Linkedin Leveraging: How to Tap Groups for Traffic, Leads & Sales

Do you get any business from LinkedIn? If not, no worries – it doesn’t happen automatically. You signed up for an account two or three years ago, right? You filled it in with some of the basic info and uploaded a picture. Since then you’ve accepted a few connections and maybe left or received a review. Not much else. So how come you hear these stories about people networking their way to six-figure jobs or landing mega contracts through LinkedIn?

Here’s the thing. There’s a reason those people are getting big deals, while you are left feeling like LinkedIn is a waste of time. They know the proven strategies for driving leads from LinkedIn to their own site.

A few months ago, Lewis Howes led this Mixergy course, and shared the strategies he’s implemented on LinkedIn to earn over $1.5 million in revenue. In this article, I’ll break down the steps used by Howes, so you can use the same effective strategy to get your own great results.

Groups: The Powerful LinkedIn Feature You Probably Aren’t Using

This is how I generate all these leads, this one thing and it’s my opinion that this is the best resource on all social networking sites. It’s your own LinkedIn group because if you can send an announcement with just a link on here for your webinar, some copy and some compelling calls to action… you’re going to get a lot of people opting into your webinars or to your sales pages or wherever you want to drive them to, it’s ridiculous.
— Lewis Howes, on the social networking feature that drives his business

First, let’s introduce the LinkedIn feature that we will drive our leads from: groups. LinkedIn groups are useful both in size and scope. Some of the more popular ones have tens or even hundreds of thousands of members – like social networking sites within a social networking site – that’s a lot of potential leads, right?

What makes this number more meaningful then groups you’d find on Facebook or Google is that the members are qualified. Lewis says LinkedIn is “the most targeted business social networking site in the world – people who have money and know about business”. He adds that “you don’t go on LinkedIn to search through pictures or video like you would on Facebook”. When you concentrate those people down into a group of common industry or interest, you have a targetable niche.

So, how do you find the groups that match your niche?

Getting Involved With Groups

There are two ways to approach LinkedIn groups. You can form your own or join others.

You can have up to 10 groups and be a member of up to 50.

Starting your own group is a little more work, but the benefit is worth it: administrators get to send a weekly announcement directly to group members’ real inboxes.

To form your own group, do this:

  1. Sign in to LinkedIn and from navigation click Groups then Create a Group.
  2. Give your group a generic name with recognizable keywords (people are searching for these keywords not your company). If you provide a local service, add the city/state name as well.
  3. Edit your welcome message email. Introduce yourself, then manage people’s expectations by telling them what kind of content you will be sending and how often you will send it.
  4. Jump start your membership by inviting your personal network to join the group.

The advantage of joining existing groups is there is already an established membership for you to share your links with.

To find the right groups to join, do this:

  1. You can search groups from the search box at top right of LinkedIn. Use keywords relevant to your business. Each result has a Similar Groups link which will help you find more.
  2. Read the Group Rules in top right of content area. Make sure promotional activity is allowed. Many groups have a Promotions tab specifically for your use.
  3. Check out the group stats available in right side bar. This provides insight like how active a group is, and what industry the members are part of.

Once you’ve created or joined groups, you can start generating leads.

Broadcasting Messages to Groups

This little tiny button that says “Share” and it’s really hard to see but you want to click on this button right here and this is the most important part for leveraging Linkedin groups to drive more traffic.
— Lewis Howes, on how to get traffic from LinkedIn

One way to share messages with group members is to go to that group’s page, write your message and press share. But that way is inefficient. Wouldn’t it be better to write your message once and share it with all your groups? Simultaneously broadcasting messages to multiple LinkedIn group isn’t difficult – but it isn’t obvious either.

Here are the steps:

  1. Sign into LinkedIn and share your update as usual.
  2. Make sure the message and link are relevant to the groups you plan to broadcast to.
  3. Write the kind of headlines people click on.
  4. Your message will instantly show in the update feed in the bottom half of the page.
  5. Click the small “share” button, then “share to groups”. Start typing the names of groups you want to broadcast to. Then share.

Members of the groups you broadcast to may receive your update via their email inbox (if they haven’t opted out), or will see your update when they visit the group page. Since they can reply to your message, treat it like blog comments and be around to respond and answer questions.

When you are ready to focus on leads instead of just driving traffic, consider running a free webinar.

Lead Generation: Setting Up Your Webinar

You guys saw from the beginning by promoting to LinkedIn groups I was getting thousands of people opting in for webinars. That’s the way I use my sales funnel. I’ll get them on a free webinar.
— Lewis Howes, on how powerful LinkedIn groups can be

Lewis (and many others) use GoToWebinar to run their webinars. If you are bootstrapping or otherwise on a tight budget, here is a free (ad-supported) webinar service: anymeeting.

If you’ve established and grown your own groups, you’ll be able to send them a direct email inviting them to your webinar. Otherwise, Lewis provided this template email to pitch administrators of other groups. Note: You should modify the template below to make an offer you feel comfortable with.

Hey Robert, I know you’ve got a great group of marketing professionals and I’ve got this amazing training that teaches them how to get more leads using social media, absolutely for free. I would love to do a free webinar with you and give them the best training they’ll ever receive, make you the champion of your group and then make you money on the back end by the sales we get by giving you information. What do you say? Also by the way I’m a group owner and I’ve done this myself a number of times, here’s the results.

Lewis says this tactic works because “none of these LinkedIn group owners know how to market, they don’t understand so if you can do this for them you’re able to leverage so many more opportunities for yourself, for your business, and your services than you can even deal with”.

For the webinar content, there are two parts.

First, focus on giving attendees the best content they’ll ever receive in their life on the topic.

Second, turn attendees into visitors/customers for your own site by saying “Thanks for joining. Hope you learned a lot. And hey, we have this email list/paid course/whatever you want to promote”. Lewis says the key is to make sure that product is 10 to 100 times more value than the price you charge for it.

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