Cold Email

Cold Email: The Complete Guide

Reading Time: 18 minutes

Cold email can be daunting. Finding leads, crafting copy, warming up your server, navigating GDPR… It’s easy to see why many people avoid it all together. The thing is, cold email has been proven time and time again to be on the best ways to find new customers, meet influencers, get PR, gain backlinks and generally grow your network. This guide is here to give you all the tools and confidence required to cold email like a pro. We will cover:

👆 Use these links to navigate the guide & bookmark this page for later!

Cold Email Fundamentals

Whether you’re sending ultra-personalised emails to potential investors one-by-one, or mass mailing every CEO in London, there are some cold email fundamentals that should form the foundation of your outreach. Get these right, and the rest will fall into place. If you only digest and implement one portion of this guide – this is should be it it!

  • Keep it brief
  • Personalise
  • Give Credentials
  • Demonstrate Value
  • Call to Action

Keep it brief

The average office worker receives 121 emails per day. For those in decision-making roles that number is likely much higher. Think about the emails you receive daily. When you open one up and see a wall of text, is your first thought “yay, lots to read”? Probably not! Don’t waffle, keep it short, sweet and to the point. Brevity is key.

Personalise

The degree to which you can personalise will depend on the volume of outreach. If you’re working with a short list of prospects, take the time to research your prospect and personalise every single email. Reference an article they wrote, a podcast they were on, a previous investment they made… Show that you know this person and that your outreach is relevant to them. If you’re doing outreach at scale there are still ways to personalise. Separate your prospects into relevant groups and write specifically for them. This could be job title, location, industry etc. Talk about the challenges / news / industry changes relevant to them and their group. Simply using a merge tag to include their name will not cut it!

Give Credentials

Why should this person trust you, or listen to your pitch? Strong credentials are a great way to cut through the noise of a busy inbox. Referencing clients you’ve helped that your prospect will know and respect is a great option. Otherwise perhaps use a qualification, or thought leadership pieces that you feature on… Know your audience and think about what will demonstrate your trustworthiness to them.

Demonstrate Value

How will your proposal benefit this person? Will it save them time or money? Perhaps help them to grow their business? This step is where a lot of cold emails fail. Don’t talk about features, talk about benefits. A classic example of benefit-based copywriting is this iPod ad from Apple:

Apple could have easily rambled on about megabytes of storage space, but customers don’t care about the inner workings. Think about the individual’s desired outcome for your product or service and sell that outcome.

Call to action

Another common mistake is not providing a clear call to action. Do you want the recipient to reply to the email? Watch a video? Book a call? Tell them! My advice here is to provide a low-friction action at this step to get the first ‘yes’. Trying to close a deal in the first email rarely works (if ever). Often, asking for a call can be high-friction too. Asking them to respond to a simple question, or watch a video, for example, will be easier. Again, put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving this email. Do you jump on Zoom with cold emailers you’ve never spoken to before? Probably not.

Jump to our templates to see this in action!

Campaign Prep

Before you start crafting copy and workshopping subject lines, you need to establish the audience, purpose and method for your campaign. It’s important to decide what exactly you want to achieve, what metrics you will track, what success looks like and how you want to approach the outreach itself.

Research audience size

If you’re reading this, it’s likely you have an audience in mind for your campaign. The first step for campaign prep is to ascertain exactly how many prospects are out there. As we know, cold emailing a list of 10 will be very different to outreach for a list of 10,000.

Set goals

It’s easy to skip this step and assume that the goal of each email is to close a deal – whether that’s making a sale, booking a call, gaining a backlink etc. While that may be your overall purpose, it can help to take step back and set goals for the steps along the way. It’s unlikely that you sales journey looks like this:

Email sent → Deal closed

Setting response rate targets, for example, helps you to hone in on what copy, which subject lines, times of day etc. work best. Your first email is initiating a conversation, not closing a deal – so target and optimise for that!

Map the journey

Too often I see people jump headfirst into a cold email campaign with no plan for what comes next – what happens if they don’t reply? Better yet – what happens if they do? Mapping the journey (sometimes referred to as a ‘flow’) is a really important step in your preparation. Plan your initial response, your follow ups, your closers. Never hit a point in your campaign in which you don’t know what to do next!

Building an email list

A cold email campaign won’t go very far without an email list! Before we get into this, it’s important to state that Lix is a b2b email finding tool and I will be talking about that in this section.

There are other tools out there that do this, but Lix offers more free emails (50 a month!) with an accuracy to match or surpass the others. If you have a favourite tool you like to use, please feel free to do so (give ours a try though, it is free and easy to use 😁).

There are two primary ways to find email addresses for your cold prospects – using an email finding tool (like Lix) or doing it manually. Which option you choose will be down to time and budget.

Manual email finding (free)

If you’re operating on a tight budget, or have a ton of time, you can sometimes find an email address manually with some sleuthing. Some people will have an email address listed on their LinkedIn, some will be displayed on a company website. This all depends on the type of person you’re reaching out to. Those in high-demand (decision makers, generally) will be less likely to have a email address listed publicly, though.

If your list is small enough to do prospect emails manually, I’d advise signing up for a free Lix account and using your 50 free emails. It’ll save you a day’s work (at least) – valuable time you could spend writing copy and doing research!

Automated Email Finding

Finding, testing and verifying email addresses for outreach used to be a slow and expensive practice. Now you can find thousands of verified emails every single day using a tool like Lix (other tools are available, but why would you ever need them when Lix is right here? 😁).

The majority of such tools work off of LinkedIn, for a very good reason. With 800m+ users and 33m+ businesses, LinkedIn is the largest store of publicly available b2b data in history – and it grows every day. Anyone who is anyone is on LinkedIn and they very helpfully provide their name, company name and the link to their website – the building blocks of email discovery.

If you’re interested in all the techie details on how we do this, read here. Want to just see how it works in practice? Watch this 40 second video:

Another great thing about LinkedIn for email list-building is the powerful search. You have a ton of great filtering tools at your disposal with which to hone in on your ideal audience. If you’re using Lix for your list-building, you can export searches into projects – helping you break your lists up, or collaborate on your list with colleagues anywhere in the world. Here’s a video on how that works, too.

List Separation

Now you hopefully have your list full of email addresses to reach out to, it’s important to break this list up into personalisation groups if you haven’t already done so. Personally, I like to separate a batch of my most-prized prospects for some ultra-personalisation, then group the others as per the cold email fundamentals (above).

Depending on your list size, it’s likely you won’t be sending all these emails at the same time, too. When cold emailing it’s important to ‘warm up’ your server by gradually increasing sending volumes (more on this later – I have a chart for you to follow!). Consider this when separating your lists – who should receive the first batch? Do you want to test your subject lines / copy against your least-likely prospects first? These are all things to consider before sending!

How to mail merge

Now you have a list of prospects to reach out to, it’s time to send those emails. If you’re working off a large list, you’ll need to find a way to mail merge. You can either use a mail merge tool (paid) or one of the methods that allows you to mail merge right from you preferred inbox (free). As always, the paid options do come with some benefits – including some tools for regulating sending, tracking etc. that are very useful when running cold email campaigns. They’re also easy to use and set up, whereas the free options do need a little work to get started. That said, sometimes we need a free option to get things off the ground and test the efficacy of an idea, so let’s start there.

Free mail merge for Gmail (with Google Sheets)

TLDR: Create a template in Gmail & pull recipient data from Google Sheets

This method allows you to create an email template in Gmail, which is then populated by data from a Google Sheets document. You can either read on for my guide, or go straight to the source and hear it from Google.

How it works:

You’ll need Gmail (Google Workspace is preferred due to sending limits) and Google Sheets for the data spreadsheet.

The easiest method is to use a copy of the sample spreadsheet from Google as it has the columns and script set up and ready to go.

Step 1: Enter your data

Once you’ve copied Google’s sample spreadsheet, you can set about editing the data within the columns. Add in the recipient email addresses, names etc. Please note that if you change the name of any of the columns, you will need to head to Extensions > Apps Script and edit the code (this is not advised unless you know what you’re doing!).

Step 2: Create your template

Create a draft email in Gmail as normal. Use the column names in curly brackets (this is called a merge tag) for customisation. For example:

Hi {{First name}}

Will pull through the corresponding first name for each person.

Step 3: Start sending

In the menu bar for your spreadsheet you see ‘Mail Merge’ click this and then ‘Send Emails’. If you don’t see the Mail Merge option, refresh your page.

You will be prompted to authorise the pre-loaded script – do so. Then, repeat the process (Mail Merge > Send Emails).

Enter the subject line for your emails and click OK.

Free mail merge for Outlook (with Excel & Word)

The process for Outlook & Excel is similar to Gmail & Google Sheets – the data is stored and pulled from Excel, to populate an email. The main difference is that this time, the email copy itself is in Word, rather than the email client itself. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Prepare your data

Open a new Excel workbook and enter the identifying data (email, name etc.) as column titles. Ensure these are properly formatted for the correct data type. If you’re not an Excel whizz, here’s a guide from Microsoft.

Step 2:

Open Word and click Tools > Mail Merge Manager, Word’s Mail Merge Manager will give you a step by step guide for setting up your document.

When it’s time to enter your content, use the column names in curly brackets (this is called a merge tag) for customisation. For example:

Hi {{First name}}

Will pull through the corresponding first name for each person.

The example {{First name}} will only work if that is what you’ve named your column. These tags must correspond with the column names in your Excel workbook.

Step 3:

The Mail Merge Manager will ask you to ‘Select Recipients’. Choosing ;Use Existing List’ will allow you to select the Excel document you made earlier.

Next, click on ‘Preview Results’ – check that the emails and data columns match up and all looks correct. If so – hit ‘Finish and Merge’ and check your sent mail folder in Outlook!

Mail Merge Tools

Mailmeteor

Mailmeteor is designed to work with your Gmail account, and it currently the best-rated mail merge tool on the Google Marketplace. Where Mailmeteor is an improvement on the free Gmail method above, is in the added extras that improve things like deliverability and tracking.

For example, Mailmeteor makes it easy to add attachments, allows you to schedule your campaigns, import HTML email templates and collaborate with teammates. With plans from $9.99 per month, it’s worth giving this service a try if you’re going to be sending regular campaigns from your Gmail account!

GMass

Like Mailmeteor, GMass works with your Gmail account & Google Sheets to send mass email campaigns.

GMass has the added bonus of having an in-built email verifier tool too (this isn’t needed if you use Lix for your prospecting though, as we do this for you!).

Outreach

Outreach and tools like it are a little pricier than the previous options, because it is so much more than a mail merge tool. Outreach is a sales engagement tool – a class of software that assists with organisation, automation, integration, sending cadences and much more.

If you’re serious about cold campaigns, consider a tool like Outreach!

Tools NOT to use

I had to add this section in because it’s a mistake I see people making all the time. Please do not use email marketing platforms, or customer engagement platforms, like Mailchimp and Hubspot for your cold outreach. Firstly, it goes against their terms of service. Secondly, you will be flagged for spam and kicked off the platform very quickly.

These tools are not made for cold outreach and should not be used under any circumstances.

Cold Email Templates


Now we know the foundations of cold emailing, how to prospect and the basics of mail merging – let’s dive into some cold email templates. As we’ve covered, there is no one-size-fits-all cold email. The template you use will change depending size of the list, the amount of research you can do for each person and so on. Here are my 5 favourite templates, with examples, that you can use for different situations.

The Authority-Builder

This is a great template to use when mailing totally cold, large lists. When it isn’t possible to research each individual on your list and you don’t have an intro to reference, you need to lean on your authority.


Remember – keep it relevant! By referencing a credential that is relevant to your recipient, you still achieve some level of personalisation. This is all about showing them that you understand their role and have the credentials to provide a solution to their problems.


Example:


David is a sales representative for an SME selling medical instruments to private surgeries. There are 1,000 potential prospects for his product in the UK and personalising each email is not possible. However, David can group his prospects by job title (some large practices have dedicated buyers, in smaller surgeries it may be the lead GP), or by region, practice size etc. David’s credential, is that he works with a market-leader in this sector. The email he sends might look like this:

Subject: We’re helping Spire keep up with rising demand

Hi [First Name],

I head up sales for Example Healthcare, specialising in diagnostic equipment. As Chief Physician, I understand you’re the person to speak with regarding purchasing decisions.

Our clients at Spire are reporting an 81% increase in new patients since the pandemic and many surgeries are struggling to keep up with demand. That’s why we’re preparing complete diagnostic kits, especially for local private surgeries.

If you let me know your preferred address, I can put a brochure in the mail for you today.

Best wishes,

David

Brief – 5 sentences

Personalised – Shows an understanding of the recipient’s role and industry challenges

Credentials – Reference to a large client

CTA – Low-friction, initiates a conversation and invites a follow-up


You can play around with this template and add in whatever credentials / authority-builder works for you and your list. Perhaps it’s a metric you achieved for a client, or a positive case study. Think about the USP you have that will cut through the noise and show a prospect that you’re the one to trust.


The Time-Saver

This again is a great template when you’re going in cold. If you don’t have a ton of credentials to shout about – perhaps you’re a new product or service – the time-saver template allows your product to do the heavy lifting. This template is all about focusing on the positive outcome for the end user.

Example:


Beth has recently started a new marketing agency. She has a ton of experience, but as the business is new there’s little in the way of case studies or credentials to shout about. What Beth does know, however, is that SMEs are spending up to 16 hours a week creating content and posting it on social media. Beth’s proposal is to take that work off of their hands, saving them a ton of valuable time. She has broken her list up into industries and niches, in order to add some personalisation to her emails.

Subject: In just 10 minutes I’ll explain how I can save you 16 hours a week

Hi [First Name],

My name is Beth, and I’ll keep this quick.

I’m a Social Media Marketing expert and founder of Example Agency, and I know businesses in [insert niche] are spending up to 16 hours a week writing content and posting on social media.

Could I have ten minutes of your time next week for a personalized demo that’ll demonstrate to you how I can own your content and social media, freeing you up to work on your business?

Either let me know a time that works for you or book a convenient 10 minute slot in my calendar: [calendar app link].

I look forward to hearing from you,

Beth


Brief – 5 sentences

Personalised – Referring to the recipient’s industry niche

Credentials – Demonstrated expert knowledge of the time challenges these companies face

CTA – Low-friction, 10 minute call


The Researcher


In the last two examples, we’ve looked at options for large lists, where deep research isn’t possible. This template, then, is for the opposite situation. Those prospects for whom you can research and draw from their work, or activities. If you have a large list to contact, it can sometimes be a good idea to separate perhaps 10-20 top prospects to do this kind of research on while using a different template for the others.



Example:

Anna is a startup founder looking for investors. Her goal for this campaign is to book calls with potential investors so she can pitch her idea. Anna has researched investors in her space and crafted outreach for each one individually. Email #1 is going to Elizabeth, who has invested in similar companies previously:

Hi Elizabeth,

I just heard your interview with Jason Calacanis on This Week In Startups, it was really inspiring to hear you talk about your goals for the sustainable tech companies you invest in.

My startup, EcoTech, helps Data Centres offset their carbon emissions. I currently have NTT and Verizon signed and 5 more major data centre operators interested.

Our pitch deck is attached, if you have 5 minutes I would really appreciate it if you could reply with a few lines of feedback.

Best wishes,

Anna

Brief – 4 sentences

Personalised – Immediately demonstrates knowledge of the recipient

Credentials – A short summary of current success

CTA – Low-friction ask – just a few lines of feedback.



Of course, yours will vary depending on the research that you do!


Pain-Agitate-Solution (PAS)


This is a classic copywriting technique that you can apply to your cold email outreach. I’m sure you can probably guess how it works from the name! The aim is to highlight a pain point your prospect is feeling, agitate that pain point by describing how this is negatively affecting their business and then – you swoop in and provide the solution. Let’s use Lix, for this example.

Example:

Alfie is the co-founder of a SaaS startup that uses AI to find email addresses from LinkedIn searches. He wants to sell subscriptions to users in the cyber security space, as he knows they do a lot of cold outreach to prospect lists. He knows that reps in large firms are spending up to 33% of their time prospecting, when they could be selling.


Subject: Your reps spend 33% of their time prospecting, when they could be selling

Hi [First Name],

As a sales leader for [Company Name] I know that lead generation must be a huge time drain for you and your team. According to Forbes [link] the average rep spends 33% of their time building prospecting lists – time they could be spending on building relationships and closing deals.

I’m the founder a company called Lix and our mission is to give your team that time back. Our AI email-finder can turn LinkedIn searches into clean, verified email addresses; ready for your reps to reach out and do what they do best – selling!

You can try it today with 50 free emails and 1,000 rows of data [link] – or book in a call with me and I’d be happy to demo it for you [calendar link].

Best,

Alfie


Brief – 5 sentences

Personalised – Mentions the company and the specific challenges faced by the receiver

Credentials – Uses trusted source (Forbes) to back-up statement

CTA – Two options, a free trial (low-friction) or a demo



The Personalised Video


This is a relatively new, but very powerful tool for cold emailing. It’s such a hot topic, I have a whole blog on personalised video for cold email. In it, I tell the story of a cold email I received from a CRM giant in which there was a video of the rep looking at my website and explaining, using examples from my site, how their tool could help me. It fits all the criteria for a good cold email – it was certainly brief, ultra-personalised! For a full guide to how to create videos for cold emails, please do read the blog.

I’m using myself again for the example, because I have an example video for you!


Example:

Alfie, the cofounder of the SaaS tool we looked at earlier, has separated 10 top targets from his prospect list that he really wants to book a call with. In order to cut through the noise, he’s going to make a personalised video for each of them.


Subject: [Your Company Name] & [Their Company Name]

Hi [First Name],

I made you a quick video (60 seconds), click here to watch:

Plus here’s a case study that shows how we helped [Company] achieve [outcome]: [link]

You can try it today with 50 free emails and 1,000 rows of data [link] – or book in a call with me and I’d be happy to demo it for you [calendar link].

Best,

Alfie


Brief – 3 sentences and a short video

Personalised – As personalised as it gets!

Credentials – Uses their own site to establish credibility

CTA – Two options, a free trial (low-friction) or a demo




Deliverability

This is a hot topic in the world of cold email and for good reason. Many people rush into cold emailing gung-ho and send way too many emails, or do outreach from a brand new email address, or spam people with poorly-targeted emails… and get marked as spam. If that happens enough times, you domain can be ‘blacklisted’ and your overall deliverability will tank. This will put an end to not only cold email campaigns, but it could even affect day to day business emailing with current clients and suppliers, etc.

It’s not just about reaching inboxes, either. It’s about reaching the right area of the inbox. The Gmail users among you can attest to the fact that an email in your ‘Promotions’ tab probably doesn’t get read.

How does it work?

In simple terms, when an email is sent it has to go through various checks and tests before it reaches someone’s inbox. Your email server (and often your service provider) perform these checks in order to protect you from malware, spam and all other manner of nasty things.

These checks include things like:

  • Email Content

The content of your email can sometimes flag spam filters. This happens for various reasons, including using too many links, abusive language, spam trigger words and more. Hubspot have a great blog listing 394 spam trigger words. Avoid these!

  • Domain history

Sometimes referred to as ‘reputation’. If you are flagged or reported for spam, or you try to send too many emails too soon, are blacklisted or send too many bouncing emails – this will affect your reputation.

How do I maximise deliverability?

This topic is a whole ‘nother blog in itself, but there are some very simple steps you can take that in most instances will be enough to protect you.

  • Warm up your outreach

The max number of emails you can send in a day will vary by email client – for example a standard Gmail account can send a max of 500 emails in a rolling 24 hour period. A Google workspace account allows you to send 2,000 per 24 hours, but please bear in mind this includes all emails for your organisation!

Even if you are using a Google workspace account with a 2k daily limit, it’s not a good idea to try sending 2,000 emails in the first day. Especially if your domain is brand new! Instead, start small and build up gradually.

For a brand new account, start very small. Perhaps 10-15 non-cold emails per day for a few weeks, then slowly add in those cold emails. It’s frustrating, but less so than getting blacklisted. There are also some crucial technical steps you need take in getting your DNS set up – I’ll talk about those in the next section.

For an aged account, I would advise starting with 100-200 per day and adding the same amount daily until you hit around 1,000 a day, max. Some guides tell you to go up to the full 2,000, some say less. Personally, I’ve had the best results sticking at 500-800 per day.

  • DNS set up

DNS stands for domain name system – I won’t get into too much boring detail (but you can read this great Quora thread if you want to know more), essentially having your DNS configured correctly lets the receiver’s email server know that you email and domain are linked and trustworthy.

There are three DNS record types – SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and DMARC (Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance). Until recently, DMARC was optional and only really used for large businesses. However, Microsoft recently announced that any email without DMARC will go to spam.

Setting these up will differ depending on your email client. Here are some guides for Google Workspace & Outlook:

Google Workspace

Outlook / Office 365

  • Don’t spam

Seems obvious, right? This is the simplest step and often the hurdle people fall at first! If you follow the cold email fundamentals and list building protocols set out in this article, you will be fine. The most important points to remember are to keep your emails brief, don’t include attachments or images in your initial messages and only send emails to targeted individuals.

GDPR & CCPA

GDPR (General Data Protection Legislation) ****dictates the way companies are allowed to store, use and process personal data. It was introduced back in 2018 in order to protect consumers from unscrupulous spammers and give them back control of their data. Similarly, CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) offers similar protections to the residents of California. The rules and their application to cold emailing are largely similar. The good news is that neither prevent you from sending cold emails – so long as you stick to the rules.

Sending cold B2B emails is legal under both GDPR & CCPA, you just need to meet certain requirements. The foundational principle is thus – the service or product you’re offering must be beneficial to the individual or company that you’re contacting.

These laws don’t exist to stop people from connecting with each other and offering useful services – it’s there to stop spam. As long as you’re choosing your prospects correctly and offering something that can make their lives / jobs / businesses better, you have a case for cold email.

With that base covered, the next step is to consider the use, storage and communication of said-use. Make sure that somewhere in your email you are letting the recipient know how their data is used and that they can remove their data from your list at any time. Also, don’t store their data for longer than is necessary. If a prospect hasn’t replied within 30 days, remove their data from your system. This rule applies more to GDPR (CCPA doesn’t have any strict rules about storage time) but it’s still good practice!

The biggest difference between GDPR & CCPA is that GDPR applies to all businesses, of all sizes, whereas CCPA only applies to large companies that fit the following criteria:

  • They must be a ‘for-profit’ organisation, NFPs are exempt
  • 50% of more of their annual revenue must arise from the sale or use of personal data
  • That annual revenue must be more than $25m
  • They process data of 50,000+ individuals, household, or devices

Now, that’s not to say that if you don’t meet these criteria you should ignore the rules set out here. You should always put yourselves in the shoes of the recipient. You don’t like being spammed – so don’t spam!

If you follow the above steps, there’s nothing stopping you from sending legitimate-interest cold emails under GDPR & CCPA.


LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: The Definitive 2022 Guide

Reading Time: 13 minutes

LinkedIn influencer marketing is being under-utilised by B2B marketers. We’re on a mission to change that.

 

In recent years, influencer marketing has grown into an essential part of every B2C marketer’s toolkit. The ability to leverage a trusting audience, pre-built by an influencer, lures in marketers like a moth to a flame. For many of us though, the phrase ‘influencer marketing’ conjures images of perma-tanned reality TV stars peddling protein shakes on Instagram. While this may be true, I certainly wouldn’t advise asking the cast of Love Island to promote your B2B product or service. So, how can us B2B marketers get in on the influencer action? With LinkedIn influencer marketing.

 

Why LinkedIn Influencer Marketing?

 

LinkedIn is the largest professional social network in the world, with a whopping 690 million users and counting. The platform has been on a steady growth trajectory since their acquisition by Microsoft in 2016, for a cool $26.2 billion. Microsoft’s investment into the business has reaped dividends, with LinkedIn’s membership growing 52% in just four years. 

 

In early in 2020, as I’m sure you know, the world went into lockdown. The coronavirus pandemic led to an unprecedented wave of people working from home. In fact, you might be reading this from the comfort of your home office right now, for this very reason. The rise in home working set off an explosion in LinkedIn’s engagement rates. In fact, LinkedIn saw its largest jump in DAU (daily active users) since 2011.

 

Amongst those users, from the casual to the committed, there are the individuals that we marketers dream of getting in front of: the decision makers. According to LinkedIn’s own stats, 61 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers and 40 million are in decision making positions.

 

Let’s take a moment to step back and consider this. We have at our fingertips, the largest business network in history. LinkedIn is an audience of nearly 700 million people and among them, tens of millions of decision makers. This is an unprecedented opportunity for B2B marketers. One that we have of course been leveraging for some time. I would argue however, that we have not been utilising LinkedIn marketing to its full extent. As marketers we run ads, content campaigns, perhaps even cold outreach; all the while LinkedIn influencer marketing remains largely untapped…

 

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Teamwork

 

As marketers we seek two things: an audience to speak to, and buy-in from that audience. Influencers can give us both of those things at the drop of a hat. They have spent years cultivating a persona, engaging with their followers and establishing themselves as a source of information and inspiration. Yes, even the reality TV stars on Instagram and the dancing teens on Tik-Tok.

 

The Lure of Influencers

 

In bygone years marketers and advertisers had to create and manage long-running campaigns to build brand recognition with their audience. Hoping that their efforts along the way cultivated some kind of relationship between brand and consumer. Social media has done away with that in a relative heartbeat. We don’t need to shoehorn emotion, connection and trust into 60 second ads, spaced out and repeated over years. Audiences can feel like they know, and therefore trust, influencers within a matter of weeks. Through photographs, captions, story posts, live videos, podcasts, Q&A sessions… The opportunities to build those connections are seemingly endless.

 

There is of course another important layer to the influencer marketing cake: it is social. Although there is a huge clue in the name ‘social media’, us marketers can often forget this fact when trying to sell via social platforms. We may be there to sell, but users are not there to buy. They are scrolling through their feed, interacting with their friends and consuming media related to their interests. It’s not SEM, where there is clear intent to buy, or researching buying, a product. You are interrupting their flow with your ad or message. Do you think the user would rather have their flow interrupted by an advert from a business they don’t recognise… or a recommendation from a person they know and trust?

 

With this in mind, it’s easy to see the power of influencer marketing, and therefore LinkedIn influencer marketing. You are leveraging not only their audience, but trust and social connection. Something that would otherwise take you many years (and thousands of dollars) to build for yourself.

 

This powerful combination presents us with a massive opportunity. We have a thriving social-professional network, with millions of decision-making users and, if you know where to look, a plethora of influencers ready to promote your products.

 

LinkedIn Influencers

 


LinkedIn influencers have established themselves as thought-leaders in their field. Their written content, videos, perhaps even just witty status updates have earned them thousands of fans. Their posts reach the coveted top spots within the LinkedIn feeds of not only their followers, but also those connected to their followers.

 

LinkedIn influencer marketing is also largely untapped market. How often do you see B2B influencers pushing products on LinkedIn? It happens, but it’s not nearly as large a phenomenon as it is on Instagram and Tik-Tok. If those platforms are anything to go by, we are just a few years away from saturation. As with any new marketing trend, the time to get involved is now.

 

The early adopters will reap the most rewards. Much like the early days of Facebook pages, and the ease of follow/unfollow at the dawn of Instagram; this trend will become saturated and ROI will gradually decrease. We may reach a point where, much like Facebook, the only way to really reach an audience is pay-to-play. You don’t want to look back in three years and kick yourself for missing the boat.

 

Influencer Campaign Preparation

 

Before we delve into the specifics of tracking down influencers, we need to prepare our campaign. As a marketer or solopreneur you will already understand the importance of good prep and solid tracking.

 

Media, Location, Duration

 

Setting up a LinkedIn influencer marketing campaign is not much different to any other marketing campaign. There are a few extra things to consider, including the media used, the location of the post, duration and so on.

 

There are a number of factors that will contribute to your choice of media, including your chosen influencer’s preference.

 

Where possible, I advise opting for video.

 

A massive 84% of buyers say they were persuaded to purchase after watching a brand’s video. Since launching native video (uploaded directly to LinkedIn) back in 2017 engagement rates have rocketed.

 

Within LinkedIn there are three locations you could opt to post your content, whatever it may be:

 

  1. The Influencer’s Feed
  2. Within a Group
  3. On your Company Page

Of the three, I would generally advise the first option, so that you can really leverage the trust and audience your influencer has built up. Groups can command excellent engagement but promoted posts are generally blocked by group admin. Some marketers advise posting on your company page to build better brand recognition, but unless you have a huge following there, I wouldn’t bother.

Tracking

There is no use throwing time and money at a LinkedIn influencer marketing campaign if you cannot track what works and what doesn’t. Depending on what your desired outcome is from this campaign (clicks, email signups, conversions) there are numerous ways to track. You may wish to send users to a designated landing page, with messaging that matches the content pushed out by your influencer for a seamless customer journey. This is time consuming and perhaps not the best option for your initial test. An easy way of tracking is simply adding UTM parameters to whatever links the influencer may share – this should make it easier to separate out the clicks, visits and conversions from a specific source. You can use Google’s UTM builder for free.

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Metrics

With your campaign idea in mind and your method for tracking results prepped – it’s time to find those influencers!

How to Find LinkedIn Influencers

If you’re familiar with LinkedIn you will probably know that they curate their own list of influencers by invitation only. There are a few hundred of these ordained influencers, including the likes of Melinda Gates, Mike Bloomberg and the ubiquitous ‘Gary Vee’. If you have the kind of budget required to hook one of these big fish, go ahead. For those high-profile targets approaching them via LinkedIn, or even by email, is probably not going to yield results. I would be incredibly surprised if Mike Bloomberg is checking and responding to his DMs on LinkedIn. Your best bet for an upper-echelon influencer like that is to approach their publicist or agent and go from there.

“Now if you’ll excuse me Spiderman, I must go check my LinkedIn messages…”

My guess is that if you’re reading this, you’re either marketing for an SME or you’re a plucky entrepreneur at a startup looking to make your mark. In which case, your pockets likely aren’t deep enough to pay Gary Vee to speak 7000 words a minute about you in a LinkedIn influencer marketing video. Never fear. There are thousands of influencers, thought leaders and LinkedIn populists out there ready to spread your message for a fraction of the cost.

Let’s dive into how we can unearth them before moving onto how to approach.

Get Targeted

Before we can begin our search, we need to think about our selection criteria. My suggestion here is to start with the end result and work backwards.

For example if I wanted to sell LIX subscriptions, I would start by identifying a vertical. I know that LIX offers the ability to export LinkedIn Company Data, and I know that there are four primary verticals that tend to buy this tool: B2B marketers, salespeople, investors and recruiters. This time around, I’d like to target marketers.

Now we have our niche, let’s think about numbers. Begin by thinking about how many individuals you will need to reach with this campaign in order to convert your desired number. I estimate that I can convert approximately 3% of all readers / viewers (depending on the media) and I’m looking for 50 signups to test the viability of LinkedIn influencer marketing.  Therefore, I need an influencer in the marketing niche, preferably with interests and content relevant to automation services, with at least 1,500 followers.

With this kind of laser-targeting, we know exactly what we want and what kind of person can deliver on the above. Now, we search…

Find Influencers on LinkedIn

Part of what makes LinkedIn such an incredible tool is its powerful search function. With the right keywords, filters, time and perhaps a helping hand from the LIX LinkedIn Search Exporter you can find relevant profiles, export their data from LinkedIn into a spreadsheet and begin panning for influencer gold!

Continuing our example project, we’re searching digital marketing automation specialists. If we enter that into the LinkedIn search bar and select the ‘people’ filter around 669k results are returned.

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Search

I would advise applying some filters in order to not only bring down that number, but also hone-in on your desired influencer. For this campaign, I want to reach influencers based in the UK, so I will filter by location ‘United Kingdom’ which returns 35k results. Then, we can filter by industry. We want somebody currently in the world of marketing and advertising. When I apply that filter, it brings us to a more manageable 6.2k results.

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Searching

Now the real work begins. You have two options for sifting through these results: the free option, which is time consuming, but… well, free. Or, you can utilise LIX’s ability to export ‘deep’ LinkedIn profile data (there is a short ‘how-to’ for this feature within our video CV parsing on YouTube!).

Using LIX Deep Profile Extraction will allow you export up to 1k profiles per day, directly in to XLS or CSV. The tool will extract the number of followers a person has directly to your spreadsheet, making it easy to identify influencers within this niche. You can simply sort your results by ‘followers’ within Excel or Numbers and work your way along the top results to discover those who post relevant, engaging content. Voila! You have your list of targets. If your CRM supports CSV or XLS uploads, it’s a good idea to move these potential influencers over for better tracking and organisation.

If you’re opting for the manual method, the end result is the same but you will need to sort through those profiles one by one to find their follower numbers, select the best candidates and copy their details into the list-maker, spreadsheet or CRM of your choice.

When manually sifting through, head to the user’s profile and click on ‘activity’. Here you will find the number of followers, along with a list of their posted content (articles, feed posts etc.). With this information, we can make informed decisions about potential influencers.

Our example search led us to this handsome fellow, with following within our desired range and well-engaged posts. Maybe he’s right for our LinkedIn influencer marketing campaign?:

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Target

Groups

Another place to search is within the ever-popular LinkedIn groups. There are over 2 million groups on LinkedIn. According to Tech Crunch, more than half of all LinkedIn users are in at least one group.

Within these groups, you tend to find that there are usually a handful of regular posters. They tend receive a good response, with strong engagement on their posts. These are your influencers.  If we return to our example search, we can see that there are 289 groups that match our keywords. The largest groups should command the most engagement, therefore leading you to your potential influencers faster. My advice is to not neglect the smaller groups however – sometimes you can unearth a gem.

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Hone

How to Approach LinkedIn Influencers

We have targets in our crosshairs, now it’s time to get them on board. This is not as straightforward as it may seem on the surface. Just because we want to work with them, does not mean that they instantly want to work with us. Remember, these influencers have spent years cultivating an audience and presenting themselves as thought leaders within their field. They will not risk sullying their reputation and standing in the community if they feel that your brand isn’t the right fit, or the product isn’t right for their audience. In order to leverage the trust that influencers have built up with their followers, you need to build trust with the influencer.

Email vs. LinkedIn Messages?

This may seem like an easy choice. We’re already using LinkedIn, so why not just message them there? In reality, it depends on how quickly you’re looking to receive a response.

If you’re a regular LinkedIn user you will no doubt receive dozens of messages every week. Many of which are ‘spammy’ or annoying. Usually they are connected to a connection request (the only way to message a user not within your connections, unless you have a paid version of LinkedIn such as Sales Navigator).

This, I think, is the reason why people put off regularly reading their LinkedIn messages. Personally, I check my emails 10+ times a day and my LinkedIn messages perhaps 2-3 times a week.

Want your message to cut through the noise of LinkedIn and receive a faster response? Find your influencer’s email address and contact them there. If in the last step you used LIX to export data from LinkedIn, you will notice that where a person has listed their email address on their profile, their email address will have been exported onto your spreadsheet. If you’re working manually, head to Google and do your best to find it that way. Happy sleuthing.

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Discover

For those of you not in a hurry to receive a response, or struggling to find those emails, LinkedIn messaging is fine. My advice here is to start strong. You’ll notice in your inbox; you get a short preview of around 10 words before opening a message. Make those 10 words count.

Opening with a standard “Hi, I hope you are well” is not going to stand out in a crowded inbox. This is the exactly the kind of message I put off until I cannot stand the notifications any longer. Mainly because I have no idea what is inside. It could be anything from a cold sales pitch, a job offer, or just straight up spam.

What do you think will capture the attention of your chosen influencer?

Here are a few 10-word examples that I’ve used in the past with some success.

Paid promotion opportunity: We would like to work with you…

We’ve identified you as a LinkedIn influencer in ‘X’ field…

Excellent content, we would like to discuss a sponsored post…

These may seem a little impersonal, and they are. These openers on LinkedIn are not designed to build rapport (yet, that comes later). These are designed to grab attention in a stuffed inbox, enticing the influencer to read your message.

You can also use variations of these openers as email subject headers if you choose to contact your influencers that way!

Messaging

For some of us, contacting and building rapport with people comes naturally – for others, not so much. If you’re the kind of person who listens in to the sales team making calls and thinks “how do they do that??”, this section is for you.

You’ve already grabbed their attention and got them to open the message. All we need to establish now is who you are, what you do and whether they would be interested in learning more about this opportunity. That’s it. At this stage, don’t bog them down with a ton of details, don’t discuss fees or even what the promotion is. Those details can come after you receive your first ‘yes’. Up until the point at which they agree to talk further (your first ‘yes’) you are talking at them, not with them. We need to open up a conversation in which both parties are happy to participate.

Continuing our example, here’s a sample message I would send to our digital marketing & automation influencer:

LinkedIn Influencer Marketing: Message

It’s straightforward and to the point, without being pushy or presumptuous. Another technique that can work well here is referencing what you think makes them the perfect candidate. If they wrote a great blog about your niche, or received a ton of engagement for a post, reference it!

“I saw your blog about automation and thought it was excellent. I especially like your take on setting responsible limits….”

Influencers may put out content in order to win business, but they also like getting good feedback too! Even the least-vain influencers respond well to a little praise.

Some people like to use what is called ‘presumptive closing’. This when you push the person receiving your correspondence into agreeing to a proposition. Something like:

“We want to work with you. I’m calling influencers on Friday, what’s the best time for us to speak – 11am or 1pm?”

I tend to find, however, that influencers receive a lot of messages from a lot of salespeople and are pretty fed up with the pushy approach!

When you have their reply, hopefully saying that yes, they’re happy to discuss; you’re ready to go into details with them.

Now that you have read, absorbed and percolated this information it’s time to go forth and put it into action! LinkedIn is an untapped treasure trove of B2B influencers – get out there and tap it.

Find more blogs from LIX, here.


sales intelligence

Sales Intelligence: The Ultimate Disruption

Reading Time: 7 minutes


Sales intelligence has reached a tipping point. The sheer volume of freely available business data, combined with falling entry costs and a change-igniting global pandemic, is proving to be the trifecta of conditions necessary for what I believe is the largest leap forward in sales history.

Let me explain.

Just 33% of a salesperson’s day is spent engaging with customers, with the other 66% being taken up with prospecting, administration and research tasks. If human interaction is the key to sales, then this allocation of time and energy is completely upside down.

That’s a serious problem.

I believe that for the first time in history, we have a solution to that problem – sales intelligence. Imagine, if you will, the salesperson’s ‘second brain’: a processing powerhouse that reps can call upon to carry out these tasks for them. A partner in prospecting, freeing them up to spend more time connecting and less time administrating.

That is what sales intelligence is about to do for sales and it is time for you to make a leap forward… or get left behind.

In order for me to give context to bold claims, allow me to take you on a journey back to the dawn of advertising, a time when marketing and sales lived in technological harmony.

The History of Sales & Marketing

Almost 2,000 years ago, in 1st century CE, a gentleman named Umbricius Scaurus was the Roman Empire’s leading manufacturer of ‘garum’; a luxury fish-based sauce loved by Roman high society. We know all about Scaurus’ and his ancient fish sauce for two reasons: the preservation of Pompeii (thanks Vesuvius!) and Scaurus’ talent for sales and marketing.

During the excavation of Pompeii, archaeologists discovered mosaic advertisements for Scaurus’ garum in his family home and the local market. Advertisements that talked about the quality and pedigree of his particular fish sauce. Urns stamped with the recognisable Scaurus label have since been discovered as far away as modern France.

sales intelligence
This mosaic is in the square of corporations in the ancient Roman port of Ostia

The term ‘marketing’ first appeared in dictionaries much later, during the 16th century, referring the process of selling at market. The term came from merchants, like Scaurus, finding ways to bring new customers to their doors. Customers that could be sold to.

The marketing channels available (mosaics, urns, brass plates, painted banners…) and the point of human interaction – the merchant at their stall – were perfectly balanced. The marketing drew them in, and the merchant closed the deal. Sales and marketing existed in this person-to-person harmony for many centuries.

Until it didn’t.

Merchants and markets fell to the industrial revolution, replaced by general stores and the supermarket. The Gutenberg press gave us the newspaper and with it, print advertising. During the advertising boom of the 1920s, the terms B2B and B2C were first coined, marking a split between the two. 1955 saw the first TV ad broadcast on ITV, the world’s first commercial TV channel.

sales intelligence
The first TV ad: Gibbs S.R. toothpaste, broadcast at 8.12pm on September 22, 1955

The days of the merchant manning their stall was long gone. Consumer goods no longer needed human contact to close the deal. Advertisers could present a product, educate the consumer and convince them to purchase long before they ever stepped into a store.

Person-to-person selling was only required where costs were high and trust building was crucial: b2b and high-ticket items.

A chasm had formed, between the old ways of selling and the new.

The dawn of the internet

Web 1.0, the first iteration of the internet, widened this chasm even further. Uptake was slow, at first – new technology always takes a while to reach widespread adoption – but it was coming.

1990 saw the first (albeit limited) search engine: Archie. In 1993, clickable ad banners began appearing on websites. The digital marketing revolution had begun.

sales intelligence
Go and ‘archie it’ doesn’t have the same ring, does it?

These technological advancements allowed marketers and advertisers to do something that person-to-person selling couldn’t match – messaging at scale. The evolution of these technologies gave marketers the ability to push their message out to ever more people. To track, to ‘personalise’ and convert at a scale never before imagined.

At the click of a button, a modern marketer can reach millions of people across the globe, in a matter of minutes.

Marketing technology left sales in the dust.

It’s true that marketing tech can be leveraged to help reps, too. The same channels and tactics exist in B2B lead generation as they do in B2C marketing: PPC, SEO, content marketing, webinars… all drive inbound leads and (hopefully) sales, but if a product or service truly requires person-to-person connection to get over the line, there’s a bottleneck. Salespeople, like all of us, only have so much time in their day, much of which is taken up by admin, research and prospecting.

There’s an important point for us to remember, here. Having a ‘human in the loop’ is not about pushing prospects into a purchase, it’s about building trust and forging personal relationships in a way that marketing alone cannot.

The true magic of sales lives in connection, in those moments where the expertise and intuition of the rep helps to solve a problem for the potential buyer. Where trust is built, and loyalty is won. That is what all truly great salespeople know and strive for.

This poses a question, one that – if answered – could propel sales into a whole new era:

How do we scale personal relationships?

Scaling personal relationships

Salespeople know the bottleneck of time is a problem. Countless surveys and studies show that reps feel hamstrung by unproductive prospecting and stifled by administration. According to one such study carried out by CSO insights, salespeople on average spend just 33% of their day actually talking to prospects, 71% of reps feel they spend too much time doing data entry and 68% of businesses report struggling with lead generation.

sales intelligence

McKinsey’s comprehensive study on Automation and the future of work assessed the “automatability” of over 2,000 workplace activities in 2018 and concluded that over 40% of time spent on sales tasks could be automated.

These statistics are not anomalies. A casual Google search will reveal a multitude of blogs and papers that mirror these concerns. Salespeople (and therefore, the businesses they represent) are being held back from achieving their true potential. Their time, such a precious resource in relationship building, is being squandered on peripheral tasks.

Enter: Sales Intelligence

Sales intelligence (SI) refers to a broad range of tools and technologies designed to enable organisations to find and utilise sales-related data and insights.

In plain English, sales intelligence tools help salespeople find, extract and sort information in an instant: slashing the time required for quality prospecting, research and lead generation.

Better still, where sales intelligence meets sales productivity, these tools relieve reps of the need for monotonous data entry. Robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI), the primary drivers of SI, have the power to eradicate the time lost to such tasks.

This is it. The salesperson’s second brain. The key to scaling personal connection.

Quality lead generation becomes a source of delight, not stress. Collecting information on prospects, discovering those all-important shared interests, finding contact information, spotting buying signals… all become effortless with the right tools.

There’s a force multiplier effect, here. In freeing your reps from manual prospecting and data entry you don’t just free up the 66% of their day spent on these tasks, you free them from the power drain of even thinking about it.

Imagine a sales team laser-focused on building relationships at 3x the rate they ever could before. A team with more time to spend nurturing, educating and exciting your customers.

For some businesses, this dream is already becoming a reality.

Sales intelligence has been a category on G2 since way back in 2012. Five long years ago, Harvard Business Review told sales leaders that it was time to develop ‘Machine Intelligence’. Some business leaders listened, and those that did, prospered.

Salesforce’s State of Sales (2020) shows that high-performing sales teams are 4.1x more likely to use AI and machine learning applications than their peers. According to Deloitte, 83% of B2B AI-adopters are seeing rapid and positive changes, with 53% achieving moderate benefits, and 30% experiencing substantial benefits.

As you might imagine many of these early adopters were large firms, or rather, firms with large budgets. This is no longer the case. In accordance with Moore’s Law, as computing power increases, it decreases in relative cost at an exponential pace.

Removing cost as a barrier of entry is a key driver for the sales intelligence revolution. Sales intelligence is becoming democratised. Salespeople with a drive to achieve don’t need the financial backing of their organisation. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can now utilise the same technology as the behemoths of business. For anywhere upwards of $40 a month, they can get in on the action.

Salespeople are cottoning on to the fact that the old ways are dying, and a new world of sales technology is upon us. A world in which they can focus on the magic of human connection.

Grand View’s Sales Intelligence industry report indicates that:

“The global sales intelligence market was valued at $2.3 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $5.6 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 10.5% from 2020 to 2027.”

These figures, published early in 2020, may even be conservative as to the potential for this sector. The Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated business transformation, in many cases lighting a fire under the (usually molassic) decision making process of large corporations. We’re in an age of flux, where digital change is being implemented at a speed never before seen.

The sales intelligence revolution is upon us. We are at the dawn of a new era and you have to decide as a salesperson, entrepreneur or business leader – will you take the next leap forward, now, or let your fish sauce be forgotten?


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Export LinkedIn Contacts

Export LinkedIn Contacts – Plus Full Profiles and Email Addresses

Reading Time: 8 minutes

If you’ve ever wondered how to export LinkedIn contacts, extract emails, automate lead-finding or generally extract data from LinkedIn – look no further.

Get 1,000 rows of data and 50 valid email exports every single month for free with Lix

In the 18 years since LinkedIn was launched it has become the single largest directory of businesses and business professionals in all of history. Boasting over 722 million members and 30 million companies, it is a veritable goldmine of data. Whether you’re a salesperson digging for leads or a marketer looking for influencers you can find them on LinkedIn.

The problem for many people however, is how do we extract that information from LinkedIn? It’s all well and good having access to the connections we’ve made, but when it comes time to organise and export that data LinkedIn often falls short.

LinkedIn offers a method that is quick and free, but will only export your connection’s name and current position. Not much data. Especially if you’re looking to build out a sales campaign or scour for your next big hire.

This article will explain how to export LinkedIn contacts and, depending on your desired outcome, full profiles and even email addresses into spreadsheets, cloud-based lists and your chosen CRM. This will allow you faster, organised access to your contacts for you to network, pitch to or build closer relationships with.

Export LinkedIn Contacts

You’ve had your LinkedIn profile for years, gradually building connections and forging relationships within your industry and beyond. Your contacts are a pool of useful information, potential clients and further networking opportunities. You have put in the leg work to build an impressive contact list – let’s use it.

Exporting LinkedIn contacts can be done directly from LinkedIn for free. Without the need for an additional tool. However, the free method has its limitations. If you don’t have the budget for an external aid to help with this process, you can skip to the free method.

If you’re looking for richer data, let’s take a look at Lix’s comprehensive way to export LinkedIn contacts. Lix’s dedicated LinkedIn data extraction tool comes with multiple options and features. Each designed for you to build a more complete data package.  Lix gives you 50 free emails and 1,000 rows of search data every single month – so if you want the fastest, easiest method, sign up for a free account and get started!

Here’s our step by step guide to exporting your LinkedIn contacts, followed by a handy video!

1. Ensure you are logged in to LIX and that your LIX browser extension is enabled.

When you initially sign up for LIX we will detect which internet browser you are using and provide you with the correct guide for that browser. We currently support all major browsers, so whether you’re a Chrome wiz, Safari stalwart or Opera fanatic we have you covered!

(Psst… We’ve listed the guides here in case you didn’t find yours!)

  • Safari
  • Edge
  • Internet Explorer
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Opera

    2. Click on ‘My Network’ in the top toolbar, then ‘Connections’ on the left

    This will take you through to your connection list, ready to export. You can sort the list by recently added (your most recent connections), first name or last name. You can also filter this list using the powerful LinkedIn search filters.

    First, ‘My Network’:

    Then, ‘Connections’:

    3. Click on your (now activated) LIX browser extension

    Whenever you land on a page with data that LIX can extract, you’ll notice your browser extension activate, or light’s up. That means you’re ready to hit the button and open the LIX toolbar.

    Depending on your browser, it should look like something like this:

    4. Select your options from the LIX tool

    As the LIX tool unfolds, you will notice a number of options for you to choose from.

    Left Column Options

    The options on the left determine how many results to extract, and in what format to export your LinkedIn connections. You can choose to export as Excel, or CSV depending on which you prefer to use – or which option is best supported by your chosen CRM. Most CRM systems will allow you upload contacts in either of these formats.

    If you’re using the LIX Lists feature, you can select which ‘project’ or list you want to export these results to. This is especially helpful if you’re exporting multiple searches and want to de-duplicate results.

    Lastly for the left-hand option column, we need to select the number of results. Your selection here is impacted by your selections in the right-hand column

    Right Column Options

    We delve into these options further down the page. In a nutshell, these options determine whether you want to use the Lix email-finder to generate 98% accurate validated email addresses for your contacts, if you want to extract their full profiles or whether you want to use the automated profile viewer.

    The important thing to note here is the effect these options have on the number of results you would like to export. LIX cleverly keeps your data extract limits under LinkedIn’s fair use threshold. This means your account is always safe from violating the rules.

    The threshold is 1,000 viewed pages per day. So, if you decide to export just the search results as you see them (with or without emails) you can export a whopping 10,000 contacts in a single day.

    If you opt for ‘Deep Profile’ this will extract all the data from your contact’s full LinkedIn profile, meaning you can extract up to 1,000 in a day.

    ‘Generate Emails’ will use LIX’s intelligent email finder to search the web and provide you with 98% accurate validated addresses for each contact, automatically, within minutes. This is an extremely powerful tool for outreach and lead generation!

    ‘View Profiles’ is an automated profile viewer, recommended for use in People searches rather than with your current contacts. It automatically views the profiles of people in a given list so that they get a notification letting them know you stopped by. It can be a great way to warm up potential new connections.

    Want to know more about these options? Jump to Generate Emails, Deep Profile, View Profiles.

    5. Selected your options? Now LIX IT!

    Once you’ve made a decision about what kind of data you want from your LinkedIn contact export, it’s time to hit the button and extract those results.

    As your export processes, you will notice your LinkedIn moving through the relevant pages in the background as LIX does its work. Once it’s ready, you will see a new button appear:

    Your results are ready to be downloaded! Hit the button and download your exported LinkedIn contacts in your chosen format.

    If you opted to use a project, you can head back over to lix-it.com and head to your log in area. Here you will see the ‘Projects’ tab with your list ready to be exported and sent to your email address.

    We have also put this step by step guide into a handy video if you prefer to learn audio-visually!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDUK8XzRI74

    If you’ve followed along with the steps so far, you have exported your LinkedIn contacts into a spreadsheet and are ready to get to work. Whatever your desired outcome is for the data, you should have everything in place to make that happen.

    If you’ve used LinkedIn’s free method, you will only have a list of your connections and not the added data we provide with the LIX tool. Extracting with LIX allows you to gain richer data and build a more complete picture of your contacts. Instead of simply working from their names and current positions, you have an email address, work history, education, number of followers, skills… Data you might need to build a sales campaign or locate your next hire.

    Export LinkedIn Contacts (Free Method)

    If you’re still not sold on the benefits of using LIX, or you don’t have the budget and basic data will do, LinkedIn provide a great step by step guide, here.

    In a nutshell, this is how it’s done:

    • Hit the button labelled ‘Me’ on the upper menu of the LinkedIn homepage
    • Click on ‘Settings & Privacy’ from the menu that unfolds
    • There is a tab labelled ‘Privacy’, open that tab
    • Inside the area marked ‘How LinkedIn uses your data’, click on the button that says ‘Change’
    • This will lead you to a ‘download your data’ page, here you must select ‘Connections’
    • Check the primary email address attached to your LinkedIn, a list of your connections will be sent there

    Additional LinkedIn Data Extraction

    Generate Emails

    This powerful feature is one our most popular, and it’s easy to see why! If the individual you’re exporting has their email address listed publicly on LinkedIn, we will export that for you as the simplest option. If, however, they have no email address listed (commonly this is case) our email generator will use a clever automated system to find it for you.

    This process involves scanning the web for possible email addresses, permutations and email addresses for others within that person’s organisation. When you export is complete, the data you receive will include that person’s most likely email address and a selection of other possibilities where possible. This means we can transform LinkedIn into a huge sales, marketing, events and networking outreach platform in just a few clicks!

    Profile Enrichment

    Exporting all the data from a LinkedIn profile without slow, manual copying was not possible until the LIX Deep Profile feature was launched. The Profile Enrichment tool will trawl through every profile in an exported people search, and extract their:

    • Name
    • Description
    • Location
    • Industry
    • Profile Link
    • Headline
    • Personal Website
    • Shared Connections
    • Education
    • Experience

    This is especially useful for recruiters looking to extract full CVs from a profile, but it’s also incredibly potent data for a marketer or salesperson. This deep dive into their profile gives you insight into their work background, education and possible shared connections. Data that can be used to build more complete targeted outreach campaigns, or indeed wider sales campaigns at an organisational level.

    https://youtu.be/xlo02MON9qk

    Profile Viewer

    LIX’s profile viewer is primarily for use when LIX’ing search results, rather than current contacts. If you’re a regular LinkedIn user, you’ll know that when someone views your profile LinkedIn lets you know.

    Using profile viewer, you can automate up to 1,000 profile views a day. Meaning 1,000 individuals you’ve chosen through LinkedIn’s filtered search will get that notification every single day.

    If you’re using LIX for data extraction, don’t use up your daily threshold with profile views! However on those days in which you have no searches or contacts to export, it’s a great tool to boost your outreach, even in a small way.

    A percentage of those who see you’ve viewed their profile will view yours in return (curiosity is a powerful thing!) – you can then offer to connect with them, having warmed up your introduction ever so slightly with mutual profile views.

    Export LinkedIn Search Results

    This article explored in-depth how to use LIX’s features to export LinkedIn contacts with the richest data possible. However, you can use these tools outside of your current network in conjunction with a LinkedIn search.

    Simply perform your search, filter your results, hit the LIX extension and select your options – just as we did with your connections.

    This opens up the entire LinkedIn database for extraction…. 722 million members, at your fingertips.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLHx5yBdKes

While you’re here, why not read our guide to LinkedIn Influencer Marketing?


The Pinpoint Technique: Hack Your LinkedIn Ads for Crazy ROI

Reading Time: 6 minutes

LinkedIn ads are expensive – and they deserve to be. Anyone who is anyone in business has a LinkedIn account. If you want to reach them while they’re in ‘work mode’, advertising on LinkedIn is a no-brainer. So what if there was a way to hack your ad targeting and drastically increase your ROI? The Pinpoint Technique does just that. If you’re running LinkedIn ads, jump on this method now while it’s still hot!

What if there was a way to hack your LinkedIn ads and drastically increase your ROI?

The real value of LinkedIn is in its data. Among the 800m users (and counting!) are an estimated 30 million decision makers. All of whom are neatly listed with their name, title, company and a wealth of other data points to dig into. Using the powerful LinkedIn search you can find the exact person, or group of people, you want to communicate with.

The problem is, that level of data detail hasn’t been available for use in LinkedIn ads. As you will know, LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager comes with certain restrictions. You need to create a large enough audience size to show your ads to before they will go live. The targeting options, while much improved, can still be a little loose. Many of us have found ourselves ticking boxes and selecting options that don’t exactly match our target personas, in order to reach our audience size goals.

Are you a cosmetics company looking to reach C-Suite individuals in the beauty sector? Well, you’ll be selecting a box marked ‘retail’ and showing that (very expensive) advertisement to thousands of completely irrelevant users.

That’s a big problem when we’re being prompted to bid up to $75 per click for certain keywords and audiences. No matter how big your marketing budget is, surely none of us are comfortable with burning cash like that. At least not unless we’re completely sure that the right people are clicking.

There’s been no way to harness the power of LinkedIn’s data for ads… until now

This is where things get really interesting. Finally, we can harness the power of LinkedIn’s search function, combined with the treasure trove of business data, to supercharge our LinkedIn ads.

The Pinpoint Technique enables you to search LinkedIn for your ideal personas, sort and filter the results to find the exact people you are looking for and then advertise to those people only! Combine that with some clever algorithm-gaming strategies and you’ve got the key to ultra high-performing LinkedIn ads.

Before we get into the process, really think about this for a second. Using this technique, you can personally choose the individuals that see your ads before they go live. That means not a single penny of your ad spend is wasted. Even if they don’t convert immediately, you have placed your brand in front of relevant industry professionals, rather than unrelated individuals who happen to fit into LinkedIn’s tickbox.

If you’re ready to hack your LinkedIn ads, let’s begin…

The Pinpoint Technique

The aim of the Pinpoint Technique is to build a list of hand-picked individuals that exactly match your desired personas. Then, you upload that list to your LinkedIn Campaign Manager. This can be done in two ways, one that you pay for (faster and more efficient) and one that is free (possible, but slower). You will likely recoup the costs of the paid method in your first campaign. If you’re a small business and those costs are prohibitive, take your time and use the free option.

Step 1. LinkedIn search

Search the desired personas for your campaign. There are a ton of powerful filters built into the LinkedIn search that can really help you get granular here. If you’re not au-fait with LinkedIn’s search, we wrote a whole guide on it here.

It helps at this point if you have LinkedIn Sales Navigator, as this will allow you to access more results from each search. Standard LinkedIn let’s you view the first 1,000 search results, Sales Navigator shows you the first 2,500. As we’re aiming to build a list of 10,000 individuals, Sales Navigator is a real shortcut.

Step 2. Export the results

Once you’ve found your ideal ad-viewers, it’s time to export. For this step, you will need to use a LinkedIn search export tool, like Lix. Again, there is a free option and a paid option here, depending on your budget and how quickly you want to move. Lix’s free starter plan allows you to export 1,000 search results every month. It would take a while to build your complete list, but it’s possible.

Lix’s Data Miner package costs $100 for a month, but will allow you unlimited search exports (up to 10,000 results per day!). You will almost certainly make that back in your first campaign. If you are already running LinkedIn ads, I would definitely advise that you carve that $100 out of your budget so you can hit the ground running.

One of the added benefits of using Lix for this, is Lix’s ‘lists’ feature. Instead of exporting each search into an individual CSV file, then combining and deduplicating them yourself (snore!), Lix can do this for you automatically in the cloud. You can export your searches from LinkedIn into a ‘project’, Lix will then deduplicate multiple searches for you – leaving you with one, pre-cleaned list of data ready for export.

Step 3. Contact targeting template

To upload your results ready for use in your ads, you’ll need to copy the data over into one of LinkedIn’s Contact Targeting templates:

Contact Targeting Template.

This is just a simple copy & paste job!

If for some reason you’re not using Lix lists, you can perform multiple exports and then copy the data into the template until you’ve reached the 10k goal. When that’s done, you’re almost ready to start those ads…

Step 4. Upload your list

Once you’re happy with your audience, head over to the LinkedIn Campaign Manager and select ‘Matched Audiences’ under the ‘Account Assets’ tab. Click ‘Create Audience’ and select ‘Upload Company/Contact List’.

Once you’ve uploaded your CSV you’ll need to wait up to 48 hours for LinkedIn to build your audience. Sometimes the Campaign Manager can’t match the names in your CSV to a profile, and not all of the people on your list make it through. If that’s the case, don’t panic, simply top-up your list by repeating steps 1-3.

When the green light appears next to your audience, it’s go time. You’re ready to send your LinkedIn ads out to your hand-picked list.

Bonus Content: LinkedIn Ads Tips and Tricks

The Pinpoint Technique is not the only way to improve the ROI of your LinkedIn advertising. Combine the method above with some of the following tips to supercharge your ads.

Video First

In our experience, image ads perform poorly both in click-through-rates (CTR) and conversions. Video ads consistently attract more attention, and allow you to convey more information about your offering. We recommend including text or subtitles wherever possible, particularly if your video contains sound.

This doesn’t mean you need to go out and pay for an animated explainer video, or have a crew go out and film testimonials (but if you’ve got that content, use it!). You can build a simple slideshow video, or use a stock template, in something like Canva, Lumen5 or Animoto.

Game the algorithm

The more engagement your ad gets, the less each click costs. If you’ve ever run Facebook ads before, you’ll know this as the ‘relevancy score’. If your ad gets lots of likes and comments, it is seen as being relevant to the audience and therefore less costly to run.

You can use an app like Podawaa to join LinkedIn engagement pods. Pods allow LinkedIn users to auto-engage with each other’s content. When your ad is live, simply instruct your pod to engage with it and watch your ROI increase.

Bidding

We almost always recommend bidding for clicks. You can mostly assume that if someone clicks on your CTA, they have some form of interest in your product. We can also build cohorts consisting of those who have interacted with previous campaigns for retargeting, allowing us to hone in on prospective clients.

Ignore LinkedIn’s ‘maximum delivery’ option and select manual bidding. LinkedIn’s recommended bid is always far higher than the minimum bid. If you allow the Campaign Manager to bid for you, you can be assured that it will almost always bid the maximum. LinkedIn is a business too, remember!

You can adjust your bid based on the data you get from the campaign. If you’re not getting the clicks you want, up it a little. Do this gradually to find the sweet spot. It takes a little more effort but it will make a huge difference to your ROI over time.

Retargeting

This tip is short and sweet. If you’re sending users to a landing page, make sure you have a retargeting pixel installed. This allows you to capture those that don’t convert. Maybe you didn’t catch them this time, but it doesn’t mean they’re not interested. If you can retarget them, it gives you a second bite of the apple.

Lead Gen Forms

If the capturing leads is your primary goal, then we recommend LinkedIn’s internal Lead Gen Form tool. We’ve found that the typical conversion rate with this tool is much higher than other types of LinkedIn ad. Users feel more comfortable when they don’t have to leave the page they’re on.

Unlike sending users to a landing page to capture their details, the lead gen form pre-populates their information based on their account details, allowing them to submit their interest almost instantly. They click the CTA. They click submit. They’re a lead.

If your team are comfortable prospecting via LinkedIn, you can optimise your form to include just the user’s LinkedIn Profile URL. This way, the lead is parting with as little information as possible, increasing the chance of conversion.

Plus, if you’re a Lix user, you can run a search for their profile and use our ‘Generate Email’ option to find and export their email address using our clever algorithm, allowing you to follow up via email.

Lead gen form do come with an option to acquire emails, pre-filled, but the email provided here is the email the user signed up to LinkedIn with, which is almost always a personal email. Most of the time businesses will want a business email address, therefore this feature can be fairly redundant.

There you have it, The Pinpoint Technique will supercharge your LinkedIn advertising and maximise your ROI. Combine it with our best practice tips and tricks and your campaigns will soon be the toast of the office.


LinkedIn Search: The Ultimate Guide

Reading Time: 10 minutes

 

The LinkedIn search function is a powerful tool – and it needs to be. With over 720 million users (and counting!) the ability to quickly filter, sort and categorise search results is a must. For example, searching the term ‘CEO’ will return 9,755,417 results. A few too many to sift through for a sales campaign, probably.

 

LinkedIn search is fairly intuitive, but there are a few tips and tricks that even the most seasoned user may have missed. This article is here to walk you through all the features of LinkedIn search, from the basic search right down to the individual features.

 

Jump to Section:

People

Jobs

Content

Companies, Schools, Groups & Events

 

LinkedIn Search: The Basics

 

If you’re just here to learn how to use the basic LinkedIn search, this section is for you. Even if you’re a power user looking to eke out every last drop of functionality from a LinkedIn search, this is where it all begins.

 

Regular users will be very familiar with the way it looks and works – it’s just like any other search function on any website: you type in your keyword(s) and hit enter. Job done.

 

This works well if you’re looking for someone already in your network, or a person with an unusual name. Anything beyond that, however, and you’ll begin to need to use filters!

 

 

Unless you fancy sifting through 162,322 John Smith’s to find the one you’re looking for?

 

LinkedIn Search: Categories

 

Proudly sat under the search bar are the following categories: People, Jobs, Content, Companies, Schools, Groups, Events. What these options do is fairly obvious, and if you’ve spent much time on LinkedIn you will have no doubt searched within a category before.

 

If you’re taking the time to search for someone, or something, on LinkedIn you will most likely know which category it falls into – whether it’s a person, a company, a job and so on. If however you’re just trying to get used to the search function, try them all!

 


(nb: Some people refer to these as ‘upper filters’ and the filtering within categories as ‘lower filters’ but that gets a bit confusing, so we’ve opted for the nomenclature ‘categories’)

 

This is really the first step in honing your search. If we return to our ‘John Smith’ example and select the ‘People’ category, we go from 162,322 search results to 162,000. Still plenty of work to do, then.

 

 

LinkedIn Search: People

 

Once you’ve input your search and selected a category, it’s time to start really sorting through the results. LinkedIn’s search filters are different dependent on the category you’ve chosen. Let’s go through the filters for each search type individually.

 

Looking for someone in particular? Or perhaps a group of individuals with a certain set of skills? Here’s where we can really start to dial in that people search.

 

Initially, LinkedIn offers you four tabs to choose from:

  • Connections
  • Current Companies
  • Locations
  • All Filters

 

Let’s run through the top three, before delving into the ‘All filters’ tab.

 

Connections

 

The connections tab allows you to choose from 1st, 2nd and 3rd+ from the dropdown menu. 1st degree connections are those already in your network. 2nd degree connections are people you have some link to (via a current connection): these are usually considered warmer leads for those of you looking to use LinkedIn for sales and LinkedIn networking purposes, as you have an ‘in’ with that person already. 3rd degree connections are another step away – they’re the 1st degree connections of your 2nd degree connections.

 

This filter is useful for searching out leads and finding friends of friends to make introductions for you, but there are other ways of using this tool. For example, if you wanted to find everyone in your connections list that went to a specific University, or those that have a certain skill, you can search that keyword and then filter by People > Connection.

 

If I was looking for people who are 1st degree connections with me, who have JavaScript skills, it would look something like this:

 

 

This is incredibly useful for recruiters looking for their next great candidate!

 

Current Companies

 

This option is fairly self-explanatory, it filters search results by current company / place of employment. This simple option does have a number of use cases, however. It’s a great tool for HR people looking to sort their flock from the general LinkedIn for instance.  It’s also popular with headhunters looking to poach talented individuals from a particular company.

 

Locations

 

LinkedIn is a global platform, operating in 200 countries worldwide. So, whatever your desired end result for this search, knowing an individual’s location is always important. Whether you want to sell them a product or service, recruit them for a role or invite them to an event; where they are plays a part.

 

Let’s return back to our search for one John Smith: we whittled down 162,322 search results to 162,000 by selecting ‘People’; let’s filter again by ‘United Kingdom’ as the location and see what we’re left with:

 

 

We’re down to just 30k John Smiths now! The right John Smith is getting ever closer…

 

All Filters

 

The ‘All Filters’ tab opens up into a smorgasbord of options. This is where you can really tighten up your search. Opening up the ‘All Filters’ tab should look like this:

 

 

The first few options are more in-depth versions of the filters we’ve just looked at. The most interesting of these initial options is ‘Connections of’. Using this, we can filter results by a specific connection, allowing us to build our search around a specific connection – particularly useful for leveraging existing relationships to build new ones. Location and Current Company come with a few helpful suggestions, plus we can also search by Past Companies.

 

The following filters are where we really see the additional functionality of the ‘All Filters’ tab:

 

 

Narrowing by industry, profile language, schools (which is a catch-all term for schools and colleges) and even interests and services gives us plenty of scope to find the individual we’re looking for.

 

Let’s go back to our John Smith search and see if we can use the filters to hone-in on our target. I’m looking for a John Smith who working in accounting, speaks English, and attended the London Business School.

 

 

Using LinkedIn search filters, we have narrowed down 162,322 search results to just four. We’ve gone from enough John Smith’s to fill Twickenham twice over, to just enough John Smiths to squeeze into a small car.

 

Of course, you can use this search in whatever way you like. In reality, you probably won’t be searching for the one true John Smith; it’s more likely that you will search by a particular skill, or job title etc. Hopefully with your newfound knowledge of the LinkedIn people search process, you can go forth and find whoever it is you’re looking for in no time at all.

 

LinkedIn Search: Jobs

 

The next big search category for LinkedIn is Jobs. There are three main reasons that we’ve come across for LinkedIn Job Searches. The first is the most obvious – people looking for jobs! From there we also know that recruiters use this function in order to find posted jobs and offer their own candidates. Also, we know the investors use this function to see which companies are hiring (and therefore, growing) when sizing up where to place their money.

 

For the sake of our examples, we’ll keep it simple and perform searches as if we’re on LinkedIn looking for work. Let’s bring back JavaScript as our example skill and see how many jobs match the keyword “JavaScript”:

 

 


Unlike the People search, Jobs will automatically fill in your location. In fact, you cannot leave this field blank. According to my search, there are currently 18,998 live job postings looking for JavaScript as a skill within the UK (it’s a great time to be a developer!).

 

As you can see in the screenshot above, we have a different selection of filters at hand for our search.

 

Date Posted

 

An important filter if you want to find those roles that are either fresh off the rack, or perhaps those that have lingered for a while without finding the right person. For our search, we can see that ‘date posted’ can have a huge effect on the numbers:

 

  • Past 24 hours (980)
  • Past Week (5,154)
  • Past Month (14,902)
  • Any Time (18,998)

 

Selecting ‘Past 24 hours’ filters out almost 95% of the returned results. If you want to be among the first CVs in their inbox, make sure you use this filter.

 

Experience Level

 

Knowing at what level a company is recruiting is obviously crucial for them job seeker; you don’t want to sift through internships if you’re senior level. However, this is another filter that can be used by our other potential ‘Jobs’ searchers – the recruiter and the investor. Is a startup is looking for their first CFO? They must have more money flowing through the doors that they need to keep track of…

 

For our example search, experience level breaks down the results like this:

 

  • Internship (1,208)
  • Entry level (9,832)
  • Associate (4,229)
  • Mid-Senior level (2,644)
  • Director (142)
  • Executive (53)

 

Company

 

Have a place of work in mind? Filter your search by company with this tab and immediately cut your search results down to size. This is a filter that I would wager is predominately used by our other ‘Jobs’ searchers, however!

 

Job Type

 

Full time? Part time? Contract? Select the type you want here.

 

Remote

 

In the Covid-19 era, this is a filter that is probably getting a lot more action! Filter our jobs that allow you to work remotely and never go into an office again.

 

LinkedIn Features

 

This is where the filters start to get interesting. LinkedIn have some pretty snazzy built-in features for jobs hosted on their platform. These include: Easy Apply, Under 10 Applicants and In Your Network. Easy Apply makes applying… easy (you wouldn’t have guessed, I’m sure!). In short, it uses your LinkedIn profile as a CV and allows you to one-click apply for a role without ever leaving your search. Under 10 Applicants is for you early birds who want to catch those worms; put yourself front and centre for new roles. In Your Network allows you to apply for roles where you have an ‘in’, someone in your network works there and can help make the introductions. Hey, it’s not what you know but who you know, sometimes… Which is another good reason to put time into LinkedIn networking!

 

All Filters

 

When searching in Jobs, the all filters tab opens up some new options. As with People searches, the first few options are simply more in-depth versions of the filters we just covered. Let’s skip to the bottom of the window and run through the extra parameters within. It should look something like this:

 

 

These final four options are super important if you’re looking for your dream job on LinkedIn.

 

Industry

 

You’re a JavaScript developer looking for work. Maybe you don’t have a specific company in mind, but you may have industries that you do (or don’t) want to work in. Sometimes these options can be a little loose, for example in the screenshot above one of the options is ‘Internet’. If you told a recruiter “I’m a developer and I want work in INTERNET” they would probably smile uncomfortably and shuffle you out the door.

 

Job Function

 

If your skillset can be applied to different functions, select the one(s) you most want to work in here.

 

Title

 

As above – select which option best suits your search.

 

Salary

 

For many, this is one of the most important factors when looking for a role. Salaries here operate in brackets, filtering the search results to suit your requirements.

 

Whether you’re a job seeker, recruiter or investor you can use the LinkedIn search filters to find exactly what you’re looking for. Get out there and find that perfect job!

Content

 

Content posted direct to LinkedIn picks up around 9 billion weekly impressions. There are over 3 million regular (weekly) contributors. Content on LinkedIn is a huge deal and its importance is growing every single day. Thankfully with all that content to sort through, LinkedIn has provided us with a vast array of filters.

 

We’re going to continue with the JavaScript search term. Let’s see how many articles pop up:

 

 

Unlike our previous search categories, LinkedIn doesn’t give us a total number. It does, however, give us some filters to play around with here.

 

Posted By

 

Currently there are only two options here: posted by ‘Me’ or ‘1st Connections’. You can find your own articles more easily by accessing the ‘activity’ section of your profile and clicking on ‘articles’. The ability to filter by 1st degree connections may be useful, but don’t be surprised if this is expanded up in future LinkedIn updates.

 

Date Posted

 

Here we have three options: Past 24 hours, Past Week, Past Month. Again, we have no idea of the total number of articles posted that match our search term within those timeframes. This function is probably best used in conjunction with the other filters.

 

Author Industries & Companies

 

This is a sandwiching together of the final two options, but both serve similar functions. This is also where this group of filters becomes interesting and we start to see some possible use-cases. Using this function in conjunction with our guide to LinkedIn Influencer Marketing we can really see some value in content filtering. It’s possible to search for content-types, within certain industries and then filter by recency. This would allow a savvy marketer to find outspoken influencers within their required fields. If LinkedIn added extra functionality to the ‘Posted By’ filter this could really become a powerful tool.

 

Companies, Schools, Groups & Events

 

These categories have been grouped together because (currently) they have no additional filters. In the future, this could change. There is a case to be made that filters for all the above categories could be useful. For example, if you could search companies by size (employee count) or filter events by the number of attendees, these would be useful filters. Currently however, it’s just the basic keyword search. This means that you either need to know exactly which company, school, group or event you are looking for – or you can input a blank search and have LinkedIn show you all of them.


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LinkedIn Helper Tools

LinkedIn Helper Tools: How to Growth Hack LinkedIn

Reading Time: 8 minutes

 

LinkedIn helpers are tools designed to help you eke the most out of LinkedIn. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes: some are lead and data focused (like us!), some focus on automation and outreach, others offer tools for content and engagement.

 

This guide walks you through the best LinkedIn helper tools on the market, so that you can make the choice that’s right for you, your business and the task at hand.

 

LinkedIn Helper Tools: Categories

 

My first piece of advice to you when looking for a LinkedIn helper tool – work backwards. Decide what features and tools you need most and let that guide your decision. Choosing a tool that looks good but doesn’t perform your key tasks well is going to lead to frustration and wasted time. It may also transpire that one tool doesn’t do everything you need, and a combination of tools is best.

 

To make your search a little easier, I’ve broken down the types of tool available into three overarching categories. If you know which type of tool you want, feel free to click the one that suits and jump to that section! 

 

Automation: Messages & Connections

 

Content: Scheduling & Engagement Boosters

 

Data: Finding Emails & Exporting LinkedIn Data

 

Bespoke Solutions: Purpose-built Tools

 

Automation

 

With so many millions of users and thousands of possible opportunities to be found on LinkedIn, reaching out to them manually would take an age. Thankfully, there are some powerful and reliable LinkedIn helper automation tools out there for you use.

 

Generally, people use LinkedIn automation for three things: automating connections requests, sending messages (including automatic follow ups) and viewing profiles.

 

Automating Connection Requests

 

Apart from the obvious benefit of growing your network, personalised connection requests can also be useful for LinkedIn outreach. The current version of LinkedIn moves the connection request message (the little ‘hello’ that you get with each request) directly into your main inbox.

 

A good automation tool for this purpose will allow you to personalise the connection messages you send with each request, thus turning your LinkedIn into an automated outreach machine! At the time of writing, it is possible to send up to 150 connection requests a day*. That’s a lot of automated outreach.

*Update: As of June 2021, this number is far lower. LinkedIn have introduced new connection limits, tied to acceptance %. If you’re looking to hit 150 connections a day, you will need to ensure at least 50% of those connections are accepted. No small order. We now recommend working in smaller, more targeted batches.

 

Automated Messaging

 

I can feel the confusion through the screen “didn’t we just talk about automated messaging?”. Yes… and no! A good automated LinkedIn messaging platform will go beyond simply connection request messages and into the realms of message flows, automated replies and often much more.

 

This allows you to build funnels and message flows that initiate, build and nurture relationships at the click of a button. You could start with a connection request to break the ice, send an automated follow up with a call to action and then personally reply to the responses. All within a fraction of the time needed to do the whole process manually.

 

Profile Viewing

 

When you view somebody’s profile, as long as they are not set to ‘private’, they will receive a notification to let them know you stopped by. It’s almost like a little digital tap on the shoulder. It’s not as effective as sending connection requests, but it will bring in some attention to your profile. Given that you can view up to 1,000 individual profiles a day, that’s a lot of shoulders to tap!

 

The latter, automatic profile viewing, is something we offer at LIX, but it’s not our main focus. If you’re looking for powerful LinkedIn automation as your number 1 priority, we advise that you check out one of the following companies.

 

Octopus CRM

 

Octopus position themselves as the ‘All-In-One LinkedIn Automation Software’ and to be quite honest, it’s hard to argue with that. Their tool allows you to:

 

  • Send automated (personalised) connection requests to 2nd and 3rd level connections on LinkedIn
  • Message hundreds of your 1st level connections in bulk
  • Automatically endorse up to 7 skills on profiles of your LinkedIn contacts
  • Visit hundreds of profiles automatically

 

That’s all the tools we’ve listed, plus the extra skill endorsement tool, which is another neat way to engage with your connections.

One of the great things about Octopus is that they are extremely cost effective. Even the top-level tier comes in at a very reasonable $24.99 per month. If you’re looking for the standard suite of LinkedIn automation tools at a price that won’t hurt your pockets, definitely check them out.

 

LinkedIn Helper Octopus CRM
Octopus CRM

 

MeetAlfred

 

Alfred claims to be the world’s easiest and most advanced LinkedIn and Twitter automation program, offering:

 

  • Automated Messaging Campaign Manager
  • In-Depth Analytics & Dashboard
  • Advanced Linkedin CRM
  • Email Campaign Sequences
  • Team Management
  • LinkedIn Post Scheduling (coming soon)

 

As you will have ascertained, Alfred is not just for LinkedIn but Twitter too. If you’re using both platforms this could be a great tool for you and your business.

 

With extra functionality however comes extra cost. MeetAlfred’s top tier for those operating the system themselves is $99 a month – reasonable given the amount of functionality and the fact it covers both platforms. There is also a higher tier of $199 a month in which the people over at MeetAlfred do it all for you.

 

Content

 

LinkedIn’s native content has been a big deal in the world of b2b for some time, with plenty of room for growth left. There are over 3 million regular (weekly) contributors and content posted direct to LinkedIn picks up around 9 billion weekly impressions. That’s a lot of content.

 

There are two main categories of LinkedIn helper tools related to content: schedulers and boosters.

 

Content Schedulers

 

It’s not enough to simply post a piece of content to LinkedIn, or in fact anywhere on social media. If you really want to game the algorithm and get those big engagement numbers, you need to think about timing. Posting an article targeted at CEOs that goes out at 9am on a Monday will probably get less than engagement than the same article posted at 8am, or 6pm. Why? Because those are the times that your target audience is using LinkedIn.

 

Also, think about time zones. Perhaps you can time your post for after working hours in Europe whilst hitting lunch time in the US? Staying on top of all those different post times could be stressful and you don’t want to miss your mark. That’s where content schedulers come into play.

 

Engagement Boosters

 

Engagement boosting tools are relatively new, but a very exciting prospect. As with all social media, LinkedIn is based off an engagement algorithm. The more engagement a post gets, the more people it’s then shown to. If you get lots of engagement early on, there’s a chance your post could go viral.

 

Most engagement boosting tools work via shared engagement. Essentially, you pool your account with others. They can use your account (along with everyone else in the pod) to boost their content and visa versa. That means real accounts, not clickfarms.

 

Buffer

 

This is a tried and tested tool that has been around for some time. As with most schedulers, it can also prepare and post content for other socials platforms. However, unlike others, the scheduling function is their sole purpose rather than afterthought (Hootsuite etc.). That means you get a great product without breaking the bank. As well as simple scheduling, Buffer offers:

 

  • Post Analytics
  • IG Stories Planner
  • Hashtag Planner
  • Instagram tagging
  • Custom Reports

 

The top tier for Buffer comes in at $99 for 25 social channels and up to 2,000 scheduled posts. That’s probably overkill for all but marketing agencies. Eight channels and 100 posts is just $15 and probably enough if you’re just posting to LinkedIn.

 

LinkedIn Helper Buffer
Buffer

 

Podawaa

 

Of all the engagement boosters I have tried, Podawaa is by far the best. Their service is relatively new, beginning in early 2020 but in that time they have grown massively.

 

The Podawaa tool offers:

 

  • Boosted Reactions
  • Personalised Replies
  • Multiple Languages
  • Post Scheduling

 

If you’re looking just post scheduling, I would opt for Buffer as the Podawaa post scheduler is not quite as powerful and well-equipped, but if you want a blend of both content and engagement then nothing is better.

 

Their top tier is $24.99 a month which includes unlimited posts and 2,000 engagement credits a month (cumulative).

 

Leads & Data

 

LinkedIn is a treasure trove of b2b data. In a world where ‘data is the new oil’, LinkedIn is an oil field just waiting to be drilled. At the time of writing we are close to 1 billion LinkedIn users and, due to the pandemic, the daily average usage is at an all-time high.

 

People are networking, chatting, recruiting, selling and pitching on LinkedIn like never before. The business opportunities available at your fingertips are bountiful. This is where you need to find a dedicated, LinkedIn-focused data exporter and email-finder.

Thus far we have recommended other LinkedIn helper tools where the LIX helper isn’t as strong, but when it comes to lead gen and data exporting, we have to recommend ourselves!

 

Let’s break down how LIX can help with both sides of the LinkedIn export coin…

 

Data

 

No other tool can export more LinkedIn data than LIX. As a LinkedIn-focused data export tool we are unmatched in the field. Paired with the powerful LinkedIn search function (you can find a full guide on that, here) LIX can export search results from People, Companies and Jobs searches. Plus, full LinkedIn profiles using the Deep Profile feature.

 

At time of writing, LIX exports:

 

People Search

 

  • Full Name
  • Description
  • Organization
  • Past and present jobs
  • Industry
  • Location
  • Email

 

Company Search

 

  • Business Name
  • Headquarters
  • Type of Company (Public, Private, Limited, Not for Profit etc.)
  • Year founded / Age of company
  • Stock ticker
  • Number of employees on LinkedIn
  • Industry
  • Number of Followers
  • Locations of offices

 

Job Search

 

  • Job title
  • Location
  • Company
  • Job Type (Full Time/Part Time/Contract)
  • Time Since Posted
  • Easy Apply Status

 

Deep Profile

 

  • Name
  • Description
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Profile Link
  • Headline
  • Personal Website
  • Shared Connections
  • Education
  • Experience

 

Plus, here at LIX we are constantly developing and releasing brand new tools to help export, organise and utilise this data. If you need data exported from LinkedIn, you need LIX!

 

Leads

 

The data LIX can export is part of the lead gen journey: understanding your customer, learning about the size of their business, tapping into shared connections and education can all help with making the sale. With all that in place however, how do we turn this data into a lead? That’s where LIX’s email-finding algorithm comes into play.

 

Where a particular lead doesn’t have their email address listed on their LinkedIn profile, our intelligent machine-learning algorithm will find possible email addresses for the contact based on a variety of data inputs and previous industry knowledge.

 

That allows us to provide verified email addresses for around 80% of your export. With the ability to export up to 10,000 search results a day (and stay within LinkedIn’s fair usage limits) that means you could be exporting a cool 8,000 email addresses every single day.

 

Combine their email with the wealth of data you’ve already extracted, and you have yourself a very exciting, well-researched lead.

 


Try Lix & get 50 free leads!

Supercharge your pipeline with monthly, free, targeted leads. Click here to get started.

 

Bespoke Solutions

 

If you’re looking for a particular LinkedIn helper tool that you can’t find on this list, or you want data, lead information or anything else from LinkedIn that isn’t currently listed, you can either commission a bespoke solution.

 

Don’t have the budget for bespoke? Suggest a feature for the LIX roadmap.

 

LIX have built bespoke solutions for some of the planet’s largest companies, including investment banks and world-leading Universities.

 

If you’ve got a project in mind that you’d like us to discuss with you, contact us at any time. We’d love to talk it through with you.

 

There you have it. Every possible LinkedIn helper feature and tool you could ever need to get the most out of LinkedIn. Whether you’re looking to automate, extract leads and data or just give your content the push it needs to reach a wider audience: the solution lies above! Now, get out there and conquer the mountain that is LinkedIn in 2021.


How to use LinkedIn

How to use LinkedIn: The Complete Walkthrough

Reading Time: 24 minutes

Welcome to How to use LinkedIn – a complete walkthrough to help you master the professional social platform. This guide is split into four sections, one for each of the four pillars of LinkedIn mastery: profile building, networking & connections, content and company pages. Each section is accompanied by a video. Feel free to skip to the section you need help with most or read (and watch!) all the way through for the complete guide on how to use LinkedIn.

 

Profile Building

Networking & Connections

Content

Company Pages

 

Profile

 

A strong profile is the very foundation of LinkedIn. Whether you’re using LinkedIn to look for a job, for networking or seeking potential clients you need to make sure that your profile is polished. A polished profile requires a quality avatar image, use of cover image space, tailored headlines, powerful descriptions and a focus on keywords.

 

In order to walk you through each section of the profile, we’re going to use my personal LinkedIn as an example (you can also watch this section’s *video* and follow along there).

 

When you sign into LinkedIn, you’re going to see something like this:

 

 

This is the LinkedIn feed. It’s where you see your connections (and sometimes the connections of your connections!) and their content: the information that they’ve posted, articles, video etc. This is where your content is going to show up when you post it. If you’re already au fait with LinkedIn, then you’ll know all about this. If you’re new to LinkedIn, take some time to get familiar to this view. The feed setup is very similar to other web-based social platforms such as Facebook, so it shouldn’t take too long to get used to.

 

Let’s jump right into my profile, which looks like this:

 

 

I’m going to take you each of the individual sections and explain how and why I’ve structured mine in the way that I have.

 

Profile Image

 

First and foremost, make sure that your photograph is professional. Not professional in the sense that a pro photographer took the snap (although that would be nice) but professional in the sense that you are projecting an image of yourself in a professional setting. No photos of you drinking, or smoking, or on the beach, or a party… This may seem obvious, but I see profile images like this fairly regularly and it is not a good look. You might think it makes you look cool and ‘out there’, but this is a professional networking platform, not a frat party.

 

My tip for presenting yourself professionally is to wear the clothes that you would normally wear to a networking event within your industry. If you’re in an industry that would wear black tie, or at least a tie and jacket, to a networking event then make sure you’re wearing something like that in your avatar. Remember, that’s what we’re using LinkedIn for. We are here to network in one way or another: finding a job, growing your network, looking for clients etc.

 

The avatar I use is a little more casual, because I work in startups and tech. I can have an open shirt with t shirt underneath, and that’s absolutely fine. Make a judgement call here. If you’re in doubt, opt for the smarter choice.

 

Cover Image

 

The cover image is something that a lot of people neglect, which is a real waste of valuable digital real estate! It doesn’t have to be an all-singing, all-dancing advertisement I’ve seen some that pack in way too much text) and you don’t need to sell something here, but don’t waste the space.

 

I’ve used something light-hearted and design focused for my cover image:

 

 


While it looks great, I can probably do a little bit better by making use of that space and saying something about the company that I work for, a launch we have coming up or perhaps some content we have to give away. If you’re looking for a job, you could always include something about your skills or your search here. If you feel like you have nothing to say in the cover image, don’t fret, include your company logo or a photo from a business event. Something is always better than nothing.

 

Here are some great examples of LinkedIn covers to give you some inspiration: https://bit.ly/LinkedIn-Cover-Examples

 

Another important point to consider is the recommended sizes for both the profile and the cover image; pixelated images simply will not do.

 

You can find a full guide to the sizes on Canva: https://www.canva.com/sizes/linkedin/

 

Canva is also a great tool for creating graphics easily. Follow the link, pick a size and start creating. clean and keep it looking good.

 

Summary & About

 

The summary section sits just below your images and includes your current job title, highest level of education, company and number of connections. This information is automatically populated from the details you enter in the relevant sections of your profile.

 

Here is my ‘About’ section:

 

 

You may have noticed a recurring theme with my about section and cover image – I’ve opted for style over substance! I’ve kept it lighthearted, but you can of course be much more serious than I have.

 

I’ve chosen three very simple, but I think fairly useful, points:

 

Firstly, an achievement: ‘Top 100 Growth Hackers’. I was voted as such in a study by Goodman Lantern. That’s an achievement, it sets me apart from my peers.

 

Secondly, expertise: ‘Automation expert’. Tthat’s a little bit more about me as a marketer, my skillset and background.

 

Lastly, on-brand humour: ‘Fantastic hair’. It’s funny and lighthearted, very on-brand for me, and I do have fantastic hair.

 

I have seen plenty of variations for the About section, from one-liners to rambling essays. Personally, I would shy away from writing too much here. A big block of text is going to put off any potential readers. Let your profile cover the details of your work history!

 

Featured

 

This is your chance to add media to give a little extra flavor to your profile.

 

Here’s my Featured section:

 

 

I’ve included an article written about me, talking about my skills and some of my achievements. This is really good: it shows that I have press coverage and that people are interested in what I do. If you have anything similar that celebrates your skills and achievement, be sure to include it!

 

The next along is my Goodman Lantern ‘Top 100 Growth Hackers’ nomination. The broken image on the link is a great example of why it’s important to regularly check your profile for changes. A broken image doesn’t fit with the rest of my profile, so I need to either replace it with something else or I need to speak to Goodman Lantern and get them to fix their metadata. Either way, I can’t leave a broken link on my profile!

 

There are other things you can do with this media space, in fact the possibilities are limitless. You can make a video CV where you talk about yourself, you can give a presentation on a project you’ve worked on, or something you’re interested in. This link space is an opportunity really show off who you are and what you’ve achieved.

 

Activity

 

The activity section is fairly important, although many people forget that it’s there. Let me explain why it’s worth bearing in mind…

 

 

Any engagements you make on the LinkedIn platform will show up here. Articles, shares, comments… everything! For content shares, that’s no problem – it’s great to have a second chance for people to find your content on your profile. Comments however can sometimes be an issue.

 

In the last few years, LinkedIn has become slightly more like Facebook in the sense that people will share personal and political things on the platform. That didn’t used to happen so much on LinkedIn, but it happens a lot now. Always remember, before you comment on something potentially controversial, those comments are going to show up on the activity card on your profile. You don’t want to have an argument with someone about their stance on Trump, for example, and then someone potentially offering you a job or a contract comes onto your platform, sees that you are saying things that they would find potentially unsavory and withdraws the offer. Trust me, it happens!

 


Experience

 

The most important portion of your LinkedIn profile. Here’s where you’re going to add your job titles, descriptions, the time that you worked there and any supporting media.

 

 

If you want to be found in the LinkedIn search, keep your job titles keyword friendly. Some people decide to call themselves ‘lead-gen startup guru ninja’ and while that may feel exciting, people aren’t searching for those terms. If you don’t use keyword-focused titles, you will appear in less searches, have less connections and less opportunities offered to you. If you’re not worried about those things and your primary concern is being cool and wacky, then go for it.

 

My most recent experience shows that my position is the Marketing Director for Lix and how long I’ve been here. In the description I talk a little bit about what the company does, but I don’t talk much about what I do in the company. That’s a personal choice and you can change that depending on what you’re hoping to get from LinkedIn. I’m not looking to be recruited (I’m in Lix for the long haul!) but if you are looking for a new job, use that experience section to talk about things that you’ve achieved and your responsibilities.

 

You don’t need to write too much: four or five sentences is more than enough. Think about the length of a tweet, rather than an essay. Blocks off text will put people off and they’re just not going to bother reading it.

 

Make sure that you are honest and accurate in these dates. If you’re looking for work, ensure that the dates here match up with the dates on your CV. It’s very important, because if a recruiter checks both and you’re telling fibs, then that’s not going to look good for you overall!

 

Education

 

Time to show off those grades and extracurricular activities!

 

 

You can also include formal professional qualifications if you have any, in addition to the standard school and university stuff. If you completed an extra course, or you went to a night school, completed a MOOC or anything along those lines, you can include it there. This information will be pulled through to the top of your profile remember – the summary section shows your most recent role, current role and your highest level of education, so don’t forget to input that info.

 

Also, if you did anything extra while you were studying – extracurricular activities, societies, events – include it here. For example, I ran an event while I was at my university, founded a sports team and wrote for the student newspaper. Include this extra points, it all adds up.

 

Skills and Endorsements

 

Personally, I don’t think LinkedIn skills are particularly important anymore, but it can be quite a nice thing to trade endorsements with people that you’ve worked with or people you know. I don’t think that employers, or people that you network with, look at this often. Don’t get too het up about your skill scores.

 

Recommendations

 

Recommendations, however, are important. You can get recommendations from people that you’ve worked with, or worked for, or have worked for you. It’s a really good way of building up a picture of who you are as a person when you are working.

 

 

It’s all well and good saying, “hey, I did this job and I was great at it“, but if you can get your boss, or a colleague, or someone that worked for you to say, “actually, this person was great and it was a real pleasure to work with them and they’re a nice person, they’re great achieving goals or they’re good at this or that”, that is going to stand out and mean a lot more to someone viewing your profile than just you saying it yourself. It’s social proof, it’s like a testimonial or a review on an Amazon product. We all want to see that someone else has enjoyed this product, this product today being me, or you on your profile.

 

The great thing about recommendations is they’re really easy to get because you can give one and then ask for one in return. You can follow the ‘ask for recommendation’ button and pick someone on your connections list. Write one for them and then message them to to say, “hey, I’ve written a recommendation for you, please write one for me“.

 

Accomplishments

 

 

Accomplishments are just that – accomplishments! It’s another chance to strut your stuff. Speak more than once language? Include it here. You can also link to media, qualifications and any articles and videos you didn’t include further up the page. This section is much like the extracurricular activities that you would put on your CV.

 

This is also a chance to show that you’re really engaged with your industry. If you work in a highly competitive field, it can be really good here to show off the things that help you stand out from the crow. If, for example, lots of people are going to apply for the law firm you want to work for and you’ve been writing a blog, or you’ve contributed to a legal magazine – talk about it!

 

Interests

 

Similarly to skills, I don’t think people look at interests too much but you can try to ensure that your interests align your personal brand.

 

 

Whenever you follow a person, or company, it will be shown here.

 

URL & Public Profile

 

Your public profile is what people see when they come across your profile, but they’re not a LinkedIn member – usually from a Google search or similar. It’s similar to a private profile on Instagram or Facebook. LinkedIn gives you the options to choose what is visible here, so if privacy is a concern for you then be sure to check it out.

 

You may also edit your personal URL, making it easier to find you and giving you a cleaner link to post when you share your profile. For example, mine is linkedin.com/in/alfie-lambert – if you’ve got a popular name, go and claim your ideal URL before someone else does!

 

That’s all for the profile. If you’d like to follow along with the video, you can do that here:

 

 

 

 

Connections and Networking

 

This section of the guide explains the best way to find people, how to use the LinkedIn search, connecting with people, 1st 2nd and 3rd degree connections and then personalized connection messages.

 

Once your profile is complete, polished and ready for action it’s time to delve into connections and networking and there has never been a better time to network on LinkedIn. In fact, LinkedIn saw a 55% increase in conversations between connections in 2020. That’s largely because of the pandemic – we can’t go out and network in the ways that we used to. In 2021 if you want to connect in a professional setting, LinkedIn is the very best place to do that.

 

Let me hit you with some more stats: at the time of writing there are 720m users on LinkedIn and counting. It will probably hit a billion in 2021, if not 2022. If there’s someone in business that you need to talk to, or you want to get in front of, they’re probably already on LinkedIn.

 

Incoming Connection Requests

 

 

The first thing you will see when clicking on ‘my network’ on the top menu, are the people who have invited you to connect. You’ll notice that many of these connection requests, especially those from people you don’t know, will come with personalized messages (something we will cover a little further along in this blog).

 

The number of incoming requests you will receive should increase over time and with regular use. If you’re engaging with content, networking and so on it will attract people to your profile. Job title makes a difference here too. I’m listed as a Marketing Director, which means everybody wants to sell me products, or staff, or event tickets… As you can see, I have 32 pending invites and almost all of them are trying to pitch me something!

 

Some people preach caution when accepting connection requests. Perhaps if you’re a decision maker at a company and you really don’t like being pitched to, then yes be selective. My policy is the more the merrier; the bigger my network, the more people that see my content in the feed and potentially engage with it.

 

Suggested Events

 

Just below your incoming connection requests are some suggested (currently online) events.

 

 

These events offer two benefits. The knowledge shared at the event itself, but also the opportunity to network. Attending events with people in your industry or with common interests can be a great chance to meet and connect with like-minded individuals.

 

This is true for all events, not just those suggested to you! Seek out events using the LinkedIn search function – search for your chosen topic, click the ‘events’ tab and get scrolling.

 

 

If you really want to maximise the event-based networking effect, host your own event! LinkedIn has a great onboarding guide to help you get started.

 

People you may know

 

Again, this is a really easy way to find people to connect with, people who might be working in the same industry as you. The LinkedIn algorithm is going to be piecing this together and they’re normally pretty good.

 

 

Connecting with other like-minded people in your field can be really useful for a variety of reasons. It’s particularly good for staying on top of industry news – if your connections are predominately people in your field, the content they share should be mostly relevant. This gives you even more opportunity to engage and build your network.

 

Networking

 

The easiest way to network with people within your industry is either following the suggested connections, but it can be a little bit impersonal. What is the icebreaker for people on this list? I like to give a little bit more than the standard “I’d like to connect”, especially if it’s a relationship that I want to nurture. A great way to offer more when connecting is to reference a shared interest, engagement or something the person has posted.

 

This is where LinkedIn groups can provide some great leverage. Head up into your search bar and search for relevant terms, for example I want to search for ‘marketing’, because that is the industry that I am in and want to network within. With your search term in place, head to the ‘groups’ tab.

 

 

 

LinkedIn will suggest the largest groups related to my search term ‘marketing’. If the suggested groups are too general, use a longer search and some filters to find the group that fits your goals. 

 

Once you’re in a group you can leave comments, engage with people’s topics or you can connect with them, using their comments and engagements as an icebreaker.

 

If I’m in the Connect social media group and I stumble across this post:

 

 

Perhaps I could connect with Josh Turner and say something like, “Hey Josh, I saw your post in the social media marketing group about the trust equation framework. I think that was really interesting. I’d love to connect“. This is going to give you a much better chance of getting that connection than just the generic, “hey, I’d like to connect” or even “hey, we’re in the same industry. I’d like to connect.”

 

Targeted Search

 

Sometimes stumbling across connections in groups and at events doesn’t cut it. Perhaps you want to meet CEOs because you’re a salesperson, or maybe you want to network with investors because you’re a startup and you want to get investment. When you have a specific target in mind, you can use the powerful LinkedIn search.

 

(We’ve written the ultimate guide to the LinkedIn search for more details on this!)

 

As an example, for us to follow along, let’s say I want to find someone to teach me more about marketing; someone who’s perhaps at a higher level than I am, I might search for the job title CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).

 

 

LinkedIn returns 1,250,000 results, wow! Obviously, that’s a few too many to sift through, so how can I filter them out? I can head to the connections tab and choose which degree of connections to show (more on this below). I’ll opt for 2nd degree connections – the connections of my connections – so that I have some kind of link to the people it displays.

 

 

I have 138,000 possible results. Perhaps that’s a little too broad. From here I could filter by location, current company or a host of other filters in the ‘all filters’ tab. Location isn’t so important to me, as everyone is working remotely these days anyway.

 

Let’s filter by current company. The top suggestion is Google – perfect.

 

 

That brings my number down to 216 results. Of course, not all of them are the CMO for Google (the CMO of Google is Lorraine Twohill) but they are people who are or have been CMOs, that currently or previously worked for Google.

 

The top hit from the results is Len Markidan, CMO for the online course provider Podia. He seems like the kind of person I’d like to network with and have in my feed. Let’s use Len as an example for the next section.

 

Personalized Connection Requests

 

As mentioned earlier, ideally you will have some kind of icebreaker when connecting with someone you don’t know. Let’s see if I can find an icebreaker for Len.

 

I have a few mutual connections with Len, but not any that I know well enough to use as an intro to a conversation. I’m not in any common groups with Len, so I’m going to take a look at Len’s activity to see if there’s any common ground I can find there.

 

 

My search of Len’s activity shows two things – firstly, he hasn’t posted on LinkedIn since 2018. If I was really interested in networking, I probably wouldn’t connect with Len knowing this, I’d prefer someone more active.

 

For the sake of this example though, let’s take a look at the content Len posted:

 

 

This post from Len’s company, Podia, is a perfect icebreaker for my connection request. I can reference the post in my personalized message; hopefully cutting through all the generic connection requests and sales pitches.

 

I advise keeping the messages short and sweet, firstly because there is a character limit and secondly because the preview only shows a few words along with your request, so you need to hook them in early on. For Len, I could say something like:

“Hi Len, I read your post about creating online courses and found it really interesting, would love to connect”

 

Even with the cut-off, Len will see “Hi Len, I read your post…” and that might be all I need to stand out from the sea of generic requests.

 

Looking for more tips on connection request messages? Sumo have a great guide here.

 

1st 2nd and 3rd Degree Connections

 

You may have noticed while browsing of LinkedIn that you have 1st degree connections, 2nd degree connections and 3rd degree connections.

 

Your 1st degree connections are people that you are already connected with. Your 2nd degree connections are people who are connected to your connections. Your 3rd degree connections are people who are connected to your 2nd degree connections. Anyone outside of that is outside of your network, in which case you may not be able to connect with them, depending on their privacy settings. If you land on someone’s profile and they are outside your network and their profiles displays a single name (first name or surname), that usually means that they are not open to connections from people outside of their network.

 

By now, you’ve got a great profile and you’re starting to make some connections, that network is really going to serve you well in the future. To take it to the next level, we need to throw some content into the mix.

 

 

 

Content

 

The amount of LinkedIn native content produced increased by 60% in 2020 – for the same reasons that conversations did. With lockdowns, closed offices and home working on the rise, people are absorbing more content on LinkedIn than they ever were before. There has never been a better time to start producing content native to the LinkedIn platform.

 

You can use content to build a reputation as an expert in your field, looking for jobs or land clients; whatever it is that you’re on LinkedIn to do. This section will talk you through some best practices for content creation, plus how to work with the LinkedIn algorithm to get the most engagement so that you can become a content creating master.

 

LinkedIn Posts

 

The most common type of content on LinkedIn is the humble post, here’s a recent one I shared:

 

 

As you can see, I’ve added hashtags here to help get my post in front of the right audience. These are especially useful if your post begins to get engagement, because LinkedIn will show well-engaged posts to people that follow those hashtags.

 

There a few things I could have done to boost this post further, however. LinkedIn stats show that posts that contain images get twice as much engagement. So, if you can include an image to support your post then do so!

 

From the ‘start a post box’ you can choose where your post will be seen. If you have a company page, which (our next guide section!) you can share from the company page. You can decide whether your post is going to be public, connections only or specific group members. You can share straight to your Twitter, too.

 

Simple posts are the tip of the iceberg. From this view, there are a number of options:

 

 

You can link to a document, create a poll, share that you’re hiring, celebrate an occasion, find an expert, offer help… there is so much that you can do just within this framework.

 


Articles

 

The most common type of long form content on LinkedIn is the written article. You can access this screen from the same section as posts, just click on ‘write an article’:

 

 

First thing you will notice is the huge space for an image at the top. Some people are still posting articles without header images which to me, is crazy. Once again, it’s valuable real digital real estate – it’s also something readers expect to see. As any UX expert will tell you, delivering what someone expects is key to a smooth experience. People want an image here; the blank space is jarring.  

 


For a great guide to header sizes, design and the tool to create your own amazing images, head to Canva: https://www.canva.com/linkedin-banners/templates/

Let’s take a look at one of my blogs as an example:

The last article I published was back in July 2020 (I need to get writing!) and it is about marketers ‘fishing in the same pond’. Here you see, I have made an attractive and relevant cover, using the same background color that I have in the cover image on my profile, to give me a little bit of brand uniformity. Make sure that you also include line breaks and spacing within the blog, with a peppering of images to break up large blocks of text.

B2B blog writing guidelines: https://altitudemarketing.com/blog/how-to-write-b2b-blog-post/

Video

In the past I have been known to publish and write articles on LinkedIn, however in 2021 I would probably opt for video, rather than written content. The reason for that is, if you delve into LinkedIn stats, you will see that users are 20 times more likely to share a video than a written post. That 20x boost in shares is will make a huge difference to your engagement!

Now, I know some people aren’t comfortable with producing videos. I would say if you are nervous, just start making practice videos! The more you make, the more comfortable you get. I used to hate being in a video and now I’ve produced a 40-minute video guide to using LinkedIn. It just takes practice.

A great thing you can do with video to increase its reach is use a transcription service, something like trint, that allows you to add subtitles to your footage. People use LinkedIn primarily at work and perhaps they can’t use speakers or headphones, so if you can include some subtitles, you’re going to get many more engagements. I don’t have official figures to give you, but I normally find I can add about 50% to my engagement just by using subtitles alone.

LinkedIn Live

There are some new forms of content production available on LinkedIn that people aren’t really maximizing at the moment – LinkedIn live being one of them! Despite the slow uptake, live streams on LinkedIn have increased bt 437% in the last year. It’s slowly becoming a big part of the platform and as with almost any social media, even professional social media platforms, they will promote their newest baby to its fullest extent.

For instance, Instagram has recently launched reels to compete with TikTok. An Instagram reel is going to get more engagement than a standard Instagram post, because Instagram wants people to use reels, so they will encourage it and promote it. They had the same boost with IGTV about a year or two ago. IGTV videos were getting much more engagement because Instagram was showing them more in the feed, because it wants more people to use IGTV. It is the same thing with LinkedIn. They want people to be using the live video and just video in general.


Algorithm & Engagement

LinkedIn’s feed runs on an engagement-based algorithm. The more people who engage with your posts, the more people who will be shown your posts… and then the more people who will engage with your posts… It’s a self-fulfilling cycle! This is another reason to have a good and lots of connections, because the more people that see your posts in the feed, the more likely is that they’re going to engage with it – especially if they’re relevant. If they work in the same industry, maybe they’re interested in the same topics and then when they engage and comment on your posts, people in their network will see in their feed that’s happened and then they will come into contact with your with your content. This is a really important point to consider if you want to post content on LinkedIn.

Also think about the time of day that people are on LinkedIn and engaging with content. If you post something at 11am, perhaps everybody’s busy working. Maybe 8am / 8.30am just before people start, when they’re on the way in, or lunchtime, or maybe just after work when people have the time to be browsing. Post content when more of your audience is engaged with the platform.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKi78ASfPpo

Company Pages

Now have a great profile, loads of connections and you’ve started putting out some content on LinkedIn: the next step is a company page. LinkedIn company pages aren’t just for big businesses. If you’re a small business or even a freelancer, you could set up a LinkedIn company page to showcase your work in a more professional setting. If you’re an employee and your company has a LinkedIn company page, make sure that you’re connected to it. If they don’t, maybe you can earn some brownie points with your boss by creating one..

I’m going to show you two examples of company pages, one that is better than the other. The better page is for Teleperformance. They were the number one LinkedIn company page in 2019 as voted by LinkedIn members. The other that isn’t so good is my company page for Lix, because I need spend a bit more time on it! I’m going to jump right in with Lix and I will show you some of the things that I’m missing and then we’re going to look at Teleperformance to show you why they are so good and why they are the example that you should be following for your company page.

LIX:

We only have 91 followers at the moment, but that’s something that we can work on by sharing a bit more content. In the content section we looked at the share box in the feed, and you can use it the same way here: start a post, share a photo, share a video, documents, polls and all that good stuff. Creating good content as a business, especially stuff that gets re-shared, can bring in lots of good followers.

We have a fairly good tag line “Connecting every organization with accurate, actionable Real-Time B2B data”. That’s what we do! I have a longer description in the ‘about us’ section, which is a must. We have our logo on there, which is another absolute must.

The big glaring mistake is this cover image. We are not using this space at all. Now, I do have a good excuse for that – we’re in the middle of a massive rebrand and we’re going to be producing lots of great new graphics etc. that branding is going to be added as soon as it is there, but for now, it’s just a big white space, which is not ideal.

Let’s take a look at the Teleperformance page and explore why they do it so well and how you can use these tactics for your company page.

Teleperformance are a worldwide leader in outsourced omni channel customer experience management… If that doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry too much! That’s not the point of why we’re here. We’re here to see what components make up this great page.

One thing we notice right off the bat is this cover image with a member of their staff. Within this image, they’ve spoken quite a lot about the ethos of their company. Their member of staff quite visibly has quite a big tattoo on his neck: he’s quite a cool-looking, well groomed and presented. This isn’t by accident, this image is there to make you think “Hey, these are a young, cool, exciting organization” that speaks to their ethos, to their brand. If that’s not your brand then this isn’t the way for you to go, but something along those lines could really work well, something that shows in a nutshell what you are all about. Their tagline is, “each interaction matters” which I quite like. Short, sweet, to the point and again, it speaks to that brand.

Teleperformance have nearly a million followers and 108,000 employees – there are a big company with lots of followers. What’s quite interesting to note is that they have 10 times the number of followers to employees, which means that the people following them aren’t just their employees. It shows there are lots of people out there who are really interested in what Teleperformance have to say.

Their ‘about’ section has plenty of detail, which explains who they are and what they do:

It gives you an overview of the company, their website, what industry they’re in, how many employees they have, where they are, when they were founded and what their specialties are. Now, all of this information you can add to your own company page quite easily, just by hitting the edit button (the little pencil icon) when you’re signed into your own company page as an admin.

They have a link to their location, showing that they are right in the middle of Paris – a lovely place to work! You can go through and look at their ‘posts’, which you can filter images, documents, videos or ads.

The ‘jobs’ tab allows you to look at any jobs posted by Teleperformance. ‘Life’ is an interesting one and not a lot of people use this tab, but this is about the lifestyle of Teleperformance and their staff:

As Teleperformance are a large company, they’re showing off the company culture and other lures around hiring, because they’re committed to attracting the best talent. This is adding a bit more flavor to Teleperformance, who they are and what they do – this isn’t just a dry description of a company and a business. It’s important to note that this is a paid feature, acquired via LinkedIn’s Career Pages – get in touch with them for pricing.

This section demonstrates their commitment to an ethos and a way of living. You can look at the pictures and say, “hey, what a great place to work”. They’ve got bean bags and hammocks and ping pong tables… Maybe this is the kind of company that you would like to be part of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlcoJQj7lz0

Congratulations, you have completed the How to use LinkedIn complete guide – you’re an allstar, with a ton of connections, high-flying content and a polished company page. Now get out there and achieve your LinkedIn goals!


How to become a LinkedIn Influencer

How to become a LinkedIn Influencer in 2023

Reading Time: 6 minutes

If becoming a LinkedIn Influencer is one of your goals for 2023 then you have come to the right place. Before we get started, it’s important to note that this is not a quick-fix guide to turn you into an influencer overnight. It can happen: a ultra-viral video, a huge investment in your company or a popular article about in the press can all catapult you to ‘influencer’ status rapidly; but that’s not something we can optimise or plan for!

This guide is all about putting in the work to build a community and become a leader in your space. This brings me to another important point – consider your motivations for becoming a LinkedIn influencer. If this is a vanity project, the hunt for likes and comments, it’s likely that you won’t stick at it. In a game where consistency is key, that simply won’t get you where you want to go. With that said, you can still take plenty of advice from this article that will make your LinkedIn more popular and with it, those all-important engagements.

How to become a LinkedIn Influencer in 4 steps

Step 1: Be the Expert

There are two kinds of LinkedIn influencers – the “I can post about anything and everybody listens” kind, and the “I’m an expert in my field, so listen to me!” kind. For 99% of influencers, you have to start as the latter before you’re trusted enough to become the former. Even the megastar influencers (Branson, Huffington etc.) got to those lofty positions by conquering their respective fields first.

Now, being an expert is easier said than done. It takes years of work and experience. Perhaps you already are an expert in your field – if so, you can skip this next part and head straight to building your community!

Not an expert just yet? Read on.

Some influencer guides, courses and coaches will tell you that you can shortcut this by reading and regurgitating a few key books in your chosen subject. However, this is not a school project. The aim isn’t to ingest just enough information to pass a test – your goal is to build a community who trust you and what you have to stay. Starting that process by being disingenuous is, I would argue, not the right way to do that.

Instead, read those books and ingest that knowledge – and yes, post about your learnings! – but include your community in that process. The chances are that when you get started, you don’t have a huge following anyway; so who exactly are you putting a on performance for? You’ll connect with your audience better by including them in the journey. Read the books, listen to the podcasts, post about what you’re learning and ask questions of the people reading your posts. Engage with them and learn together. That way, you’re learning how to become the expert your community needs, whilst also building the foundations of your follower base.

How to become a LinkedIn Influencer
Not an expert yet? Time to get reading!

Step 2: Build your community

With any luck, you’ve been doing this already – whether you meant to or not! Connecting with people, engaging with their content and posting are all ways to build your community and if you’ve used LinkedIn at all then you should already have some experience with this.

Groups

When it’s time to get serious with community-building there are a number of ways to go about this. One of the more popular routes is to find an already established community and become a fixture within that group: sharing, engaging, forging relationships.

This method works well because the audience has been gathered for you! If you want to be an influencer in web3 and you find a great and active web3 group on LinkedIn then you’ve got a ready-formed group of people interested in your particular subject, ready to speak to.

The drawback to doing things this way is that you can become limited by the size of the group and the willingness of the group owners to let you take centre-stage.

If you’re in a niche that has a number of groups, my advice is to become active in a few – don’t spread yourself too thin and definitely don’t just copy and paste the same posts in each group. People will notice this and earmark you as a spammer! Tailor posts to groups, reply to people’s questions and provide value where you can.

Networking

Never underestimate the power of networking – both in-person and via LinkedIn itself. Send connection requests to people that would benefit from your content, and get to know them. Especially in the early days while you’re building a base, forging these relationships is crucial.

These people may go on to be your advocates, sharing your posts, commenting, engaging – all important stuff for improving your reach and overall growth. Having a team of individuals that have spoken to you and connected with you that are likely to support your content is a real boon in the early days.

Other Platforms

LinkedIn users, for the most part, are not confined to LinkedIn alone. They will often use Twitter, or Facebook / Instagram / TikTok (depending on the demographics of your target audience). My advice is not to chase all of these platforms at once, you’ll burn out and waste a lot of time. Pick one, or perhaps two others that have the audience you want and post, network and engage on those too. Make sure you link to one platform from the other (put your LinkedIn profile link on your Insta bio, for example) and allow one to help you build the other.

Step 3: Create value-driven content

So you’re an expert in your field, or you’re learning to become one, and you’re building your community – what do you share with them? My advice here is to begin with a value-driven mindset. Think about information that you can share that will provide real value to those consuming it. Here are three high-level bullet points to consider when creating content:

  • Relevant: The first question you need to ask yourself is “what does my audience want?”. You should be on the right path here already, as you’ve already chosen your niche, but dig a little deeper. What problems are your audience facing? Is anything changing in your industry? How can you provide them with content that improves their day? If you provide genuine, relevant value they will return.
  • Unique: There are a ton of other people out there vying for your audience’s attention, so be unique. That doesn’t mean you can’t cover the same topics and stories as others (but if you can find totally unique content, great) but give your unique perspective on it, or find the angle nobody else is covering. Find a way to stand out from the crowd.
  • Engaging: Hopefully if you’ve got points 1 and 2 covered you’re already halfway to engaging your audience, but the work doesn’t stop there. Great content engages, enthralls and keeps the reader or viewer on the page. This includes using effective storytelling techniques such as using anecdotes, metaphors, similes and personification when describing concepts or ideas rather than just stating facts without context or meaning behind them. In other words – entertain while you inform!
How to become a LinkedIn Influencer
Give your audience a ‘lightbulb moment’ and they’ll come back!

Step 4: Dedication & Consistency

As I said at the start, there is no magic formula or quick fix. Even a viral sensation can be lost to the background if they never hit those heights again. Becoming a LinkedIn Influencer is going to take hard work and dedication. It’ll be hard not to give up at times but if you stick with it, I promise that you will see results.

Don’t be disheartened if your early content doesn’t get much engagement, or your group posts fall flat. You need to persevere, keep posting and always analyse your content to see where you can improve. It will take time, so keep at it!

These steps above tell you how to become a LinkedIn influencer – it’s now up to you to head out there and put in there work. You’ll need to be passionate about your topic, willing to work hard at it, and have some promotional skills. You’ll also have to be willing to build a community of connections and followers who will share and promote your content for you. And lastly, you’ll have to create a lot of value in content that people want to read.

Catering yourself toward the needs of others will only further establish your credibility as an Influencer on LinkedIn.

I hope this article has encouraged you to take the plunge into becoming a LinkedIn influencer. It’s not an easy process, but it can be done with dedication and hard work. If you follow these four steps, we guarantee that your content will get noticed by other users on the platform, which will help boost your brand and authority as well!


How to find the current or former employees of any company on LinkedIn

How to find the current or former employees of any company on LinkedIn (and export them!)

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you need to know how to find the current or former employees of any company on LinkedIn – watch this video, or read on!

LinkedIn makes it easy to find current or former employees of a company, due to their powerful search filters. If you want to learn more about how to make the most of the LinkedIn search – we have a blog for that too! Let’s get into it…

  • How to Find Current Employees of a Company on LinkedIn
  • How to Find Past Employees of a Company on LinkedIn

How to Find Current Employees on LinkedIn

This is a really easy method for finding the current employees of any company. It involves finding the company page on LinkedIn and opening up the employee list.

Step 1. Find the Company’s LinkedIn page.

  • You can search for the company’s LinkedIn page by going to LinkedIn and typing the company’s name in the search bar

Click on the “X employees” link in the company bio

  • This will show you all the current employees at this company.

Filter your Results

LinkedIn will show a maximum of 1,000 connections in this view. That’s because it has a page limit of 100 pages, with 10 results per page. This can be an issue if the company in question has more than 1,000 employees! If that’s the case, you will need to break down the results into smaller batches using the powerful LinkedIn search filters at the top of the page

Exporting the Results

Sometimes, simply viewing someone’s connections within LinkedIn isn’t quite enough. You may want that data in a spreadsheet in order to further filter or examine. Perhaps you’re searching these connections in order to generate some leads… In either case, you need a tool (like Lix!) to export that data and find those emails.

Exporting connections with Lix is super simple. Once you have an account (sign up for free & get 1,000 rows of data and 50 valid emails every month!) and have added our extension to your browser, you simply follow the steps above and when you’re on the results page your Lix extension will begin to glow.C Choose your export options, hit the LIX IT button and voila!

How to Find Past Employees of a Company on LinkedIn

This method is slightly different, but just as easy! Simply perform a People search on LinkedIn, hit the ‘all filters’ tab and then scroll down to ‘past company’. Input the company of choice and there you have it, the previous employees of any company on LinkedIn.


How to see someone else's connections on LinkedIn

How To See Someone’s Connections on LinkedIn (and export them!)

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ever wondered how to see someone’s connections on LinkedIn? Wonder no more!

Note: In order to see someone’s connections on LinkedIn, you must be connected to them. This is and has always been the rule with LinkedIn. It’s designed this way to encourage you to connect and network. There is a risky workaround for this, but we don’t advise it!

How to see someone’s connections on LinkedIn

Route one is to go to the profile of the person you want to view and click the ‘connections’ link in their bio:

How To See Someone's Connections on LinkedIn
Connect with me on LinkedIn!

This will present you with a list of the individual’s connections in the standard LinkedIn search view. You can also reach this point by performing a LinkedIn search and filtering for ‘connections of’. It’s just a slightly longer way journey to get to the same point!

The page will look something like this:

LinkedIn will show a maximum of 1,000 connections in this view. That’s because it has a page limit of 100 pages, with 10 results per page. This can be an issue if the person in question has more than 1,000 connections! If that’s the case, you will need to break down the results into smaller batches using the powerful LinkedIn search filters at the top of the page.

How to Export Someone’s Connections (and even find their email address!)

Sometimes, simply viewing someone’s connections within LinkedIn isn’t quite enough. You may want that data in a spreadsheet in order to further filter or examine. Perhaps you’re searching these connections in order to generate some leads… In either case, you need a tool (like Lix!) to export that data and find those emails.

Exporting connections with Lix is super simple. Once you have an account (sign up for free & get 1,000 rows of data and 50 valid emails every month!) and have added our extension to your browser, you simply follow the steps above and when you’re on the results page your Lix extension will begin to glow:

Click it and you will see the Lix toolbar drop down, from here you simply select your export options – Excel or CSV, number of profiles, email or no emails – and hit the LIX IT! button. Easy peasy!

If there are more than 1,000 connections in the search and you need to filter, select the ‘create new project‘ option on the toolbar. This will allow you to store all the filtered exports into one, de-duplicated project file.

Workaround for non-connections (not advised – risky!)

Of course the easiest way to get around not being connected, is to connect with that person! If this isn’t possible for some reason (perhaps they won’t accept, or they’re a competitor) you have two options. The first is tough, but less risky. The second is very risky and we do not advise you take this option.


Option 1: Tough, but less risky

You can see if you have a connection in common, ask them if they’d be willing to find / export the data for you and send them this blog explaining how to do it. This isn’t breaking any rules, the data is still public data, you’re just working around the lack of connection. The hard part is finding someone willing to do this for you.

Option 2: High risk, not advised

If option 1 isn’t possible, then it could theoretically be possible for you to create a fictitious LinkedIn account and connect with this particular user from said account. This is risky and it could result in a ban from LinkedIn – certainly for the fake profile. LinkedIn can spot suspicious activity but there is some leeway with new accounts so if you were to do this (again, we don’t advise it) then it would be wise to get the data ASAP before the account is closed. Perhaps using a VPN would be a good idea too.


convert Sales Navigator URLs to LinkedIn URLs

How To Convert Sales Navigator URLs To Linkedin URLs

Reading Time: 3 minutes

There are a number of reasons you might need to convert Sales Navigator URLs to LinkedIn URLs. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to do it!

The first method involves manually copying and pasting the bit of the URL you need. It works better when you have a small number of URLs to convert. The second method uses an Excel / Google Sheets equation. This is a great option for when you already have a large list of URLs to convert. The third method converts Sales Navigator URLs to LinkedIn URLs automatically, as you export from sales nav – using Lix! Skip to the method that suits your needs.

  1. Manual URL Conversion
  2. Excel / Google Sheets Equation
  3. Automatic conversion during export

Manual URL Conversion

This is a super-simple and quick way to get the standard LinkedIn URL from the Sales Nav version. Essentially, it’s just removing a small section of the Sales Navigator URL and copy & pasting it into the standard format.

  1. Select and copy everything that comes after lead/ and before the first comma:
  1. Paste this on the end of the standard LinkedIn profile URL format www.linkedin/com/in/

You can also replace sales/lead with in and delete everything after the comma – both methods give the same result!

If you’re converting a handful of profiles, this process is great… What happens when you have hundreds (or thousands!) of Sales Navigator URLs to convert?

Excel / Google Sheets Equation

If you have a list of Sales Navigator URLs you need to convert LinkedIn URLs en masse, this is the solution for you.

Here is the formula:

=LEFT(SUBSTITUTE(A1,"<https://www.linkedin.com/sales/lead/","https://www.linkedin.com/in/"),SEARCH(",",SUBSTITUTE(A1,"https://www.linkedin.com/sales/lead/","https://www.linkedin.com/in/")>)-1)

1. Open up your file with the Sales Nav URLs and paste the formula in the next column. Be sure to change the value ‘A1’ in the formula to correspond with the cell of the first URL to convert.

2. Click the square in the bottom-right corner of the cell and drag all the way to the bottom of the list – this will apply the formula to the correct cells on the left!

3. Voila! A list of converted Sales Navigator URLs to LinkedIn URLs

Automatic Conversion During Export

If you’re regularly converting Sales Navigator URLs to the standard LinkedIn format, it’s probably easier to use a tool that does it for you! When you export data from Sales Nav using Lix, we automatically apply a formula like the one above, so that your spreadsheet comes with both Sales Nav and standard format LinkedIn URLs.

It looks like this:

You can watch a short video on how to export Sales Navigator data using Lix:

You can export 1,000 rows of Sales Navigator data every single month for free, on Lix’s starter plan. It also includes 50 valid emails and 50 profile enrichments.


Data Decay

Data Decay: Why it matters for B2B Sales & Marketing Teams

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Data Decay

What is Data Decay?

Data decay refers to the gradual deterioration of data quality within a database. This can be especially damaging in sales and marketing databases. Sales and marketing efforts require accurate contact information for leads, along with up-to-date information on their organisations, employees, branch locations, and so on. When data decays from inaccuracies, outdated information, or aging out, B2B companies can see a decline in their overall performance, as well as in sales and marketing.

A simple example of perfectly good data decaying over time might be a website that includes information about movies that are currently playing in local cinemas and their showtimes. When those showtimes change without any updates being made to the database, the website will feature incorrect or outdated information.

Apply this to your own CRM and it’s not hard to see how data decay could be negatively impacting your efforts to close new deals. Every time an individual changes jobs, gains promotion, switches industries and updates contact details, the data in your CRM decays. This can present a big problem, especially for those of us with large databases. According to the ONS, every year 9% of people change jobs – that adds up to a 27% workforce shift every 3 years. Even for a modest-sized CRM with 5,000 entries will have 1,350 erroneous entries every 3 years.

No wonder then, that a recent study shows that data quality remains among companies’ top priorities. Among the companies that decreased their investment in data: 35% saw their overall performance decline; 75% saw a decline in sales and marketing performance; and 94% of those companies said that their sales and marketing performance improved after increasing their investment in data.

How can I avoid data decay in my CRM?

The simple answer is – stay on top of updating your database! This can be done manually, although that is not advised. Updating 5,000 records, even at a constant pace of 5 minutes per entry, would take 17 days without a break! Also, manual data entry is more susceptible to mistakes. Luckily, database enrichment can now be automated. Here at Lix, we offer a product called ReTrace, that plugs into your CRM and updates and enriches the entries with fresh B2B data. If you’re interested in learning more, get in touch.

There are some added bonuses to keeping your data fresh, too. An individual switching roles or being promoted can be a great opportunity to close a new deal. A prospect that knows you and your product, now in a buying-role at a new firm is a hot lead! Retrace CRM enrichment is not just about refreshing what you have, it also uncovers the potential deals hidden in your data.

It’s important to keep track of your data so that it doesn’t become stale, or corrupted over time. This will ensure that your information remains accurate and up-to-date and leads are never lost. If you’re looking for some help with this task or another project, please reach out! We’d be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns related to data decay.


Lead Generation

The Lix Guide to Lead Generation

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Whether you’re a startup or an established business looking for new customers, generating leads can seem like an insurmountable challenge. There are, however, some tried and tested formulas for you to follow —you just need the right tools and strategies in place! In this post, we’ll look at tactics and tools for both inbound and outbound lead generation, so that you can start with confidence.

Campaign Preparation

This is where a good lead generation campaign begins. In this stage, we decide who to target, ascertain the best channels to reach them and then map out the sales journey.

Know your audience

Before we can set about building inbound and outbound lead generation campaigns, we need to know exactly who we’re targeting. Having a clearly defined ideal customer profile, or buyer persona will help immeasurably with what comes next.

Buyer personas are a fictional representation of your typical customer. They are a composite of information about the demographics, psychographics, and behaviors of actual customers.

These details help you understand how to communicate with your target audience as well as provide insight into things like messaging tone and imagery selection.

Go in-depth with our customer profile blog or simply think on these points before we progress to the next step.

  • Who are you selling to? What is the demographic of your audience?
  • What do they want to buy? What is their pain point or problem that needs solving?
  • How are they going to buy it? This is where we get into the psychology of why people buy from a certain type of business versus another type of business. A certain type of marketing message might work better for one group but not another so make sure that when designing your lead generation campaign that you keep these things in mind!

Identify key marketing channels

With an ideal customer profile or persona in place, we can begin to identify which channels are best placed to reach individuals who match that persona.

The most common channels are:

  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing (blogs, video)
  • Cold outreach (cold emails, cold calls)
  • Paid advertising (Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, other ad networks)
  • Events (conferences, meetups, round tables)

Of course, these categories are broad and will need some extra thought to match channels with personas – you may not want to market your B2B SaaS product on TikTok, where LinkedIn would be more appropriate!

Think about where you customer congregate, which channels they consume content on and what setting they’re in when they consume this. Your B2B customer may well use TikTok, but the chances are that they’re not thinking about work while they do so. As with all sales and marketing, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the customer.

Map the journey

A good lead generation strategy does not silo marketing channels and have them act independently. It’s better to think of lead gen holistically, as a process involving multiple channels at different stages of the process. This process is often referred to as a funnel.

The most commonly known funnel is AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action:

You may have also heard of TOFU, MOFU and BOFU (top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel) – it’s a slight variation but the framework is the same.

Funnels are simply a tool that help you plan and visualise the sales journey. Think about your ideal customer again – in fact, think about the last big purchase that you made. It’s likely that you encountered, or sought out, various media in your journey from awareness to purchase.

Let’s say your last purchase was a car. The likelihood is that you didn’t see a TV ad for a new car and call up to buy it right away. Perhaps you saw the TV ad (Awareness) and then headed to Google to learn a little more about it, look at some of the colour options and read reviews (Interest & Desire). Then, you’re hit with some retargeting ads from the manufacturer. Now, when you browse Instagram of an evening with a glass of wine you’re seeing ads for this beautiful car of your dreams as you scroll (Interest & Desire). This builds desire until the point at which you pull the trigger and go and buy the car (Action).

Perhaps for your business this looks more like showing someone a Google ad (Awareness), getting them to read some content (Interest), having them sign up to a mailing list and drip-feeding them content (Desire) to push to conversion (Action).

When you’re creating your campaign, think about where in the funnel each piece of marketing or outreach sits and consider whether it is moving people along the journey and closer to that all important conversion.

Lead Generation Tactics

You’ve prepped your prep, you know who your ideal customer is, where to find them and what the sales journey looks like. Now it’s time to dive into some of the tactics you can use along that journey to maximise your impact.

Content

One of the cornerstones of lead generation, is content. Whether it’s SEO-driven to bring organic traffic to a website, videos or blogs designed to be shared on social media or landing pages for users coming from ads or cold outreach – good content is paramount. Let’s look at some of the primary uses for content within a lead generation strategy.

SEO Content

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO content is written, or filmed, with the eventual purpose of driving organic traffic from search engines. In this scenario a prospective lead types in a search term and your blog appears. That may even be how you found this article! If you’re interested in lead generation, it stands to reason that you may be interested in an email-finding tool like Lix. So, I wrote this blog, on a topic that I know very well, with a view to attracting search traffic and hopefully converting some readers into users of my product whilst providing value to all readers.

That last part is crucial – providing value. Readers are not silly and can spot a thinly-veiled advertising a mile away. Poorly-written content that does not provide value will very rarely convince anyone to convert.

Thinking back to our funnel, SEO content can appear anywhere along the journey. Usually, the person searching will have some awareness – so it tends to skew towards MOFU and BOFU – but often people will search for something that they hope exists, without knowing it if does or not! In this instance, your search result would be fulfilling the awareness part of the AIDA framework. To use my company as an example again, this is something we see often. One of the terms we’re often found for is “can I export data from LinkedIn?”. Our goal is to be at the top of Google saying – yes, yes you can!

Creating Lead Generating Content

If you completed part one of this guide and created your ideal customer profile, this is a great jump-off point for planning your content. It’s all about create content that addresses the needs of your desired persona. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of tools available online that can help you find relevant subject matter, such as BuzzSumo or Ahrefs.

Once you have identified a topic, it’s time to get creative! Thinking about the placement of your content (blog, socials, ads) will help you to decide how to create it. For social media, perhaps video will work better than written content. Perhaps it’s a combination of both. Remember that your goal is to provide value with this content – so choosing the medium best suited for your chosen platform is important, because we can’t provide value if it isn’t consumed!

Optimising for search engines

Not au-fait with SEO? Here are some tips (for an in-depth look, read this).

  • Use keywords. Keyword research is an important part of SEO, because it helps you find the words and phrases that people are searching for online. You can use a keyword tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or Moz’s Keyword Explorer to find relevant keywords for your business. Use the most popular ones in your content, and include variations on those words as well (like adding an apostrophe at the end of a word).
  • Make sure your content is relevant to your target audience. Remember: Your readers want answers—not more questions! So make sure that every piece of content you publish answers one question instead of leaving readers confused about what they should do next or where else they could find information on their topic of interest.
  • Use a variety of sources when finding relevant keywords using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to see how people are searching for information related to what matters most within their lives right now–and then tailor those results accordingly by targeting existing interests with new articles published weekly/monthly depending on how quickly knowledge changes over time (e-newsletters) or special reports published once per quarter/year depending upon when there might be some cause-and effect relationships between different topics evolving over time within society at large (newspaper articles).

Landing Pages

I’ve separated landing pages from blogs and social media content because they serve a slightly different purpose. They may be used to educated and inform, in the way that a blog would – but their primary purpose is some form of conversion. Whether that’s booking in a call, requesting a brochure, signing up for a mailing list… Landing pages exist to convert.

Your landing page needs to look the part and give the user a clear idea of what they can expect from your company. Here are some quick tips for landing page (for a more in-depth guide, read this).

  • Make sure your landing page is clear and concise.
  • Use graphics on the page that help explain what you do, but don’t overwhelm or distract from the main message
  • A strong call-to-action should be included in every section of your site. Your call-to-action will be different depending on who you’re targeting, so ask yourself: “What do I want them to do right now?” If you’re trying to sell them something specific like an ebook or webinar, then it might say “Buy Now!” If they’re just learning more about your company before purchasing anything at all, then maybe something else like “Get Started” would be better suited for those situations instead

Marketing Emails

I’ve separated marketing emails from cold emails, because they serve a different purpose. A cold email will always be TOFU – top of the funnel. It’s there to create awareness and deliver the initial touchpoint. Email marketing is more effective when used to nurture leads. If prospective lead has signed up to receive emails from you, use email marketing to send your leads content that is relevant to them to build interest and create desire over time. Pushing them along the sales journey to the point of Action (conversion).

If marketing emails are a key part of your lead generation funnel, I would advise opting for a planned drip campaign (a set order of emails delivered at predetermined intervals) designed to move customers along the funnel. Simply adding them to your business’ mailing list may yield results eventually, but it won’t be nearly as effective.

When building a drip campaign, think about the mental journey a prospect takes before making a final decision. This could involve pre-empting common objections. It could be providing testimonials or case-studies to help them relate to using your product. This will be largely specific to you and your company, but this is a great guide to help you get started.

Cold Emails

When it comes to creating awareness, especially in B2B, a cold email can cut through the noise and reach an intended prospect faster than many other methods. Cold email does get a bad rep, but that primarily due (in my opinion) to people not utilising this medium correctly.

Here are some quick tips for cold emailing – but I also wrote the Complete Guide to Cold Email, if you really want to master the art!

Cold Email Quickfire Guide

Here’s my guide to cold emailing in 2 minutes or less:

Keep your sentences short and sweet, with no more than five sentences in the entire body of your email. The goal here is to communicate only what’s necessary while avoiding unnecessary information that may confuse or clutter up your email.

Remember to write clearly! A lot of people write emails on a smartphone or tablet, so good spelling and grammar are essential when you’re writing an email on one of these devices. Don’t send out an email with any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors—it makes readers think less of both you and your company.

Personalise where possible. Make sure the recipient understands why this email is relevant to them. If you’re emailing a short list, then look into that individual and tie your email to an event, or their experience. Finding a way to relate will cut through the noise. If it’s a larger list, be sure to explain why someone doing their job, with their problem (which you understand) will benefit from what you’re selling.

Show your credentials. Give them a reason to listen to you. Strong credentials are a great way to cut through the noise of a busy inbox. Referencing clients you’ve helped that your prospect will know and respect is a great option. Otherwise perhaps use a qualification, or thought leadership pieces that you feature on… Know your audience and think about what will demonstrate your trustworthiness to them.

By following the guide above, you can generate more leads and grow your business. Remember that it’s important not to get too caught up in the numbers game as you first start out. Instead, focus on creating a quality product or service that you’re proud of and providing value for your customers at every stage of the buyer journey (from awareness through conversion).


LinkedIn Scraping

LinkedIn Scraping: Export Data from LinkedIn

Reading Time: 4 minutes


With 830 million members, 53 million companies and more than 100 million active job listings, LinkedIn is the largest store of public business data in history. The problem is, how do you extract that LinkedIn data to make use of it? Whether you’re a salesperson looking to prospect, a market intelligence professional finding intel or an academic performing research – LinkedIn scraping can help you get the data you need, in the format you need it.

What is scraping?

Data scraping is a method of data collection in which a computer program extracts data from websites and web pages. The purpose of this technique is to obtain otherwise inaccessible or unstructured data. This can be useful for businesses looking to use the information they collect in sales and marketing campaigns, competitive and market intelligence, or even just for their own purposes (such as tracking sales).

How can I use scraped data?

Understanding customers

Data scraping can provide insight into an individual’s current role, organisation, education, interests, skills and a whole host of information that might be useful for a business. It can help you to form an ideal customer profile, or identify individual targets for prospecting. It can also help you to better understand groups, industries and verticals. For example, LinkedIn scraping might allow a company selling training courses to discover how many individuals with a specific job title already have a qualification.

Understanding competitors

Extracting competitor data can help you to learn about their business structure, products and services, pricing strategies, marketing campaigns, hiring patterns and more – all of which could be useful in improving your own company’s performance. Scraping a competitor’s job postings, for example, could help you to determine which departments they are investing in and how fast they are growing. This is also useful information for investors.

LinkedIn Scraping

You can scrape data from LinkedIn search results and also directly from profiles – as long as those profiles aren’t private. The easiest way to do this is with a LinkedIn scraper tool, like Lix. LinkedIn scraping with Lix is as easy as performing a search, setting your filters and choosing your export options. You can export People, Profile, Companies and Jobs data in minutes, saving you time and money.

Let’s take a look at some of the data you can export from LinkedIn using Lix:

Search Results: People, Companies and Jobs

The most common form of LinkedIn scraping happens on search result pages. This is the page you land on when you type a keyword into the search bar on LinkedIn.

These are great for scraping, because they’re packed with lots of data per page. This is is important because LinkedIn have some rules about how many pages you can view in a day. In order to comply with their fair usage policies, it’s advised to not view more than 1,000 pages in a day. If you’re exporting profile data, this means you can export a maximum of 1,000 profiles in a day. However, standard LinkedIn search results show 10 results per page – allowing you up to 10,000 rows of data per day. Sales Navigator gives you 25 results per page, giving you a potential 25,000 scraped rows per day.

Currently, Lix can export People, Companies and Jobs results, but we will be adding other options in the future. Scraping these pages is super simple, here’s a 40 second video showing you how it works:

Export LinkedIn connections

Exporting LinkedIn connections is another popular form of LinkedIn scraping. You may want to export your own connections, to keep a record of your network or perhaps add them to a CRM.

There are many instances where you may want to export someone else’s connections, too. This is possible as long as you are connected to the individual whose connections you’d like to scrape. This is due to data privacy laws and there is no way around this – other than connecting with that person.

Want to know more about exporting LinkedIn connections? Here’s a popular article we published.

Export LinkedIn profile data

A complete LinkedIn profile is packed with data. Data this is extremely important in the recruiting process, or for market intelligence research. It can also be a great source of icebreakers and deep dive info on sales prospects.

Exporting LinkedIn profiles is a little more complicated than exporting search results, because you view far more individual pages in a short space of time. There is also a lot more data to collect for each result!

Lix’s Profile Enrichment tool works in conjunction with Sales Navigator, because Sales Navigator users can view more profiles per day without hitting LinkedIn’s limits.

The process itself is simple – export a list of individuals from a Leads search and then enrich that search in the Profile Enrichment area of your Lix dashboard. You get 50 free enrichments a month, so do give it a try and see what data you can get!

LinkedIn scraping allows you to export, works with and glean insights from the huge store of public data on LinkedIn. According to our users, Lix is the fastest and easiest way to do that! If you’d like to try it for yourself we give you 1,000 rows of data, 50 profile enrichments and 50 valid emails every single month.


business intelligence for sales

Business Intelligence for Sales: Data-Driven Decision Making

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Business intelligence for sales is a rapidly-growing field. It’s something the big players have been using for some time but with tools becoming more accessible to smaller teams, startups and even solopreneurs and getting in on the action.

What is business intelligence?

Business intelligence (BI) is a broad term that refers to the processes, tools and technologies used by organizations to extract, analyse and present business information. BI tools are used to help make sense of large volumes of data in order to identify trends or patterns. These insights are then communicated through dashboards and reports so that business stakeholders can act on them quickly.

BI technologies include data warehouses, data marts, ETL (extract-transform-load) tools for moving data from various sources into one central location for analysis, OLAP (online analytical processing) cubes for performing sophisticated calculations on large datasets, reporting tools such as Crystal Reports or Microsoft Excel macros — basically anything you need in order to work with large amounts of information efficiently and effectively.

Business intelligence can be used across departments and teams, giving companies a competitive advantage over their competition by helping them make better decisions faster.

Credit to MPercept Academy



Business intelligence is data-driven decision making

Business intelligence for sales, then, is about using that data to make better decisions.

If your business relies on sales to drive revenue, as a sales leader the decisions you make have a far-reaching effect. In a large company, your decisions can decide whether entire departments hit target or not. At a startup, it can be the difference between staying afloat or sinking. Business intelligence provides the data to inform and support those decisions. Helping you to make better decisions, faster.

Data-driven decision making is about making better decisions based on facts, not feelings or gut instinct.

Let’s look at some examples of how this might work:

  • You want to increase revenue, so you decide to target more affluent customers with a bigger budget than the average consumer. Using your BI dashboard, you can identify the top five percent of consumers who have spent the most per month by dividing their total spending by their total number of purchases—and then segment these high spenders into a separate list. Using this list, you can find common traits among your top spenders to identify the type of customer that is most valuable to your business – allowing you to build a lookalike audience for your team to reach out to. These are now your “high value targets” (HVT).
  • You’re looking for ways to improve customer retention and reduce churn rate (or attrition). Your BI dashboard tells you that 20% of customers that churn do so in the week before their renewal date; therefore, it might makes sense to come up with a strategy to contact customers in the period and remind them of the value you provide.

Business Intelligence for Sales: Tools

Now we know what business intelligence is and how it works – let’s dive into some of the tools you can use to achieve these results. I’ve included tools to suit different teams sizes, from those with the biggest budgets down to the startups and SMEs.

Salesforce Einstein Analytics


Salesforce Einstein Analytics is a cloud-based business intelligence tool that allows users to analyse their CRM data in real time.

As you might guess from the name, Salesforce Einstein is an add-on to the ubiquitous Salesforce CRM, which means it can be accessed through the same interface as your existing Salesforce account. Because it connects directly with your Salesforce CRM, there’s no need to prepare your data or transfer anything. Einstein’s AI will automatically look for patterns and apply the correct models to the data you have, providing predictions and suggestions without the need for input. It’s like having a small BI team integrated into your firm.

If you’re already using Salesforce, this is a great option for you. Like Salesforce, though, it won’t be cheap!

Sisense

Sisense is a business intelligence software that allows you to gather and analyse your sales data from various sources.

So for businesses with multiple products and channels, Sisense collects, analyses and visualises you BI data across multiple departments so that everyone has access to meaningful information at their fingertips. Where Salesforce Einstein works with the data you enter into Salesforce, Sisense will gather that data from almost anywhere your users interact with you – website, socials, email, CRM etc.

Tableau


Tableau are the gold standard in data visualisation.

You can use Tableau to create beautiful dashboards and data visualisations, to share with your team, board of director, investors etc. If you’ve watched presentations at board meetings, trade shows or meetups – chances are you’ve seen a Tableau visualisation!

Lix

This is the Lix blog, so it would be remiss of me to leave us out! The Lix tool is used for two primary reasons – lead generation and data gathering. When we’re talking business intelligence for sales, the latter should precede the former! If we think back to the example of growing revenue by finding top spenders, once you have a list of traits for your high value targets, you could use Lix to find those individuals and export their data.

Lix, as its core, is a LinkedIn data extractor. It works by exporting information from the world’s single largest store of business data – LinkedIn! LinkedIn is perfect for mining BI data because firms and individuals alike stay on top of updating their profiles. Often more regularly than they would their own websites.

Lix is great for smaller teams who perhaps don’t have access to some of the other tools listed here. You can even start for free with 1,000 rows of data every month.

Mixpanel

Mixpanel is another great tool for smaller teams. In fact, we use Mixpanel here at Lix.

It allows you to build dashboards and visualise data from your website and other sources in real time. I can use Mixpanel to see if my users are having errors with the Lix tool, how many of them are exporting, which cities have the most usage and so on.

It’s a really easy way to start getting actionable insights on the data you’re amassing – often without realising!


With the right tools and processes, sales teams can use business intelligence to improve decision making and increase their bottom line. Sales data can be used to pinpoint problem areas that need attention, identify opportunities for improvement, and make smarter choices about how to allocate time and resources. If you’re not already business business intelligence for sales, I hope this blog has inspired you to start!




sales engagement

What is Sales Engagement?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The term “sales engagement” is used to describe a sales team’s ability to engage buyers with personalised interactions, across multiple channels, during their buyer’s journey. Engagement has become an increasingly important topic for many businesses, particularly those in high-growth markets where competition is fierce. If your business wants to grow, it needs a strong strategy in place to nurture its customers through the buyer’s journey and lead them to conversion.

Sales engagement is a combination of marketing and sales. It’s a process of nurturing prospective buyers with personalized interactions across multiple channels to lead them to conversion. The goal is to increase sales, revenue, and customer lifetime value.

The first thing you need to know about sales engagement is that it isn’t just one thing—it can be used by many different departments in your company, such as marketing or customer success teams. Engagement can also be done across multiple channels like email, phone calls, live chat or video calls (including virtual meetings), social media posts and landing pages.

What is sales engagement management?

Sales engagement management usually refers to a tool, or online platform used by sales teams to develop a strategy and deliver coordinated, targeted messages at key points in the buyer’s journey.

Sales engagement tools can help you:

  • Increase your pipeline velocity by targeting buyers when they’re most receptive to new information or products.
  • Improve your conversion rate by making it easy for prospects to get started with a demo or trial of your product.

Sales engagement strategy

The first step in developing a sales engagement strategy is to conduct strategic planning. Strategic planning involves setting goals and objectives, understanding the market and your competitors, and understanding the buyer’s journey.

Strategic planning allows you to plan out what needs to happen before any execution takes place. Without this step, there may be no way to measure your results once they come in!

Personalised engagements

The most successful engagement strategies create personalized engagements across multiple channels. It’s important to leverage technology, data and strategy to personalize the customer journey in a way that will resonate with them. The most successful sales engagement strategies are flexible enough to respond to the needs of your customers at every stage of the buying process, while remaining strategic and aligned across channels.

Sales engagement planning

A sales engagement plan can incorporate content marketing, social selling, email marketing and even traditional face-to-face meetings.

Content marketing is just what it sounds like—using content you create (such as blog posts or videos) to attract prospects who are interested in what you have to say. Social selling refers to networking with potential clients through social media channels like LinkedIn and Facebook. Email marketing involves sending personalized messages through email to build rapport with contacts who’ve opted in by providing their contact information. Face-to-face meetings occur when you reach out directly through phone calls or in person at events such as trade shows or conferences.

Sales engagement for leaders

As a sales leader, you need to help your team understand the importance of engagement. It has become an essential part of business operations for companies that want to grow in today’s competitive markets.

As a leader, you also need to develop a strategy and process for engaging with your customers. This should include:

  • Having a clear understanding of what your company does, who its audience is, and how it can serve them better than competitors.
  • Putting together an effective team that includes representatives from all departments throughout the organization (including marketing).
  • Building relationships with potential clients by offering relevant content on social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter.

Engagement is a critical component of any sales strategy. It can help you develop new leads, close deals faster and create long-term relationships with your customers. However, it’s not just about having a great strategy in place; you also need tools to manage your outreach efforts and track the results of each interaction. That’s why we developed our platform with sales engagement at its core—to help you develop personalized interactions with your prospects and customers across multiple channels, while giving you real-time insight into performance metrics like open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates. These insights are invaluable when it comes time for planning future outreach activities based on what worked (and didn’t work) before!


Personalised Videos for Cold Email

How to Use Personalised Videos for Cold Email Outreach

Reading Time: 5 minutes


Cold emailing can be tough. With so many other reps and firms in your prospect’s inbox demanding their attention, cutting through the noise isn’t easy. So when I see a cold email that does just that, I take note! A few months ago, I received a cold email that really grabbed my attention – and it has changed the way I do my outreach.

The email was from a market-leading CRM provider (no, not that one – the other one). It went like this:

Hi Alfie,
I made you a quick video (60 seconds), click here to watch:


Below the to-the-point opening sentence was a gif. A gif taken from a video of the CRM rep looking at my website.

I was hooked in. I needed to know what was being said in the video! I immediately clicked through and watched it. The video was less than 60 seconds long and in it, the rep talked about how his company could help us achieve our goals. They did so using specific examples, related to the content of my site. I responded almost immediately and booked in for a call.

Personalised videos can be a powerful tool in your outreach arsenal, but it can be hard to know where to start. Never fear! That is exactly why I wrote this blog. Let’s get started.

Why Use Personalised Videos in Cold Emails?

It could be tempting to save time and just send a demo or explainer video to your prospect. After all, it’s going to take a long time to make all those individual videos, right? Well – yes it would be faster, but it won’t work!

A video that isn’t personalised is just another friction point. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. You’ve already interrupted their flow with an email they didn’t ask for, now you want them to go and watch a video about your product. Their first thought is probably going to be “why can’t they just tell me what they’re selling?”.

Personalisation is important for two reasons. Firstly, it builds a connection with the recipient. Being able to see your face and hear your voice will allow them to connect with your words and your energy in a way that text can’t. Secondly, it allows you to tailor your message so that it addresses specific details about their situation or company.

To go back to my example in the intro – it was seeing that rep on my website that captured my interest. It was them relating their pitch to my site and my business specifically that prompted me to respond. If they had just sent me a video of their product, I probably wouldn’t have watched it.

With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

How to Add Personalised Video to Your Cold Emails

Now we know why personalisation is important, it’s time to get into how we make it happen.

In a nutshell, you are going to:

  • Record a short introduction video that explains who you are and why you’re a great fit for them. Make sure it’s not too long – 30 to 60 seconds is ideal. Anything more than a minute and you’ll lose their interest.
  • Craft some email copy that provides everything they need to proceed after they’ve seen the video.
  • Start sending those emails!

Step 1. Do your research

In order to make personalised videos for cold emails, you’re going to need a list of prospects and some research around them and their business. Lix can help you to find the email address of anyone on LinkedIn, plus enrich your prospect lists with their profile data – if you need a headstart for this step!

Once you have your list read and you understand your prospect’s, it’s time to move to Step 2.

Step 2. Make a short script for each person.

I know what some of you are thinking right now. “Script? I don’t need a script! Communication is what I do!”. I get it. I was the same when I first started sending videos to prospects. I soon realised that having a script, even just some bullet points, helps you to stay on track.

Remember, these video are supposed to be short and to the point. There isn’t room for you to ramble while you remember your points! You need to communicate who you are, what you’re selling and why they specifically are a great fit using examples from their website or social media – all in less than a minute.

If you can do that off the cuff with no notes, hats off to you!

Step 3. Choose your tool


The best personalised videos show the recipient from the outset that it is, in fact, personalised. For this, I advise recording using something like Loom. Loom allows you to record a video on top of a web page – with your face taking up a small circle in the corner. This allows you to showcase their page as the main attraction.


Here’s a example of me using Loom on the Lix homepage:


Step 4. Record

Unless you’re an avid videographer or an actor in your spare time, this part will take some getting used to. Most people don’t like recording themselves, and I get it. It’s just about practice. The more you make, the better you’ll get and the less nervous you’ll be.

When recording your video, make sure that:

  • You have a good camera and lighting.
  • You are in a quiet place where no one else will disturb you while filming, so that you can focus on what is being said in the recording.

Step 5. Craft Copy & Send

When your video is ready, it’s time to prep the email. Remember, the personalised video is the star of the show. Your email content exists to drive recipients to the video and support your message.

If you’re comfortable with technology, it’s great idea to turn a section of your video into a gif (you can do that here). If not, provide a screenshot from the video. That way, your recipient knows what to expect when they click the link – they also know it’s not a virus!

For copy, I would advise keeping it short and sweet, just like the example at the top of this blog:

Hi {First Name},

I made you a quick video (60 seconds) click to watch


Then below the video, if you want add some links to testimonials or make a (short) supporting statement then do so. Most importantly however is the call to action.

Give your reader a clear, guided next step. Whether that’s a link to your Calendly, or asking them for a reply – make sure it’s in there!


Personalised videos can make a big difference to your cold emails

Personalised videos are a great way to connect with your audience. They can also increase your conversion rate, help you stand out from the crowd and build trust with your audience. And if that’s not enough, personalised videos can also help you build relationships with people!

Remember that when we talk about building relationships, it’s not just about one-way communication—it’s about two-way communication. You don’t want to be seen as just another company or brand; you want to be seen as an individual who is willing to go out of their way for their customers.

We hope that this post has helped you understand the importance and value of personalised videos. Video outreach is no longer a passing fad, but rather an integral part of your brand’s overall marketing and sales strategy. By using video to connect with your audience on a personal level, you can build trust in your message and reach out to new customers.