lemlist LinkedIn strategy: Complete business, marketing, sales & B2B playbook

April 5, 2021

Before I could write an article around this topic, the initial objective was to turn our own LinkedIn marketing into an awareness and revenue-generating machine. Practice what you preach, right?

Here's our LinkedIn strategy scorecard so far:

  • The rest of the team has managed to extract a lot of juice too: Nadja (to book demos), Daria (to exchange backlinks), Ilya (to connect with users and prospects), and me (for networking and connecting with target verticals). By the way, you can take a look at our LinkedIn content secrets in this ebook.

In this article, we're going deep to understand the meaning of the winning LinkedIn strategy and break down its most important details.

Combined with all the tactics we use to drive traction.

To quote KRS One, step into a world where there's no one left, but the very best. Not a bad idea to play this one while reading tbh... :)

LinkedIn strategy: how to use LinkedIn for business effectively

We decided to create this LinkedIn series that consists of six highly actionable articles around how LinkedIn helped us create a profitable business and what kind of LinkedIn strategies we've used to get there.

After you go through all of them, you will learn what worked and what didn't. You can literally apply and adapt these concepts to your business in no time,whether it’s a SaaS company or one that sells online courses on various platforms to eager minds. Afterward, the sky is the limit.

Complete LinkedIn marketing strategy playbook

Before you go in guns blazing, your LinkedIn marketing strategy should cover your objectives first. Meaning, what do you want to achieve and how will you know that you've achieved it?

Are you on LinkedIn to build a personal brand, connect with prospects, hire talent, find a job, or stay in the shadows?

Depending on how you answer this question, your LinkedIn strategy template will present itself.

Your objective may change over time and that's fine. But do yourself this favor, don't start executing without a target in mind.

For example, my objective might be:

  • Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Search to prospect and convert Heads of Growth & Marketing
  • Hire people and grow my Growth team
  • Distribute relevant content to my connections
  • Post content via storytelling about my job as Head of Growth @lemlist with the hope of being entertaining and valuable to other folks
  • Communicate with people I admire

In the upcoming sections, we're going to talk about how to do marketing with LinkedIn, and we'll break it down into 5 sections.

We'll start with setting up your profile and show you the tactics you can leverage for sales prospecting.

Afterward, we're moving into the analysis of best LinkedIn connect messages and how to turn your profile into a lead gen magnet.

Next on our agenda is cold messaging on LinkedIn and how to do outreach through this platform.

Finally, the last piece of the puzzle is to develop your LinkedIn content strategy. Here, we'll analyze different LinkedIn influencers and their posts, why they've worked, and how you can emulate their success.

1. How to use LinkedIn for business prospecting

There are three key concepts around which LinkedIn prospecting is centered.

LinkedIn profile optimization. Think of it this way... it's the first thing your prospects see. After your message, of course. Therefore, you want it to be on point.

LinkedIn Search + Sales Navigator. One is free, the other is not. Both of them are massive and can narrow down your target audience across key parameters.

Reaching out to people. Once ready, your mission is to grab the prospect's attention and motivate them to talk to you.

Using LinkedIn for prospecting is a no-brainer because of its robust search algorithm and overall popularity of the network.

For many industries, you can find all the information you're looking for there. The trick is to find an efficient way to identify prospects, qualify them, and capture the intel you need to ramp up your conversion rate at scale.

For example, say you and I are working together and this is the target we want to connect with.

  • Head of Business Development + VP of Sales (free)
  • Australia-based audience (free)
  • Tech space (free)
  • Below 20 employees (Sales Navigator needed)
  • 5+ years of experience in a role (Sales Navigator needed)

As previously stated, all the information we need is on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn prospecting

And if you want to test Sales Navigator out for a deeper search, they have a cool free trial.

And with the lemlist extension, you can easily export all these leads from Sales Nav or LinkedIn right into your campaign. There's even the possibility to import them individually so you can add your personalized icebreakers as you go!

LinkedIn prospecting

This is where you can dig deeper into top LinkedIn prospecting techniques.

2. How to market on LinkedIn with connect messages

To quote the Clash, should you send LinkedIn connection messages or should you not?

My team tested both and you'll be surprised to learn that both work perfectly fine. However, there's one thing that definitely isn't working. Generic, soulless, and overused intro messages.

This means that you can't just Google "LinkedIn connection message examples" and copy/paste them. Not only won't they work, but it's also bad for your brand in the long run.

We've seen some interesting trends when it comes to people reacting well to your connection messages compared to just sending invites without any intro message.

We've also revealed all the templates we tested and are still actively using, such as this one from Nadja, our Head of Sales.

LinkedIn connect messages

You'll find all these insights here, plus 10 really cool templates - LinkedIn connect message tips.

By the way, you do have some limits surrounding LinkedIn messaging, connections and searches, which you can also check out in that article.

3. Using LinkedIn for marketing lead generation

When it comes to LinkedIn lead generation, there's more than one way to get the job done:

  • Build a powerful personal brand that will allow people landing on your LinkedIn profile to get to know you better and feel more connected
  • Leverage comment-bait content to grab eyeballs and drive signups on the spot
  • Make viral LinkedIn posts
  • Optimize your LinkedIn profile for relevant keywords to boost your search rankings
  • Use tools like Phantombuster to get some high-performing workflows going (e.g. connect with everyone who liked one of your competitor's posts)

One of the strategies we're going to show you was used by Ilya, our Growth Marketer, who managed to book 39 sales meetings in a week.

LinkedIn lead generation strategy

It's in this article we're going to take a more tactical dive into your next LinkedIn lead generation strategy, as well as the tools & software you'll need to crush it.

4. Marketing on LinkedIn with cold messaging

LinkedIn outreach gets a bad rep, especially for sales and recruiters. Do you know why?

Because whenever we discover something that's working like crazy, such as LinkedIn outreach was at one point in time, we double down and start "squeezing lemons" until the very last drop.

When the last drop, well, drops, then the market saturates and conversion metrics go down. Our prospects don't feel excited about DMs in their inbox because they get a ton of them on daily basis. With many of them looking a lot like one another.

Luckily, there's a way to win at it still. Solution? Personalized LinkedIn cold messaging.

LinkedIn cold messaging

If you make your message unique and relevant for your prospect, your reply rate will skyrocket.

LinkedIn cold messaging

These are all the tactics we're going to show you in one fire article - LinkedIn outreach strategy & templates.

5. How to use LinkedIn to promote your business with content & social media

Last but not least, how to take advantage of its fantastic algorithm and start building your very own LinkedIn content strategy?

The objective is to master the creation of posts that will grab your audience's attention and keep them reading till the end.

LinkedIn content strategy

There are plenty of strategies at your disposal:

  • Using power intro sentences to hook the reader to click "see more"
  • Storytell and document your journey in an actionable way for others
  • Create relevant content that brings value on a regular basis
  • Tag relevant parties in a meaningful way for better reach
  • Add images and videos that capture attention
  • Include hashtags for additional reach
  • Master the timing of your posts
  • Post as often as you can, but don't let the quality of posts decrease
  • Borrow already existing ideas and adapt to your audience

Creating powerful LinkedIn posts isn't exactly rocket science, but it does require a lot of persistence.

You'll find all the secrets in this LinkedIn content strategy guide.

LinkedIn strategy example

We'll make this section highly actionable. I'll pick a few profiles that in my opinion are crushing it on LinkedIn.

Then we'll break down their posts and try to understand how they're doing it. If you guys think I missed someone, shoot me an email at vuk@lemlist.com.

My picks will be Alfie Marsh, Ashley Galina Dudarenok, String Nguyen and Guillaume Moubeche of course.

Ladies first!

Both have been awarded the Top Voice award from LinkedIn and are really killing it. Here's what you need to know about Ashley...

Great LinkedIn Profile example

... and String.

LinkedIn profile best example

For example, what do you think about this LinkedIn strategy example?

How to post on LinkedIn

Here's my $0.02...

  • Typically, comment-bait posts operate in a way you say "Yes" and then you get the link. You need to have a powerful personal brand to do it organically like Ashley
  • The intro hook is obvious, plus the tone fits the image. There's no dragging it out, one value sentence, and here's the link
  • I'd bet that these images Ashley posts are based on market research and work great in the space she operates

Next post.

Great LinkedIn post example

Why do you think this post deserved 90 likes and 50 comments?

I believe it's due to...

  • The intro is spot on because many of us want to accomplish what String did, so we'll probably click on "see more"
  • Instead of just copy/pasting the article link in the post, String played it out cleverly by intriguing you with a story that ends with proof and a link

Now Guillaume...

LinkedIn cover photo great example

... and Alfie.

LinkedIn profile example

The post we're going to analyze is:

Great LinkedIn post example

Here's why it worked:

  • Talk about stuff you know to build integrity. G has cold emails in his pockets, I can tell you that!
  • The tips given are super actionable. In this sea of content that pops daily, it's key to stand out, bring value and leave people with something THEY CAN USE
  • It's easy to understand and adapt to your needs

The last example contains a video.

How to post videos on LinkedIn to get views
  • Again, the intro is spot on! It gets you excited as you're going "Yessir"
  • After you click to see more, you're able to discover the context
  • Video delivers on a promise from a guy whose words match his actions

Gonna leave you with this!

What to write about?
[ ] Topics you're practicing atm
[ ] Stuff you have experience in
[ ] Topics you're learning
[ ] Secondary topics connected to the main one

How to write a LinkedIn post?
[ ] Make sure your intro is catchy so people want to see more
[ ] Use images that drive attention
[ ] Showcase your results
[ ] Make your posts easy to understand
[ ] Avoid putting big chunks of text in one paragraph
[ ] Always good to connect and mention people crushing it
[ ] From time to time, play with comment-bait posts
[ ] Use relevant hashtags

Tricks of the trade
[ ] Optimize your News Feed to see posts you can learn from and enjoy
[ ] Follow relevant profiles and understand how they play the game
[ ] Ask people if you need advise... beasts recognize other beasts

To get you started on some ideas, just think about what you've been working on the past week.

What have you learned? Did you succeed, if so what are the little tips you can share to help others get there faster? Is there something you failed at? Why did you fail and what did you learn from it?

Once you start thinking like this you'll be on a roll!

Other LinkedIn strategy tips

A few more interesting concepts to have in mind, before we finish.

LinkedIn's algorithm

Unlike Facebook or Instagram, where what you like is what you see on the feed, LinkedIn operates differently.

For example, if you and I are connected there and I like a post from Gary Vee, you will see my like in your feed.

But if I like a photo of Inter Milan on Instagram, you'll be in the dark about it.

Why are we talking about the algorithm?

Because it defines the way you should treat the platform. When you post on LinkedIn and your prospect likes or comments, more of their connections see it.

However, LinkedIn might decide to change its algorithm one day. If it does, we'll adapt, so don't fall in love with it.

But until it doesn't, all hands on deck. Just please put good content out! 🙏

If the engagement is so important, what's the best way to generate it? Especially if we don't have a big profile, to begin with.

LinkedIn content distribution

Let's face it, it's never easy to create great content. Especially over a longer period of time. Not only are days flying by fast, but coming up with ideas regularly may become overwhelming.

But, you don't have to create things from scratch all the time. Instead, you can leverage the existing content.

Imagine the following situation. There's an article on your company's blog, 3K+ words long. That one article could become:

  1. A video for your YouTube channel
  2. An interesting podcast episode
  3. 10 actionable LinkedIn posts
  4. Maybe 1 viral or comment-bait LinkedIn post
  5. Content for your company's social media profiles

And that's just from one blog article. Nobody's saying you have to re-invent the wheel when building your LinkedIn marketing strategy. ;)

Best LinkedIn marketing strategy is to engage first

LinkedIn comments

I mean, I get it. It takes time to write comments. They don't bring an immediate impact on your business.

But nobody is saying you need to spend an entire day commenting on other people's stuff.

However, you could sacrifice an hour to do a LinkedIn browse for the cause. Leave your $0.02 on a few posts.

Don't be that guy or gal with the audacity to extract value and give nothing in return.

I prefer Gary Vee's strategy.

Step 1 - Search for things that matter to your world

For example, you're into B2B sales. Follow all the people who are leaders in this space and connect with others who share your passion. See what they're up to.

Step 2 - Check out their posts & read their articles

Everybody is posting about something. All you need to do is read some posts.

Step 3 - Leave the best comment ever

Leaving the best comment ever on your prospect's post results in them getting to know you. Before you send that cold email, this is a good situation to be in. 👊

Leaving the best comment ever on a post from an industry leader might grab the attention of their audience. Even that leader might notice you.

Leaving the best comment ever on anyone else's post results in them feeling appreciated by you.

However, this LinkedIn strategy is not easy to implement.

It's like going to the gym. One week of working out won't do it. But a whole year, now that will make a huge difference.

Involve your team

But remember, in the world of LinkedIn content distribution, it's not only CEOs that should try to break through the noise.

Each of your employees has an audience to connect with and to expose to a certain type of content.

Every team has their Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc, etc.

teamwork lemlist

No (wo)man can make it on their own.

Leverage LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn groups are a perfect opportunity to connect with people in your target audience or your ICP.

Why? Because you can easily find an entire group of people that you know will be interested in connecting with you based on specific attributes.  

For example, if I search growth hacking France, or cold call training, etc. I'll be able to find an entire group of people that I know for a fact are interested in these subjects.

Once you do that you can share your content on the group that they will appreciate. So for example with the cold call training group I might share one of lemlist's cold calling webinars, or share a post I made with some cold calling tips.

This way I'm boosting my reach but also providing value to my target audience.

You can also send connection requests to group members to fill your network with your exact target audience. Sounds like a good deal to me!

LinkedIn strategy and analytics

Regardless if you want to measure the impact of your DMs, post links, company page... it doesn't matter. This approach works for anything.

Gonna leave you with a quick checklist that I like to follow... Guilty, it's for growth marketers, but you can also use it as salespeople,

[ ] Open this and UTM the link you will share in a post/DM/comment*
[ ] If you're not sure how these work in Google Analytics,
read this
[ ] Make sure to give clear names to those fields
[ ] Go to Google Analytics > Acquisition > Campaigns and analyze
[ ] Set events and goals in Google Analytics, so that you can measure conversions besides traffic (e.g. free trials, activations, paid conversions, form submissions, etc)*

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