I began automating on LinkedIn in January 2017, a year after I started working at my first Tech Startup. We wanted to build relationships with Journalists and Angel Investors to increase momentum for an upcoming seed round. At that time, I was mass emailing using automation but hadn’t focused on Social Media. Social automation carries its own set of obstacles, similar to email, but with complex technical and marketing challenges. When assessing a new social platform, you need to think about the size, engagement rate and opportunity of the community. If the user base is too small or you can not gain specific data points to engage with or enrich further along in the funnel, then your effort will be wasted.
These steps have helped me raise 100k+ in VC dollars, obtain coverage in dominant Tech and Business Publications and drive sales for SaaS and agency startups through LinkedIn Automation.
Tools: SalesNavigator — Phantombuster
If you can spend $70 monthly on LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator subscription, then do it! It is crucial to gain access to LinkedIn’s almost 1 Billion users and will provide data to hyper-target your niche audience. You can also use LinkedIn’s generic or general search options but is less effective. If you do go the free route, you are going to limit your daily outreach and use of LinkedIn data. Once we have access to user data, we need to get the data off LinkedIn. The best tool for this is Phantombuster. If you are unfamiliar with Phantombuster, the video below will walk you through each step listed above and will touch on some of the steps below in Engaging.
I use Dux-Soup for most of my LinkedIn funnels and clients for several reasons. You can read more about those reasons in my article “Hey, First Name!… Where are all these coming from?” My usual touchpoints are:
1. Connect (with an introductory message)
2. Endorse Skills
2+ Follow Up Messages
Simple enough, right? The above engagements are automated using Dux-Soup’s Turbo plan.
Tools: Zapier & Google Sheets (CRM, ESP, ETC..)
Managing data is the most time consuming and technical aspect of the entire LinkedIn Sales Funnel process. If you’ve never used Zapier or understand how webhooks work you’re going to have a bit of a learning curve. The webhook connection between LinkedIn-Dux-Zapier allows you to send data to CRM’s like Hubspot or Salesforce, databases like google sheets or MySQL, and email service providers like MailChimp or ConstantContact. Where ever Zapier connects to an application or software, you can find a creative way to leverage or enrich LinkedIn user data to enhance your selling method.
Tools: Calendly & Pretty Links (Webinar Software)
Quickly before I jumped into technology, I obtained my Real Estate license. Though I never practiced real estate, I equate “Real Estate” to property on the Internet. The point of engaging with hyper-targeted users using automation is encouraging them to do something. In this article, we are driving users off LinkedIn to our Real Estate. Now, our Real Estate will vary depending on our goals.
Let’s say I am a Sales Manager; my goal is to schedule as many meetings throughout the week with the least amount of online friction. These meetings need to happen with zero manual effort while prospects feel personally taken care of. Data from each lead must populate in my CRM, have an email invite sent and then meeting scheduled in which we both accept. To automate this process, I am going to use Zapier, Hubspot, Calendly and zoom (or similar conferencing technology).
If my goal is scaling efforts with multiple profiles to drive link clicks or traffic off LinkedIn to my “Real Estate” (see my article,” Multi-Profile Approach on LinkedIn Automation”) I am going to use Pretty Links within my LinkedIn messages. PrettyLinks is a WordPress plugin to track link clicks to your website. PrettyLinks is similar to affiliate tracking software.
These two workflows will empower you to set up daily meetings or drive hyper-targeted users to your “Real Estate.” Track the number of link-clicks using PrettyLinks or send data to your CRM with Managing Data methods.
Tools: Contract, Slide Deck, Case Study & Zoom (or similar)
The majority of my SaaS & Agency sales experience has been in the $150-$5000 monthly subscription range. Within this price range, there are usually two types of buyers, The Right Now and the 6 Month’ers. The Right Now need a solution now. When they find a reasonable price and a tool or service that fits their needs, they schedule a call. At that point, your job is to sell yourself and then deliver what you promise. The 6 Month’ers need follow-ups, drip campaigns, and multiple touches to make the same deal. It is for the 6 Month’ers where Managing The Data portion of the article is crucial to maintain these campaigns. All the follow-up effort from the CRM to the email campaign to LinkedIn can be automated months in advanced to close 6 Month’ers.
- 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn
- Most Fortune 500 decision-makers and executives spend time on LinkedIn
- 40% of users log in daily
- 87,000,000 Millennials are on LinkedIn
- #1 channel B2B marketers use to distribute content at 94%
- Only 3 million users share content weekly
Here are facts to take away not only the importance of LinkedIn as an integral piece of your sales funnel but the way you think about the platform as a whole.
About the Author
Zeb Pirkey is the Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer at Pound Social and VP of Marketing at dodl.es, based in Combined Locks, Wisconsin. In the past two years, Pirkey has helped dodl.es grow its social following to over 500k followers worldwide. He's a growth hacker at heart and loves everything automation. He lives in Kaukauna with his wife Ashley, two children Josie and Judah and American Bulldog Maxi.