LinkedIn lead generation strategy: the tools & software you need

May 20, 2021

LinkedIn has became one of the most important channels in outreach strategy, notably for lead generation.

In this article we'll see why and how LinkedIn lead generation works, what strategies you can use and which softwares can be useful.

Guide to LinkedIn lead generation strategy, tools & software

Generating leads on LinkedIn... easier said than done, right? This is especially true with the Covid pandemic affecting businesses and agencies’ revenue and their ability to spend big budgets on marketing.

I was trying to figure it out for myself not so long ago, and I learned some important LinkedIn lead generation lessons (the hard way).

I sent hundreds of LinkedIn connection requests. A few dozen accepted and only 2 replied to me. Literally! 😨

No conversions, nada. LinkedIn won Round One, but it was time for my revenge.

️After some trial-and-error experiments and a decent amount of brainstorming, I finally figured it out.

Today, I'm generating a cool 30-40 leads per week on LinkedIn. 👇

LinkedIn lead generation

My ambition with this article is to save your head from bashing against the wall as mine did. I'll share 3 💥 strategies + detailed instructions about how to set it up and what not to do, which will help you crush the LinkedIn game.

Btw, these are from-the-trenches strategies from several people, not just me, who operate in different markets. Get ready to have your mind blown.

Is LinkedIn good for lead generation?

LinkedIn has become one of the star prospection tools and thinking about lead generation using LinkedIn is now a must.

Let's see why this professional social network is a great asset for your B2B lead gen.

LinkedIn is the best place to connect with people and define your ICP

LinkedIn is a social network were you can meet a great variety of profiles: entrepreneurs, founders, sales reps, marketers, investors, etc...

Of course we'll talk about LinkedIn leads you don't know and with whom you're not connected with yet.

But first things first, let's think about people you already know and have in your network.

Because they can be a real gold mine.

One of the great assets of LinkedIn is the amount of information available on profiles.

For example, check the company LinkedIn page of one of your customers.

LinkedIn lead gen from landing pages

You can see the company size, industry, location, their potential job offers, the content they publish, etc.

Or go check the personal profile of one your existing customers.

Optimized profile for your LinkedIn B2B lead generation

Here, you can see here that Iryna uses a very friendly tone, adds a bit of humor, and one of her hobbies is wakesurfing 🏄‍♀️

Then go to the activity section of their profile.

You can see her posts but also the other activity such as what she likes, how she comments, what her favorite topics are, etc.

Check profiles to understand your LinkedIn leads

This is all information you can use to refine your ICP.

The more precise your ICP is, the more you understand your target and the more you can narrow down your LinkedIn lead search.

Sales is about building relationships

Humans trust humans. At least more than robots...most of the time 🤖

And having a LinkedIn profile means putting a face to a name, because you're providing some professional but also personal info.

People landing on your LinkedIn profile will get to know you better and feel like they're more connected with you.

You'll also raise awareness for you and your brand, so more people will get to know who you are and what you do.

That leads to them becoming more willing to engage in a genuine conversation with you.

And starting a conversation is the beginning of a relationship that can prompt more business talk later.

Generating leads on LinkedIn

Make lead magnet content

Having a LinkedIn profile and publishing posts is totally free.

For sure you'll have to dedicate some time to this, but, contrary to the ads, you won't have to spend a single dime to get some visibility.

And there are even some types of LinkedIn posts that become viral and turn into lead magnets.

I mean, they can literally attract thousands of LinkedIn prospect, for $0.

We'll come back to this in more detail later in this article.

Native LinkedIn lead generation tools & resources

LinkedIn personal profile, quite simply

Correctly filling out your LinkedIn profile is the first and easiest step, but also one of the most important ones.

By correctly filled out, I mean a nice profile picture and cover photo, a relevant headline, and a detailed about section and previous experience.

You can also use keywords in your descriptions to position your profile higher in LinkedIn searches.

Grab your LinkedIn leads' attention, give a clear vision of who you are to people landing on your profile, and your network will increase and be full of potential clients.

Make a nice LinkedIn profile to get leads

LinkedIn landing page

Your company can also have a landing page on LinkedIn.

It allows you to directly engage with your customers, leads, and partners.

You'll join conversations, share content in different formats, react to posts that mention your brand, create events, etc.

And all these actions are done under your brand name and logo.

It also allows you to get to know more about your audience by following the trends and understanding metrics, thanks to visual analytics.

LinkedIn lead generation from company pages

Going on a competitor's landing page can also redirect you to LinkedIn leads.

You can see their followers, or the list of people who liked and engaged with a specific post.

Once you've identified the most relevant followers to you, you can scrap all the profiles with tools like Phantombuster (we'll see this in more detail later) and convert them into LinkedIn leads.

LinkedIn lead ads

There are different types of LinkedIn ads that you can choose according to your needs.

  • Sponsored content to promote your company in the LinkedIn feed.
  • Sponsored InMail to send personalized messages.
  • Text Ads (pay-per-click) with a small headline, a description, and an image.

Your content will appear in front of more targeted eyes, so you'll have higher qualified views.

LinkedIn lead ads

LinkedIn ads are definitely not a mandatory step for your LinkedIn B2B lead generation (we're not spending any $ at lemlist but we still have millions of views on our posts every month).

However, when you're a beginner, you can boost a post with ads and this will allow you to check if you're in front of the right audience.

LinkedIn lead gen forms

On your message ads and sponsored content, you can add LinkedIn lead forms.

This type of content allows to have more info about the user because there is less friction.

The info from the profile will be filled in automatically when they open the form.

So users can focus directly on value-added questions, and will be more willing to fill in the LinkedIn lead gen form until the end since it's the only thing they need to do.

LinkedIn lead generation software

When you're using LinkedIn for lead generation, there are some tools you can use to be more efficient.

They'll help you to find the right LinkedIn leads, scrap info, and redirect them to your campaigns.

Let's check out this LinkedIn lead generation software list.


Taplio is a tool that allows you to leverage AI for LinkedIn.

When it comes to using it for LinkedIn sales generation, it can create content lists, engage with people in your industry, send DMs to the right people at the right time, and integrate fully with your CRM and outreach tools.

For more info, take a look at this full guide on using Taplio to turn LinkedIn engagement into sales opportunities.

LinkedIn and Sales navigator

It may sound simple, but using the LinkedIn search bar efficiently is a good start.

Play with the filters to narrow your search and make your list of LinkedIn leads more relevant.

Using LinkedIn for sales lead generation

You can also use Boolean search (AND, OR, NOT, etc.) to be even more specific regarding keywords.

Generating leads on LinkedIn with filters

So as you can see, the free LinkedIn version of searching is cool, but, to be honest, it has limitations.

That leads us to Sales Navigator. This is a tool from LinkedIn that provides a lot more info about your LinkedIn leads, such as geography and seniority level.

It allows you to perform more advanced searches in order to precisely filter your results, and quickly discover the right people and save them to stay up to date.

Generating leads on LinkedIn with Sales Navigator

With Sales Navigator you can create, organize, and keep track of LinkedIn lead and account lists.

Ok so now you have your list of leads.

Next step, you might want to get info so you can contact them, right?

Let's see how you can do that.


Phantombuster is nice tool to automate processes and grow you network faster.

In Sales Navigator, you can get the list of all the LinkedIn Profiles urls that you want to add to your phantom.

Use Phantombuster as your LinkedIn lead generation tool

This tool can also scrape people who commented on or liked your posts.

Linkedin lead generation tool

The list of people exported is a list full of people who already know you, so you can easily connect with them 👋

Dropcontact & Datarosa (ex ColdCRM)

These are different tools that help you find email addresses and phone numbers of prospects.

Quite useful to get in touch with your LinkedIn leads, right?

We'll talk here about Dropcontact and Datarosa.

You just have to type the person's name and his or her company, and these tools will search for the info you need.

For example, here in Datarosa, I simply typed "Lucille" and "lemlist" and here are the results 👇

LinkedIn lead generation tool for emails

And there's also the possibility to do the search at scale by importing a csv, for example.

Another example, here in Dropcontact, I typed "Lucille" and ""

LinkedIn lead generation tool for phone numbers

But I also LOVE the Datarosa extension.

In only on clic, I can find relevant info right from LinkedIn profiles.

Here's what I found being on the profile of Daria 👇

LinkedIn lead generation tool with extensions

If you wanna know more methods to find someone’s email address, you can check our blog article.

lemlist extension

Now you know how to search for leads on LinkedIn and how to find their contact info, it's time to discover how to add them directly into your campaigns 🚀

With the lemlist chrome extension, you can add anyone to your lemlist campaign while visiting their profile.

LinkedIn lead generation tool for campaigns

You have the ability to add details right in the extension so you never loose an opportunity to add personalization for your LinkedIn lead (latest post published, type of topics shared, previous experiences, etc.).

And when you conduct a larger search, you can also add a list of leads from a LinkedIn search directly into a campaign.

LinkedIn lead generation tool at scale

This extension is such a time saver for your LinkedIn lead gen strategy!

No need to copy/paste from one app to the other, everything is done in few clicks, on the same screen!

How to use these LinkedIn lead gen resources

Now it's time to practice.

If you want to generate leads, here are some methods we can suggest to you.

First go in with free tactics and then the paying ones for LinkedIn B2B lead generation.

Generating leads on LinkedIn for free

Use a lead magnet

Create a post made to go viral

Something we always keep in mind at lemlist is to constantly provide value and be customer centric.

You cannot always simply reach out to people and ask something from them (a demo call, a meeting, a purchase).

It's always better to bring value to the leads first and foremost.

And that's what takes me to the lead magnet posts.

The idea is to offer (good quality) content in exchange for a like or a comment.

That's what Lucille did for one of lemlist's side projects. She offered her post viewers to comment and in return they would get access to a beta version curated directory to help startups be more successful.

This strategy helps you with 2 important elements: identify LinkedIn leads and spread your post widely through shares and engagement.

Here are her results:

LinkedIn for sales leads

Concretely, she raised awareness of 140K+ people and had a list of 700+ interested LinkedIn leads.

She knew the post likers and commenters were her perfect target, because they have expressed that they were interested in the project.

This strategy is one of the most efficient, but you can also check all our LinkedIn content secrets in our ebook to vary your content.

Connect with interested people who engaged

This is when Phantombuster will come in to help you scrap all the profiles and get in touch with them.

For example, with a LinkedIn message like this.

LinkedIn lead generation strategy for sales

Or, if you enrich your database with email addresses, thanks to tools like Dropcontact and Datarosa, you can even think about a cold email or multi channel campaign 🔥

Check influencer posts about your topics

Another advantage of LinkedIn is that a lot of info is publicly available.

We just talked about lead magnet posts.

But I know that beginning with LinkedIn posts may not be so easy and it takes time to get the hang of it.

In that case, you can identify key profiles that are talking about key topics, to find your key LinkedIn leads 🗝 and check out their posts.

Let's say you identify an influencer or big profile posting about your industry, your solution or someone from your team.

Using LinkedIn for lead generation with influencers

We can assume that all people who engage on the post (liked or commented) are more likely to know you or your company, and thus the connexion will be easier to make.

Besides influencers, you can also think about your competitors or people working in the same area as you.

What really matters is that you can identify with the post.

Then comes scrapping, enrichment, and automated campaigns like we showed before 🚀

Using LinkedIn for lead generation with paid tools & software

Boost your cold outreach with social interaction

This is the tactic that Wladimir Delcros created and it got really cool results!

The goal of this awesome growth hacking strategy is to send a cold email campaign, and connect with prospects on LinkedIn only if they have previously shown interest.

It goes without saying that everything is automated.

I really liked this tactic, so Wladimir and I jumped on a call to discuss his strategy. By this time, he already generated 50ish warm leads with this workflow. 😱

LinkedIn Strategies Discussion

Here are the tools that Wladimir uses:

  1. lemlist - to send cold email campaigns
  2. Zapier - to build an automatic workflow
  3. Monkeylearn - to analyze whether people are interested when they reply
  4. Google Sheets - to keep those who answered positively
  5. Phantombuster - LinkedIn lead generation tool

First, create a cold email campaign in lemlist. Then, set up a new Zapier with the trigger "New Email Activity in lemlist".

What this will do is every time someone replies to your campaign, the magic begins... 🧙‍♂️

For those who don't know, Zapier is a glue for tools as you can connect software with no coding (best for no-coding marketers, like me 🤓).

lemlist Zapier for linkedin lead generation

Now we'll automatically analyze whether someone is interested when they reply to you.

To analyze the context of the reply, we need to delete the HTML code inside the email. We'll use Monkeylearn's action "Email Cleaner".

Monkeylearn Zapier for LinkedIn lead generation

Keep in mind that Monkeylearn only works well with English.

Define langues with Monkeylearn for LinkedIn lead generation

Create the "If" step. If the answer is English, we can continue.

If condition Zapier For LinkedIn lead generation

The next step is the analysis of the context behind the reply.

Check the email For LinkedIn lead generation

Monkeylearn will automatically analyze the reply and mark it as "interested" or "not interested".

If you want to see how it works, check their demo.

Cold email responce analyzer For LinkedIn lead generation

Now we do actions based on your leads' replies.

Zapier workflow For LinkedIn lead generation

We'll take a deeper look at the "If interested" case, because we'll use a LinkedIn interaction on these people.

We catch up with those who are interested by calling a Webhook, add them to Google Sheets, and connect with them on LinkedIn with Phantombuster.

Catch up Webhook Zapier in your LinkedIn lead generation strategy

Submit data, like the first name, LinkedIn profile and so on.

Zapier form for LinkedIn lead generation

We add those people to a Google Sheet.

Google sheet Zapier in your LinkedIn lead generation

And of course, add the data:

Google Spreadsheets Zapier for your LinkedIn lead generation

To connect with people on LinkedIn, you need to add your current LinkedIn cookies. It's possible to do it manually, but every time you log out from LinkedIn, you'll need to update it.

Wladimir built a homemade Google Chrome extension which automatically takes your current cookies and adds it to the Sheet.

LinkedIn cookies checker in your LinkedIn gen strategy

To connect with people on LinkedIn we'll use one of the best tools for automating everything...Phantombuster!
For those who don't know what the hell Phantombuster is, check its full power of LinkedIn automation here 🔥

We create an action "LinkedIn Network Booster" to connect with those who were interested via LinkedIn.

LinkedIn connection template

You can use different templates for this workflow. For example:

"Heyo FirstName!

Ahah, just joking {firstName} 😂

It's Ilya from email chat. It'd be nice to connect here.

BTW, if you have any questions about XYZ, let me know"

Let's look at different scenarios quickly:

If you got the"I'm on holiday right now" email  - go back to lemlist one month later and ask if the person has enjoyed their holiday .

If it's the wrong person - connect on LinkedIn and ask for someone who is handling the department you're interested in speaking with.

Convert your followers into clients

How exactly does LinkedIn lead generation work?

Let's be frank, not everyone is indeed 100% active on LinkedIn.

If you reach out to those who don't open LinkedIn... you won't get a reply back, no matter how good your message is.

One of the best growth hacks I did on LinkedIn is to go beyond LinkedIn search and connect with everyone who liked/commented on my posts. 😜

  • 85-90% of people accepted my LinkedIn requests
  • 30-35% of people replied

This growth hack is quite cool for everyone who is building their LinkedIn strategy and brand

The tool we'll use - Expandi to automate lead generation and LinkedIn outreach.

Let's check out this strategy.

Expandi is a LinkedIn Automation tool with a cool feature - “Post Engagement”. It’ll scrape everyone who liked (or/and) commented on your posts.

Once you create a new account you need to go to the “Search” section.

LinkedIn Automation Tool

Click on “Start New Search” to scrape the list of people who liked your post.

Create LinkedIn connection campaign for your lead gen

Click on “Post engagement” and add a LinkedIn URL of a post you want to scrape.

LinkedIn lead generation strategy

When scraping is done, go to the “Campaigns” section and click on “Add campaign” to create an outreach campaign.

Connect with people on LinkedIn on scale

Choose “Connector campaign”! It means that we’ll connect with 2d & 3d connections.

Connect on LinkedIn on autopilot

Choose your audience from Search:

Add people to LinkedIn automation tool

Go to the “Steps”.

Prepare the message that people will get and click “Apply”.

LinkedIn connection message template

Set up the limit. My recommendation is 50 messages per day.

LinkedIn connection limits

Click “Apply” and your campaign is done 🎉

I personally used this LinkedIn template:

"Heyo firstName!

Ahah, just joking {{firstName}} 😂

Saw you liked my previous post about {{your post}}, thanks a lot!

How are things going with your lead generation process now?


With this template I got...

  • 85-90% of people accept your LinkedIn requests
  • 30-35% of people reply
LinkedIn outreach

Let's figure out why it worked:

LinkedIn connection message template
  1. Warm and fun intro. Everyone puts "Hi firstName", but it's boring. I decided to have some fun with this overused greeting.
  2. Reference. People liked your post, they know you, so the reference just builds a better relationship.
  3. Call to action. The non-pushy question to discuss the topic of the post they liked.

Now you know how to convert people who like your LinkedIn content. 🚀

Convert FB group members into paying clients

I'll show you the flow to connect with FB group members on LinkedIn and once they connect, send them a personalized email.

We'll use tools:

  1. lemlist - to send cold email campaigns
  2. Phantombuster - to scrape FB groups
  3. Expandi - to reach out via LinkedIn
  4. Zapier - to build an automatic workflow
  5. Quickemailverification - to verify email addresses

I'll show you how to set up lead generation on LinkedIn with a personal example.

I wrote an article about Pipedrive integrations and how you can connect your CRM with lemlist.

I was super happy when I saw Pipedrive share my article on their Twitter and LinkedIn. I managed to generate 100 leads just from that.

LinkedIn connection strategy

So how did I achieve it?

I knew my buyer persona for this article - Pipedrive users, so I tried to find a community (group) where these people hang out.

In our case, it was Pipedrive User Group with almost 3k members.

LinkedIn growth hacking guide

Our next step is to scrape all members of the group. In order to do this, I'll use Facebook Group Extractor by Phantombuster.

  1. Install Phantombuster Chrome Extension

2.  Add session cookies by clicking on "Connect to Facebook"

3.  Put the link to the FB group

Phantombuster facebook group extractor

When ready, click on the "Launch" button, so Phantombuster can automatically scrape the group.

Phantombuster facebook group extractor set up for LinkedIn lead generation

As a result of this, you'll get CSV file with the members of the FB group:

Add leads on LinkedIn

But it doesn't have LinkedIn profiles. So, we need to do another step.

Finding people's LinkedIn profiles. We'll use a LinkedIn Profile URL Finder by Phantombuster.

LinkedIn Phantombuster for LinkedIn lead gen

You need to put the link to your CSV file. Upload your file to Google Drive and copy the Sheet link.

Input the name of the column with the "full name" of each person in Phantombuster.

Press "Launch"!

LinkedIn profile url finder

Now we need to connect with all the people. I use lemlist + Expandi - LinkedIn lead generation software.

Let's start with LinkedIn.

Create a new campaign in Expandi and choose the “Connector campaign”. It means that we’ll connect with 2d & 3d connections (new people to our network):

LinkedIn automation campaign for lead gen

Click on "Import CSV" to add people to your campaign and upload the file.

Add csv to LinkedIn

Prepare a message to send to people. Since I don't want to sell on LinkedIn and the real conversation will be via email, I'm using this message.

The best linkedin lead connection template

When ready, set up the limits and click "Status" to run the campaign.

LinkedIn messege template for prospects

Now we'll connect Expandi and lemlist.

Every time people accept our connection request, they will get a personalized email automatically.

It's a totally different approach, we'll send warm emails to a specific targeted group of people rather, than blasting everyone.

To create a fire cold email, I'm using lemlist.

LinkedIn email outreach integration

In my case, I use this template.

You can find fun and cool cold email templates on our blog and templates hub.

Btw, if you're just a beginner of cold emails, check the full outbound lead-generation guide.

Cold email template for LinkedIn outreach

Select schedules and on the last page, turn on the "Automatic review" option. This means that lemlist will send an email to everyone on autopilot without you manually reviewing emails before they go.

lemlist set-up for LinkedIn lead generation

Now we're connecting Expandi and lemlist via Zapier.

We create a Zapier with a trigger "Catch hook" and click "Continue".

Connect LinkedIn and email for your lead gen strategy

Here you need to copy the Webhook URL:

Zapier webhook as LinkedIn lead tool

Then we come back to Expandi and add a new Webhook:

LinkedIn automation Expandi

Choose the trigger and add a Webhook URL:

Connect LinkedIn with email automation

Now we need to verify email addresses that Expandi found, so we'll use Quickemailverification. It's quite important in terms of email deliverability to check whether the email is valid or not before sending a cold email campaign.

Find emails on LinkedIn

If you've never used Quickemailverification with Zapier, it'll ask you to put the API key which you can find here

And put the value to the email address field as it's shown here:

LinkedIn lead generation in 2021

Now we just need to connect lemlist:

LinkedIn with lemlist

That's it, the whole workflow looks like this:

multi-channel lead generation

I tried to connect with 400 people during the last week.

333 of them accepted my connection request. So 333 people will receive my email.

And here are the stats from lemlist:

Outbound lead generation results

For those who don't know whether it's a good result or not, I'll leave the cold email outreach KPIs and benchmarks.

As you remember, my goal was to ramp up my click rate, not get replies for this one, so spoiler, these are really cool results 🤓

Final points

Now you can generate tons of LinkedIn leads.

  • Leverage your profile
  • Use search bar and filters to identify your LinkedIn B2B leads
  • Use tools to be more efficient in your Linked lead gen strategy
  • Choose free or paying methods according to your needs and means

And you have cool strategies for your LinkedIn B2B lead generation:

  • Make viral posts
  • Smart game with those who replied to your cold emails positively
  • Leverage FB groups and your competitors' audience
  • Connect with those who liked your posts

Don't forget to take a look at probably the coolest LinkedIn connect messages strategy or just jump into the next article in this series, called LinkedIn outreach strategy.

What you should look at next
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Your $1 million B2B LinkedIn content strategy (2023)
Your 9-step guide to creating a LinkedIn Content Strategy and constructing posts that get high engagement. Includes concrete examples and resources.
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How to find your target audience with LinkedIn search [2023 guide]
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Guide to multichannel prospecting strategy
Your guide to generating leads across multiple channels, including LinkedIn, cold email, and cold calls.
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