LinkedIn Outreach 2024: The Ultimate Guide

LinkedIn outreach has become commonplace in the B2B sector, but in our experience, it is often misunderstood and not optimally utilized. So, what is LinkedIn suitable for in sales, and how can I differentiate myself from the competition?

The landscape of digital sales is constantly changing, and the battle for new B2B customers is more intense than ever before. As we utilize all available channels for our clients, LinkedIn has evolved far beyond its role as a mere platform and has become an indispensable tool in our arsenal.

Why LinkedIn Outreach?

The most compelling argument for LinkedIn outreach is the access it provides to target audiences that are hardly reachable through other channels. LinkedIn allows us to direct our message precisely to those who could benefit the most from our offerings.

Moreover, LinkedIn provides extensive information about our leads, which we can use to better understand their challenges and triggers. It’s an additional impulse showing potential clients that we have engaged with them and their business. The social aspect of LinkedIn enables not only the sharing of information but also direct dialogue with potential clients. Last but not least, sustainable relationships can be built, extending far beyond a one-time sale.

As you can see, LinkedIn has a multitude of unique features that no other tool or platform offers.

Therefore, in this blog post, we want to explain how we use LinkedIn and share our insights and experiences with you. Of course, we will also share plenty of practical tips and tricks that will help you create your first outreach campaign or improve existing ones.

It should also be mentioned that we typically apply multi-stage outreach campaigns that include an email component alongside LinkedIn. However, this article focuses solely on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Profile Best Practices

Before you start a LinkedIn outreach campaign, it is crucial to optimize your profile and precisely define your target audience. The first step to making a positive impression is a professionally designed profile that highlights your expertise and professional achievements. This includes a meaningful profile picture, a concise headline, and a detailed summary of your professional career. At the same time, it is important to understand your target audience correctly: Which industries are relevant? What job titles do your ideal contacts have? Carefully defining your target audience helps you create tailored content and make the right connections on LinkedIn.

Here are the key points to consider in your LinkedIn profile:

Cover Photo: The cover photo offers the first visual presentation opportunity for your company or personal profile. It’s common to use the company logo or a branding image in the CI style to facilitate immediate brand identification. For example, an image highlighting your industry expertise, like a photo of your headquarters or a characteristic product image, could be used.

Profile Picture: The profile picture should be professional but not too stern. A photo against a neutral background, indoors or outdoors, is ideal. Optionally, the company logo or corporate design can appear in the background.

Headline: The headline should be a brief and concise summary showing whom you help and which problem you solve. Use relevant keywords and, if possible, your company’s name. Avoid generic job descriptions.

Contact Info: Ensure that your contact information, such as email and phone number, is always up-to-date and correct.

Summary: Your summary should be customer-centric. Demonstrate how you help your customers using SEO-relevant keywords. Consider what you do, whom you help, and what your ‘why’ is.

Rich Media Content: Media files in your summary can affirm your credibility and expertise. Also, use the “Featured Section” for presentations, videos, interviews with CEOs, news, or similar.

Experience: Highlight the results and methods with which you have helped clients. Presenting customer successes shows your significant involvement in your clients business process. For example: Developing tailored solutions for specific industry needs.

Awards: Present key achievements such as case studies with customers, publications, received awards, or patents.

Other Information: Add details about your education, skills, recommendations, and received feedback.

The Art of Connection Invitations

The core of a successful LinkedIn outreach campaign is personalized and relevant connection invitations. Instead of sending generic messages, you should mention specific reasons why you want to connect with a person. This could be a shared industry, interests, or contacts, for example.

An effective LinkedIn connection request should be clear, friendly, and professional. Here are some tips on how to compose a good connection message:

Avoid generic messages: Mention specific reasons why you want to connect with the person. This could be shared interests, industries, or a shared contact. Here’s an example of a message that users often receive and therefore often ignore:

“Hello [Name], I am looking for new contacts in the [Industry Name] industry and have seen that we share some common interests.”

Personalize the message and be specific:

Instead, we recommend a message that is more specific. For example, you could refer to a recent post or comment by the company or person. Briefly explain why you want to connect with this person. This could be based on shared interests, professional experiences, or the desire to expand your professional network:

“[Name], the post about [Topic] from [Person’s Company] really made me think.”

or

“Hello [Name], I have been closely following your posts on [Topic] and find your perspective very intriguing. I hope we can connect to exchange ideas.”

Finding Common Ground:
If applicable, point out any common contacts or interests. This creates a level of connection and makes accepting the connection request easier.

“Hello [Name], we have several mutual contacts in the [Industry Name] industry, including [mutual contact]. I would be delighted to connect with you.”

How to Find the Right Leads

A question surely on many people’s minds is: Now that you have great, personalized, and targeted connection requests, how do you find the appropriate leads to send these to?

The market offers numerous tools. Today, we want to introduce one that we have been successfully working with for years: Apollo.io. This tool combines many important functions aimed at optimizing and automating the lead generation and outreach process.

The key selling point is an extensive data pool with contact information that goes far beyond email addresses. Companies are not only clustered by industries but can also be filtered by size, revenue, and much more. Likewise, the respective contact persons can be filtered in various ways, such as job level, keywords, potential buying interests, etc.

All this information is publicly accessible and therefore not a concern in terms of data protection. For those who prefer not to use an external tool, LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers many comparable functions.

Best Practice: How a LinkedIn Outreach Unfolds
This process is designed to show how you can reach potential leads and customers in a few steps.

Step 1: Find Leads (Tool: Apollo.io)

Set target audience specifications: Age, level, job title, language, geography, etc.

Company filters: Use filters to identify relevant companies such as industry, company size, revenue, and much more.

Step 2: Import Contacts to LinkedIn

Import of leads: Transfer leads from Apollo.io to LinkedIn. In the LinkedIn Campaign Manager, you can download a template that shows you exactly how your list must be formatted to be correctly imported by the LinkedIn Campaign Manager.

Audience creation: Build specific audiences based on industries/use cases, etc.
Step 3a: Targeted LinkedIn Advertising

Sponsored Content: Use sponsored posts that appear in the target individuals’ newsfeeds.

Image/Video/Carousel Ads

Step 3b: Profile visit: This is visible to the user and represents an initial micro-touchpoint.

Step 3c: Personalized LinkedIn Connection Requests

Personalization: Compose individual requests tailored to the recipient’s profile.

Strategic Approach: Build a connection by referencing mutual contacts, interests, or intentions.

Step 4: Click-to-Message Ad

Direct Communication: Use click-to-message ads that allow target individuals to respond directly via LinkedIn Messaging.

Call-to-Action in the ad encouraging exchange or contact.

Case Study

We recently had the opportunity to support an up-and-coming SME in the construction material technology sector in building a LinkedIn presence and a multi-layered outreach strategy. This case illustrates that great results can be achieved even when starting from scratch.

The Challenge: An Innovator Takes the Stage
Our client, a pioneer in construction material technology, faced a tremendous challenge: How do you present a revolutionary technology to potential investors? The topic is complex and intangible. Additionally, the task is made more difficult if the communicator has been barely present online. Our goal was clear: We first had to create an online presence and then establish contacts with suitable investors.

Strategy: Two Phases to Success
To achieve this goal, we developed a customized, two-phase outreach strategy. The first phase focused on building an authentic and influential LinkedIn presence. Here, we relied on high-quality content that both explained the uniqueness of the technology and made it understandable and tangible. It was also important to give the company personality and excite potential investors about the mission statement.

In this phase, it was also very important to support the content with strategically placed advertising campaigns. This was the only way we could ensure reach and visibility among the right users.

The second phase was a targeted and cross-channel outreach that included both LinkedIn messages and email communication to directly and personally address potential investors.

Measurable Successes: Numbers Speak Louder Than Words
The results of our marketing campaign were truly impressive and exceeded our expectations: In total, we reached more than 700 potential investors, with an unusually high email open rate of over 40% and a response rate of over 4%.

In addition, a significant success of our strategy was establishing an authentic LinkedIn presence for both our CEO and the entire company. This presence not only significantly improved our company’s visibility in the industry but also paved the way for valuable dialogues and networking opportunities with industry leaders and potential partners.

Our biggest learning from this project was the importance of involving the client’s team as broadly as possible in the communication. Only this way can organic reach be slowly but steadily built up, and a professional and uniform overall image on LinkedIn be created. Without this internal assistance, it is almost impossible to build a healthy company profile.

Summary
In summary, a successful LinkedIn outreach in 2024 requires a great deal of preparation, research, and strategic planning. Nowadays, mastering the technical requirements is not enough. Users are all too familiar with standard approaches and can see through outreaches that were set up without much planning.

To truly convince potential customers, you must be credible and understand and, most importantly, solve the problems of your potential customers. To be successful in this area, we recommend focusing on quality over quantity. The goal should not be to address as many contacts as possible, but rather to target the right individuals with relevant content.

Therefore, it’s crucial to have a clear guide right from the preparation stage, which should already consider the optimization of the LinkedIn profile. This should continue to be present when you research your leads and compose your messages. Your focus should be on building genuine and meaningful relationships. The future of B2B sales on social networks depends on our ability to combine technological efficiency with human empathy and strategic foresight.