Linkedin Lead Generation: A Complete Guide + Strategies We Used to Generate Thousands Of Leads

lead generation

So, you know all about the wonderful benefits of LinkedIn lead generation and automation.  And you’re ready to start generating high-quality, B2B leads that actually sign up for your demos and don’t ghost your replies. Then you’ve come to the right place.

Over at LoudGrowth, we’re kind of the go-to authority figure on when it comes to LinkedIn automation and lead generation strategies. Why’s that? Because we actually know what we’re talking about. 

All the growth-hacks and strategies we’ve covered in our blog, I’ve personally tried them. I’ve done the outreach, saw the results, tweaked the cold messages to perfections, spoke with our leads (who then became our clients), and then did a deep dive in the analytics. And then – I published my findings. Now, we’ve covered A LOT of strategies on our blog.

And if you’re not sure where to start, we’re going to briefly summarize each of them here, showing their results and why they worked. Here’s what we’re going to cover:

Ready?

First, here’s some context on LinkedIn lead generation and growth-hacking.

Let’s continue, 

LinkedIn Lead Generation Tools You Need to Know

Your LinkedIn lead generation results will depend heavily on the strategies and tools you use. So, before I start talking about the details of how to set up and run top-performing LinkedIn automation campaigns, here’s what you need to know about the tools we’ll use. 

  • Expandi – Expandi is the safest LinkedIn automation tool on the market (we can back this up), it’s super convenient and extremely easy to set up. it also comes with a bunch of advanced features that really take your LinkedIn social selling to the next level. 
  • Phantombuster – Code-free automation and data extraction tool. We’ll be using it to generate lists of prospects and their contact info.
  • Zapier – To connect your apps and workflows together. For example, to connect Expandi to your email outreach campaign tool for a true omnichannel campaign.
  • Lemlist – Our favorite email tool that allows you to send cold emails that get replies.
  • Lempod – To increase your LinkedIn post views and engagement and gain a list of relevant people from your niche commenting on your content.
  • BuiltWith – To look up sites using certain technologies. For example, we’ll be using it to find a list of sites using Albacross and then reach out to that target audience.
  • FindThatLead – We’ll be using this to upload our list of site domains and find their email info.
  • Hunter.io – To scrape emails associated with specific website domains.

And that’s about it. Now, if you’re looking for plug-and-play LinkedIn lead generation strategies you can copy by the end of today – down to the exact templates… Here are a few of our favorites. 

But before that,

1. Optimize your professional profile for engagement

“Looking the part” is a top priority on LinkedIn.

After all, the platform primarily consists of professionals attempting to flex their influence and highlight their accomplishments.

The more you fill out your LinkedIn profile, the better. Optimizing your profile means not only making it search-friendly to the platform but also capable of grabbing the attention of your leads.

Let’s start with what’s above the fold, which should ideally include a combination of the following:

  • A clear and friendly headshot
  • A title which defines your company role and area of expertise
  • A high-res background image that highlights your company, branding or a lead magnet
Optimized LinkedIn profile

Moving on, your 2000-character “About” summary provides a place to showcase your expertise, work results and accomplishments. Bear in mind that you don’t need to rattle off your résumé here (that comes later).

We recommend an elevator pitch summary of who you are as a professional, coupled with relevant keywords that make your profile discoverable via search. Leads can then find you organically from your profile alone.

Below is a great example of an “About” section that attracts attention for Alina’s top skills and results at Nextiva, finding a balance between optimization and personality.

optimized LinkedIn about section

LinkedIn recently launched a new “Featured” section which is actually useful for lead generation.

This space allows you to highlight major projects and publications, not limited to your blog, landing pages or lead magnets that you might want to point your leads to.

LinkedIn featured section in profile

Next, your “Experience” section where you should reinforce your work experience and showcase the companies you’ve worked for. These blurbs are traditionally about more “suit and tie.”

Showcasing your experience proves to prospect that you're the real deal

Last but not least for your profile, recommendations and skills are important pieces of social proof that confirm to leads and prospects that you’re legit. Don’t be shy about asking clients, colleagues and co-workers for ’em: offer to return the favor and they’ll likely be more happy to help you out.

recommendations as social proof on LinkedIn

Taking the time to fill out each section of your profile is totally worth it for the purpose of lead generation. Again, anything you can do to make yourself stand out on the platform is a plus.

2. Identify the right decision-makers to connect with

Let’s say you want to be proactive about finding and nurturing leads on LinkedIn.

While LinkedIn’s native search function can honestly be a bit awkward, it’s actually pretty easy to spot decision-makers and relevant contacts.

Start by typing the name of a specific role [“social media manager”] (with quotes) and/or a company [“LoudGrowth”], or simply search the terms separately if you’re casually browsing for outreach candidates.

But let’s say you’re trying to find someone in a role at a particular company but you’re not 100% who you’re looking for.

Simply go to the “People” tab of any given company page. You’ll then be presented with a list of potential contacts with job titles and relevant connections front-and-center.

LinkedIn makes it a cinch to spot important decisionmakers for any given company

Before blindly sending connection requests, double-check those titles prior to outreach. Also, consider connecting first with folks whose shared connections are actual coworkers or colleagues versus a friend-of-a-friend. While connections via friends are valuable, connections via colleagues or coworkers is a better place to start, as they know how you work best.

Bear in mind that you’ll likely want to “follow” a profile of an outreach candidate rather than connecting outright (yes, there’s a difference).

Following someone will send them a notification akin to a connection request minus your contact having to accept it. This is seen as less in-your-face and is a subtle way to introduce yourself to a lead or prospect without bugging them.

3. Don’t “spray and pray” your LinkedIn outreach

We get it: you want to step up your LinkedIn lead generation. You want more contacts and customers.

Unfortunately, this had led to an unfortunate phenomenon of marketers spamming the platform.

Bummer, right?

That doesn’t mean that you can’t conduct outreach on LinkedIn. Not by a long shot.

The takeaway, though, is that you can’t just “spray and pray” when it comes to your outreach. Instead of approaching people cold, focus on relationship-building, sharing content and engaging in conversations on posts.

Recent research notes that B2B buyers on average consume 13 pieces of content before making a decision. B2B outreach means playing the long game rather than searching for instant gratification. Not only that, but you could get labeled as a spammer in your space if you get too aggressive with your outreach.

Ideally, you should personalize each and every one of your outreach messages and likewise offer something in return to your contacts (think: a blog mention, a newsletter shout-out, a quote, etc).

Conducting outreach on LinkedIn has to be done carefully

Doing so proves that you’ve researched your prospects and understand the challenges and frustrations of receiving so much InMail these days.

4. Maximize your profile’s visibility through posts and interactions

To ensure that your profile is seen by as many people as possible, it’s crucial to understand how the LinkedIn algorithm works.

The short of it is this: the best way to rise in the algorithm is to be an active participant on the platform.

That means publishing content, posting comments and reacting to posts on a regular basis.

The upside of LinkedIn is that you don’t have to write walls of text or spend hours on the platform to be considered “active.” Even something as simple as saying “congrats” or giving a post a thumbs-up is enough to increase your profile’s visibility to people who aren’t following you yet.

LinkedIn Activity feed

What else can you do to boost your visibility, though? Posting updates and content during peak times is a good idea. Weekdays during the mornings and early afternoon (think: traditional work hours) are a safe bet for most professionals.

Another way to increase both the visibility and searchability of your LinkedIn content is through tagging. For example, tagging a colleague or company in an update will result in a notification to anyone mentioned. Additionally, if anyone mentioned reacts or comments on your post, those actions will make your post visible to followers of those people or companies.

Tacking on a couple of hashtags (between two and five, typically) is also a smart move for any given post. Doing so can help your content trend for a particular hashtag which, in turn, will result in more notifications for your followers.

Coupling your LinkedIn posts with hashtags is a smart move for lead generation

5. Funnel followers to your landing pages and lead magnets

Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn doesn’t restrict the reach of posts that lead people off of the platform.

Translation? Don’t pass up opportunities to promote your latest blog posts, lead magnets and webinars.

The only caveat here is that LinkedIn isn’t about the hard sell. Instead, frame your updates and promotions as being educational first and foremost.

Couple your content on LinkedIn with hashtags

Also, note that LinkedIn prioritizes video as part of its algorithm. Considering that video is among the most-shared content on social at large, it should most definitely be part of your LinkedIn lead generation strategy.

For example, think about how you can couple your latest report or post with a quick, off-the-cuff video.

Video should be integral to your LinkedIn lead generation strategy

6. Consider running a LinkedIn lead generation ad

As noted by our earlier social statistics round-up, a staggering 65% of B2B marketers have already run a paid promotion on LinkedIn.

That’s because LinkedIn ads are quite literally made with lead generation in mind. Marketers can target specific professionals based on specific parameters such as industry, job title and company size.

Lead generation on LinkedIn can be achieved a variety of ways via ads

Note that many LinkedIn lead generation ads center around downloadable reports and other lead magnets.

Paid ads are key to LinkedIn lead generation for companies

And as it should come as no surprise, video is among the most popular ad types on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn video ads are popular for lead generation right now

Of course, putting together an ad campaign is something that can be done on behalf of your company rather than on your own. Once you’ve succeeded in acquiring organic leads or can create personas based on your conversations with leads, running ads may be worthwhile for your business down the line.

7. Participate in LinkedIn Groups discussions to grow your following

Scoring more connections, either actively or passively, is a way to signal that you’re an active participant on LinkedIn and not just an empty suit.

Groups are a fantastic place to connect with others in your space and attract new connections. If nothing else, private Groups allow you to build your influence within niche communities and learn a thing or two from other players in your space.

As a side note, make sure to review Group rules regarding content sharing before recommending your site or service.

Groups are an awesome place to network on LinkedIn

8. Let your colleagues and coworkers give you a boost (and vice versa)

Another big benefit of LinkedIn is that you can instantly increase the reach of your content with the help of some friends.

This is especially useful if there are others in your company assisting you with LinkedIn lead generation.

Through employee advocacy, you can boost the content of your colleagues and company. For example, check out this company post from vCita.

LinkedIn post

And then see how the company’s employees showed the post some love shortly after it went live.

LinkedIn employee advocacy

This support is a win-win for marketers attempting to grow on LinkedIn. In short, greater reach means more opportunities to gather leads.

9. Identify your top performing content via LinkedIn analytics

Finally, digging into your data is a must-do to assess your LinkedIn performance and lead generation efforts.

For example, do you know which types of posts gain the most traction? Which pieces of content score the most clicks to your lead magnets and landing pages?

To figure out what’s working and what’s not, look no further than your numbers. For those flying solo or as part of a small team, social media analytics tools like SHIELD are awesome for LinkedIn. The platform breaks down your updates by clicks, reach and other engagement metrics.

shield app LinkedIn analytics

And if you’re looking for a LinkedIn lead generation tool for your company page, look no further than Sprout.

For example, Sprout’s suite of LinkedIn management tools is equipped to break down your company’s performance data. Tracking clicks and engagements, you can make the connection between your organic content, LinkedIn ads and new leads.

Sprout Social LinkedIn reporting

Strategies That Helped Us to Generate 1000s of Leads

Generating Leads on Linkedin by Scraping Facebook Groups

This lead generation strategy is one of my favorites. It’s one of the first topics we’ve covered on our blogs too. So, it holds a special place in my heart. And fortunately, it’s also extremely simple, replicable, and most of all – effective. Here’s the strategy:

  1. Define your target audience down to the communities they hang out in and what software they use.
  2. Find them in a fairly large Facebook group within your niche.
  3. Use the Phantombuster Facebook group extractor to scrape the full list of members in that group (their names, Facebook profile, etc.).
  4. Use the Phantombuster LinkedIn profile URL finder to find their LinkedIn profiles.
  5. Use Expandi to automate your outreach and connect with them.

In my case, I scraped the Dux-Soup Facebook group (competitors’ Facebook group, around 3,600 members) and reached out to them on LinkedIn.

The results:

  • 72% Acceptance rate.
  • 49% replied to follow-ups.
  • 42(!) booked demos.

Why it works:

  1. Super specific target audience.
  2. Shared something in common (members of the same Facebook group).
  3. Not trying to sell anything (I mentioned a similar LinkedIn tool they might be interested to hear about).

As a bonus point, I know the target audience really well for this outreach campaign. So, I made sure to mention their pain points in the outreach cold messages. Then, all I had to do was automate the follow-ups and watch the leads start booking demos. This is extremely easy use to replicate and a great starting point if you’re looking for simple LinkedIn lead generation strategies. 

LinkedIn Content Retargeting Strategy for Lead Generation

Here’s another simple lead generation hack. All you need is a popular post from an influencer in your niche. Then, you scrape all the comments/likes on it and reach out to them. It’s really simple.

  1. Find a post with a significant engagement rate (in this case it was a viral post with 501 likes and 678 comments).
  2. Copy link to post from LinkedIn.
  3. Log in Expandi, create a new search, select ‘Post engagement’ and paste in the copied link.
  4. Optional: Create similar content your target audience will enjoy.
  5. Create a connector campaign and reach out to your list of leads from Expandi (feel free to copy our proven templates) and mention that you also like the influencer’s content in your request message.

The results:

  • 72% acceptance rate.
  • 40% responded to the follow-ups.

Why it works:

  • Mutual interests.
  • By bringing up the post they liked, you’re not being intrusive and have something in common to talk about – without being too random or spammy.
  • By letting them know you create similar content – they have a reason to connect with you.

LinkedIn Personalization Lead Generation Strategy That Goes Beyond First and Last Name

Have you realized how most LinkedIn growth-hacks stop personalization at using your leads’ first and last names? Here’s an outreach strategy that goes beyond that and uses dynamic personalization.  With it, your outreach messages come out different each time – depending on who the campaign is addressed to. 

As an example, I wanted to target authors who had written about LinkedIn automation tool alternatives, reach out to them and let them know about Expandi. Here’s what I did.

  1. Wrote down my leads’ names, their website name, and a solution they had mentioned in the article.
  2. Used dynamic personalization tags in my outreach templates.
  3. Mentioned specific information from their articles for some highly-personalized outreach.

The results:

  • 69% Acceptance rate.
  • 83% Responded to the follow-ups.

Why it works:

  • Targeting a very specific group of people.
  • It mentions something unique within each message – so that the people receiving them don’t think it’s automated.

LinkedIn Outreach Message Strategy That Gets You Light Years Ahead of Your Competition

With this lead generation strategy, we’ll be using BuiltWith to scrape a list of websites using Albacross as their IP tracker and reach out to them on LinkedIn. Here’s how:

  1. Search for Albacross on BuiltWith, confirm the technology match, and select the United States (or your target market country). Export list as a spreadsheet file.
  2. Use FindThatLead to upload those domain names and turn them into verified emails.
  3. Use Phantombuster LinkedIn profile URL finder to convert those names into LinkedIn profiles.
  4. Create a unique LinkedIn outreach template for the campaign. In this case, I made sure to mention Albacross in my connection request – which really boosted my acceptance rate.

The results:

  • 73.6% Acceptance rate.
  • Almost 50% responded to the follow-ups.

Why it works:

  • Highly personalized outreach.
  • Targeting high-quality prospects and bringing up you have something in common with them.

Increase Brand Awareness PDF Lead Magnet Strategy

For this strategy, you need an offer. In our case, we created a Top 3 LinkedIn Outreach Strategies PDF which we wanted to give back to our target audience and provide free value. So, the goal with this outreach strategy is to reach our client via several channels (LinkedIn, Facebook ads) and to provide value (free growth hacking PDF). Essentially, we’ll be connecting with our audience on LinkedIn, scraping their info, and then use Facebook ads to retarget them on an entirely different channel. Here’s how:

  1. Create a relevant, valuable PDF offer for your target audience.
  2. Run a detailed search for your target market on LinkedIn (ideally, using LinkedIn Sales Navigator). 
  3. Import that search to Expandi and create a personalized, high-quality outreach sequence
  4. Create a retargeting Facebook ad campaign for brand awareness (with a custom banner, encouraging users to sign up for a demo).
  5. Connect Facebook custom audiences to your Expandi list via Zapier and Hunter.io. Essentially, we’re using Zapier to connect Expandi to your Facebook Custom audience. And Hunter.io to grab your leads’ contact information. Zapier is just the middleman here. Run those ads and enjoy your booked demos of warm leads.

The results:

  • Highly personalized outreach to warm leads on different channels (LinkedIn, Facebook ads).
  • Providing value first of all (free PDF) and then retargeting those warm leads with a custom audience Facebook ads, which makes them more likely to sign up for a demo.

Ultimate Omni Channel With Hyper-Personalization Strategy

Here’s another incredibly personalized omnichannel strategy that’s guaranteed to get results.

The key to an effective LinkedIn outreach is personalization. And this strategy takes it to another level by combining outreach with omnichannel marketing.

Essentially, omnichannel marketing means integrating various channels (in this case, LinkedIn and email) to establish multiple touchpoints with your leads, with the goal of creating a consistent brand experience.

From a lead generation perspective, it makes your prospects feel special and will help you stand out too.

Obviously, your leads are more likely to remember you contacting them on LinkedIn, as well as by email. 

For example, you could send a cold email to a prospect, then follow up with a connection request saying you thought you’d connect on LinkedIn too, in case they’re more active there.

If you’re using personalization properly, your messages should feel so personal that they can’t be applied to anyone else.

And then, following up on a completely different channel makes your leads feel that you’re going out of your way to speak with them.

As a result, they’d be more likely to reply and set up a call with you.

This is why omnichannel marketing is often so successful.

But doing this manually takes a lot of time. 

This is why we’ll be using outreach flows and automation here to save time.

Here’s how:

First, we’ll create an enticing offer, connect to our prospects on LinkedIn, and then, follow-up via email. Like so:

  1. Create a relevant, value offer for your target audience (we’re going to reuse our Top 3 LinkedIn Outreach Strategies PDF from above). Create a post on LinkedIn telling people to comment if they want to receive your guide.
  2. Endorse the post via Lempod to increase your reach and post comments.
  3. Create a connector campaign on Expandi to connect with everyone who commented on your post (which should be more people thanks to Lempod).
  4. Create two email outreach campaigns on Lemlist (our favorite email outreach tool). One with the PDF of your offer attached, and a follow-up 1 day later if they’ve clicked on the PDF – asking for their thoughts, feedback, or comments.
  5. Create Webhooks via Zapier to connect everything together (Expandi to Zapier and Lemlist).

The results:

  • 80.2% Acceptance rate on LinkedIn.
  • 46% Clicked on the offer via email.
  • A lot of friendly feedback and comments on the PDF. 😎

Why it works:

  • Relevant and valuable offer.
  • Omnichannel outreach guaranteed to get the leads’ attention.
  • Email follow-ups to remind them if they didn’t click on the attached PDF.
  • Personalized, fun image attached to the email to stay memorable.

Steal Your Competitor’s Audience: LinkedIn + Twitter Strategy

Why bother defining your target audience and going through detailed LinkedIn filters when you can just steal your competitor’s audience instead? If you happen to have a better product or offer (bold claim) this LinkedIn outreach strategy works even better. It goes something like this:

  1. Build a comparison page where you compare your product/service to that of your competitor’s (make sure you’re doing a fair comparison).
  2. Find your competitor’s Twitter page and use TexAu to extract their twitter followers to a CSV spreadsheet file. Then, use their find a LinkedIn profile API to turn your list into LinkedIn profiles.
  3. Connect Zapier and Expandi via Webhooks.
  4. Set up Facebook ads and connect them to Zapier to retarget your audience via ads. 
  5. Reach out via Expandi and send a request with this template: 

“Hey {first_name}, Saw you’re also a follower of (competitor’s name) on Twitter! I take it you’re active on (platform) and interested in (subject)? I was wondering if you’d like to exchange lead generation strategies if so. What do you think?”

The results:

  • A whole lot of booked demos full of warm leads.

Why it works:

  • Reaching out to an audience who already has a general idea of your niche and similar products.
  • Your leads are open to being educated as to why your product is superior (if it is). Though, they might not know about your benefits or what makes your tool superior, they’ll be glad to listen if it will benefit them. Do this right, and you’ll be tapping into an audience who might become extremely loyal to your brand.

Other LinkedIn Lead Generation Tips

Having the proper outreach campaign is only one part of a successful lead generation strategy. Here are some other lead generation tips you should keep in mind when doing marketing on LinkedIn.

Start with your profile

LinkedIn lead generation starts with your profile because that’s where most people go when they receive a message from a stranger. First impressions are everything. So, you should treat your LinkedIn profile as your personal landing page.

It should inspire trust, professionalism, and have a clear, visible offer. 

With your profile, you’ll want to convert your offerings into a certain outcome (solution of working with you). Take the above tagline – “Up to 10X more Social Selling leads 🚀 | Guaranteed success with “The Top 3 LinkedIn Outreach Strategies” Guide ♟” This is a great way to inspire people to click on your profile as they know what they’re getting into. 

And once there, your summary, work experience, and recommendations should clear up any objections your leads might have. Learn how to fully optimize your LinkedIn profile top to bottom and other essential steps to take before launching an automated campaign here. 

Define your audience properly

We talked about how important it is to define your audience above.  People are tired of being retargeted with the same outreach methods that sound spammy and try to sell with the first message. So, to avoid sounding sales-y straightaway, make sure you know your buyer persona properly.  You should also know:

  • What Facebook and LinkedIn groups they hang out in.
  • What type of LinkedIn posts they engage with and which influencers they follow.
  • What type of content they create, what are their pain points, and where your product or solution comes into play.

Conclusion

And that’s a wrap! Hope you find this long list of LinkedIn lead generation strategies tutorial useful.