How to Generate Leads on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a potential goldmine for both B2C and B2B companies. To get leads from LinkedIn all you need is the right LinkedIn strategy combined with the right LinkedIn messages and LinkedIn tools.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How to get leads on LinkedIn for free
  • How to generate leads with LinkedIn ads
  • LinkedIn lead generation tips and best practices
  • The number 1 Linkedin lead generation strategy

Like what you read in this article? To dive deeper into the strategy to get 10, 15, 30 or more high-quality appointments each month then click here to watch my free Masterclass training.

Best LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategy

The first thing you need to do to generate leads on LinkedIn is to have the right strategy.

Without the right strategy, it doesn’t matter what you do on LinkedIn, it won’t work very well.

The best LinkedIn strategy is:

  • Profitable (low cost or even free!)
  • Scalable (get leads on-demand)
  • Predictable (know how many leads & clients you’ll win each month)
  • Automated (not very time-consuming)

So what is the best strategy to generate high-quality leads on LinkedIn?

Click here to watch my free Masterclass training that goes through the best strategy to use to generate leads on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google & YouTube.

Once you have the right lead generation strategy in place, here are some tips to get the most from your LinkedIn lead generation:

Create a marketing and sales funnel

It doesn’t matter how good your LinkedIn skills are, if you don’t have an automated way to take strangers to leads, appointments and clients, it won’t work very well.

I see people on LinkedIn spend countless hours:

  • Posting each day
  • Messaging people
  • Joining LinkedIn groups
  • Posting on other people’s LinkedIn statuses
  • Recording LinkedIn live videos
  • And more

But many of these people get 0 (or very few) from their LinkedIn lead generation.


They’re not sending people on LinkedIn into a funnel that is specifically designed to get leads, sales appointments and clients.

What is the best funnel for LinkedIn lead gen?

There are hundreds of different funnels you can use to market your business. But if your goal is to get high quality leads and sales appointments, you only need ONE funnel.

I call it an automated appointment funnel.

Marketing Funnel

How does a LinkedIn automated appointment funnel work?

A LinkedIn automated appointment funnel is (as the name suggests) an automated way to get strangers to convert into leads, appointments and clients.

What does an automated LinkedIn funnel look like?

The automated LinkedIn funnel has 5 main pages, which are:

  • Opt-in page: to capture a prospect’s name & email so you can follow up with them
  • Video page: to build trust with leads so they WANT to talk to you
  • Schedule call page: make it easy for someone to schedule a call in your calendar
  • Application page: pre-qualify leads before they speak to you
  • Call confirmation page: give them additional resources to build trust before the call

You can see a live example of this funnel and learn how to create one yourself in ‘Step 3’ of my free training.

Generate leads on LinkedIn

Now that you have a marketing and sales funnel, you need a way to get new potential clients into the funnel in the first place.

The more people you have going through your funnel, the more leads, appointments and clients you’ll be able to get out of it.

On Linkedin there are two main ways to get leads:

  • LinkedIn outreach (free & low cost strategies)
  • LinkedIn ads (paid strategies)

Let’s start with the free ways to get leads on LinkedIn.

Get leads on LinkedIn for free

Free linkedin leads

The best way to get leads on LinkedIn without ads is to find and reach out to potential clients on LinkedIn.

You can do this using LinkedIn search to find potential clients.

Then you can use LinkedIn sales messages to reach out to potential clients.

Here are some tips to find new clients on LinkedIn without ads:

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Tip 1: Exclude the wrong kind of leads

One way you can find the right kind of leads and clients when searching LinkedIn is to use the keyword “NOT”.

For example, if you want to target accountants then you can search for “Accountant NOT marketing”. LinkedIn will find people who ONLY have the keyword “Accountant” and exclude anyone that has the keyword “Marketing”.

This will improve the chances that you only get accountants (not marketing people or companies) in your search results.

Keyword NOT

When searching on LinkedIn for leads, it’s important to filter out the wrong kind of people so that you can get high-quality leads.

Using the keyword NOT is just one of many keywords you can use to get better quality search results. You can also use Boolean search using keywords such as “OR” and “AND”.

Here’s a screenshot from LinkedIn’s support article which goes through all of the Boolean search phrases you can use to help you get more accurate search results:

LinkedIn search tips

Experiment with different search queries and see if it helps you can better results!

Tip 2: Target Active People on LinkedIn

Surprisingly a lot of people who use LinkedIn are not active. They don’t use LinkedIn every day as they would with other social media lead generation channels such as Facebook or Instagram.

Fortunately, LinkedIn allows you to search for only active people who are using LinkedIn based on those who have posted recently in the last 30 days.

Active LinkedIn Users

By targeting active people on LinkedIn it increases the chances you will get people who connect back to you and respond to your LinkedIn message.

Top tip: If you search for leads & potential clients and your search results are in the THOUSANDS then it’s a good idea to filter down these search results by targeting active people only. On the other hand, if your search results are already quite small, then there’s no need to filter it down and target active LinkedIn users only.

Tip 3: Target people based on company size

In the LinkedIn basic search results, you can target people by industry without needing to pay LinkedIn any money for a premium account, but many of our clients get much better results if they target people by company size.

Target company size on LinkedIn

This allows you to target business owners with higher revenue.

See also: How to target business owners on Facebook ads

Tip 4: Do not rely on LinkedIn InMail

When you sign up for a LinkedIn premium sales navigator account, they are going to be pushing you to use LinkedIn InMail and try to convince you it’s this incredible feature that helps you start more conversations on LinkedIn…

But the truth is… with Inmail you’re going to be limited by the number of messages you can send. And on LinkedIn, it is a bit of a numbers game. So if you only use LinkedIn Inmail to generate leads, you’re not going to be able to generate a lot of leads.

In fact, the strategy that we use to message potential clients on LinkedIn doesn’t involve LinkedIn InMail at all.

Watch the video below to see the strategy we use:

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By following the strategy in the video above, you’ll be more likely to get more leads on LinkedIn and get higher quality appointments too.

Tip 5: Automate LinkedIn Lead Generation

Because LinkedIn is a little bit of a numbers game, it’s important to not try and do everything manually. If you are doing everything manually, it’s going to be very difficult to keep up the momentum and keep getting results.

Fortunately, there are Linkedin automation tools you can use to get connect and message potential clients on LinkedIn automatically.

See the video below for a comparison of the best LinkedIn automation tools:

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Tip 6: Optimize your profile to attract your ideal clients

If you optimize your LinkedIn profile correctly by making it appealing to the prospects you’re targeting, then you’ll be more likely to get a positive response from the people you’re connecting to on LinkedIn.

If your LinkedIn profile is really well optimized, you’ll even get people reaching out to learn more about how you can help them BEFORE you reach out to them.

This is rare – but I have seen it happens many times!

Watch the video below to see some of my best tips on optimizing your LinkedIn profile:

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Tip 7: Target an older / more experienced demographic

One of the questions I often get asked is “How can you target people by age on LinkedIn?”. On LinkedIn’s sales navigator search filters, as of right now, there is no option to target people by age. But there is a simple workaround to target people an older demographic.

To target older people on LinkedIn (or people with more work experience), you can target by the following search filters:

  • Years in current position
  • Years at current company
  • Years of experience

If you select “More than 10 years” for all or some of these search filters, you’re more likely to target an older demographic on LinkedIn.

Target by experience

Tip 8: Upgrade to LinkedIn sales navigator

If you want to get more search filters when finding leads on LinkedIn, you can use LinkedIn sales navigator to do this.

LinkedIn sales navigator allows you to search for leads based on:

  • Company size
  • Years of Experience (good for targeting older people on LinkedIn)
  • Seniority level
  • And more

You can’t get these search filters with the free basic LinkedIn account.

A lot of business owners don’t buy a LinkedIn sales navigator account because they think it’s expensive, but there’s actually ways you can get a LinkedIn premium discount with up to 95% off!

Do you need a LinkedIn sales navigator account? It all depends on your target audience. If your target audience can be found using the free LinkedIn search filters then you don’t need a LinkedIn sales navigator account to get leads.

A lot of people don’t buy

Overview of the free LinkedIn lead gen strategy

Once you find the right people on LinkedIn (your potential clients), it’s important you have the right strategy. Without the right strategy on LinkedIn, you won’t get very good results.

In summary, the best LinkedIn automation strategy is:

  • Step 1: Find potential clients on LinkedIn
  • Step 2: Ask if they want to see a video that solves a problem they have
  • Step 3: If they like what they hear on the video, let them schedule a call

Click here to watch a video that goes through how this strategy works in more detail. The video training shows you how you can use this strategy in your business to generate high quality leads and sales appointments each month with your ideal clients.

How to get leads with LinkedIn ads

If you don’t want to use LinkedIn outreach to get leads, you can still get leads using Linkedin ads. The advantage to using Linkedin ads is that you can reach out to a lot more people.

With LinkedIn outreach, you’re limited to how many people you can LinkedIn invites you can send each week (for one LinkedIn profile).

With LinkedIn ads, you can reach out to as many people you like. The more you spend on LinkedIn ads, the more people you can reach.

Another advantage to using LinkedIn vs Facebook ads or Google ads is that LinkedIn gives you a lot more detailed targeting options for targeting business owners.

For example, you can target people on LinkedIn ads by:

  • Company size
  • Job title
  • Industry
  • Seniority level
  • Years of experience
  • And more!

There are also a variety of ads you can run on LinkedIn, including:

  • LinkedIn sponsored messages
  • LinkedIn display ads
  • LinkedIn dynamic ads
  • LinkedIn lead gen forms

In our experience, we’ve found LinkedIn ads sending people to your opt-in page in your marketing and sales funnel to work best (also known as LinkedIn display ads).

However, like all things in marketing, it’s good to split test different LinkedIn ads with various LinkedIn objective goals and see which one works best for your business.

LinkedIn objective

Note: LinkedIn ads in many cases can have a higher cost per lead vs Facebook ads. But at the same time, the lead quality on LinkedIn can be higher too.

See also: LinkedIn ads vs Facebook ads: which works best?

Follow up with LinkedIn leads

man on phone reading emails

In B2B advertising, it can take a long time for leads to convert into clients.

Many b2b sales cycles can take anywhere from 6-12 months to convert leads into clients.

This is why it’s critical you have a strong follow up process for any new leads that you generate from LinkedIn.

Here are a few ways you can follow up with leads:

Follow up with LinkedIn leads using email marketing

Email the leads you get on LinkedIn helpful education follow up emails.

The emails should:

  • Focus on providing value
  • Answer questions your potential clients ask
  • Solve problems your clients have
  • Build social proof (e.g. testimonials, case studies, etc)

It’s also important to include call to actions in your emails to the next step in your sales process.

For example, is the next step in your sales process to schedule a call with your sales team or a sales rep? Make this clear in your email call to actions (CTA’s).

Retarget leads from LinkedIn

Another great way to stay top of mind with your LinkedIn leads is to retarget them on different social media channels.

And if you want to achieve omnipresence in the mind of your potential clients, then try out Adroll ads to retarget leads on thousands of different non-social media websites.

You can retarget leads from LinkedIn in a few ways:

Post daily updates on LinkedIn

Another way many business owners try to stay top of mind with LinkedIn leads is to post daily social media updates.

However, in my experience, this is a VERY slow way to build trust on LinkedIn.

Organic reach on LinkedIn is very low and it does very little to move the needle.

So I’d recommend IF you do this, don’t spend a lot of time on it.

It would be much better if you retarget leads automatically or use email marketing instead.

Publish articles on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has a feature where you can publish your own LinkedIn content.

The advantage of doing this is that LinkedIn is a high authority website so there’s a good chance you can rank higher on Google for the topic you’re talking about in your article.

The downside is that the content is on LinkedIn’s platform which you don’t have control over. You can’t, for example, retarget any leads that read the article and it’s harder to convert these readers into leads.

However, if you have the extra time, it can be a helpful way to boost your overall Linkedin presence.

What are the best LinkedIn lead generation tools?

LinkedIn tools

The best LinkedIn lead generation tools will allow you to connect and message LinkedIn users automatically.

However, like all tools, there’s a right way and wrong way to use them.

The wrong way to use LinkedIn tools

  • Mass message LinkedIn prospects too quickly
  • Pitch your services via LinkedIn messages
  • Ask LinkedIn connections if they want to schedule a call before building any relationship
  • Spam LinkedIn comments, likes or private messages

The right way to use LinkedIn tools

  • Use it to do the same things you would normally do manually
  • Build quality connections over quantity
  • Build value first before selling

You can learn more about the right way to use LinkedIn lead generation tools in ‘Step 4’ of my free Masterclass training.