3 min read

The LinkedIn Networking Strategy for SaaS with Will van der Sanden

The LinkedIn Networking Strategy for SaaS with Will van der Sanden

Will van der Sanden is the founder of Dux Soup, one of the largest LinkedIn automation tools. In this episode, Will shares best practices around how to think about LinkedIn networking for SaaS, the step-by-step play, and how to leverage automation tools.

My Notes

The following points are not direct quotations from Will, but my summaries based on his answers. Please listen to the recording for his exact wording.

Which industries might benefit the most from using LinkedIn?

Any IT-savvy audience is going to respond relatively better on LinkedIn than others. Having said that, Will explained that every business with a B2B focus can do well on the platform.

What are some common LinkedIn networking mistakes?

Will shared that being too enthusiastic and not having a process can lead to being spammy. Just connecting with anyone or with no proper strategy.

Another key mistake people make is not respecting the platform. It is a business audience, so act accordingly.

Finally, not measuring their networking efforts.

Can you play the 'numbers game' on LinkedIn?

You will likely end up with a temporary (or permanent) ban. Also, you'll be creating noise and wasting your time by not properly leveraging LinkedIn's filtering options. Finally, you'll not be building up relationships properly.

How to network on LinkedIn as a SaaS company?

Will suggests 5 steps:

  1. Find your target persona based on your experience. Either look for your target users or decision-makers. You can also consider targeting influencers, depending on your goals.
  2. Grow your network towards these people by connecting to relevant 2nd-degree connections. Continue growing by then connecting to your new 2nd-degree connections, and so on.
  3. Reach out regularly, for example, every 1-3 months, with updates, relevant content and events to these connections. Stay on topic by talking about your problem space.
  4. Follow up with those who respond to hand over to your sales team.
Will recommends sharing updates that have news value. You are more likely to be up to date on interesting and important things happening in your space may be valuable to your target market, so they may appreciate you sharing the information.

Any tips on who to connect with?

  • It depends on your business culture. In some countries, like the US, it is easier to be more direct.
  • People move around a lot, so you can connect with multiple people at your target companies.
  • You can sometimes leverage the network of a competing SDR to connect to relevant prospects.

When can you connect to your new 2nd degree connections?

Ben: Previously Will mentioned that you should aim to connect to your 2nd degrees first, before 3rd degrees. So I was curious, how long after connecting to someone new can you connect to their connections?

Will shared that basically, you can start as soon as you like.

Within a year or two, you may find that you are a 2nd degree connection with most relevant people in your market.

How many contacts should you aim for on LinkedIn?

500 is not enough to make an impact. You need approximately 2,000 - 3,000 relevant contacts in your target market. However, the actual number depends on your industry.

How do you scale LinkedIn networking?

The key to scaling is having more accounts.

  1. Make sure your SDR profiles are professional and relevant.
  2. Coordinate your marketing automation to avoid overlap and annoying prospects in your connection or content campaigns.
  3. Keep an eye on responses and make sure to qualify your prospects.

Many thanks to Will for joining me on the show and sharing the how-to here. Listening to the discussion again later, I felt pretty motivated to start trying to grow toward my target market by connecting to relevant 2nd-degree connections. I wish I had asked Will about whether you should stay connected with non-responsive contacts, and keep messaging them, as I can imagine ending up with a stacked profile of unresponsive folks.

Feel free to share your views in the comments below.