We’re Growth-Hacking LinkedIn. Here’s How.

As a B2B startup, we’ve found LinkedIn really powerful in pin-pointing new potential customers. Where LinkedIn falls down is actually connecting with those people (does anybody actually read their LinkedIn messages?… mine is just filled with InMail spam from recruiters). Fortunately we’ve worked out a couple of tricks:

UPDATE: Having used ReplyApp.io for a while and tried out countless competitors, we've built a competitor called If No Reply.  Fundamentally it works in a similar way, but we wanted to create something that was better in 2 distinct ways: 1) simplicity, and 2) personalisation.  If No Reply sits within Gmail (or API) and allows you to easily customise every aspect of every message before you hit send.  Check it out at www.ifnoreply.com

Email Hunter and ReplyApp.io combo.

The Email Hunter Chrome extension will find anybody’s email address from their LinkedIn profile. Does it work 100% of the time?… no, but it’s pretty damn good.

Once we’ve identified the person we want to contact, at the touch of a button we’ll (almost always) have their email. That’s where ReplyApp.io comes in.

ReplyApp.io automates your sales outreach (UPDATE: we’re now using ifnoreply.com). Essentially you can pre-write follow-up emails that are sent only if you don’t get a reply. With all the time you save not having to follow people up, it will feel like your sales team has been multiplied by 2 or 3. We love it and are very happy to have finally made the discovery after researching about 20 different competitors (in fact I’ll write a separate blog post on this if anybody is interested, because finding the right tool was painful — we were using our own custom solution for a while).

If you’re interested in trying ReplyApp.io out, you can use the code 70CREDITJOURNO to get $70 of credit for free*.

UPDATE: We've built If No Reply and think it will be a better choice for most people reading this blog post.  We set out to be the best in the industry - especially for small/medium businesses - and I think we've now done it.  You'll automatically receive a discount when you sign up via this link: www.ifnoreply.com
I don't think the ReplyApp discount works anymore.  If you'd still like to try it, they've given us this link to share instead: http://reply.grsm.io/e/3YM

A special something we cooked up.

We’re always looking for new growth hacks and this is just one of them… but it worked scarily well.

We wrote a script to automatically visit LinkedIn profiles of our target customers. It doesn’t do anything more than visit people, but LinkedIn notifies them that we visited. People being curious generally visit back/check out our website/etc. From the word go, it doubled our sign-up rate for JournoRequests with no effort on our part (from about 15 sign-ups per day to 30).

We loved our script so much we decided to give it a face…

Fun to play around with a bit of pixel art . For our inspiration, check out https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/72606398/

… and turn it into a Chrome Extension so anybody can use it on LinkedIn:

You can try it out for your own startup at ProfileHopper.com (at least until LinkedIn change how their notifications work). Oh, and if you send an email to ed|a|journorequests|d0t|com I’ll give the first 50 people a free upgrade.

UPDATE: We had a run-in with LinkedIn and had to shut Profile Hopper down.  In our short time growing Profile Hopper, we built a tool people loved, reached $12k in monthly recurring revenue, and had a blast doing so.
A more detailed blog post about our crazy Profile Hopper journey is coming soon - and in the meantime you're invited to check out our new project, ifnoreply.com.  We'll be openly sharing all the dirt, revenue, and learnings as we attempt to reach beyond $12k in monthly recurring revenue.

Thanks for reading — I’d love to hear from anybody else who’s running a B2B startup and has found some great growth hacks. (@edmoyse on Twitter or ed|a|journorequests|d0t|com by email).

To check out more of our posts, you can go here.

*I’m curious to know what you think about us giving out an affiliate code. We’ve never done this before and weren’t sure about it. On one hand there’s no reason not to (ReplyApp.io is a great tool we’d recommend either way, so why not negotiate a discount for you guys and earn a referral bonus too — win-win). On the other hand, we were worried people might think it influenced the content of our post and question our intentions (FYI we have so far made $0 from any sort of referrals — we make our money from premium subscriptions to JournoRequests and Hey Press… and we plan to continue this). What would you do? I’d love you to leave a comment or email me!