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What is ClickFunnels? – 7 Ways It Helps You Promote Your Online Business

By Funnel, MarketingNo Comments

Did one of your colleagues recently talk to you about ClickFunnels and you were left wondering what it was all about? Was it your manager who wanted you to start using it? Or are you an entrepreneur who is looking at improving your online business? However you heard about ClickFunnels, you are now seeking a thorough overview of how the tool can help you. If that’s the case, then you’re in the right place.

In this article, we are going to describe what ClickFunnels is, what it is not, and how the tool can help your online business.

FIRST, LET’S START WITH UNDERSTANDING “WHAT IS CLICKFUNNELS”?

ClickFunnels is a Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription tool that was designed to help businesses build sales funnels, email collection forms, landing pages, and payment collection pages without having to code. It allows you to sell your products online more quickly by helping you create pages that simplify purchases and boost conversion.

ClickFunnels has a large collection of business-oriented templates that you can select and create pages for your website to drive lead generation and sales. These templates are really appealing and can be customized based on the idea you have in mind.

Once you have selected the template, you’ll just have to drag and drop various elements on the template to get a finished product. This saves you from any coding efforts and makes the process of creating attractive Lead Gen and sales pages simpler and faster.

ClickFunnels Templates Library

ClickFunnels allows you to create landing pages for all stages in your sales funnel (prospect, lead, qualified, deal closure, etc). Their templates are optimized based on the stage in the sales funnel you are creating the landing page for, such that they drive more leads, email-opt ins, and sales. By creating pages using their templates, you could build your email lists and also drive conversions.

WHAT IS CLICKFUNNELS NOT?

ClickFunnels is not an email marketing tool like MailChimp or ZohoCampaigns. Using ClickFunnels, you will be able to build an email list or grow your existing subscriber list, but this tool will not be able to run your email marketing campaigns. They do not have email templates that you could use for creating your email campaigns. So even when you purchase ClickFunnels to grow your subscriber list, you will still need an email marketing tool like MailChimp, Convertkit‎, Zoho Campaigns,‎ or AWeber to send your actual email marketing messages.

 

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7 WAYS CLICKFUNNELS HELPS YOU PROMOTE YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS

1. FORCES YOU TO USE A BEST PRACTICES FUNNEL

While ClickFunnels is a marketing and sales tool, the greatest benefit of using ClickFunnels is that it forces business owners to think about their business through the lens of a sales funnel, which most businesses have not done even if they are seasoned enterprises.

It also introduces business owners to the concept of stepping up prospects from free or low-cost products and upselling them to more expensive products during the sales process, through funnels made up of drip email nurturing campaigns, landing pages, forms, etc. If you want to learn more about this process and the consumer psychology behind it, you’ll have the opportunity to get a great book on this at the bottom of this article.
ClickFunnels Feature List

2. BUILDS ONLINE SALES PAGES FOR YOUR BUSINESS

ClickFunnels is a landing page builder that allows you to build actual sales funnels that you could use in your online business. ClickFunnels has a whole series of templates to build these funnels based on what your business requirement is. It makes your landing page set up process seamless and quick.

For example, your business may be looking at selling an online membership. In that case, you could build a funnel where you drive people to register and then you direct them to your membership page where you have eBooks that the members could download. Or maybe you are an eCommerce store and you want to create sales funnels for driving conversion. ClickFunnels allows you to create eCommerce product pages without any unnecessary distractions to ensure higher conversion rates.

3. OPT-IN LEAD FORMS TO CAPTURE EMAIL ADDRESSES & BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST

ClickFunnels has wonderful Squeeze Page Funnels for your business to grow your email list of subscribers and potential buyers. The squeeze page funnels by ClickFunnels has just two simple stages – squeeze page and the thank you page. The squeeze page is the typical opt-in lead form page where you are asking for email addresses of the users in return for providing some valuable like a lead magnet. The second page is where we will give the users the information we have promised in return for their email ID. Here are few amazing Squeeze Page Funnels from ClickFunnels that you could use.

ClickFunnels Funnel Library

4. TAKES PAYMENT FOR YOUR ONLINE STORE

By integrating ClickFunnels with payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe, your business will be able to accept payments via the ClickFunnels eCommerce landing pages you created.

So, this is an essential step if you are planning to sell products online by creating sales pages using ClickFunnels. For example, if you want to sell memberships to your portal via online landing pages, you could integrate ClickFunnels with PayPal payment gateway to accept payments from users and then take them to the membership portal.

Reasons to Use a Funnel in Business

5. BUILD OPTIMIZED LANDING PAGES FOR UPSELLING

ClickFunnels allows you to add Upsell products for various products in your line items. While creating a product page via ClickFunnels you have an option to add upsell pages/products to each of your products. This is integrated usually in the form of additional upsell download buttons as shown in the image below. These buttons would be linked to the upsell pages that are created. Alternatively, you could link existing products of higher value to the upsell button.

ClickFunnels Landing Page Builder

6. MARKETING AUTOMATION TO SEND EMAILS

ClickFunnels supports email marketing automation by integrating 3rd party email hosting services such as G Suite, Zoho and autoresponders such as Aweber, GetResponse, ActiveCampaign, and more. You could create your G Suite or Zoho email for your ClickFunnels domain and integrate it so that you can send mailers to your subscribers. Once you integrate the chosen email marketing tool, setting up a mailer is a very simple 3 step process as shown in the image below.

Image result for clickfunnels Marketing Automation To Send Emails

7. HOST A WEBINAR

Webinar Funnel Map

ClickFunnels enables you to host webinars and build autowebinar funnels by integrating your webinar tool with the platform. You could integrate webinar tools like Zoom or GoToMeeting with ClickFunnels and host webinars for your potential customers or target audience.

Post integration, you could build webinar funnels and pages by choosing a suitable template and setting the live time and date for the webinar. All the webinars you have hosted will be available in the replay room and you could add these webinars to the landing pages built via ClickFunnels. Many times webinar recordings are used for lead generation. For example, you could ask visitors to leave their email IDs to view a webinar recording on how to use ClickFunnels.

How to setup your first automated webinar ClickFunnels help center

 

 

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CLICKFUNNELS PRICING

Here are the pricing details for the platform. ClickFunnels offers a couple of options- the basic plan with limited pages, templates, funnels and 20k visitors that costs $97 per month and the etison Suite version with unlimited pages, templates, funnels and visitors that costs $297 per month. Below is a table comparing the features of the two options.

ClickFunnels Pricing Table

HOW TO EXPERIENCE CLICKFUNNELS – ORDER THIS BOOK OR START TRIAL

There are two great ways to get a first-hand experience of ClickFunnels.

First, the one we highly recommend is to request your copy of the physical book “DotCom Secrets”. This is a physical paper book, not a download. The book is free but you will have to pay about $6 for shipping and handling and it is well worth it. DotCom Secrets is a playbook compendium of modern day digital marketing sales funnel best practices that have changed the way we run our business. When you order “DotCom Secrets” you will go through a ClickFunnels funnel, including landing page, forms and their Trip-wire upsell as a part of the sign-up process. This will give you a fair idea of the kind of experiences you could create for your business by using ClickFunnels. Clicking the banner below will get you started ordering the DotCom Secrets book.

Another way would be to start your Free 30-day Trial of ClickFunnels to build your own Funnels.

FINAL THOUGHTS

ClickFunnels is an amazing tool if you are looking at boosting your online sales for your business. The $97 entry price might be steep for a newer business but is an attractive logical progression once your marketing maturity advances beyond a simple email tool like MailChimp for an information product, membership or e-commerce business. However, you must spend the time choosing the right funnels and templates according to your business and target audience. Be sure to choose the templates based on your buyer journey stages to make this an effective part of your marketing strategies.

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Marketing your Business on Instagram – 7 Tips to Grow Your Brand

By Marketing, Social Media MarketingNo Comments

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has taken the world by storm and has grown into a powerful social media platform. With over 1 billion monthly active users, the photo-sharing platform is undeniably one of the most prominent social media channels. Creating stunning visual content will be the key to success on Instagram, as content shared on the platform primarily includes photos, videos, and live videos.

 

WHY SHOULD YOUR BUSINESS BE ON INSTAGRAM?

Using #hashtags wisely while Instagramming can get your business a much higher engagement. Categorize your content and identify high volume hashtags for these topics. Such #hashtags make your content more discoverable because anyone who clicks on a hashtag and searches for it will see a page with all the posts that tagged this particular #hashtag. The more likes you get on your post, the more discoverable it would become because engagement will determine your post’s location on the search page and a higher position on the search page would result in being discovered more often.

 

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HARNESS SUCCESS ON INSTAGRAM FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS

Before you start marketing your small business on Instagram, be sure to switch your account to a business profile. This will activate various business specific Instagram features like a contact button, Instagram insights, ads, and shopping tags which are vital to success. Also, include a great bio for your business with the most relevant #hashtags and a valid URL redirecting followers to your mobile responsive website.

Treat you Instagram feed like your product gallery. Create and share astounding product-based images. Your posts needn’t explicitly talk about selling the products. Instead, marketing a theme where your products would be a great fit is a brilliant strategy! Use stories and live videos to connect better with your audience and improve engagement. Post more often, say around 1.5 times per day on an average so that you can maximize views.

Engage with your target audience. Reply to their comments on your posts. Comment and like on posts related to your industry niche to get more visibility. You could also run contests on Instagram to make your audience engage with your brand actively.

Instagram users love to see their peers getting recognized by leading brands. This is why user-generated content drives a higher conversion rate.

 

INSTAGRAM SUCCESS STORIES

If you master the nuances of Instagram marketing for your small business, you can fuel your lead generation strategy by a significant extent. Read this article on how these 5 small businesses have a killer Instagram marketing strategy to boost their conversions.

Influencer marketing is extremely popular on Instagram. Top influencers, commonly referred to as the ‘Instagram Rich List,’ make a fortune. Kylie Jenner who ranks number 1 on this list with over 111 million followers makes $1 million per post and Selena Gomez with 135 million followers makes $800,000 per post. They charge such huge sums based on the estimated engagement their posts are likely to receive. Kylie charges higher than Selena due to her high post engagement. In fact, she holds the record for the most liked social media post with over 13 million likes. Brands who want to tap this potential connect with the influencers for sponsored posts.

You could also use tools like Upfluence, Neoreach and OpenFluence to identify influencers who are more relevant for your small business both in terms of the industries they market to and pricing.

Here are a few more Instagram success stories that could inspire you!

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POSTING ON INSTAGRAM AND AUTOMATED POSTING

Plan your Instagram content strategy based on your understanding of the target audience. Based on the shortlisted list of #hashtags, create relevant content. As a small business, you should focus on the quality of content to be posted instead of quantity. Even if you post only once or twice per day, carefully pick the right hashtags and promote your business and brand.

Instagram doesn’t allow automated posting. So even if you use a wide range of available auto post tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, Sproutsocial, Later, Autogrammer and Agorapulse, on Instagram, you could just use these tools to schedule the content to be posted at a particular time and set reminder notifications for you/your team to post manually at that time when you have scheduled the post.

These auto post tools allow you to upload images and videos, add a caption with #hashtags and select a time to post in on the calendar. You need to make sure you are available to hit the share button when you want the content to be posted according to the calendar.

 

VIDEOS ARE IMPORTANT FOR YOUR INSTAGRAM STRATEGY

25% of Instagram ads are videos. Videos can be up to 60 seconds long but shorter videos of around 15 to 30 seconds duration tend to receive higher engagement. Here are 17 inspiring video examples for Instagram video marketing.

Stories are one of the most popular features on Instagram. As of June 2018, Instagram stories alone has 400 million daily active users. So do not restrict your Instagram marketing initiatives to just photographs and regular videos. Plan to use short and concise live videos to tell unique brand experiences and market on Instagram. Stories feature allows you to post such bitesize 15-second videos. Here are a few brilliant examples of how to use Instagram stories for marketing your brand.

USING AUTOMATION TOOLS TO GAIN MORE FOLLOWERS AND ENGAGE WITH THEM

SocialDrift is an Instagram automation tool that allows you to grow your Instagram followers organically by automating follows, likes, and comments. Using smart filters, you can target users by location, #hashtags, usernames, and more. The platform safely grows Instagram following by using machine learning to help customers engage with their target audience. SocialDrift also has Secureboost, which ensures that your brand remains within the Instagram permissible limits. And the tool is compliant with Instagram’s terms and conditions making it a safe option. McDonald’s uses SocialDrift for their Instagram automation.

Combin helps you find posts and Instagram users by hashtag or location and perform combination searches by hashtag + location. Once discovered, the tool allows Combin users to manually follow, like, and comment; manage follows and unfollows on the same page. Combin tracks the number of actions. If too many actions are performed, it automatically schedules it to a later date.

Popsocial is a similar automation which allows users to acquire Instagram followers in a short amount of time. Popsocial has big clients like Microsoft and Porsche. But there isn’t much information on how the tool goes about acquiring followers and engaging with them. Neither does the tool mention if it complies with the Instagram limits.

There are quite a few other Instagram automation tools like Kickstagram, Robolike, Social Growth, Instaheap that allow you to discover users based on their location and #hashtag

However, you must be very careful while choosing an automation tool to increase your follower base and engagement for your business Instagram profile. This is because Instagram has very strict policies against automation. Instagress, an extremely popular automation tool was shut down by Instagram classifying it as unauthorized commercial communication or spam. You must choose a tool which complies with Instagram’s policies and stays within the permissible limits.

 

HOW INSTAGRAM MARKETING FITS INTO THE BUYING JOURNEY

During the initial stages of the buying journey when users are not aware of the problem they are facing or the available solutions, Instagram ads that drive brand awareness are apt. When potential customers are in the middle of the funnel, influencer posts and user-generated content could motivate them and convince them about the authenticity of the brand. And when they are in the purchase and loyalty stages Instagram shopping would be a great option.

Visual content drives more conversions by attracting users. Small businesses can now create a virtual shopfront on Instagram with its shopping on Instagram feature. If you want to use storytelling to sell your products, then you could use shopping in Instagram stories which is expected to be launched soon.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Be authentic, have fun, and use appropriate brand voice for the channel.

Understanding your brand and creating a brand voice is crucial to Instagram marketing. Instagram is a platform which almost entirely focusses on original content. So, in order to be successful on the platform, create authentic content that rings a bell among your target audience.

Fun posts also do extremely well, so ensure that you have an optimal mix of fun versus other informative posts. Be extremely consistent with the kind of content you post on your account and blend your visual brand into each post of yours. This will help you develop a brand voice on Instagram.

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Facebook Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses – 7 Things You Must Know

By Marketing, Social Media MarketingNo Comments

With around 2.23 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a powerful social media channel as nearly all consumer markets are on Facebook. This dominance makes Facebook an unavoidable channel for any business or brand that focuses on social media marketing. In this article, we will be discussing seven things you must know about if you want your business to make an impact in the Facebook marketing space.

FACEBOOK BUSINESS MANAGER  

Facebook Business Manager is a tool that allows you to create, publish, monitor, and track your business’ Facebook pages or Facebook ads. It’s a one-stop solution for managing ad account and pages and provides different access levels (partial or full access) to the people who work on them.

Facebook is a fantastic marketing platform for SMBs as it is the cheapest forms of advertising. You could spend as little as $5 to reach a wide audience of around 1000. Another major benefit is the ability to reach the exact audience by filtering based on demographics, interests, and behavior. So if you know who your customers are, then Facebook advertising allows you to target them efficiently, making sure your spend is optimal.

 

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FACEBOOK BLUEPRINT (ONLINE FB TUTORIALS) 

Now that you have realized Facebook is one of the top platforms for reaching out to your potential customers, it is time to understand the social media platform and learn how to promote your business using Facebook marketing campaigns.

Facebook Blueprint is an eLearning platform by Facebook, where you could choose a tailored learning path based on courses suitable for your role. Facebook Blueprint offers 76 courses in a wide variety of topics to hone your Facebook marketing skills. You could also choose to establish your Facebook marketing expertise by getting certified.

Currently, Facebook offers two certifications– Facebook Certified Planning Professional and Facebook Certified Buying Professional, covering two areas of expertise. These courses will enable you to become proficient in planning successful Facebook advertising campaigns, creating and buying Facebook advertisements for maximum campaign impact.

FACEBOOK AUDIENCES

Based on your understanding of your target market, the next step is to plan your business’ Facebook marketing campaigns and set SMART objectives.

Once you have planned your Facebook marketing campaigns, the next step would be to decide the audience for your ads. Facebook has three options for choosing your target audience.

  1. Core AudienceThis is the basic targeting mechanism on Facebook where you will have to manually select your audience based on their demographics, interests, location, and behavior. As a business, it is important to understand your buyer persona and identify the age group, location, behavior, and interests of your target audience. Core audience targeting allows you to cater ads to these identified groups by filtering based on the above-discussed parameters.
  1. Facebook Custom AudienceCustom audience permits you to get in touch with people you already know. They may be existing customers or users who have connected with your brand beforehand. Custom audiences help you to find your existing customers and contacts on Facebook so you can foster relationships with them and drive sales.

You could build custom audiences on Facebook using three key sources- contact lists/email marketing lists, website visitors, and mobile app users.

Building a custom audience from contact lists is a very simple process where you could upload, copy and paste or import your hashed customer list. On the other hand, building custom audiences from both website visitors and mobile app users requires an initial set up. For building custom audiences using website visitors, you’ll have to install Facebook Pixel on your website. Facebook Pixel is a snippet that has to be installed on your website to track your website audience and map them with their Facebook profiles.

You can read more about building custom audiences from your website data.

In the case of mobile apps, you are required to install a snippet, Facebook SDK 0, in your mobile app to track user behavior and map it to the Facebook users.

  1. Lookalike AudienceLookalike audience are audience groups built based on people who are similar to your customers or contacts. It is a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your products and solutions because they are similar to your existing high valued customers.

Lookalike audience, similar to custom audience, can be built from three sources- customer lists, website visitors and page fans.

When you create campaigns targeting a lookalike audience created from your highly valued customers, it is highly likely to have a high conversion rate. Audience size you choose while creating the lookalike audience determines how similar they are to your customers. If you choose 1% then the audience would be extremely similar to your existing customers, but the volume would be less, whereas, if you choose 10%, estimated reach will be very high but similarity and quality of lookalike audience will reduce.

You could also create a lookalike audience for people who spend a considerable amount of time on your website’s product pages. This way, you can target an audience who are considering your products and drive them towards conversion.

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FACEBOOK PIXEL

Facebook Pixel is a tracking code similar to Google Analytics tracking code that has to be installed in your website, so that it can track various actions visitors perform on your website. This tracking data could then be used by your business to create custom or lookalike audience for your Facebook advertising campaigns. Here’s how it works: 1) When a visitor visits a page on your website, the facebook pixel (just an image) loads and this shares and connects your user’s activity on your website (e.g. the page that just loaded) with Facebook. 2) This “loading pixel image” sends data to Facebook about you, such as an anonymous “user ID” which identifies you/your computer and may even connect it to your Facebook user profile.

The primary role of Facebook Pixel is to retarget your website visitors with Facebook ads as they navigate to other sites out on the web. If you’ve visited a product page on Amazon, then seen an ad for it as you browse other sites away from Amazon, this is an example of retargeting, which we’ll talk about in greater detail below. Facebook Pixel enables you to optimize ad delivery to those who are more likely to take action and also allows you to track conversions from Facebook ads.

Facebook Pixel may also be deployed via Google Tag Manager. This process is simpler if you have already installed Google Tag Manager for your website. You could just opt for quick installation by selecting Google Tag Manager from the set of tools. Installing Facebook Pixel via Tag Manager is not just convenient but also shares in-depth data with Facebook.

Custom audiences can be built keeping in mind the KPIs so that your Facebook advertising campaigns drive your business to achieve marketing/ lead generation goals.

If this seems very technical it can be, but it’s not once you are familiar with how to do this.

FACEBOOK REMARKETING

Facebook Remarketing works in a similar manner as that of AdWords remarketing, but unlike AdWords ads that are shown across various websites across the Google Display Network, Facebook retargeting ads are shown only on Facebook. Facebook commonly refers to remarketing as custom audiences.

Pixel tracks your website visitors and enables you to create a custom audience using the tracking data. You could retarget website visitors based on various actions they perform on your website or mobile app. You can also retarget your existing customers by uploading lists on Facebook. You can target users who have abandoned their cart on your eCommerce website or those users who have visited your lead generation page or pop up but didn’t complete registration.

Facebook may not be a great platform for small and medium business to prospect and identify new customers, but it is a great platform for remarketing. Multiple touch points with potential customers on Facebook could substantially improve conversion rates on other channels and also get you repeat customers.

 

FACEBOOK MESSENGER MARKETING

Messenger apps have surpassed social media networks and Facebook Messenger has a whopping 1.3bn people using the app every month. Moreover, Messenger Marketing has a very high open rate of 80% and CTR of 30%. So it’s an opportunity for your be early and grow your messenger following.

Your business could use Messenger to enable your target audience to read the most relevant articles for them. Chatbots for messenger marketing have become popular over the years. They automate opt-ins as well as regular messaging making it easy for your business. You could send offers and promotions via Facebook Messenger with the help of chatbots and you could also automate your messenger customer support.

You may think that creating a chatbot would be expensive and would require a lot of coding. Here is an article by Matthew Barby on Hubspot, which explains how you could build a chatbot to interact with your followers using ChatFuel.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Understanding the Facebook advertising platform and learning the nuances of creating and monitoring Facebook campaigns would prove to be extremely beneficial for your business as it would help you in achieving your Facebook marketing KPIs.

There is a massive ocean of consumers on Facebook and Facebook Messenger. This offers tremendous potential for businesses, however only careful planning and effective implementation can help you achieve your desired goals. Following the steps covered in this tutorial is a great way to get started advertising your business on Facebook. If you need help there are many credible experts who can help your business get started the right way on Facebook. Good luck!

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LinkedIn Growth Marketing for Small Businesses (SMB), Startups, Solo-Entrepreneurs and Bloggers

By Marketing, Social Media MarketingNo Comments

LinkedIn has 546 million users as of March 2018 and continues to remain one of the fastest growing social media platforms. With such an incredible audience base, LinkedIn is undoubtedly a goldmine for businesses. A study by HubSpot shows that LinkedIn is 277% more effective in lead generation than other social media networks. LinkedIn growth hacking, if planned and implemented right, can make your business reach astounding heights. 

In this post, we will be explaining a step by step process to target, identify and reach out to potential customers on LinkedIn and use LinkedIn as an effective growth hacker for your lead generation strategy. 

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BUILD/ENHANCE YOUR CORPORATE PROFILE ON LINKEDIN 

Before you start sending out connection requests to potential customers as a part of your LinkedIn growth marketing, it is mandatory to have an attractive and informative LinkedIn profile. Users would accept requests only from profiles they find authentic. A poorly built LinkedIn profile wouldn’t lead you anywhere. So, the first step is to invest the time in building your personal profile on LinkedIn.

Provide a detailed history – education and profession details (i.e. work experience, accomplishments, projects delivered etc.). You should add various awards and achievements that would prove your credibility. Also invest in creating a good cover image for your profile such that it best represents yourself and your business. 

Once you have a complete profile, understand your existing connections. Set aside around 500 to 1000 connection requests for your existing customers and acquaintances that you are not currently connected to. 

If you want to build your connection list quickly, then choose acquaintances and customers based on their connections. This will help you have great 2nd and 3rd-degree connections on LinkedIn. Users tend to accept connection requests more often when they see mutual connections.

Work on getting endorsements and LinkedIn recommendations from your existing customers and acquaintances to improve your credibility.

Post your high-quality articles from your company blog on your LinkedIn profile/page and link them back to your website. This would not only showcase your skills and thought leadership knowledge but would also contribute towards driving traffic to your website and aid in lead generation.

Join LinkedIn groups where you expect your target audience to be present. Being part of the same groups can be a motivational factor for users on deciding whether or not to accept your connection requests.

 

UNDERSTAND YOUR BUYER PERSONA AND GET YOUR TARGETING RIGHT

The next step in your LinkedIn growth strategy is to dig deeper and understand the demographics and other details about your buyer persona(s). This initial analysis would prove to be extremely beneficial when you’re searching the LinkedIn platform for relevant connections.

List the set of possible designations your buyer persona could hold and the companies that would employ them. Certain businesses could target Vice President level cadre from Fortune 500 companies while certain others could target mid-level managers from medium businesses. So, making a list of possible designations and organizations will  make things more targeted in your efforts.

 

UNDERSTAND THE LINKEDIN LANDSCAPE

One can add up to 30,000 connections on a single profile on LinkedIn. If you are a solopreneur, then that’s the maximum number you can have, so when you are increasing connections ensure you are adding the right audience. On the other hand, if you have a co-founder, this number doubles and if you hire an employee it triples and so on. 

While making your list of potential customers, add a set of designations for each company you are targeting. This way you can ensure that you connect with at least one person from your target organization. Based on your buyer persona, perform an advanced search on the LinkedIn platform to get an estimate of the audience numbers. 

 

SEND AUTOMATED CONNECTION REQUESTS AND MESSAGES TO YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

Now that you have a great LinkedIn profile and you have a clear understanding of the landscape, the next step is to start sending connection requests to your target audience.

Sending connection requests manually can prove to be a tedious process and it may take forever to add your potential customers. There are quite a few tools which could automate the process for you. Here are a few:

LinkedAutomate – Their algorithm allows you to auto connect with you target audience based on the advance searches you perform on LinkedIn. It also allows you to send welcome messages for new connections as well as personalized auto messages.

LinkMe Tool – The tool allows you to auto connect with your target audience, set up initial and follow up messages at your preferred sending schedule. It also automatically tracks your usage and adjusts your sending queue to stay within the LinkedIn daily limits. 

LinkedIn Helper  – Allows you to send personalized invitations to thousands of 2nd and 3rd degree connections. It also has an auto-responder, sequential messaging and an invites canceller among many other features. LinkedIn Helper’s powerful lists manager helps you build your own lead generation funnel to avoid campaign intersections. 

Social Lead Machine – This is a Chrome extension that allows you to auto connect with connect with up to a maximum of 1000 LinkedIn profiles per day and allows you to auto endorse up to 150 per day. Unlike the above tools, this is a free tool and you could download it right away and start using it.

By using one of the above mentioned auto connect tools you could add your target audience and build your LinkedIn connections. These tools not only make the tedious and lengthy process of building a high-quality list of relevant connections easier, but they also ensure that you stay within the connect request/ messaging limits prescribed by LinkedIn.

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EXPORT YOUR LINKEDIN CONNECTIONS

Now that you have a built a growing list of contacts by actively sending out connection requests using auto connect tools, the next step would be to extract these connections so that you have their contact data (emails and phone numbers).

You could either use one of these auto connect tools listed above to extract the CSV or XLS files. Even LinkedIn allows you to easily export your connections in either of the aforesaid formats.

This contact information can be used to set up email campaigns in your marketing platform.

 

SEGMENT YOUR LEADS BASED ON GEOGRAPHY AND UNDERSTAND EMAIL MARKETING POLICIES

This is an extremely important step in this entire process. If you do not read the latest email marketing policies (they vary based on countries and regions) and act accordingly you could land yourself as well as your business in significant trouble.

CAN-SPAM Act – LinkedIn growth hacking strategy passes the CAN-SPAM act as your connections implicitly agree to be contacted by you while accepting your connection request on LinkedIn.

But be sure to include clear opt out or unsubscribe buttons and do not send mailers to individuals who have unsubscribed.  Every single email you send in violation of CAM-SPAM act could result in a fine of $16,000, so if you send 100 emails violating the policy you could have a fine of up to $1.6 million. You can find the do’s and don’ts of CAN SPAM act here.

GDPR– General Data Protection Regulation, the policy that imposes data protections within the European Union, is a stricter policy and LinkedIn growth hacking may be affected by this. According to GDPR businesses should explicitly state the reason they are seeking contacts for and have clear messages about how they would be using your contact details during the lead gen sign up process.

While accepting your LinkedIn connection requests for contacts based in the European Union, this does not mean you are getting full permissions for your business to send email newsletters to them.

Solopreneurs and budding SMBs usually take risks and send mailers overlooking these policies without considering the repercussions. Businesses should understand that if they fail to comply by the GDPR policies they could be fined up to €20 million.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL)– You need to be very careful if your target audience is based in Canada because this is one of the toughest laws of its kind. The law has strict policies on how you should take consent from your target audience before sending them marketing emails. Read the FAQ’s here.

Certain nations have very strict policies while others may prove to be very difficult. Before planning your email campaigns using LinkedIn growth hacker strategy ensure that you are thoroughly aware of the policies concerned with the location of your target audience.

 

LAUNCHING THE ACTUAL EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS

Here comes the final stage in the LinkedIn lead gen strategy – sending the actual emails. You can email your contacts  individually or send bulk email campaigns with marketing automation tools like MailChimp or HubSpot.

Share informative content to your target audience to improve your brand perception. Be certain to include clear call to actions in your emails to lead your audience down the buyer’s journey. Ensure that you have a well-structured landing page, so as to achieve a great conversion rate. You could also design a custom landing page specifically designed for your LinkedIn audience.

Track your mailer performance through statistics like open and click-through rates and analyze the kind of content your target audience prefers. This would aid you in deciding the content strategy for your future marketing emails.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

All effective marketing and sales strategies start with building a high quality and relevant list of leads.

A well thought through LinkedIn Growth Hacking plan can identify thousands of new prospects and drive them towards becoming high quality leads.

LinkedIn is known to be a goldmine for finding professional contacts. But effective targeting, careful planning, and execution are what will help you achieve your desired results.

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