LinkedIn is as powerful a tool as the companies and professionals it hosts are. There are a large number of professionals and companies on LinkedIn and the same goes for marketing professionals. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for lead generation and is being utilized by several sales professionals for lead generation. But for an effective lead generation, you need to reach out to the right kind of prospects and not just anyone in an attempt to get your number up. This kind of strategy of aiming at a wide ocean and catching only a few fish doesn’t work with marketing. The approach needs to be more focused and efficient. Here are a few tips on how to use LinkedIn to its best potential to find prospects:
1. Use the ‘people also viewed’ sidebar:
By visiting the profiles of your best prospects you can see the ‘people also viewed’ sidebar. This column shows you people similar to the profile you’re looking at and enables you to connect to them. This acts as a similar people section and lets you expand your prospect list filled by people like your best prospect and doesn’t even take a lot of efforts.
2. Reaching out to prospects in new roles:
People in new roles often are open to new kinds of products and services being offered to them. This is a psychological trick and can help you reach out to such people in your connections and target them accordingly. It is essential that you find such people and connect with them at the right time to get them interested in your product or services. All you have to do to get informed of such changes is go to their profile and select the “keep in touch” option below the ‘connections’ marker.
3. Investigating competitor’s network:
Often targeting a competitor’s network can help in getting you prospects who already have tried similar products. But for this to happen you need to rope them in and pitch how and why they would switch to yours instead of their previous trusted buyer. To sell your product or service to a competitor’s customer is definitely hard but if they acknowledge their interest in your offer over someone else’s it’s time to start preparing prospect lists. Use your competitor’s prospect lists and connections to get a readymade list and target them for maximum attraction value.
4. Scrolling through endorsements section:
People often look to and recommend others like them through endorsements and it is a good place to find prospects. You’ll find the kind of prospects you’re looking at and similar to the person you’re looking through. By searching through a prospect’s skill section you’ll definitely come across the same person as the one who is your best prospect and/or lead or customer. You just have to be smart enough to know what kind of prospects you’re looking for and how best the person fits your marketing prospect list.
5. Using alumni search:
Even though LinkedIn’s search option is pretty powerful it does have a few limitations or even cons to put it better. Often people who you may not even know or aren’t interested in can show up in your search. But accessing a list of people you know or have something in common does work great for everyone. For this, you can just look through the common college or school using LinkedIn alumni search. Just paste the URL: www.linkedin.com/edu/alumni in your browser and access the list of people who have the same college or school as you and it’ll lead you to a list of prospects who have that factor in common with you.
6. Check who all have commented on your prospects’ posts:
At this point, any way you can get in touch with your prospects’ connections is a good option to get similar prospects. The aim is to target similar people and another good place is to check the commenters on your prospect’s posts. In fact, you can use their comments and connect with them accordingly via InMail or email.
7. Browsing users who have interacted with your posts:
With the free LinkedIn account plan, you can access only a limited number of people who’ve checked out a user’s profile. LinkedIn Premium removes this limitation and offers you access to every user who’s been through your profile. But to see users who’ve interacted with any kind of post on your profile, you don’t need the LinkedIn Premium. You can check who’s liked or commented on your post easily and it is super easy to access and is just like any other social media platform. If they’re not your customers already just send them a mail or InMail to connect with them and even get referrals.
8. Using Boolean Google Search:
This isn’t a direct LinkedIn method to search or gather prospects but it throws a lot of LinkedIn profiles you may find useful. To use this search pattern just use Boolean keywords like OR, AND, NOT.
Explanation of each term:
1) Quotation marks: This’ll show up results having the exact phrase.
2) OR: Will show up results having a first OR second search option.
3) NOT: Will show results with the first search option and without the second
4) AND: Will show search options with both the first and second option.
Just use in Google search: “site:linkedin.com/in” and keep on using this with different combinations and using the boolean statement mentioned above.
LinkedIn is a great tool to find prospects and leads but efforts are needed of course to target the right kind of people for marketing. Not everyone in front of you should be the targeted audience. Try looking for people who have anything common with you or the best prospects in your connections. Asking your customers for referrals also goes a long way in word of mouth and referral marketing. Using LinkedIn can help you a lot in getting your prospects list longer and better in quality.