I make no secret of the fact that the majority of my business comes via outbound leads on LinkedIn – actively looking for people who are interested in my products and services, and then taking the time to nurture a professional business relationship with them.
However, it’s really important not to forget about the importance of inbound leads – people coming to you as a result of your content marketing activities. By showcasing your expertise, helpfulness and likeability, prospective clients will see you as a thought leader and may remember you when they need support.
I was reminded of this recently when I was contacted by a prospective client who found me organically via Google Search – thanks to both my LinkedIn profile and website being optimised for my keywords.
In this article, I’ll take you through the difference between outbound and inbound lead generation, and give you some of my top tips for making the most of those inbound lead opportunities.
Groundwork and Foundations
Before you start any lead generation campaign, I want you to take a step back and do the groundwork – making sure you have worked out what your LinkedIn goals are, identified your ideal client profile and chosen your own powerful keywords, before laying the foundations – creating a killer profile to impress your ideal clients from the outset, optimised to boost your discoverability.
If you haven’t done this yet, I suggest checking my article on 3 Simple Things You Can Do to Boost Your LinkedIn Profile and take the time to get it right before you start to build your lead generation campaign.
To boost your discoverability on LinkedIn and to help with inbound lead generation, I also suggest that you customise your LinkedIn URL to make it more memorable. If you check out my LinkedIn profile, you’ll see that mine is https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickbagga/ – it’s much simpler and easy to remember than the default combination of your name and a string of random numbers.
Secondly, I’d advise renaming your profile photo file with your name and primary keyword/title, and then re-uploading – for example, mine is ‘nickbagga-marketingconsultant.jpg’.
Both of these simple changes only take a few minutes and will help your LinkedIn profile to score more highly in search results, improving your SEO ranking.
Inbound Lead Generation
If your objective is to build professional credibility with your LinkedIn network or to establish yourself as a thought leader in your professional field, then Inbound Lead Generation can be a great way to grow your reputation.
You can do this by regularly posting high-quality content, particularly when it inspires discussion, debate, and conversation. You should also consider developing content around relevant and topical industry news.
If you don’t share anything on LinkedIn, your profile will go unnoticed. Failing to interact with prospective clients and connections is a common LinkedIn mistake and the number one reason why so many LinkedIn beginners don’t see results.
Whenever you post content on LinkedIn, ask yourself – ‘How does this add value to my ideal client’? If your connections are encouraged to click on your LinkedIn profile, they may be positively surprised to see you giving away free information, advice, and expert opinion. It immediately shows that you are a valuable resource, and helps them to know, like and trust you.
It’s also important to engage with other people’s content strategically – liking, commenting and sharing. A great way to do this is by joining relevant LinkedIn Groups – you can connect with active members, engage with posts, message group members for free, and share content strategically.
When one of your connections has taken the time to share content on LinkedIn, they will appreciate it if you interact with that content by liking, commenting on, or sharing their posts. It’s a great way to build rapport, and they are much more likely to engage with YOUR posts by liking, commenting on and sharing in return.
This approach can boost your Social Selling credentials – being seen as a helpful and authoritative contact will build your kudos and status as a professional with whom respected individuals want to interact and build a relationship. If you want to monitor how well you’re doing, you can check out your Social Selling Index (SSI) score at:
Recommendations, endorsements and testimonials
If you give recommendations, endorsements and testimonials to trusted members of your network, this can help your professional brand – and those connections are much more likely to reciprocate by recommending or endorsing you, or giving you a testimonial. These provide great social proof of who you are and what you’re capable of, and can often be a deciding factor in whether a prospect will reach out to you or not. I always keep the Law of Reciprocity in mind when using LinkedIn – it’s definitely a ‘win-win’ approach!
Outbound vs Inbound Lead Generation – what’s the difference?
As I’ve explained above, Inbound Lead Generation describes people coming to you as a result of your content marketing activities, including posting on LinkedIn, creating articles and leveraging LinkedIn groups.
On the other hand, Outbound Lead Generation is a means of lead generation through outbound activity or prospecting. I’ve developed my own ‘4C Method’ for Prospecting Like a Pro – a simple 4 step approach that takes you all the way from identifying prospects to your ultimate goal, to CONVERT. You can read more about it in this article – in addition, I’ve created a one-hour masterclass outlining my approach which you can watch here for free
I’m pleased to say that after the prospective client who found me organically reached out to me, we had a call, and they are now my client! That’s proof that getting your LinkedIn profile right is incredibly powerful and can help any business grow.
Inbound leads may take longer than my favourite method of proactively prospecting with those you want to work with, but they are great when they do happen!If you’d like to learn more about either outbound or inbound lead generation, I’d be delighted to hear from you, as I love helping others to grow their businesses. You can get in touch via DM on LinkedIn, by sending me a personalised connection request if we’re not already connected, or you can email me directly at [email protected].