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The Dos and Don'ts of Linkedin Lead Generation: Grow Your List and Community a Better Way

Every week, I receive yet another unsolicited newsletter in my inbox from a LinkedIn connection. I can only assume that some brilliant marketer(s) out there has advised people to export their LinkedIn contacts and add them to their "list".
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Every week, I receive yet another unsolicited newsletter in my inbox from a LinkedIn connection. I can only assume that some brilliant marketer(s) out there has advised people to export their LinkedIn contacts and add them to their "list".

I don't know about you, but this is the quickest way to make sure I unsubscribe, maybe report and definitely have no further interest in you or whatever you're selling or saying.

My exact process for this every time is this: I scroll down to the footer for the unsubscribe link. I then land on the "manage your subscription" page, only to find that I have been added to another list titled LinkedIn contacts.

I remove myself and then email the sender personally, to tell them why I am leaving their list. I then remove them as a connection on LinkedIn.

More often then not they apologize and say they had no idea that this tactic is bad business. What? It's no different then the guy trying to sell you new siding or windows, knocking on your front door, when you never asked for an estimate.

If you find yourself reading this, most likely you have an email list or community that you want to grow, and you're probably using LinkedIn to connect with people in your industry or your ideal clients.

But are you doing it mindfully?

Truthfully, I can see how tempting it would be to skip the part of forming a relationship, to export those connections over to your email delivery system.

However, people do not become a connection with us on LinkedIn (or any other social media platform) to have their email address hijacked.

It's your job to provide valuable, engaging content first, that piques people's interest in hearing more from you. And ultimately there's the problem - you're not being patient and authentic enough to draw your people in.

If they don't opt in and you email them, you run the risk of several problems:

  • They flag the email as spam which leads to potential canceling of your LinkedIn account.
  • You get a reputation for being disingenuous, poor at communications, a bad business person, a hack, a name it.
  • Your know, like and trust factor can be permanently damaged.
  • Your actual list engagement is totally jacked. People rarely open emails from people they don't know, let alone follow links or buy services or products.
  • CANSPAM (anti-spam legislation) states that you can lose you list and potentially face fines for doing this.
  • Someone writes about you in The Huffington Post.

And stop soliciting people via LinkedIn messenger too!

Just because we're connected on LinkedIn, that doesn't mean that you can use that as a way to get me to optin, join your group, buy your product or hop on a discovery call.

And for the love of all that's holy, that impersonal, mass email that I (and 500 other people) received is not fooling anyone.The same goes for Facebook, by the way.

The bottom line is you need to create relationships. Real people. Real conversations and exchanges of ideas. You are the expert, so your content and social media posts need to reflect that. Engage with people.

Ask them relevant questions. Ask them where they hang out online and why. These efforts will translate into followers, fans and engaged email subscribers.

So, I bet you're wondering how to add value on LinkedIn, stand out and get people interested in you a better way. I asked my Friend and LinkedIn Marketing expert Mirna Bacun for her best tips.

Mirna says that before you decide to do lead generation on LinkedIn, there are a couple of important things you have to understand about this network.

LinkedIn is a business social network, which means people go there do meet serious business people and potential partners, not get pitched.

Your job on LinkedIn is to BUILD TRUST and nurture potential relationships, not to sell "your stuff".

Leave the selling outside LinkedIn, because no one will ever perceive you as a serious business professional if you go and spam people without their permission.

Here are some tips to engaging your potential clients and your target market on LinkedIn, while also building trust and positioning yourself as an expert:

1. Create remarkable content through LinkedIn Pulse

Content is king, but remarkable content is the absolute jack-pot when it comes to engagement on LinkedIn.

If you want your potential clients and business partners to perceive you as a credible expert in your field and get real, organic engagement, then publishing remarkable content through LinkedIn Pulse (LinkedIn's publishing platform) is a must.

Once you decide to post your blog on Pulse, and before you click the "Publish" button, don't forget to invite the readers of your blog post to comment on it and share it.

When you finally publish the post, LinkedIn will automatically notify all of your connections that you wrote a new blog post, which will give you the initial exposure you need to get the 'engagement snowball' rolling.

After that be sure to: comment back on every comment you receive from others, even if it's a simple thank you. Be sure to reply in a new comment box, and tag a person you are replying to. This will tell LinkedIn that there is a lot of engagement on your post, and LinkedIn might organically boost it.

And send all the people that commented on your post or shared it a personal message on LinkedIn to say thanks and get the conversation going.

If you get people to engage with your blog post in any way you will have a good reason to contact them personally - without being spammy.

2. Share your remarkable content

Once you've created a great piece of content through LinkedIn Pulse, you need to share it as soon as possible, with as many people as possible. Sharing this content is hugely important in the first 24 hours, because if people engage (comment and share) in that time, you might get noticed by LinkedIn Editorial Team and they might boost your post in front of even more people.

Share it:

  • With your e-mail list
  • On your other social media
  • As a normal update on LinkedIn, and keep sharing it once or twice a day in the next 48-72 hours
  • With the LinkedIn groups where your target market is (this will give you tons of exposure and engagement)

Quick tip within a tip: You might want to check out LinkedIn's Editorial Calendar , because it will tell you which topics LinkedIn Editorial Team is looking for each month. If you fit in the right category for the month, LinkedIn Editorial Team might boost your post on LinkedIn which will give you more exposure and thus - more engagement.

3.Create your own LinkedIn Group

Having your own LinkedIn group is the BEST asset you can have in your business.
It is the best way to get engagement, position yourself as an expert, get in front of hundreds or thousands of targeted leads and get tons of traffic to your site.

Many don't know that a LinkedIn Group owner can send one Announcement per week to ALL group members, directly to their e-mail inbox - with just one click.

Imagine how powerful that is!

You can send them an announcement about your new blog, for example - and it will land in their e-mail inbox! No spamming and no problems.

Use the Group Featured Discussion feature to get your content and your face in front of as many people as possible, get more engagement and build your brand credibility.

How are you using LinkedIn and do you have anything to add to the conversation?

Thanks for reading! I'm Lisa Schmidt, a No BS Coach for Women, word nerd, mom and creator of Uncomfortable Conversations. Let's connect. Drop a comment below, find me on Facebook or grab this awesomeness: Understanding Your Inner Critic, my free download that will help you to unsubscribe from all of the shoulds, dont's, cant's and told you so's you tell yourself.

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