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Getting Smart With LinkedIn: Generate Leads & Recruit Cheaply

Jamie Hallitt

by Jamie Hallitt on 6th March 2014

Linkedin Login PageLast month I wrote a blog post providing several ways for business owners and employees to improve personal profiles and company pages on LinkedIn. Now it’s time to drill down and show you how to use LinkedIn to generate leads and recruit without spending a fortune.

The following is the result of spending countless hours messing about with various tools in Linkedin; they appear to be the most effective ways of getting the results you’re looking for.

Post discussions to niche Groups – then interact!

Recruitment

Posting job vacancies on your company profile or as a personal update is great, but it’s not going to get a huge reach; it’ll only be visible to users within your extended network. This is why you should join industry-specific and niche LinkedIn Groups – so you can put relevant job posts in front of a large target audience. Your response rate is likely to be better in smaller, more niche Groups because it is less likely that your post will be pushed down by other articles or discussions straight away.

Lead Generation

Group administrators, and indeed most group members, become frustrated when the group discussion feed is full of spam and irrelevant content. The most effective way to generate interest from group members is to ensure that the members are actually going to find your discussion or content useful and thought-provoking. If you regularly write blog posts, it’s well worth joining LinkedIn groups relating to the general topics or industries focused on in your blog. Once you’ve built up memberships in these niche groups, share your blog posts as discussions and be sure to include questions and call to actions to spark some interest.

If you do receive a comment on your discussion (positive or negative), think of it as an opportunity to build a relationship with that group member – you never know where it might lead.

Carry out advanced searches

Even if you don’t have a premium LinkedIn account, you can still find people in the right industries, in the right position, in the right location. With a basic LinkedIn account, you search by the following:

  • Keywords
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Title
  • Current Company
  • Past Company
  • Profile Language
  • Nonprofit Interests
  • School
  • Location
  • Industry

Once you have all of the appropriate filters in place, make sure you save the search, so you can go back to it later if necessary. To do this, just click on “Save search” in the top-right corner of the page:

LinkedIn Advanced Search

With a premium account, you can also add the following filters:

  • Groups
  • Years of Experience
  • Function
  • Seniority Level
  • Interested In
  • Company Size
  • Fortune
  • When Joined

With a basic account, although you don’t have the ability to search by “Function” or “Seniority Level”, you can still find the right people; just use the “Keywords” filter to search certain job roles or positions. For example, if you’re looking for an IT Director, just type “IT Director” into the Keywords box and you’ll find that the results become a lot more relevant.

In the same way, if you’re looking for new prospects to target with InMails (more on this below), you can search for the users in your target market. Again, be sure to save the search so you have a record of who you have contacted.

Use targeted LinkedIn Advertising

My personal opinion from previous experience is that LinkedIn Advertising has too many flaws to rely on solely for any LinkedIn recruitment or lead generation campaign. However, it can be useful for brand awareness, which in turn can help strengthen recruitment and lead generation campaigns; if your target audience is familiar with your organisation, they’re probably more likely to engage with you.

Recruitment

If there is a company who have highly skilled and talented employees you’d like to target, advertising is a great opportunity. LinkedIn Advertising is perfect for a campaign like this, purely because of the ability to search by Current Company and include Keywords. For example, if you’re an accountancy firm looking for a new employee who specialises in Inheritance Tax, just search the company name and include “Inheritance Tax” in the Job Title box.

Another good trick is to search for people who are currently unemployed, by typing “unemployed” in the Job Title box.

Lead Generation

Similarly with recruitment, using LinkedIn Advertising for lead generation campaigns is not going to change your world by any stretch of the imagination, but it can help to strengthen other campaigns you are running. A great way to generate leads is to use LinkedIn Advertising to promote a free guide or whitepaper which is likely to add value to your target audience in some way. If you make the whitepaper downloadable after users submit their contact details, you’ve got yourself a mini lead generation campaign.

A striking headline and description in the ads will help to increase your CTR, particularly if you include buzzwords like “Free” and “Great Tips” etc. Make the campaign even more targeted by only including users in relevant industries and locations.

Contacting Your LinkedIn Prospects

Once you have a few advanced searches saved, it’s time to contact them all. There are two ways to do this depending on users’ privacy settings and whether the user is in your extended network:

  • Invite users to connect with you using a personalised invitation message
  • Send out personalised InMails explaining your offer – keep it concise

The more connections you have and the more groups you join, the more people you are likely to be able to send connection invitations to. If you haven’t built up a strong network on LinkedIn yet, you’ll have to purchase more InMails to contact your prospects.

There are many more ways to generate leads and find new recruits using LinkedIn. I’ve mentioned some that I have found to be the most effective, but I’d like to hear from you. How do you generate leads and recruit through LinkedIn? Let me know your thoughts.

Image Source

LinkedIn Login Page via BigStock

Jamie Hallitt

Jamie Hallitt

Jamie specialises in building, managing & optimising SEO and PPC campaigns and has three years of experience in Digital Marketing. He has a particular interest in the professional services sector and multi-channelled eCommerce campaigns, focusing on ROI and conversion optimisation.

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