If you’re a B2B business, it’s never been easier find new clients, connect with them, and engage with them, thanks to online platforms like LinkedIn. And with millions of active business owners at your fingertips, LinkedIn is a business owner’s dream come true!
Today, we’re going to get tactical and answer a BIG question we hear a lot…
“How do I find my best prospects on LinkedIn?”
Here’s the quick answer: We utilize LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search. But before we dive into the HOW, we need to talk about why…
Building a database full of your BEST prospects is your primary objective because once connected, you can build a relationship with them through strategic messaging and email campaigns.
Now, besides building a database of targeted connections and prospects, another use for the search function is simply to get a general idea of how many people could be potential prospects. We use this as a litmus test to see whether or not LinkedIn is even a viable platform to focus on – and *hint hint*… 99% of the time, it most definitely is.
It’s also important to note that *NOT* everyone that comes up in the search results will be a great fit… but if you get 70% of results to be a good fit of what your ideal client looks like, you’ll be on the right path.
First, any marketing endeavor starts with knowing WHO your prospect is; you need to know who they are, what they value, and what they want to be able to connect with them, build rapport with them, and more importantly, sell to them.
Start by looking at your current and past clients.
Make a short list of the industries they are in?
What are the job titles of the individuals you sold your product or service to?
Where are they located? Do you work locally? Nationally? Internationally?
Second, utilizing the search functionality is the best way to ensure you are connecting and reaching out to your best prospects, the ones who will actually make a difference and move the needle forward in your business.
This is done in a variety of ways. Let’s dive in!
The ability to do advanced searches and target very specific people is one of LinkedIn’s biggest strengths.
Step one is simply accessing the Search bar on the homepage of your LinkedIn account. Type the title of the person or the name of the industry you want to target.
Now here is where you can put the litmus test to work to see if LinkedIn is right for you. In this case, I think you’ll have plenty of prospects.
And if you try it out, you’ll be surprised how many people you’ll be able to target in nearly every industry, from the bigger ones like construction and health care, to more niche topics like cooking. Try it out and see for yourself.
Here we typed “Marketing Manager” and came up with over 5 million search results! Plenty of prospects, but that’s just unmanageable. Now it’s time to apply the first filter and narrow it down a little.
After you type your query, you’ll want to apply a filter, in this case, click the “People” option. You can click another option, but when you’re looking for individual prospects, “People” is what you want.
Three ways to filter using the “People” Option:
When you click on the search bar, before you type, you can pick “People” filter from the dropdown list and then type your query in the search box.
You can type your query and then click the search bar, where a drop-down menu will open up.
Or, if you typed and already hit enter, you’ll see this screen:
Just click on “People” and you’ll exclude any search results that aren’t specific people, like companies or job openings. (And, by the way, this is also where you’ll apply any other filters you want.)
Now, let’s say you wanted to target Marketing Managers in your local area, but they have to work for a specific company, you could click on any of the options in the easy drop-down menus in what we’ll call the “Filter Bar” (outlined in red below…)
You can access the SAME filters and more when you click on “All Filters” here…
It’ll take you to this page:
As you can see, you have plenty of filters here to choose from, including:
Here, you’ll want to apply the searches that make sense for you based on your “Prospect Profiles” and when you’re ready to search, just hit the blue “APPLY” button at the top of the page to apply your filters. And there you have it!
Now you have access to a list of very targeted, highly qualified prospects at your fingertips!
AND… after you create a targeted list of prospects, you need to know how to connect with them and stay top of mind, so that when they’re ready for your services, YOU become the go-to provider in your industry.
When utilizing LinkedIn’s search filters, you don’t need to attempt to fill in every last detail.
Title, location and industry are the 3 most widely utilized search filters in our client campaigns. You might need to use all three of those filters OR you might need just one of them to get to your prospects.
Again, it all depends on who specifically you are looking to target.
A quick note here… LinkedIn Search does offer some shortcuts, allowing you to filter your results without having to return to the “All Filters” page.
You can do this in the search bar with a mix of Search Operators and Boolean Commands.
As listed on their Help page, LinkedIn currently supports five Search Operators:
And to use them in the search bar, you simply type the search operator followed by a colon, and then your search query in quotes. For example:
Combine that with Boolean Search Commands and you can include most of your filters right in the Search Bar, and save some time without going to any other pages.
Here is what LinkedIn says about the Boolean search commands they support:
And, remember, it’s like algebra! There is an order of operations, so when handling searches, the overall order to precedence is: