Generating leads on LinkedIn... easier said than done, right?

Not so long ago, I was trying to figure it out and managed to learn some important lessons the hard way.

I sent hundreds of LinkedIn connection requests. A few dozen accepted and only 2 replied to me. Literally! 😨

No conversions, nada. LinkedIn won Round One, but it was time for my revenge.

️After some trial-and-error experiments and a decent amount of thought I've put into it, it finally hit me.

Today, I'm generating cool 30-40 leads per week on LinkedIn. 👇

generate leads on linkedin

My ambition with this article is to save your head from bashing against the wall as mine did. I'll share 3 💥 strategies + detailed instructions on how to set it up and what not to do which will help you crush LinkedIn.

Btw, these are from-the-trenches strategies from different people, not just me, who operate in different markets. Get ready to have your mind blown away.

Why do people fail with lead generation on LinkedIn?

Over 90% of beginners on LinkedIn, including me a few years ago, do this:

  1. Google "how to generate leads on LinkedIn" or "how to use linkedin for lead generation" or "how to use linkedin for lead generation step-by-step"
How to generate leads on LinkedIn

2. Find people we want to add as connection and to our client list.

3. Copy/paste it in our DM, modify minor things and press send

A recipe that's almost always destined for failure:

Bad example of LinkedIn message template

Here's the problem.

These things work when things feel new and fresh. When LinkedIn started becoming popular and before everybody started to send messages on it, even the laziest templates would work.

But, as we all start paddling in the same direction, the place gets overcrowded, too many messages and connections get sent and, as a result, mediocrity gets punished.

When you use old and overused tactics on a popular platform, you join mediocrity.

Here comes the punch line...

Wanna make history on LinkedIn and crush sales?

You must do historic things.

Let me show you a few fresh and brave growth tactics that will bring you meaningful results and inspire your next LinkedIn triumph.

Boost your cold outreach with social interaction

This is the tactic that Wladimir Delcros created and it got really cool results!

The goal of this awesome growth hacking strategy is to send a cold email campaign, and connect with prospects on LinkedIn only if they previously show interest.

Goes without saying that everything is automated.

I really liked this tactic, so Wladimir and I jumped on a call to discuss his strategy. By this time, he already generated 50ish warm leads with this workflow. 😱

LinkedIn Strategies Discussion

Here are the tools that Wladimir uses:

  1. lemlist - to send cold email campaigns
  2. Zapier - to build an automatic workflow
  3. Monkeylearn - to analyze whether people are interested when they reply
  4. Google Sheets - to keep those who answered positively
  5. Phantombuster - LinkedIn lead generation tool,

First, create a cold email campaign in lemlist. Then, set up a new Zapier with the trigger "New Email Activity in lemlist".

What this will do is every time someone replies to your campaign, the magic begins... 🧙‍♂️

For those who don't know, Zapier is a glue for tools as you can connect software with no coding (best for no-coding marketers, like I am 🤓).

lemlist Zapier

Now we'll automatically analyze whether someone is interested when they reply to you.

To analyze the context of the reply, we need to delete the HTML code inside the email. We'll use Monkeylearn's action "Email Cleaner".

Monkeylearn Zapier

Keep in mind that Monkeylearn works well only with English.

Define langues with Monkeylearn

Create the "If" step. If the answer is English, we can continue.

If condition Zapier

The next step is the analysis of the context behind the reply.

Check the email

Monkeylearn will automatically analyze the reply and mark it as "interested" or "not interested".

If you want to see how it works, check their demo.

Cold email responce analyzer

Now we do actions based on your leads' replies.

Zapier workflow

We'll take a deeper look at the "If interested" case, because we'll use a LinkedIn interaction on these people.

We catch up with those who are interested by calling a Webhook, add them to Google Sheets, and connect with them on LinkedIn with Phantombuster.

Catch up Webhook Zapier

Submit data, like the first name, LinkedIn profile and so on.

Zapier form

We add those people to a Google Sheet.

Google sheet Zapier

And of course, add the data:

Google Spreadsheets Zapier

To connect with people on LinkedIn, you need to add your current LinkedIn cookies. It's possible to do it manually, but every time you log out from LinkedIn, you'll need to update it.

Wladimir built a home-made Google Chrome extension which automatically takes your current cookies and adds it to the Sheet.

LinkedIn cookies checker

To connect with people on LinkedIn we'll use one of the best tools for automating everything ... Phantombuster!

For those who don't know what the hell Phantombuster is doing, check it's the full power of LinkedIn automation here 🔥

We create an action "LinkedIn Network Booster" to connect with those who were interested via LinkedIn.

LinkedIn connection template

You can use different templates for this workflow. For example:

"Heyo FirstName!

Ahah, just joking {firstName} 😂

It's Ilya from email chat. It'd be nice to connect here.

BTW, if you have any questions about XYZ, let me know"

Let's check different scenarios quickly:

If you got "I'm on holiday right now" email  - go back to lemlist and one month later ask if the person has had a good holiday time.

If the wrong person - connect on LinkedIn and ask for someone who is handling the department you're interested to speak to.

Convert your followers into clients

How exactly does LinkedIn lead generation work?

Let's be frank, not everyone is indeed 100% active on LinkedIn.

If you reach out to those who don't open LinkedIn... you won't get a reply back, no matter how good your message is.

One of the best growth hacks I did on LinkedIn is ... to go beyond LinkedIn search and connect with everyone who liked/commented on my posts. 😜

  • 85-90% of people accepted my LinkedIn requests
  • 30-35% of people replied

This growth hack is quite cool for everyone who is building their LinkedIn strategy and brand.

The tool we'll use - Expandi to automate lead generation and LinkedIn outreach.

Let's check this strategy out.

Expandi is a LinkedIn Automation tool with a cool feature - “Post Engagement”. It’ll scrape everyone who liked (or/and) commented on your posts.

Once you create a new account you need to go to the “Search” section.

LinkedIn Automation Tool

Click on “Start New Search” to scrape the list of people who liked your post.

Create LinkedIn connection campaign

Click on “Post engagement” and add a LinkedIn URL of a post you want to scrape.

LinkedIn lead generation strategy

When scraping is done, go to the “Campaigns” section and click on “Add campaign” to create an outreach campaign.

Connect with people on LinkedIn on scale

Choose “Connector campaign”! It means that we’ll connect with 2d & 3d connections.

Connect on LinkedIn on autopilot

Choose your audience from Search:

Add people to LinkedIn automation tool

Go to the “Steps”.

Prepare the message that people will get and click “Apply”.

LinkedIn connection message template

Set up the limit. My recommendation is 50 messages per day.

LinkedIn connection limits

Click “Apply” and your campaign is done 🎉

I personally used this LinkedIn template:

"Heyo firstName!

Ahah, just joking {{firstName}} 😂

Saw you liked my previous post about {{your post}}, thanks a lot!

How are things going with your lead generation process now?


With this template I got...

  • 85-90% of people accept your LinkedIn requests
  • 30-35% of people reply
LinkedIn outreach

Let's figure out why it worked:

LinkedIn connection message template
  1. Warm and fun intro. Everyone puts "Hi firstName", but it's boring. I decided to make some fun around this overused greeting
  2. Reference. People liked your post, they know you, so the reference just builds a better relationship
  3. Call to action. The non-pushy question to discuss the topic of the post they liked.

Now you know how to convert people who like your LinkedIn content. 🚀

Convert FB group members into paying clients

I'll show you the flow to connect with FB group members on LinkedIn and once they connect, send them a personalized email.

We'll use tools:

  1. lemlist - to send cold email campaigns
  2. Phantombuster - to scrape FB groups
  3. Expandi - to reach out via LinkedIn
  4. Zapier - to build an automatic workflow
  5. Quickemailverification - to verify email addresses

I'll show you how to set up lead generation on LinkedIn on my personal example.

I wrote an article about Pipedrive integrations and how you can connect your CRM with lemlist.

Was super happy when I saw Pipedrive share my article on their Twitter and LinkedIn. Managed to generate 100 leads from that.

LinkedIn connection strategy

So how did I achieve that?

I knew my buyer persona for this article - Pipedrive users, so I tried to find a community (group) where these people hang out.

In our case, it was Pipedrive User Group with almost 3k members.

LinkedIn growth hacking guide

Our next step is to scrape all members of the group. In order to do this, I'll use Facebook Group Extractor by Phantombuster.

  1. Install Phantombuster Chrome Extension

2.  Add session cookies by clicking on "Connect to Facebook"

3.  Put the link to the FB group

Phantombuster facebook group extractor

When ready, click on the "Launch" button, so Phantombuster can automatically scrape the group.

Phantombuster facebook group extractor set up

As a result of this, you'll get CSV file with the members of the FB group:

Add people on LinkedIn

But it doesn't have LinkedIn profiles. So, we need to do another step.

Finding people's LinkedIn profiles. We'll use a LinkedIn Profile URL Finder by Phantombuster.

LinkedIn Phantombuster

You need to put the link to your CSV file. Upload your file to Google Drive and copy the Sheet link.

Input the name of the column with the "full name" of each person in Phantombuster.

Press "Launch"!

LinkedIn profile url finder

Now we need to connect with all the people. I use lemlist + Expandi - LinkedIn lead generation software.

Let's start with LinkedIn.

Create a new campaign in Expandi and choose the “Connector campaign”. It means that we’ll connect with 2d & 3d connections (new people to our network):

LinkedIn automation campaign

Click on "Import CSV" to add people to your campaign and upload the file.

Add csv to LinkedIn

Prepare a message to send to people. Since I don't want to sell on LinkedIn and the real conversation will be via email, I'm using this message.

The best linkedin connection template

When ready, set up the limits and click "Status" to run the campaign.

LinkedIn messege template

Now we'll connect Expandi and lemlist.

Every time people accept our connection request, they will get a personalized email automatically.

It's a totally different approach, we'll send warm emails to a specific targeted group of people rather, than blasting everyone.

To create a fire cold email, I'm using lemlist.

LinkedIn email outreach integration

In my case, I use this template.

You can find fun and cool cold email templates on our blog and templates hub.

Btw, if you're just a beginner of cold emails, check the full outbound lead-generation guide.

Cold email template for LinkedIn outreach

Select schedules and on the last page, turn on the "Automatic review" option. This means that lemlist will send an email to everyone on autopilot without you manually reviewing emails before they go.

lemlist set-up

Now we're connecting Expandi and lemlist via Zapier.

We create a Zapier with a trigger "Catch hook" and click "Continue".

Connect LinkedIn and email

Here you need to copy the Webhook URL:

Zapier webhook

Then we come back to Expandi and add a new Webhook:

LinkedIn automation Expandi

Choose the trigger and add a Webhook URL:

Connect LinkedIn with email automation

Now we need to verify email addresses that Expandi found, so we'll use Quickemailverification. It's quite important in terms of email deliverability to check whether the email is valid or not before sending a cold email campaign.

Find emails on LinkedIn

If you've never used Quickemailverification with Zapier, it'll ask you to put the API key which you can find here

email verification

And put the value to the email address field as it's shown here:

LinkedIn lead generation in 2021

Now we just need to connect lemlist:

LinkedIn with lemlist

That's it, the whole workflow looks like this:

multi-channel lead generation

I tried to connect with 400 people during the last week.

333 of them accepted my connection request. So 333 people will receive my email.

And here are the stats from lemlist:

Outbound lead generation results

For those who don't know whether it's a good result or not, I'll leave the cold email outreach KPIs and benchmarks.

As you remember, my goal was to ramp up my click rate, not get replies for this one, so spoiler, these are really cool results 🤓

Bottom line

Now you can generate tons of leads with 3 awesome strategies.

  • Smart game with those who replied to your cold emails positively
  • Leverage FB groups and your competitors' audience
  • Connect with those who liked your posts

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