Building Relationships on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Lead Generation

Written by Jennifer
2nd February 2024

What do you see when you view a LinkedIn profile?

A bunch of information on someone’s career? A great way to snoop on ex-colleagues?

The truth is, whether it’s Richard Branson or Richard who-used-to-work-in-HR, a LinkedIn profile represents a real human being and the best way to resonate with real human beings is to be, well, human!

And whether your end goal is to win new clients, sell your product or service, or simply recruit attendees for an upcoming event, building relationships with the people you’re messaging is the real key to success!

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up our 6 essential best practices for building relationships on LinkedIn.

1. Follow Before Connecting

Following a potential prospect first is a great way to learn more about both their work and interests before taking the next step of connecting.

If the person is actively posting on LinkedIn, this is a great time to read through their content and engage with their posts, while also finding some common ground that can be used to personalise your messages in Steps 2 & 3.

2. Personalise your Connection Requests

When you go to connect to a new person on LinkedIn, you will notice that you are given the option to add a note which will display alongside your invitation.

We recommend always taking advantage of this feature to briefly explain who you are and why you’d like to connect, without trying to sell straight away!

If you’ve already followed their account on LinkedIn and engaged with their content, they will likely recognise your name and are more likely to trust that your connection request is genuine and press “Accept”. ✅

Just be mindful that you are limited to 300 characters (200 if you don’t subscribe to LinkedIn Premium) so it’s important to keep your message as brief and to the point as possible.

3. Get People Talking

As a good salesperson, I was always taught in telesales and field sales that you should first get the person talking about their business before introducing yours – and this is exactly the same on LinkedIn!

If you’ve already followed Steps 1 & 2, you should by now be actively engaging with the person’s LinkedIn posts and have a better idea of what makes them tick, so before you even introduce your business, start by referencing something you’ve seen about theirs.

If they’ve recently started a new role or celebrated a work anniversary, congratulate them on this.

If they’ve won an award, congratulate them on this.

If they’ve shared an interesting article, comment on this.

The options are endless, and the more you talk about and compliment their business and successes, the more likely they are to want to talk about yours!

With LinkedIn’s popularity increasing almost by the day, the number of spam messages being sent by people who don’t take either the time or effort to do any groundwork is increasing at a similar rate.

Do you really think that your basic message is going to stand out from all the other spam messages your target audience is already receiving? Very unlikely.

We get so many people who come to us and say LinkedIn doesn’t work, and when we see this type of activity on their account, we’re not surprised.

4. Share Useful Links, Hints & Tips

On top of engaging with your prospects’ posts, sharing useful links, hints and tips with your LinkedIn connections in your direct messages is a great way to build rapport and share information related to your business without being “salesy”.

Whether it’s a recent news article, a blog you’ve written or even a short message inviting them to subscribe to your newsletter, there are multitude of ways you can engage with potential prospects and share your industry knowledge.

5. Create your Own Content

We often talk about the importance of sharing your own content on LinkedIn, and if you’re looking to build relationships with potential prospects, it’s one step you definitely don’t want to miss!

Sharing regular content on LinkedIn is a great way to share your expertise, connect with your audience and build better relationships without even having to send a private message!

With LinkedIn developing at such a fast rate, your content no longer has to be limited to daily posts. You can now create and run events on LinkedIn, reshare your blogs as articles and, our particular favourite, create and publish your own newsletter.

If you’d like to give this a go but don’t know where to start, check out our Lowdown on LinkedIn Newsletters to get started!

And if you want to go one step further, you can then use this content as part of your useful links, hints and tips mentioned in Step 4 – LinkedIn articles and newsletters, we’re looking at you!

6. NEVER Automate!

If there’s one thing that really gets our goat on LinkedIn, it’s people who continue to use automation software despite the fact that it’s:

A) Banned by LinkedIn


B) Can ruin even the BEST Lead Generation strategy!

We’ve spoken a lot about LinkedIn banning automation software in the past but if this isn’t enough to prevent you, maybe an example of a real automated message like the following will be:

“Hi John, I’ve been looking at your website and your work looks incredible.

We help agencies like yourself who specialise in web design and SEO.”

While the message started off good – compliments are always nice to hear – we quickly lost interest at the mention of websites and SEO.

If they had, as they claimed, even taken 10 seconds to look at our website, they would know that we don’t offer, let alone specialise in, either of these services!

To us, it’s a classic automated message sent from a bot who sees Bee Social listed as a “Marketing” company and doesn’t have the programming, let alone the effort, to look further!

With all the Linkedin accounts we manage for our clients, we see these types of messages daily among their profiles.

If you don’t mind spamming as many people as possible, we aren’t the right company for your business.

Unlike many others, we care not only about our reputation but also yours!

To Finish

Regardless of their simplicity, the steps we’ve outlined above really can be the difference between the success and failure of your LinkedIn Lead Generation strategy.

Yet, as with many areas of sales and marketing, we understand that even the simplest steps can seem like mountains when you’re busy running your business.

If this sounds familiar and you’re looking to use LinkedIn to build relationships with potential prospects, you may want to consider delegating the task.

Over the past few months, we’ve been working with one particular client who saw results in a matter of weeks! They’ve worked with another lead generation agency in the past to no avail, but had already converted a number of our leads by the time of our first monthly review.

As specialists in Lead Generation, we pride ourselves on our human approach to LinkedIn – helping you to stand out from the competition!

Give us a buzz on Leeds: 0113 3206266 or Harrogate: 01423 297009 or click here to get in touch today and find out more.

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