Using LinkedIn to grow your business

With well over 250 million users, many businesses feel that LinkedIn surely must have the potential to deliver leads for their business to work on. However, large portions of those businesses using LinkedIn have yet to see any B2B leads. In many cases, this is simply due to the fact that they aren’t using LinkedIn in the right way to generate those B2B leads they crave. Here, we show you how you should go about creating those leads for your business, by using LinkedIn Groups.
Using LinkedIn Groups to help with lead generation is pretty simple. You just have to know your strategy. Whether you intend to participate in other groups or start your own, there are ways of going about your interactions on LinkedIn that will have a significant impact on your business.

LinkedIn groups are effectively online communities that share interests. If you choose to create your own group, you can choose who joins your community, and you’ll immediately have some intelligence on those people within. The added bonus of creating your own group is that you will be seen as a “leader” and therefore grow your authority in the niche.

Creating your own group only takes a few clicks and the biggest decisions you will have are
a. Whether to allow users to join automatically
b. What your group should be about.
There are pros and cons to providing an open door to anyone to join your group. If you leave the door open, chances are you’ll find you have more members, although you may find your competitors getting in on your turf. The decision is one that only you, as a business can make. When it comes to choosing a topic for your group, make sure it covers the things you provide, in a general way. For example, if you’re a mortgage broker who specialises in mortgages for self-employed people, you’ll want to make sure that you tailor your group to your target market.

While you do have the option of creating your own group, if you want to simply join other groups you can still use LinkedIn groups for B2B lead generation. This saves you the legwork of going out and cultivating interest in your group but allows you to go ahead and post messages and contact with other members.
Some tips for interaction are as follows:
1. Pose questions and become a leader of messages. Don’t be afraid to start a thread rather than just comment on someone else’s.
2. Create polls, and question to group. It’s really easy to do and gives the impression you want to know about your target market and you’re interested in what they have to say.
3. Email the members of your group with insights, invitations or giveaways
4. Answer other peoples questions. If you create a good answer to a group members question, chances are they will view you as an authority, and so will others.
5. Run a free webinar on your chosen subject matter. Everyone loves a freebie and you can certainly cover a fair amount of material, quickly, cheaply and successfully. Don’t however use it as a sales pitch. You can mention what you do and why it works so well, but no one is going to want to listen to half an hour of you talking about your business. Encourage interaction too.
6. Add the members of the group you’ve interacted with to your connections. Connections may not order from you, but their connections might.
Of course every business is different, and it’s a good idea to explore different ways of interaction on LinkedIn, but if you’re just getting started on LinkedIn and want to make an impression, groups are definitely the way to go.

Author: Dennis Taylor. Follow on Twitter @TaylorMadeSM, Google+, or public updates on Facebook


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