The LinkedIn Lead Generation Problem

Sometimes you get the following types of responses when doing LinkedIn lead generation.

Your leads are complete crap. I would only call them qualified if I was qualifying them for the type of garbage they are.

It happens and It’s not your fault.

Here’s why.

LinkedIn is a behemoth of a platform. It has about 640 million users, and almost 100 million decision-makers. If you’re in the market to find more clients, this is the number one place to do that.

It’s better than Google because LinkedIn can target specific people in specific positions, in specific countries and companies (and more) whereas Google is just intent-driven. And, In a few years, LinkedIn plans to grow to up to 3 billion users. 

The LinkedIn Lead Generation Problem.

LinkedIn is also a social platform which means that people can’t resist the urge to boost their profiles a-bit, or pump up their company description so that it looks greater and more successful than it really is. 

Maybe it’s just the fake it till you make attitude. Don’t know, but I do care and here’s why. While people do this, the are essentially destroying LinkedIn and most of it’s paid services such as the Sales Navigator. 

Imagine the following scenario (although I believe most of you have already experienced it):

You’ve developed a seriously good and in-depth target audience profile. 

You’ve built a list in Sales Navigator that would fit this profile.

You start connecting with these leads. 

You get some initial success.

Then you start noticing that some of these leads make no sense – neither they’re in the industry you’re looking to reach out to, nor the people are actually what they say they are.

Here’s an example:

John Doe, Serial Entrepreneur, Founder, Consultant, and 10+ other titles.

He reaches back after your initial message saying he is really interested in talking more about helping him grow his business. 

From what you can see on his profile, it seems that he really is successful so you schedule a call.

You do the call, only to find out that this John dude, is still an employee in a company or even worse, just a student, that got excited at the opportunity to talk with someone who reached out to him. Probably because it never happens.

You lost about 2 hours on a completely unqualified lead.

There are some that you just can’t avoid. Closed down the business, not looking to buy anything etc.. it’s fine. But, extreme examples like the one above happen more and more.

How To Avoid It?

You can’t stop people from boosting their profiles and taking the fake it till you make it approach. 

One option is to spend more time on each lead or at least ones that seem a bit off. Telltale signs:

  • Too many titles in the headline
  • Titles are not related 
  • About section + title + exp makes no sense or are not related 
  • The experience section is devoid of info although the title says otherwise
  • Academic background – person finished school last year and now is a consultant, award-winning writer etc…

The second option is just to accept that this could happen.

What Can Be Done?

The implications of this occurrence are huge and affect LinkedIn as a platform. 

On one hand, there are plenty of great agencies doing LinkedIn lead generation, generating a lot of these leads all the time. That’s just a waste of resources.

On the other, you have people with profiles that don’t match.

One solution:

  • Teach and Incentivize users to fill in the right information
  • Teach and Incentivize users to update their profiles regularly

Considering how big LinkedIn is about to become, having the right information will be the deciding factor whether: 

The Future?

Some might say that it’s just part of the process and this LinkedIn lead generation problem will never go away.

Sure, but think about it this way, if the platform is going to grow 5x bigger than it is now, how will the number of qualified vs bad leads grow?


P.S. BTW, Imagine if Google had the ability to target people the way LinkedIn can?

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