How to Get B2B Leads on LinkedIn

Adam Smartschan

Partner & Chief Strategy Officer

LinkedIn is the world’s biggest, most complete database of professionals. That makes it a great place to get B2B leads. But how do you do it?

Let’s start at the top: the why of LinkedIn.

Why is it such a good database?

That’s simple.

Because they’ve created an incredible social network model. Every professional is incentivized to keep their information up to date. LinkedIn is how people find jobs. It’s how they build networks.

The level of data quality and hygiene is extremely high because they’ve essentially outsourced it to millions of professions.

And that’s pretty awesome.

But there’s a difference between having a database and using that database. There are so many options, both in the platform itself and with LinkedIn Advertising. Where the heck do you start if you want to get B2B leads on LinkedIn?

Here are our top three strategies.

Featured Image: How to Get B2B Leads on LinkedIn

#1: Organic Use

This has become more and more difficult as the platform gets more and more crowded. LinkedIn feeds are jammed with salespeople posting about how they overcame momentous struggles, worked 12 jobs, and got told that they would never surmount to anything by their parents, professors, and mentors.

And your inbox is probably filled with connection requests right now. (More on that later.)

It all comes across a little thirsty, if you will.

That said, generating B2B leads on LinkedIn by using the platform organically is possible. But there’s a trick.

You need to interact with people in a way that actually helps them.

If you actually provide information and put out content that people want to read, you can build your credibility, your reputation, and show what you have to offer to the broader industry. 

Likewise, if a connection actually makes sense, make it. If it’s spam, don’t.

The lesson here is: don’t do the whole desperation thing.

Don’t stay thirsty, my friends.

#2: LinkedIn Advertising

LinkedIn Advertising is worthy of a post (or set of posts) all its own. There’s sponsored content, messages, sponsored InMail, Lead Gen Forms … all sorts of stuff.

Regardless of the path you choose, one thing is true.

Be careful with your targeting.

Everybody wants to “sell to the C-suite.” So what happens? Everyone targets the C-suite on LinkedIn. That drives CPCs through the roof.

We’re talking $8 or more per click, even for simple website visits.

For context, Facebook CPCs are usually about 50 cents. And Google delivers display clicks for a buck or two. 

You should absolutely be willing to pay for LinkedIn’s data quality. Just don’t drive your bids high by hyper-targeting the wrong folks. Even worse, if your creative isn’t representative or relevant, you might be paying huge money for junk clicks.

Which is never fun.

#3: Smart Connection Tools

LinkedIn has its own smart tool called Sales Navigator. Other tools include CoPilot AI, which plugs into Sales Navigator to help automate connection requests. 

Do I love spamming connection requests? Nope. Because it looks desperate.

And we’re not trying to go down that road.

You’ll see folks do 50-100 connection requests a day – but they’re not really getting much out of that. And that’s where Sales Navigator comes in.

It’s a fantastic tool because it creates organic conversations.

Are we saying to never use tools like CoPilot? Not at all. They can be useful. But we like Sales Navigator by itself.

Sure, it’s a connection requests tool at its core, but you can find commonalities with the people you’re trying to reach out to. You’re going to get the best bang out of your buck if you use it as intended – getting to actually know people

Rather than spamming connection requests.

You can certainly spam requests if you want to, but it’s not necessarily the best way to get B2B leads on LinkedIn.

tl;dr: How to Get B2B Leads on LinkedIn

The potential of LinkedIn as a B2B lead gen tool is amazing. Unfortunately, it falls flat for a lot of marketers, because they’re using it wrong.

Keep these tricks in mind to get B2B leads on LinkedIn:

  • Provide something useful, whether it’s content or a connection. All of our LinkedIn timelines are jammed with junk. Be better.
  • Watch your ad targeting. If you get too tight (i.e., going after only CEOs and COOs), you’re going to pay big. And watch your creative – if it’s not representative of you, you’ll end up with junk clicks.
  • Don’t just spam connection requests using automation. Actually look at information about your targets, then go back to Lesson 1: Provide value.
Adam Smartschan

Adam Smartschan heads Altitude's strategic marketing and branding efforts. An award-winning writer and editor by trade in a former life, he now specializes in data analytics, search engine optimization, digital advertising strategy, conversion rate optimization and technical integrations. He holds numerous industry certifications and is a frequent speaker on topics around B2B marketing strategy and SEO.