Using LinkedIn for marketing is a traffic driving machine if you know how to do it right. Once I got 500+ LinkedIn connections, LinkedIn easily became the #1 content marketing referral source for Nichevertising by surpassing both Facebook and Twitter.
No joke. LinkedIn is now the #1 content marketing channel for Nichevertising and the #3 overall source of traffic behind SEO and direct traffic.
In this post I’m going to show you how I did it and how you too can get 10 times more referral traffic to your website from LinkedIn.
Below is the Nichevertising Google Analytics’ traffic chart from last month showing our top 10 traffic sources for the 31 days of August 2013.
Before I started focusing on LinkedIn in July, our traffic numbers lagged as you can see when you compare the Google Analytics chart from the 30 days of June 2013.
As you can see in comparing the two charts, I went from only 20 visits from LinkedIn to over 200 in less than 2 months. Growing one referral source by over 10x in less than 60 days is a HUGE jump, and this leap has a direct correlation with the strategy I used to go for 500+ connections.
My Stupid Policy that Limited Me to 200+ Connections after 4 Years
Before I started working to get 500+ connections around July 1st, I had only a little more than 200 connections after being on LinkedIn since March 2009. The reason why after more than 4 years I had so few connections was because of a stupid policy I created for myself.
I wanted to keep my LinkedIn network “clean” with only people I either went to school with or worked with. So I would only connect with my college classmates from West Point or FAMU, or connect with colleagues I previously worked with at Accenture, Amdocs or Lockheed Martin. In addition, I only joined LinkedIn groups that were directly connected with college or work related associations.
In hindsight, this was a big mistake and slightly arrogant of me.
How I got to 500+ connections
Simply stated, I got to 500+ connections in about 30 days by doing two things:
1. Requesting to connect with people in the LinkedIn “People You May Know” section that had at least two shared connections and who had a eye catching job title/headline
2. Joining 40+ LinkedIn groups and becoming a top contributor in one or more each week
Step 1: The “People You May Know” Section
The “People You May Know” section is LinkedIn gold. Once I realized this, I started to request to connect with at least 5 people everyday from the “People You May Know” section.
When you do this, LinkedIn does not allow you to explain why you want to connect with this person and a connection request is sent in one click. This is a huge time saver, plus it lead to an almost 80% acceptance rate.
When you request to connect any other way, you have to pick from a list and explain how you know a person, plus enter a personal message. I suggest you still do this most of the time as adding a personal touch to a connection request gives you a greater chance for people to accept your connection.
Especially if you know your LinkedIn headline/profile does not have that eye catching “WOW” factor, you want to make sure you enter a personal message for all connection request.
For me, however, on my road to 500+ connections I tended to skip the personal message 70 to 80 percent of the time. I was on a mission to maximize my connection request, and this saved a huge amount of time as I focused on content marketing as my differentiating factor.
Step 2: LinkedIn Groups
Linked Groups are a content marketers dream. Everyone in the professional world, organized into their niche, and searching for content to read and share. What more could you ask for? To get to 500+ connections using LinkedIn groups I used the following tactics.
- Shared a massive amount of great content.
I shared content from the Nichevertising blog 2 to 3 days a week and I shared curated content from other blogs and news sites 2 to 3 days a week. To do this, I would first post the content in my main LinkedIn sharing stream, then once it was posted I would share the post from my personal stream to all the related LinkedIn groups all at one time.
LinkedIn makes it really easy to do this by allowing you to just type one letter, then displaying all the groups that start with that letter. Using this technique allows you to share one post with all your groups at one time, if appropriate. (Contact Me if you need help with this.)
By sharing content and becoming a top contributor, I got tons of new request to connect with me from people who read and liked the articles I posted.
I made sure not to over share in any one group, and I also made sure not to share too much content from Nichevertising. I tried to use a 3 to 1 ratio.
The content I shared from this blog is never promotional either. 90% of all of the blog post you find on this site are based on data or “how to” posts. Our goal for this blog is to share knowledge, not to promote. This is one reason why our blog posts do so well in LinkedIn groups.
- Comment on other people’s post, then request to connect with them
On the flip side, I would also comment on articles shared by other people in my groups. To extend my 500+ quest, I would then take it a step further. I would request to connect with the person who shared that article. In this case I would put a personal note and make it directly related to the post they shared.
I had a 100% acceptance rate on connection request using this method.
LinkedIn Marketing 101: Get More Connections + Share More in Groups = More Traffic
As you probably already figured, my strategy to get to 500+ connections turned out to be the perfect traffic driving strategy. LinkedIn groups have an insanely high engagement rate. Much higher than anything I’ve seen on any other social network.
On top of that, nearly 100% of new connections check out your LinkedIn profile. So if you optimize your LinkedIn profile like a landing page funnel, chances are you can get at least 50% of profile views to turn into traffic on your website.
In short, LinkedIn marketing is a fabulous marketing strategy for driving traffic to a website. So if you have been ignoring it to this point, get started by connecting with me today:
When you connect with me, it would be great if you mention that you read this article. I would also be happy to help you get your LinkedIn strategy off the ground, so let me know if you have any questions.