September 25, 2021

How I generated 2500+ organic leads on Linkedin on autopilot

It was the morning after I posted a giveaway on Linkedin for marketing spreadsheet utilities I had developed while I was running my own agency. What I saw the next day was something I hadn’t expected at all.

2500+ comments 700+ Likes and 300+ connection requests

The technique was simple, get people to comment in order to get more reach on Linkedin. So I told them to comment with their email addresses. I was sceptical whether people would comment for privacy concerns but a lot of them did. Over the next week, my inbox was filled with messages and my profile views went through the roof.

But I made a promise to email the resource to everyone who commented and comments were in all shapes and forms. So the challenge was not only to scrape the comments but to extract the email addresses from the comments.

While I tried writing javascript code to scrape the comments but Linkedin loads only 10 comments at a time. So technically I will have to load more 250 times to get to the bottom of the page.

Looking for better alternatives, I signed up for the free trial of PhantomBuster and used their LinkedIn comment extractor to extract all comments with the profiles of the commenters and put them in a spreadsheet.

Clean-Up Process in Spreadsheet

Though I was able to extract the comments in a CSV, that was only half the job. The data was not suitable to extract the emails. Since there were line breaks in the comments, I used “find and replace” in a spreadsheet and replaced “\r\n|\n|\r” with “ “ to remove all line breaks from the comments. Then I used

=TRIM(MID(SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(G5), “ “, REPT(“ “, 200)), (LEN(LEFT(G5, SEARCH(“@”, G5)))-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(LEFT(G5, SEARCH(“@”, G5)),” “, “”)))*200+1, 200))

to extract the emails from the raw comments. This formula essentially creates 200 empty spaces between words and then searches for @ in the comments to extract the email using Mid function and then trims back the sentence. The final spreadsheet looked something like this.

Living up to the promise

The next challenge was to use some free tool to send out emails without having to land up in spam because of the sheer volume of these emails. Additionally, I wanted to track my email opens as well.

So I used Mailtrack’s free version to send campaigns in batches of 200 emails and used my personal Gmail id to make the email look authentic. The copy went something like;

I wanted to make sure I remind people of the reason behind the email so I attached the screenshot of the post they commented on and also asked them to write back if they felt the need to.

Additionally, I directed traffic to my blog and got people to subscribe to it and most of the people did. People liked the free tools and there was nothing more I could expect with a single post and 0 marketing spend.

Content is King

The post was posted at around 5 PM (IST) on a Saturday evening with only 4k connections at the time and no fanbase on LinkedIn whatsoever. This goes awry from the advice of any marketing guru to be successful on Linkedin. So my rule is simple, just post content that you think is valuable for you.

I spent a good amount of time developing these resources and have used them multiple times with new projects to speed up some of my manual marketing work. This was thus appreciated by fellow marketers as well and this is how I hacked my growth on LinkedIn.

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