How to Advertise on LinkedIn

I used #LinkedIn to produce $34K per month of revenue, in under 3 months. No magic tricks involved, just finding my cadence on how to turn a social media platform into a serious revenue stream.

I’ve been on LinkedIn from the beginning, but never really paid much attention to it. I only used it as a research tool to find contacts at companies that I was trying to pitch to. Despite the obvious usage statistics that we screaming in my face to give it more attention, I kept tricking myself into thinking I was too busy to figure it out…until something happened.

In Q1 of 2016 LinkedIn offered sponsored advertising to every company on a CPC/CPM self managed basis. No longer did you need to spend the minimum of $24K per quarter in advertising with them

I jumped in and focused 50% out of every day’s 12-16 working hours (sorry Gary Vee, I have 3 young kids and can’t doing the 18 hrs. you do 😉 ). I needed to figure out how to harness this new feature and couple it with traditional LinkedIn best practices to make the platform a revenue generating beast…Here’s how I did it:


  1. Polished my profile to have relevant content and keywords people would search for through the site.
  2. Requested connections from every relevant/potential client in the space we focus on. Over the first 60 days I reached the 5K limits on open connections requests LinkedIn has. I then went back and deleted requests to people that haven’t accepted within 45 days. I have an average of 50%-60% acceptance rate, I am very focused with my demographic but a lot of them aren’t on LinkedIn regularly.
  3. Sent cold messages (not “In Mail”) to new connections; I didn’t want to focus any financial resources to purchasing “In Mail” credits.
  4. Focused the attention of one of our Marketing Executives day to post relevant content to our LinkedIn company page every day; native and linked articles from quality sources.
  5. Focused on content marketing by writing articles for the company page and my personal page, focusing around what my connections would think is worth reading. This illustrated to the audience you aren’t only pitching to them all of the time, you provide relevant content as well.
  6. Created graphics for ads that were relevant and attention seeking..
  7. Created copy for ads in two different forms to do an A/B test on effectiveness. One form was short and showed the link within the allowed character count while the other was long form and brought in the “show more” link. I needed to see for myself how much “ad traffic” would be on mobile vs. desktop for my specific demographic. Everyone preaches about mobile first design, but what if most of YOUR traffic is on a desktop? You have to spend some money to test both methods and then develop your own statistics to your demographic behavior. Examples Below:
Short Form Ad Copy
Desktop Feed: Key take away; the link to our website is shown in full. The person will click if they are interested in learning more.

Mobile Feed: Key take away; again our copy is short enough to show the full link, there is no “show more” text. There is no “accidental” click through, more on that below.

Long Form Ad Copy

Desktop Feed: The “show more” link is active on the desktop feed, the viewer can click to expand and finish reading the text. They then have the option to follow the link outside of LinkedIn. This allows them to understand more about the ad before clicking out.

Mobile Feed: Too much text in the ad copy so the “see more” button appears and is greyed out. KEY: If your audience clicks anywhere within the ad (picture, copy or “see more”) it will take them to your link. This could drastically increase your bounce rate (people go to your site and then leave right away) because they only wanted to “see more” but not leave LinkedIn. It’s deceptive but could cause people to “accidentally” click through and spend time on your site, you have to test it and determine if it works for your specific demographic. I’ve had mixed success, sometimes it works wonders while other days my bounce rate is 90%-100%.

8. Got as specific as possible with my demographic (more on this in another article), do not listen to LinkedIn’s “best practices” article and have a minimum of 300K people in your audience. Even though only 25% of the LinkedIn audience comes on every month (straight from LinkedIn statistics) this doesn’t mean you should get sloppy, it will increase your ROI due to people clicking but not showing enough interest for the CTA. Use all of the demographic features; industry, groups, titles, age, interests, skills, etc.
9.  Bidding/Cost: Started with being modest on the bidding and hit the middle of the recommended range for my demographic. For example if the range was $8.32 – $12.78, I would start by bidding $9.50 per click.
10. Consistent tracking: I tracked every few hours(campaign page & Google analytics for you website) when I first started to monitor the effectiveness. If you’re set to a $40-$100 per day spend you can quickly waste a lot of money if you aren’t paying attention.
11. Made changes quickly. Based on #10 if something isn’t working how you expected then make a change, you do not need 1-2 weeks of statistics. Change the demographic, ad copy, ad image, landing page, etc.
12. Shared my company’s post (which you sponsored to create an “ad”) with your network. If you followed steps 1 and 2 then you are beginning to have an expansive network, it will always helps to get free traffic.
13. Paused ads on Friday late afternoons. I’ve found horrible weekend results running LinkedIn ads, and a lot of money was wasted. Don’t just take my word for it, you can try it out on your demographic to verify it’s effectiveness…don’t be surprised if everything tanks until Monday traffic.
Expected Outcomes
  • Plan on spending around $40 per day, 5 days per week to start. Once you’ve worked out the bugs you can up to $100 per day. This will produce a very good ROI, modify spend based on your specific results.
  • Dedicate 1-2 hours per day requesting connections. I went from 300 connections to 2,000 within 90 days of following steps #1 and #2. Quality over quantity is key, focus on a potential connections relevancy.
  • Be prepared to become obsessed with hitting the refresh button on your campaign report and Google analytics. Analyze, make changes, and create new content, new graphics and test new demographics. Speed is power, rinse and repeat.

Currently, 80% of our marketing spend is through LinkedIn, due to the demographics and effectiveness

The methods above are proven to work, we’ve perfected our tactics and utilized this for 100’s of our clients. Your industry and product/service can produce the same results; you just need to figure out the exact tactic and execution that works for you. If you want help and don’t want to go at it alone, shoot us a message.
Let’s talk and see if we can assist with the top 3 problems preventing your revenue growth
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