I remember opening up my first Netscape browser. It was September of 1996. Cedar Falls Iowa. Everything online was a brand new world. Even email was a struggle.

Where do I put the @ symbol?

Why do I have to use EDU instead of COM?

If you’re as old as I am, you probably remember the first days of the Internet. The good old days. I’m talking dialup modems. Chat “rooms.” Instant Messenger. You probably were even one of those people like me who read every single email that crossed your inbox. Tense times.

So when a little business networking site named LinkedIn launched in 2003, it felt familiar. It was easy to use for those of us who were getting used to the internet because it was so basic. Connect with businesspeople. Maybe post a  job or two. 

But it was clunky. And like many social sites in their infancy, was buggy and boring. 

But it's gotten better. Like WAAAAAAY Better. It's a full-fledged marketing and lead generating machine. I can't believe I'm saying this, but over the past 4-5 months or so, LinkedIn for lead generation is becoming my favorite place.

They've made it faster and easier to connect with the right people.
The messaging function is great.
They've added native video that you can use to supplement your written material. 
The LinkedIn mobile app has stepped up its game. 

So before we continue, read some of these staggering statistics about LinkedIn…

LinkedIn Statistics

  • Total Number of Linkedin Users: 500 million

  • Total Number of Monthly Active Linkedin Users: 250 million

  • Total Number of Linkedin Users from US: 133 million

  • Percentage of users that use Linkedin Daily: 40%

  • Number of New Linkedin New Members per Second: 2

Linkedin Demographics

  • 70% of Linkedin users are from Outside of Us.
  • 40 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn.
  • There are 57% of male users and 44% female users on Linkedin.
  • After US, India, Brazil, Great Britain and Canada has the highest number of Linkedin users.
  • 13% of Millennials (15-34 Years old) use Linkedin.
  • 28% of All Internet male users use Linkedin, whereas 27% of All Internet Female users use Linkedin.
  • 44% of Linked users earn more than $75,000 in a year.
  • There are over 39 million students and recent grads on Linkedin.

Linkedin Financials

  • Microsoft paid $26.2 billion to buy LinkedIn.
  • Linkedin’s Q2 2015 revenue is $712 million with $128 million generated from premium account subscriptions.
  • Linkedin’s Q3 2016 revenue is $960 million with 17% generated ($162 million) generated from premium account subscriptions; 18%($175 million) from marketing solutions, and staggering 65% ($623 million) from talent solutions.
  • Linkedin generates $371,474 per employee.

Fun Facts

  • 41% of millionaires use LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn now has 3 million active job listings on the platform.
  • 1 million professionals have published post on LinkedIn.
  • An average user spends 17 minutes monthly on Linkedin.
  • Motivated was the most overused word on Linkedin in 2014.
  • Statistical Analysis and Data Mining are Top skills on Linkedin.
  • 59% of Linkedin members have never worked at a company with more than 200 employees.
  • There are 5.5 million accountants on Linkedn.
  • There have been 1 billion endorsements on LinkedIn.
  • The average CEO has 930 connections.
  • The most overused profile word continues to be “Motivated” – which also topped 2014 and 2015. Source: OmnicoreAgency.com

So how can you use LinkedIn for Lead Generation? Here are 5 ways.

1. Create a status update once per day.

Duh, right? But it's free. So do it. Here's one tactic...

Use the first two paragraphs of a blog post. Use TEXT only for this and post the link at the very end of the text. For some reason or another, LinkedIn really loves lots of text. Your text posts get shared, liked and commented on more than anything else. I suspect that’s because their algorithm does a pretty good job of keeping content relevant, or they know what their users want. 

Beyond just the timeline, make sure to look at LinkedIn Groups for lead generation as well. Spend a few minutes to become members of groups of the niches you're seeking to do business with. This includes connecting with competitors in their groups. You might get some good ideas. 

If writing isn't your thing, you can add photos, videos and you can even just share helpful links and infographics that you've found.

2. Focus on VALUE over selling when you post or contribute on LinkedIn.

Just like on all the other content, take some time to focus on providing value rather than trying to just sell stuff. That means actually providing education to people, be a connector to others looking for help and remember not to spam people with sales-y stuff daily. 

Beyond just sharing your own content, take a few minutes per day to scroll through your feed and see if you can be of service to someone. Like their posts and comment on them.

If you want to be a lead generation machine on LinkedIn, focus first on value. 

3. BUUUUUTTTTTT… It's okay to sell on LinkedIn.

"What? But Phil, you just told me that I should be providing value there!!" Yeah dude. I did. But remember that LinkedIn exists to promote business. People go there both looking for business and looking to buy and sell what they do.

So… it’s generally considered okay to show your home listings, post your blog posts about why you're the best and yes, even ask people for their business. Everybody’s thinking business. The whole purpose of the platform is to find jobs, forge connections, maintain a business reputation, and, yep…make sales! Just don't be a creep about it.

4. Build out your LinkedIn profile page.

Don't be the person without a profile picture, or one that's taken on a cell phone.

Elements of a great LinkedIn page

Your headline is your elevator pitch. The headline section of your page is important for letting your prospect know what you can do for them before they even learn about you or your company. In short, you need a benefit-driven headline. It’s basically an elevator pitch but even shorter. Ask yourself this question: “Why would anyone be interested in my product or service?”

Pay money for a headshot. Don’t take a selfie. Even if you want to dress down, do it right.

Use a cover image. If you want to stand out, use a cover photo. Amazing how few people do this.

Use a killer summary to showcase your skills and major accomplishments. It’s your landing page or cover page of your resume, so take it seriously.

Share profile changes… make sure to click that button so your connections know when you’ve made changes. It’s a free notification! This includes putting your birthday there and telling people happy birthday and congrats on changes on their job updates. 

5. INVITE 25 people per day to connect: Go to the main page on LinkedIn and search for the niche you're trying to prospect in. Let's take "dentists" for example. Look for 2nd and 3rd degree connections. Write out a nice note for these dentists as to why you're looking to connect with them.

Don't just spam them. When you connect with them, there's an option to send them a message. You'll find that the quality of your connections increases when you do this. 


There are a many more secrets and tips out there for how to approach LinkedIn, but keep in mind that as more and more millennials enter the professional realm, the opportunities for connecting and Lead Generation on LinkedIn will only increase. Take some time to know and respect the platform and use it to gain knowledge, connect with people and earn new business.