinkedIn content strategy here.
Is LinkedIn outreach effective? The answer is yes when done properly. LinkedIn is a powerful tool when it comes to growing your pool or viable prospects, but getting it right is crucial. This is why it is important that you have an effective LinkedIn outreach strategy in place so that you can leverage the platform in the most effective way.
Do you have a LinkedIn outreach strategy? Share your top tips with the community in the comments section below.
Growth-X is the #1 automated LinkedIn engagement service for managing, engaging, and building your network of leads on LinkedIn. Growth-X works on a variety of social media platforms and is the leading social media management tool for B2B sales.
Starting his career at McCann Erickson as a creative copywriter at only 20 years old, he showed creative thinking and writing for brand ad campaigns in ATL and BTL. He got invited to be a part of Fast Media Management as team coordinator and scaled his way up to be a partner and the agency’s Chief Operating Officer. Later on, the company was renamed Fast Media Group. Today, Dan spends his days working from Israel building relationships for FMG and creating alliances with other digital marketing bulls, such as Growth-X.