How to use Linkedin to find customers for your B2B business
If you are looking to sell to businesses, you cannot ignore Linkedin
With over 27 million users in the UK and 500 million globally, LinkedIn is by far the largest online professional network.
If you are looking to sell to businesses, and are trying to figure out how to identify and make contact with decision makers you cannot overlook this resource.
So where do you start?
First off you need to be on Linkedin yourself.
It’s free to create a profile and it’s your opportunity to showcase your skills and experience. If you are planning on using Linkedin to make approaches to potential customers, think about the important aspects of your profile that will help convince them that you are the right person to help them.
Improve your Linkedin profile for B2B lead generation
1. Profile photo – Make sure you have a good quality photo which clearly shows your face. Research shows that people are more trusting of faces than anonymous people
2. Craft a meaningful headline – People will make a split second decision based on your photo and headline. Make sure you have a succinct headline that will make them think “this person might be able to help me”.
3. Polish up your profile – Your profile is your opportunity to showcase your skills, experience and knowledge. Make sure you focus on the reader and what information will make them want to have a conversation with you.
4. Career History – You don’t want this to detract from your core message, therefore if you have some early career roles that are irrelevant to what you do now, you can consider removing them as they could reduce the impact .
5. Background Image – This is not essential but Linkedin gives you the option to show a background image. It’s a great opportunity to stand out and reinforce what you are about.
Define your ideal customer type
Now you have polished up your profile, it’s time to think about who your ideal customer is. This is a critical step as it will help you when you start filtering profiles in Linkedin itself. Here are some great tips to help you:
- Look at your existing customers
- Think about the ‘types’ of people in terms of gender, location, industry, company size, seniority
- Think very specifically about the challenge they are facing that you can help with
How to find B2B customers on Linkedin
1. Log in – Log in to Linkedin
2. Search for people – Click on the search box and you should see some ‘search for’ options appear. Click on ‘People’.
3. Open the filters – Look for an option near the top that says ‘all filters’ and click on it.
4. Look at the search boxes – You should now see a bunch of search boxes and filters like this:
5. Narrow your search – Start narrowing your search. For example let’s say you are targeting HR staff at tech companies in London, this search returns 996 contacts. You could of course further filter by specific company name or job title:
6. Tighten up your target list – Continue searching and filtering until you have a list or lists of contacts you think would be interested in what you are offering. If you want to have a few lists e.g. one for London, another for Birmingham etc, you can simply save the URL and go back to it later.
How to reach out to B2B customers on Linkedin
Now you have a list of people that fit the right profile, you need to connect with them.
1. Your existing connections – If you have existing connections, they will appear at the top of the list with a ‘message’ button next to them. As you already know them you can go right ahead and send them a message.
2. Non-connections – For people inside of your direct network (connected to someone you know), you should see a “Connect” button.
3. Select a contact you want to connect with and click on “Connect”
4. Customize your invitation – You will now see a box which will allow you to either go ahead and send the connection request, or to add a note before doing so.
5. Click “Add a note” – you will now see an option to add a note of up top 300 characters. This is your opportunity to craft a short message that will give them a good reason to connect back with you.
6. Write your note – remember that some people receive a lot of connection requests so you should make sure your note is personalised to the individual and gives them a clear, non salesy reason to connect with you.
7. Send your invitation – Once you have crafted your note, click send and they will recieve it along with your connection request. If you have hit the mark, they will connect back with you and you will be able to message them directly in Linkedin.
How to manage your Linkedin B2B outreach
Outreach on Linkedin can be a time consuming activity so you want to make sure you are spending your time as effectively as possible.
1. Make sure you have properly selected your target contacts – don’t rush this part of the process. Selecting the right contacts who you think will have a genuine need for what you have to offer, will great increase your response rate.
2. Make sure you convey some benefit in your note and don’t make a sales pitch – people generally don’t like a sales pitch. You should focus on how you can help companies like theirs and why you want to connect, but don’t go straight into a sales pitch.
3. Use boolean search – when searching for contact, you can use boolean search. For example a search of “HR” in the UK returns 530,405 results, a search of “HR” NOT “recruitment” reduces it to 300,569 results. Or you could try (“hr” OR “human resources”) NOT “recruitment” which returns 459,860.
4. Target specific companies – hop across to google and do some research for companies that would be a good fit for you. You can then use the “current companies” field to find specific decision makers at that company.
5. Do not send more than 100 connections per day – it’s recommended that you limit your daily number of connection requests to 100 in order to make sure don’t get flagged up by Linkedin. If your targeting and messaging is on point, the number of people that connect with you should be high enough that Linkedin doesn’t see a problem.
Want to find out how you can scale this activity and automatically connect with over 100 targeted contacts per day? Get in touch.