LinkedIn is a cornucopia of information, and with a sharp commercial approach, the platform can be worth its weight in gold in the hunt for new leads.

With more than 300 million personal profiles and related data on users, LinkedIn is the most comprehensive social media for the business world. Unfortunately, there are many businesses and users that are not familiar with the many free options LinkedIn makes available to anyone, for commercial use. But, it doesn’t exactly have to be that way.

Just follow 3 simple pieces of advice in the hunt for your new leads. These 3 tips do not require a paid personal profile.

1. Tags

Tags are used to categorise your connections (contacts). Tags are a simple way to divide your network using different characteristics, for example, “leads”, “previous clients”, “clients who use the competition’s products” and so on. You can create 200 tags, so there are many possibilities. The reason behind my use of tags is partly the option of having an overview of the worth of my network, in terms of lead generation, and at the same time being able to enrich them by sending targeted messages via LinkedIn.

A really exciting opportunity is that you are able to tag people that you are not connected with (although only 2nd degree contacts). So, when you see an interesting profile that might take some time to connect to, you can simply tag them, write a few notes, and the journey into lead generation has begun. You often cannot send messages to a person’s Inbox if you are not connected, which makes sense. Those who are tagged, regardless of whether they are 1st or 2nd degree contacts, cannot see that they are tagged.

NB! Tags will from March 31, 2017 be removed from the free version of LinkedIn and instead become part of the paid product, Sales Navigator (updated December 14, 2016).

2. LinkedIn Contacts

By using LinkedIn Contacts, you can collate your information on your network in one place. This can include information such as tags, notes, how your relationship arose, upcoming or past meeting, as well as your mail communication if you have chosen to synchronise with Gmail, for example. All this information is naturally only visible to you and is a powerful tool for monitoring your network and people you have in your pipeline.

3. Preparation

Preparation and insight are the keys to successful lead generation. By looking closer at people’s personal profiles, we can see where they have previously worked, organisations they follow and possibly their private interests. We can see shared connections (whom you might know well), who you might consult with on whether or how to make contact with a lead. Are there any influencers that the lead follows that you can use in your dialogue if the opportunity presents itself?

Read more on preparation in the article LinkedIn plays a main role in your meetings.

Good luck in the hunt for leads on LinkedIn.

We help organisations leverage the huge sales potential of LinkedIn through targeted training of the sales people. Read more about our customized training sessions here.

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