LinkedIn Lead Generation: A Step-by-Step Guide for Service Providers

LinkedIn Is NOT an online resume

Are you treating LinkedIn like it's just an online resume? If so, you're leaving a ton of leads on the table. 

That's right - LinkedIn is so much more than a place to list your professional experience and connect with colleagues. It's a powerful platform for building relationships, establishing yourself as a thought leader, and generating leads for your service-based business. 

So, if you're ready to step up your LinkedIn game and start seeing real results, keep reading. 

In this blog post, I'll show you how to optimize your profile, engage with your audience, and personalize your outreach to attract hot leads to your business. 

Ready to turn your LinkedIn profile into a lead-generating machine? Let's dive in!


Step 1: Optimize Your Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is your online identity, and it's the first thing that people see when they search for you on LinkedIn. So, you need to make sure it's optimized to showcase your skills, experience, and personality.

Start by updating your headline and about section

Your headline should be super catchy and describe what you do in a few words. Your about section should tell a killer brand story in a way that's engaging and memorable (and makes amazing clients flock to you!). Don't be afraid to inject some humor into your summary – it can help you stand out from the crowd.


Make sure your profile picture is professional and reflects your personality

You may be surprised to learn that LinkedIn profile photos that look more casual and natural tend to perform better than professional headshots. People seem to connect more with photos that are taken in natural light and with more relaxed clothing because it makes you seem more approachable and relatable. But don't forget, the photo still needs to be high-quality and appropriate for your industry and target audience (pixelated pictures simply won’t do!).


Make sure your experience section is up-to-date and shows (not tells!) your skills

What do I mean by that? Well, the biggest mistake I see service providers making on LinkedIn is that they list out their experience in dot-point form like they’re writing a resume. But this doesn’t do them any favors in standing out from the crowd.

Instead, weave brand storytelling into your experience section to capture your readers’ interest. 

For example, instead of saying “I’m Sarah and I have 10 plus years’ experience in social media marketing,” you might say: “My passion for social media marketing began when my aunty asked me to help her with creating Instagram content for her florist shop. At first, I had no idea what I was doing. But over time, I started to test out different ways to get her flowers in front of more locals in our community…” Do you see how that is SO much more engaging? That’s someone I would be interested in connecting with! 


Step 2: Publish Magnetic Content

Establish your expertise in your niche by regularly publishing content that cements the "know, like, and trust" factor with your audience. 

Your content should be massively valuable to your audience. It should educate, inspire, or entertain them. Remember, this isn’t a formal work report, you’re speaking with humans! So use a conversational tone, and don't be afraid to inject humor into your posts. 

  • Make sure that your content is optimized for LinkedIn
  • Use hashtags relevant to your industry to increase your reach
  • Tag people and companies that are mentioned in your posts to increase engagement

Here’s the thing: You don't need to be an “expert” to post on LinkedIn. In fact, I established my expertise from the ground up precisely through publishing on LinkedIn because it positioned me as someone who consistently shares information about my niche. 

In doing so, I grew my LinkedIn account from 0 to 6.5k+ followers. I did this all while battling a major case of imposter syndrome because I’d just quit my corporate job and felt like I didn’t have an identity. So if I can do it, you can too! 

The thing to remember is that your audience cares more about your unique perspective and insights on topics relevant to your industry. Above all, be yourself and let your voice shine through.


Step 3: Build Your Network

Your LinkedIn network is your online community, and it's important to build it strategically. Start by connecting with people you know – colleagues, clients, partners, and friends.

Then, expand your network by connecting with others in your industry, like those who offer complementary services to you. 

  • Use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search function to look up your ideal clients’ job titles (this doubles as keywords). This requires you to have crystal-clear clarity on who your ideal client avatar is
  • Pay attention to those you have mutual connections with and reach out to them (did you know that your chances of connecting with a prospect increase by five times if you have a mutual connection with them? It’s powerful stuff!)
  • Look through each person's profile for 1-2min to find a detail you can use as an ice breaker or personalization for your LinkedIn connection request 


Step 4: Engage with Your Network

Engaging with your network is key to building relationships on LinkedIn.

Like and comment on other people's posts to show your support and start conversations. 

When you do this, you increase your exposure in the LinkedIn feed because your connections see your comment on the other person's post in their feed. LinkedIn is great at surfacing discussions like this in the feed, so take advantage of it!

Don’t forget to respond to comments on your own posts to keep the conversation going. This is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field and build trust with your audience.


Step 5: Personalize Your Outreach

When reaching out to potential leads on LinkedIn, it's important to personalize your message. Avoid generic templates and instead, tailor your message to the person you're reaching out to.

Start by researching the person's profile and understanding their needs and pain points. 

Then, craft a personalized message that speaks to their specific needs.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when approaching a prospect on LinkedIn:

  • Find a connecting link and lead from there, such as complimenting them on something you’ve seen on their profile or following on from a comment you've made on their post
  • Don’t pitch in the connection request! The most you should do is add what you do in your signature but not in the actual connection request message, as this could put new connections off from the get-go (and we don’t want that!) 
  • Remember to be authentic and genuine in your outreach. People can sense when they're being sold to, so focus on building relationships rather than making a hard pitch for a sale


Step 6: Track Your Results

Finally, it's important to track your results on LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn analytics to monitor the performance of your profile, posts, and outreach efforts.

Pay attention to metrics like your profile views, post impressions, and search appearances. LinkedIn analytics don’t tell you about your leads, so make sure to carefully track how many leads you're getting and how many of those are converting into sales.

Use this information to refine your strategy and double down on what’s working. 


Go Get Those Leads! 

By now, we’ve well and truly established that LinkedIn is a powerful platform for you if you’re a service provider who wants to generate leads, establish yourself as a thought leader, and increase your impact over the long term. 

TLDR? Follow the 6 steps we covered in this post:

  • Optimize your profile
  • Publish magnetic content
  • Build your network
  • Engage with your network
  • Personalize your outreach
  • Track your results… and double down on what’s working! 


Remember, LinkedIn is not just an online resume – it's a powerful tool for building relationships and growing your business. So, don't wing it – develop a strategy and start seeing results.

If you’re ready to FINALLY have a strategy for growing your personal brand on LinkedIn, you need my LinkedIn Starter Jetpack. 

It’s the exact framework I used to grow my personal brand to 5,800+ followers, 1.3M+ views and 194 opportunities (half of which I didn't even know I was eligible for!)

The Jetpack is coming soon. If you want to be the first to grab it, hop on the waitlist for LinkedIn Starter Jetpack (plus, you’ll get an exclusive discount just for being on the list!)