"Without some of us even noticing," writes Brian Carroll in an article at MarketingProfs, "[LinkedIn] has developed into a useful lead-generation tool for marketers and salespeople who are looking to build relationships with prospects."

As with any networking tool, however, you must develop a solid strategy for getting the most from your LinkedIn lead-generation efforts. Carroll has recommendations—here are a few:

  • Create a polished and personally branded profile. Fine-tune your copy until a casual visitor is easily able to understand what you do and identify your professional strengths.
  • Connect and reconnect. Look for people you meet offline, as well as past acquaintances with whom you've lost touch. And make yourself easy to find by including your LinkedIn URL in your email signature, on business cards and in the contact section of resumes, websites and blogs.
  • Reach out to former clients. When making contact, advises Carroll, "instead of sending an open-ended message, make a positive comment about that client's achievements and ask questions about the client's new projects."
  • Join LinkedIn groups where your clients/customers gather. "You may discover new industrywide pain points and learn about options to solve those pain points," he notes. "Learning more about your industry by watching from afar will give you real, everyday insight into ways you can help and connect."

The Po!nt: It takes time and commitment, but LinkedIn provides an ideal venue for developing the relationships that generate new leads.

Source: MarketingProfs. Click here for the full article.

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