Judy Parsons - LinkedIn Trainer, LinkedIn Training

Three tips for using other people’s LinkedIn requests in your lead generation strategy

With the proliferation of requests for assistance on LinkedIn you could spend all day helping others and not do any of the lead-generation tasks you set out to complete. So why should you bother?

Is LinkedIn the new village elder?

It’s easy to forget that as little as a generation ago, the internet was not the place you went for all of the answers. Actually, the things most likely to contain all of the answers was the Encyclopaedia Britannica (for general knowledge), or the Yellow Pages (for whatever business you were in need of). Without these hallowed tomes, you would probably know the person to ask when you needed information, help or a recommendation.

Every community had one. The person who knew someone who could fix it, give you the answer, or find what you wanted. Whether it was the lady on the second row at church or the man you could always find propping up the bar and sipping his one pint, there was a fixer, a know-it-all (in a nice way), a person who would say, “I know someone…”

But as community ties have loosened and the age of the internet dawned, where do we turn? And in particular, where do we turn when we need help for our business?

Is LinkedIn the new village elder?

I’d suggest LinkedIn is the new village elder, the new fixer, the new know-it-all. This is based on my observation of the way people use LinkedIn to ask for recommendations for everything from new cars to service providers.

By its nature LinkedIn is a community, used by individuals to strengthen their professional network, find employment, explore business opportunities or seek advice from others within the same industry. It gives us the opportunity to connect with people we couldn’t have hoped to meet any other way and to join LinkedIn groups made up of likeminded people, with whom we therefore feel some affinity.

When connecting with people it’s likely you will know or have something on common with them, whether that’s other shared connections, LinkedIn groups, similar industries, locations or interests. This means you will place some weight on the recommendations given.

How can you make it work for you?

As an expert in lead generation on LinkedIn, you might be surprised I’m interested in the platform for anything other than that. However, regardless of what you want to use LinkedIn for, at its heart it’s a way to connect and build relationships with people – which is how leads occur. So don’t ignore the requests for help.

There are three simple steps to making the village elder version of LinkedIn work for you:

  1. Help if you can – as with all relationships, you will make an impact and deepen the connection if you can help. So respond to requests for recommendations if you know a business that can help.
  2. Tag someone – if you don’t have someone to recommend but have a connection who could, tag them (using @ before their name) and they will see the request. Just make sure it’s someone who would also be willing to help!
  3. Share – sharing people’s requests for help or recommendations takes it to a wider audience. Maybe one of your connections can help them? If not, they’ll see you’ve shared it and feel a small amount of gratitude that you went to the trouble.

By being willing to spend a few minutes helping others you’ll show your potential leads a bit of your personality, as well as building trust and a reputation as the kind of people they want to do business with.

So the next time you see someone in your LinkedIn timeline requesting help, don’t scroll past, think carefully about how you could help. You never know, a few months from now they might pass you that next hot lead.

If you think you waste too much time on LinkedIn while trying to generate leads, email judy@judithparsons.com or connect with me on LinkedIn to chat about how I can help.