I make no secret of the fact that most 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 business relationship with them.
But it’s important not to forget about 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. They may also remember you when they need support.
I was reminded of this recently when I was contacted by a prospect who found me organically via Google Search. This was 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 – make sure you have worked out what your LinkedIn goals are, identified your ideal client profile and chosen your own powerful keywords. Then lay the foundations – create a killer profile to impress your ideal clients, optimised to make you easy to discover.
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 taking 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’.
These simple changes take minutes and help your LinkedIn profile score more highly in search results, improving your SEO ranking.
Inbound Lead Generation
Inbound Lead Generation can be a great way to grow your reputation. This is particularly relevant if you want to build credibility or establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.
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.
When one of your connections has taken the time to share content on LinkedIn, they will appreciate your interaction. That could be liking, commenting on, or sharing their posts. This builds rapport, and they are more likely to reciprocate by engaging, liking, commenting on and sharing YOUR posts.
Your Social Selling Credentials
This approach can boost your Social Selling credentials, by being seen as a helpful and authoritative contact. This 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. Those connections are much more likely to reciprocate by recommending or endorsing you, or giving you a testimonial. These provide social proof of your skills and can be a deciding factor in whether a prospect will reach out. 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 explained above, Inbound Lead Generation describes people coming to you as a result of your content marketing activities. This includes 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. I’ve also created a one-hour masterclass outlining my approach which you can watch here for free
I’m pleased that after a call with the prospective client who found me organically, they are now my client! That’s proof that getting your LinkedIn profile right is very 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. However, they are great when they do happen!
If you’d like to learn more about either outbound or inbound lead generation, I’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch via DM on LinkedIn, send me a personalised connection request if we’re not already connected, or email me at [email protected].