Driving that extra percent from LinkedIn lead generation

I just re-watched the brilliant Double your Sales Funnel webinar that Tyron Giuliani, Founder of Selling Made Social, presented for the Dux audience recently - part of our ongoing webinar program.  

Out of the many gems of advice that he gave, one in particular stuck in my mind.

It was all about getting that extra percent from your LinkedIn lead generation.

Have you peaked on LinkedIn lead gen?

Unless you are at the absolute peak of your game, it’s likely that we could all find a way to improve some aspects of our lead generation on LinkedIn, even if it’s just by the smallest amount.

Dux-Soup can definitely provide extra percentage points of improvement by enabling a more targeted and personalised connection and engagement strategy at scale.  

And following best practice on messaging will probably work wonders too.

But there are other less obvious things you can also look at.

Take a look in the mirror

Do you believe that you can learn something new from each webinar, book, or article you read or watch?

I do.

That’s why part of Tyron’s webinar prompted me to look at split testing the profile photo that I use on LinkedIn.

I’d not thought of doing this before and it has been some years since I uploaded a photo, so I carried out a test using the photofeeler.com website.

The results were pretty clear cut.

Split testing in seconds

The image below shows both photos. The top photo is the one that I had been using for LinkedIn for years.  Ever since I joined in fact.  It was taken at home.  A DIY effort if you will.  I think I had come home from a meeting.  My tie isn’t fully done up and there is a bit of a shadow behind me.  Being critical, it’s a slightly dark image.  But it worked ok for LinkedIn, or so I thought!

On the bottom is the new photo. It is much more relaxed and informal.  I’m wearing a polo shirt rather than a suit and tie.


I was curious to see what people would think about these two photos. photofeeler asks real people to rate your busines photo along three factors – Competence, Likeability and Influence.

The winner by a clear margin

I ran the test for 1,000 votes with 500 on each photo.

You might have guessed where this is going.  The newer, more informal profile picture outperformed the older picture.

What caught my attention was the actual scores.

On competence and influence, I scored 7-10% higher with the more relaxed LinkedIn photo.  The marks hovered around 7/10.

But Likability was a whole different ball game.

The relaxed photo trounced the formal photo.

It performed better by over 130%!

I’m aware some people will debate whether Likability in the business world is all that important.  I’d say it is a key part of establishing a relationship and rapport.

First impressions count

This comment from mindtools.com sums up why:

“It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanour, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed.

With every new encounter, you are evaluated and yet another person's impression of you is formed. These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, and they often set the tone for the relationship that follows.”

The same applies in the virtual world.

That last part of that statement above, is worth repeating:  first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, and they often set the tone for the relationship that follows.

As LinkedIn lead generation is all about building a relationship, I’m hoping that you can start to see why testing your LinkedIn profile pic is important.

Be prepared for feedback

How robust was my test?  1,000 people is a reasonable sample size.  I reckon the results would be pretty similar if I ran it for 2,000, or 5,000 votes.

Each person has the option of selecting an autofill comment such as “Great photo” or “Would prefer if they were smiling more.”

Some comments contradict each other – “your photo is professional and well lit” & “your photo is too dark”.

You also need thick skin for the personally typed comments.

“You look too intense, in my opinion. I would suggest smiling.”

“This needs really any kind of background and since you didn't smile at all, it comes off like a mug-shot in a suite.”

I can’t really disagree!

Fortunately, my informal pic did get more positive comments: “Balanced, professional, practical and interesting. Smile and eyes match.”

But scroll down the list and this one pops up:

“Photo seems a bit too flirty for business in my opinion.”

You can’t win them all!

So, what does this mean for LinkedIn Lead generation?  I have three things to leave you with:

Takeaway #1

When it comes to digital marketing, the data is almost always there that will allow you to test.  For LinkedIn lead generation, this could be testing your connection message, follow up message or in my case, profile picture.

This can give you some valuable insight into what will work better.  If you do make a change as a result of split testing, look to create another test and so on.

Takeaway #2

Is your LinkedIn profile optimised and up to date?  Be open to revisiting something that you wrote a while back and have been quite happy with.  Maybe ask someone who knows nothing about your business to read your profile – what was their first impression?

Can they understand in a few seconds what you are offering?  If not, I would suggest tweaking your headline, adding skills, or maybe even taking a completely fresh look at how you present your profile. (I seriously recommend you watch Tyron’s webinar for cutting edge suggestions on how to approach this).

We’ve also published a blog on optimising your LinkedIn account profile too, with useful tips.

Takeaway #3

Small changes have the potential to make a big difference.  Squeezing an extra percentage point improvement from a LinkedIn lead generation campaign could encourage one more person to accept your connection request, who then goes on to buy from you.

LinkedIn lead generation is often a numbers game so make sure you are tipping the odds in your favour.

Now it’s your turn - let me know in the comments which profile photo you prefer and whether you will make any changes as a result of reading this article.

About the Author

Adam Osman is passionate about using the latest marketing techniques to help companies and brands grow. With two decades of experience in marketing technology products for international companies and startups alike, Adam leads the effort to spread the word about how Dux-Soup can benefit companies looking to turbo charge their lead generation.

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