Before I could write an article around this topic, the initial objective was to turn our own LinkedIn marketing into awareness- and revenue-generating machine. Practice what you preach, right?

Here's our scorecard so far:

  • The rest of the team has managed to extract a lot of juice too: Nadja (to book demos), Ugi (to exchange backlinks), Ilya (to connect with users and prospects), and me (for networking and connecting with target verticals)

In this article, we're going deep to understand the meaning of the winning LinkedIn strategy and break down its most important details.

Combined with all the tactics we used to drive traction.

To quote KRS One, step into a world where there's no one left, but the very best. Not a bad idea to play this one while reading tbh... :)

B2B LinkedIn strategy: starting point

Before you go guns blazing, it would be wise to think about your objectives first.

Are you on LinkedIn to build a personal brand, connect with prospects, hire talent, find a job, or stay in the shadows?

Depending on how you answer this question, your B2B LinkedIn strategy will present itself.

Now your objective may change over time and that's fine. But do yourself this favor... don't go swinging without a target in mind.

This answer will help you define:

  • with what people to connect
  • how your News Feed should look like
  • what kind of content to produce

For example, my objective might be:

  • Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Search to prospect and convert Heads of Growth & Marketing
  • Hire people and grow my Growth team
  • Distribute relevant content to my connections
  • Storytell about my job as Head of Growth @lemlist with the hope of being entertaining and valuable to other folks
  • Communicate with people I admire

Or it could be everything I mentioned. Opportunities are endless.

How to create your LinkedIn strategy

A lot of LinkedIn strategies are tied to personal profiles. Meaning, we usually prefer to use our brands as growth engines for our business.

It makes sense when you think about it. People like people.

There's a reason why Facebook Pages were deprioritized. It's far more natural to identify, empathize, and talk to another person than a page.

Be that as it may, this doesn't provide sufficient reason, for me at least, to neglect a Company Page on LinkedIn. It deserves to be a part of any LinkedIn strategy, as a secondary priority.

You just have to give it a personality and tone.

Let's have some fun now... 👇

How to create LinkedIn posts that people will engage with?

We'll make this section highly actionable. I'll pick a few profiles that in my opinion are crushing it on LinkedIn.

Then we'll break down their posts and try to understand how they're doing it. If you guys think I missed someone, shoot me an email at [email protected]

My picks will be Alfie Marsh, Ashley Galina Dudarenok, String Nguyen and Guillaume Moubeche of course.

Ladies first!

Both have been awarded the Top Voice award from LinkedIn and are really killing it. Here's what you need to know about Ashley...

Ashley Galina Dudarenok

... and String.

String Nguyen

I won't get into LinkedIn profile optimization as there's already plenty of content around that... like this one.

For example, what do you think about this post?

How to write a LinkedIn post

Here's my $0.02...

  • Typically, comment-bait posts operate in a way you say "Yes" and then you get the link. You need to have a powerful personal brand to do it organically like Ashley
  • The intro hook is obvious, plus the tone fits the image. There's no dragging it out, one value sentence and here's the link
  • I'd bet that these images Ashley posts are based on market research and work great in the space she operates

Next post.

How to write a LinkedIn post

Why do you think this post deserved 90 likes and 50 comments?

I believe it's due to...

  • Intro is spot on because many of us want to accomplish what String did, so we'll probably click on "see more"
  • Instead of just copy/pasting the article link in the post, String played it out cleverly by intriguing you with a story that ends with proof and link

Now Guillaume...

Guillaume Moubeche

... and Alfie.

Alfie Marsh

The post we're going to analyze is:

How to write a LinkedIn post

Here's why it worked:

  • Talk about stuff you know to build integrity. G has cold emails in his pockets, I can tell you that! Here's the proof
  • Tips given are super actionable. In this sea of content that pops daily, it's key to stand out, bring value and leave people with something THEY CAN USE
  • It's easy to understand and adapt to your needs

The last example contains a video.

How to write a LinkedIn post
  • Again, the intro is spot on! It gets you excited as you're going "Yessir"
  • After you click to see more, you're able to discover context
  • Video delivers on a promise from a guy whose words match his actions

Personal brands are awesome.

But remember, in the world of LinkedIn content distribution, it's not only CEOs that should try to break through the noise.

Each of your employees has an audience to connect with and to expose to a certain type of content.

Every team has their Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc, etc.

teamwork lemlist

No (wo)man can make it on their own.

Gonna leave you with this!

Your LinkedIn content marketing checklist... feel free to share it. 😍

What to write about?
[ ] Topic you're practicing atm
[ ] Stuff you have experience in
[ ] Topics you're learning
[ ] Secondary topics connected to the main one

How to write a LinkedIn post?
[ ] Make sure your intro is catchy so people want to see more
[ ] Use images that drive attention
[ ] Showcase your results
[ ] Make your posts easy to understand
[ ] Avoid putting big chunks of text in one paragraph
[ ] Always good to connect and mention people crushing it
[ ] From time to time, play with comment-bait posts
[ ] Use relevant hashtags

Tricks of the trade
[ ] Optimize your News Feed to see posts you can learn from and enjoy
[ ] Follow relevant profiles and understand how they play the game
[ ] Ask people if you need advise... beasts recognize other beasts

How to distribute content on LinkedIn?

Once you've answered what to post on LinkedIn, the next big component of your strategy is to make sure people see your content and consume it.

If you're curious to find out more about...

  • How to run a company page?
  • How to I promote one article multiple times?
  • Do memes work on LinkedIn?

... then this section is for you.

Imagine the following situation. You wrote a huge blog piece, for example...

7 Cold Email Examples & Why They Worked [2020 Guide]
High-performing cold email examples, their results and the reasons why they worked so well. Secrets to boosting reply rates and increasing deliverability.

This article is 3K+ words long. I'm bringing this number so that we can comprehend how much potential content for LinkedIn that could be.

An article is not only one share, where you dunk the link and hit post. Maybe re-share it later on.

You can treat yourself with loads of content and LinkedIn posts instead.

The first thing you can do is record a video inspired by the article.


Total content units you have now is 2.

Meaning, you have two things to share on LinkedIn that can point to the same link.

Our dear Nadja leveraged a good old Ray Liotta meme from the Good Fellas to direct people to that link.

LinkedIn content marketing

3 content units in the bag.

But there's plenty of more ways to leverage humor. We're not going to miss it on our company page.

LinkedIn content marketing

Content units counter says 4.

Next you have educational storytelling, for instance...

LinkedIn content marketing

6 content units.

Or you can use the graphs you've added in the article and showcase them as separate posts, linking it back to the article or that section in particular... whatever works.

LinkedIn contant marketing

And now the content units counter is singing 8.

As a result, we now have:

  • 8 posts across several profiles linking back to the same article (LinkedIn)
  • Solid engagement and reaching additional news feeds (LinkedIn)
  • Jan-May 2020 traffic for the article increased 40% compared to Aug-Dec 2019 (Total)
  • Conversions doubled in that same period for that article (Total)

All this is just a tip of the iceberg, because LinkedIn is contributing to these results being the third source after Direct and Organic.

To bring it back to the finish line, your LinkedIn and content distribution as a whole is about stories, actionable case studies, and dope information.

Break those long articles up, write clever posts around them, and let your marketing go wild.

How to get engagement on LinkedIn?

It's time to devote some time to the infrastructure of this social network..

The LinkedIn's algorithm.

Unlike Facebook or Instagram, where what you like is what you see on the feed, LinkedIn operates differently.

For example, if you and I are connected there and I like a post from Gary Vee, you will see my like in your feed.

But if I like a photo of Inter Milan on Instagram, you'll be in the dark about it.

Why are we talking about the algorithm?

Because it defines the way you should treat the platform. When you post on LinkedIn and your prospect likes or comments, more of their connections see it.

However, LinkedIn might decide to change its algorithm one day. If it does, we'll adapt, so don't fall in love with it.

But until it doesn't, all hands on deck. Just please put good content out! 🙏

If the engagement is so important, what's the best way to generate it? Especially if we don't have a big profile, to begin with.

Best strategy: Engage first

I'm amazed by the following situation.

How to get LinkedIn comments

I mean I get it. It takes time to write comments. They don't bring an immediate impact on your business.

But nobody is saying you need to spend an entire day commenting on other people's stuff.

However, you could sacrifice an hour to do a LinkedIn browse for the cause. Leave your $0.02 on a few posts.

Don't be that guy or gal with the audacity to extract value and give nothing in return.

I consider Gary Vee to be the voice of this strategy.

Step 1 - Search for things that matter to your world

For example, you're into B2B sales. Follow all the people who are leaders in this space and connect with others who share your passion. See what they're up to.

Step 2 - Check out their posts & read their articles

Everybody is posting about something. All you need to do is read some posts.

Step 3 - Leave the best comment ever

Think about it...

Leaving the best comment ever on your prospect's post results in them getting to know you. Before you send that cold email, this is a good situation to be in. 👊

Leaving the best comment ever on a post from an industry leader might grab the attention of their audience. Even that leader might notice you.

Leaving the best comment ever on anyone else's post results in them feeling appreciated by you.

However, this LinkedIn strategy is not easy to implement.

It's like going to the gym. One week of working out won't do it. But a whole year, now that will make a huge difference.

I was paying attention when Gary was spraying the truth. 😍

LinkedIn groups and communities

Both you and I know how powerful Facebook groups and communities are.

In fact, I recently connected with a guy on LinkedIn, Noel Ceta, who has created a compliation of 100+ Facebook groups that deserve your attention. Access it here!

Almost a year and a half ago, I was obsessed with mediums such as Reddit, Quora, Zest, and Growth Hackers. It was around that time when I moved full-time to lemlist.

One of the key components of my plan was to generate "upvotes", "likes", etc... depending on the medium.

So I started joining pods on Facebook, Telegram, LinkedIn, etc. Went all-in and ended up with the following score of my 4-month 2019 push.

  • Quora: 650 traffic hits, 62 conversions
  • Growth Hackers: 295 traffic hits, 2 newsletters, 3 conversions
  • Zest: 603 traffic hits, 6 conversions

The more time I spent in pods, the more I discovered that the majority of them eventually die.

Then it occurred to me... hey, why don't I build one?

You know how in high school, whenever you throw a party at your place, you're feeling like the king of the jungle.

In my mind, the same rule applies to pods. I can organize it the way I want... take all the practitioner's knowledge I have to stop inactivity from happening and, eventually, turn it into a great community.

It started with several chat groups on LinkedIn and as soon as I crossed 10, I've decided to transform it into a LinkedIn group.

LinkedIn groups get a bad rep and are terribly inactive, so I was skeptical at first too. After a few conversions with some members, I decided to roll with it... for three main reasons:

  • Everybody was bullish on LinkedIn, plus it wasn't overcrowded with communities
  • I estimated that in 2020 LinkedIn will make big investments into their group/communities "feature" (not happened yet, fingers crossed)
  • Chats were already on LinkedIn, so the transition was the easiest

A few months later, Game of Content has become a great community with 1.5K+ members.

It's still a pod in its core, but it's also a backlink marketplace, a great place to connect with people, and I have cool plans moving forward.

I gave you a longer intro, but with a good reason. To buy credibility and say the following.

I've spent a lot of time playing and trying to build a MEANINGFUL LinkedIn community.

So I can tell you that groups here have great potential because LinkedIn is a trendy platform. If there isn't an active one in your industry or none whatsoever, build one.

Having a community, like lemlist has TSAC, can be one of the most important things you'll do for your business.

Are there flaws with LinkedIn communities? Absolutely.

LinkedIn needs to give admins more tools to work with. If anybody working over there sees this article, I'd love to join your feedback crew and help create something amazing.

Here's what I've learned about LinkedIn groups so far:

  • Make a beta version of the group (in my case, pod) and run it like that before deciding to turn it into something more (community for content folks)... you need a hook ;)
  • Do the extra work! For example, I send intro messages to people so they know how we operate
  • Keep it clean! For instance, I don't allow people to drop their links as post

Alternatively, you can take over an existing group and start shaking things.

How to use LinkedIn for sales?

Now that we know how to create and distribute content, there's one group of questions still unanswered.

How do we boost revenue?

How to get sales leads from LinkedIn?

What sort of strategies do we need to put in motion to do it?

Here's what worked for us...

LinkedIn for sales prospecting

Besides using it to hire people and find your next job, LinkedIn is famous for its robust search engine. There's a lot of things you can do:

  • Find "Head of Growth" folks in specific companies or cities
  • Expand your network by connecting with target people
  • Identify decision-makers with ease
  • Create your ideal customer persona from scratch

What makes LinkedIn search awesome is that everything is already there. You just have to reach out and take what you need.

Plus, there's a tone of tricks to put in that search bar, such as:

  • OR (e.g. Growth OR Sales) - LinkedIn will list all the profiles that have either one of these two keywords
  • AND (e.g. Growth AND Content) - A more narrow search as LinkedIn will now look for profiles that must include both terms
  • NOT (e.g. Growth NOT Sales) - Will list profiles that include the word growth and not sales
  • Type under quote marks (e.g. "VP of Growth") to get all LinkedIn profiles with that exact match

One question that people wrestle with is whether or not LinkedIn Sales Navigator is worth the money?

If LinkedIn search is powerful, imagine what you can do with a lot of more filters and options.

The best advice I can give you is to test it yourself. They offer a free trial.

Let's explain the difference on a practical use case. For example...

I wanna find my target audience for LinkedIn outreach.

My target is VPs of Sales in Computer Software and Marketing industries who are operating in London. I'm in luck as they are all LinkedIn search filters.

LinkedIn prospecting

I'm excluding my 1st degree connections as I'm aiming to connect with new people.

If you know who are your target companies, you can narrow it down by adding their company name as a filter.

As of recently, people can add services to their profile and you can filter based on those as well. I'm not gonna do that in this example though.

LinkedIn prospecting

How would this search be different if you had LinkedIn Sales Navigator in your corner?

I could filter out bigger and smaller sales teams. Furthermore, I could also list companies who've increased sales department headcount recently.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

I could even segment people around their role, seniority level, years in current position, etc.

LinkedIn sales navigator

And finally, you could save your lists or connect it with a CRM if you need to... and get that logistical stuff out of the way quickly.

As originally stated, both LinkedIn search and Sales Navigator can help you connect with prospects, people facing the same challenges as you, and so on.

You just have to ask yourself what are you looking to do.

B2B LinkedIn outbound cadence

When you find ideal prospects, it's time to reach out and start working towards conversions.

We have a couple of different tactics in lemlist that we've tested over time.

Our Head of Biz Dev, Nadja, uses the one that's a mix of cold emails, LinkedIn engagement and DMs.

Here's how it starts...

  • Step 1: Set up your cold email campaign

It starts with a cold email that's crafted for a specific audience. As you can see, it's dedicated to growth marketers, hence the specific ice breaker.

Cold email example

In this example, Nadja plays on the humor card using the current situation we're in.

The {{firstName}} tag you see both in text and on image updates automatically. Meaning, every prospect gets an image with their name on it.

Pro tip:
Image personalization in cold email outreach can be done in many ways.
Website screenshots, profile images, video thumbnails, compamy logos,
possibilities are endless.

More info: All the ways in which you can personalize cold emails

But, the important piece is that email doesn't get send until she connects with prospects first on LinkedIn.

So just get your campaign ready and let's move to the second step.

  • Step 2: Export LinkedIn prospects and their emails automatically

To accomplish this, we're gonna use Phantombuster, specifically their integration with lemlist.

outbound sales

Phantombuster is going to ask you to fill in certain details.

The first thing you wanna do is go and copy your LinkedIn search URL...

outbound sales

... then just paste the link and input other information as shown below.

LinkedIn strategy

Tick the advanced settings box and tell Phantom to send auto invitations to connect with these leads on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn strategy

Finish the setup.

Once set, you'll see prospects gathering up in your lemlist campaign where all you need to do is review them, press send and your campaign is on its way.

Step 3: Advanced tips and tricks

When you conquer the first two steps, you have a well-functioning cadence right there.

But, to make it truly special, I want to show you a few more tricks to really crush it.

🔥 Fully automated vs. golden manual touch

Although we like automation very much, both Nadja and I still prefer to keep some things semi-automated.

Because the lists are usually small and targeted, the choice is not to automate it completely.

In the final step of sending a campaign in lemlist, you will have an option to sprinkle some last-minute changes to the cold email of a specific person... should you desire to do so.

LinkedIn strategy

A use case may be that you've exchanged some comments on LinkedIn, and perhaps you wanna leverage that in your cold email for this person.

But if you want to skip manual reviews and send asap, just go to Options and tell lemlist to do so.

LinkedIn strategy

🔥 Expose prospects to your content before sending an email

A smart move by any growth marketer or a salesperson is to build a relationship first.

This mindset can help you set up your cadence a bit differently. For example, you might want to connect with your prospect first and expose them to the content you post on LinkedIn.

Or, depending on the size of your target audience, you might decide to engage on their profile first, so once you send a cold email, they immediately know who you are.

To make that happen, all I gotta do is turn on auto-connects as explained in the step 2 and then set a time delay in lemlist, so that the cold email is sent later.

LinkedIn strategy

Just adjust the time delay to fit your strategy.

For instance, you can also set a time delay between follow-ups to give you enough time to DM a person. Nadja did it this way, as she wanted to follow-up on LinkedIn if the person didn't respond to the email.

🔥 A/B test stuff to make data-driven decisions

Walk it like you talk it. As we're advising people to perform A/B tests all the time, it's a no-brainer that internally we leverage split tests too.

Here's how Nadja figured out which one of these two cold emails performs better in her LinkedIn cadence.

lemlist A/B test

It's the market that decides and we just adapt.

What were the results of Nadja's cadence?

  • 76% open rate
  • 45% click rate
  • 8% demos booked
LinkedIn for sales
LinkedIn for sales

How to message someone on LinkedIn

LinkedIn outreach via direct messaging gets a bad rep as well. A few reasons why that's the case...

  • It's free to send a DM once you connect with someone
  • Channel is overcrowded already
  • It's easy to copy/paste and press send

All the reasons why people stopped replying and started going like Professor Snape here...

But that's part of the game too.

I'm not as bullish on LinkedIn outreach as I was a year ago when lemlist was a team of four. Now we have both Growth and Sales teams, so we divide and conquer.

Nevertheless...

LinkedIn DMs, along with other DMs in general, are the most valuable asset I own on these platforms.

Here's why...

LinkedIn outreach
LinkedIn outreach
LinkedIn outreach
LinkedIn outreach

These days, when I do LinkedIn outreach is usually something like...

  • I have a specific question to ask or just wanna pick their brain
  • Give a genuine compliment with no ask at the end
  • Referred by someone or continuing the convo from comments

As a Head of Growth @lemlist, I'm not the person responsible for direct sales. My primary focus is top of the funnel.

However, I always relinquish a challenge to build relationships with people and be there as another channel to forward or close deals, should the opportunity present itself.

Let me bring the outbound master to share his #1 tactic with you. Please give an enthusiastic head nod and a smile in front of your screen for Morgan J Ingram.

This is his LinkedIn cold message I've been gushing about...

  • Step 1 --> send a voice message
  • Step 2 --> wait two days and then hit them up

People are more than accustomed to those same generic requests and messages.

For anyone who's doing LinkedIn outreach and wants to stand out, Morgan achieves this outcome with voice messages.

He was also kind to outline his voice message process. The winning formula 10 + 30 + 10.

What does that mean?

  • 10 seconds to focus on the trigger or problems
  • 30 seconds for your value proposition
  • 10 seconds for your call-to-action

Ultimately, you want to keep your voice messages concise and valuable.

It's only after two days pass that Morgan drops a direct message in their inbox as a follow-up.

The final DM outreach I'm a big fan of is when you're looking to hire.

Because you can find everything you need to know about someone initially on LinkedIn and then just hit them up with a simple...

"Hey, big fan of your work. {{Tiramisu}}. We have a position at lemlist that you might fit into perfectly. Would you be open to hear more about it?"

{{Tiramisu}} is my cold email strategy. In this case, it usually becomes a meaningful compliment.

For example, if you're hiring a Content Manager, go and read their article FOR REAL. Show that you're a player by giving them a genuine compliment instead of just saying "great post Bruce" or "terrific work Elektra".

LinkedIn strategy and analytics

Regardless if you want to measure the impact of your DMs, post links, company page... it doesn't matter as this approach works for anything.

Gonna leave you with a quick checklist that I like to follow... Guilty, it's for growth marketers, but as salespeople,

[ ] Open this and UTM the link you will share in a post/DM/comment*
[ ] If you're not sure how these work in Google Analytics, read this
[ ] Make sure to give clear names to those fields
[ ] Go to Google Analytics > Acquisition > Campaigns and analyze
[ ] Set events and goals in Google Analytics, so that you can measure conversions besides traffic (e.g. free trials, activations, paid conversions, form submissions, etc)*

Bottom line

This brings this 4000+ article slayer about the winning LinkedIn strategy to an end.

Finally, all that's left for me to say is let's connect on there. If you're reading this article, you're probably grinding on your LinkedIn strategy. As the case is the same with me, it only makes sense to connect, right?

I hope it brought you a tone of value. Stay golden and see you down the road.