Once upon a time, my LinkedIn profile was among the top 1% most viewed:
Of course, this was back in 2012 when LinkedIn only had 200 million users. As of April of 2017, LinkedIn now claims upwards of 500 million users. Regardless, I share this fun fact for the purpose of letting you know that I’m a bit neurotic about LinkedIn and have a lot of advice to share for making your LinkedIn profile the best it can be.
While social media is, by its nature, always changing—I haven’t radically changed my strategy for using LinkedIn in years. After all, LinkedIn is primarily concerned with B2B connections and the traditionalism behind how these happen is notably different than the shiny things that attract consumers’ attention in B2C marketing.
The fact of the matter is that once you build a solid foundation on LinkedIn, it’s a gift that keeps giving. When it comes to incorporating LinkedIn lead generation tactics for your WordPress business, you’ll first need to focus on building a solid foundation.
LinkedIn Lead Generation: The Very Basics
1. Complete Your LinkedIn Profile
I have no easy way of actually proving this, but sound off in the comments if you agree—there are many people in the WordPress community that have a LinkedIn profile, but it’s incomplete in one or many ways: no profile picture, no summary, and no details regarding their past jobs.
If I’ve just described your LinkedIn profile, consider this as your wake up call. Not only is an incomplete LinkedIn profile totally uncompelling from a LinkedIn lead generation standpoint—it can actually hurt your ability to come up in related industry/job title searches. According to LinkedIn, the more complete your profile, the higher your chance of making an appearance in a related search.
2. Create a Compelling LinkedIn Summary
The challenge is in not letting the extra space get to your head. Your most important messaging should be summarized to fit up to two lines of text, as many won’t automatically click the “See More” button that automatically appears for users with a more complete LinkedIn summary.
Your LinkedIn summary should speak to your talents and experience while drawing in potential clients. Make it more about them and what you can do for them (also known as, “What’s in it for me?”), than about singing your own praises.
Of course, in order for your summary to be read as a part of your LinkedIn lead generation efforts, it must first be found in LinkedIn search.
3. Incorporate Keywords with Your LinkedIn Profile
Just as is necessary for content hoping to be found by Google’s search engine, your LinkedIn profile can be optimized through the strategic choice and incorporation of relevant keywords.
Bad news first—as of this writing, there are no keyword research tools specifically crafted with LinkedIn search in mind. Because of this, the keywords you choose to incorporate on your LinkedIn profile will be at least somewhat based on your own guesses.
That said, you can inform your guesses by checking out WordPress job postings on LinkedIn and by looking at the LinkedIn profiles of people with WordPress skills. Refine your search based on your unique role in the WordPress community, and the unique skills clients seem to be looking for. Look for patterns in how people talk about different things on LinkedIn and borrow keyphrases for your own profile.
Here are a few places within your LinkedIn profile to incorporate your chosen keywords:
- Your summary: You can actually list out your specialties as keywords ala old meta tags (see Neil Patel’s example above)
- Your headline
- Relevant job experience sections
- Your interests
Finally, make sure your location is correct, as some people look specifically for people to work with based on their location.
4. Claim Your LinkedIn URL
Your standard LinkedIn URL starts off as an arbitrary mix of characters that would be impossible to commit to memory unless you really worked at it. You’re really much better off customizing your public profile URL, which will make it easier for you to remember and share. It takes but a moment, but tread carefully—you can only change this once.
5. Write a Compelling LinkedIn Headline
Many people on LinkedIn use their headline to communicate their current job role and the current company they work for. This isn’t necessarily wrong, especially if you’re happy in your job and in a completely non-salesy role—but it’s just not the best use of this important LinkedIn feature. Instead, use your headline to tell a (very) short story about how you can help your ideal target customer.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s mine:
6. Make it Easy to Get in Touch on LinkedIn
If someone wants to do business with you, they will want to get in touch right away. When you ask to be added to someone’s network on LinkedIn, you have a limited amount of space to get your point across, then have to wait for the other person to accept or respond before taking any next steps.
Wouldn’t it make things a lot easier if an interested party could just email you? Add your email to the top of your summary (the part visible before someone has to click “see more”) with a call to action for people to get in touch. As people outside of your current LinkedIn network may not be able to see your summary before connecting with you, consider also adding your email to your cover photo.
7. Add Connections to Your LinkedIn Network with Rapportive
Your LinkedIn network is only as good as the connections you add to it. More than likely, there are people you communicate with on a daily basis that aren’t yet a part of your LinkedIn network—but should be.
Rapportive is a browser extension you can deploy on Chrome/Gmail that displays relevant information about the people you communicate with over email. One of its most useful and well-known features is connecting emails with existing LinkedIn profiles.
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You’re probably not automatically thinking about adding LinkedIn connections when emailing back and forth with people, which is why this extension is so useful.
LinkedIn Lead Generation: Advanced Tactics
If you’ve executed the above 7 steps, you’re honestly way ahead of the game compared to most WordPress professionals (and LinkedIn users as a general sense). But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have leads rolling in as a result of just these initial efforts.
To actually make LinkedIn lead generation work in your favor, you’ll have to adopt several (ideally, all) of the following top-of mind-tactics to find success for your WordPress business.
8. Create a Consistent LinkedIn Posting Strategy
Creating content for the LinkedIn news feed means having a direct opportunity to stay top-of-mind with your valuable industry connections. For best results, post something every day.
If you’re not sure exactly what to post, develop daily “themes” around your business and industry. Here are a few content themes that I employ on a regular rotation:
- Branded industry tips
- Relevant industry articles
- Quotes from industry thought leaders
- Articles I’ve published/finished projects I’ve worked on
- Services my company offers
- Testimonials from happy clients
Besides good written content, you’ll need to employ a visual strategy for actually catching people’s attention. After all, people process images 60,000x more quickly than text!
Because I’m not a graphic designer, nor do I want to be spending hours on my personal social media efforts each week, I created templates on Canva with text and images that can be quickly switched out each week without having to spend any time on design.
Here are a few of those designs if you’re looking for inspiration:
Note the “watermark” of my Twitter handle and website, in case people want to share my content—it is still associated with me, no matter how far removed it is from my profile.
9. Publish Longform Content on LinkedIn
Are you (or your company) already blogging? I’ve got some good news for you—you can repurpose that content on LinkedIn without making any changes to it. That’s right, when you repost content on LinkedIn (or Medium, for that matter), it’s not considered duplicate content.
Pushing content in front of your LinkedIn connections is an excellent way to build thought leadership. If you think you’ve posted a particularly awesome article, tweet at the @LinkedIn team and they may just feature it on their weekly email send of the best content published on their platform.
10. Ask for LinkedIn Recommendations
Asking for recommendations should be a consistent part of your LinkedIn lead generation strategy. The best time to ask is right after wrapping up a successful project with a client. They’ll be in good spirits to help you out, and the specific details around how you contributed to the project will be fresh on their minds.
To make the task easier on the person you’re asking, provide them with a few bullets points to write about regarding your experience together. Besides taking some off some of the pressure of saying nice things about you, this also helps to put the power in your hands regarding what the final recommendation actually communicates about your ability to deliver on related projects.
Recommendations act as social proof, but they don’t have to live only on your LinkedIn profile. Once published, you can repurpose their use on company social media, email sends, and on your company website.
10. Join WordPress Groups & Contribute
There are numerous general and niche WordPress groups on LinkedIn, with members who are constantly asking questions, sharing the latest news, and commenting on industry trends. Become an active contributor to build up your status as a thought leader, and group members will be compelled to check out your profile and get in touch the next time they have a WordPress project they need help with.
Just don’t use WordPress groups on LinkedIn to spam links to your website—LinkedIn users absolutely cannot stand this. You can link to relevant content from time to time, just don’t get greedy.
11. Try LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn ads are expensive when compared to platforms like Facebook, but are capable of getting increasingly better results. Use LinkedIn ads to target hyper-specific audiences that have a large budget for the type of work your WordPress company is associated with as a paid LinkedIn lead generation tactic. Just don’t waste your money if you can’t commit several hundred/thousand dollars—it will be much harder to get traction than on platforms like Facebook.
12. Learn New Skills on Lynda
Included in the monthly subscription price of any premium LinkedIn membership is access to Lynda. Lynda is an amazing online learning resource for picking up new skills—many related to different types of web development, general coding, and even business best practices.
Though continued learning is certainly not a direct LinkedIn lead generation tactic, I’d argue that it’s a great long term strategy for bringing in new clients (while retaining the old) and for justifying a continuous increase in prices. After all, the more you know about your field, the higher prices you can command for the work you do.
12 LinkedIn Lead Generation Tactics for your WordPress Business
More so than any other social network, LinkedIn is the social network where business gets done. It’s a fact—80% of B2B leads generated on social media come from LinkedIn.
If you haven’t completed your LinkedIn profile or optimized the various sections available for personalization, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Of course, once you’ve completed the basics—you’re not really done. LinkedIn lead generation success comes from consistent actions meant to keep your WordPress business top-of-mind.