LinkedIn has lots of great ways to find the right people in its 550 million person database. But the one exciting LinkedIn feature that seems to have the biggest wow factor?
Using the “Connections of” feature to search.
Whether I share this technique with individuals or huge audiences, I find that most people don’t know they can do this within LinkedIn. Nor can they believe it’s available on the free LinkedIn account.
How to Search Your Connection’s Network
Follow these simple steps, and you’ll quickly discover who might be able to help you achieve your goal.
- Put your cursor in the big, white search box in the top toolbar and select Search for people from the drop-down menu.
- Then select All Filters in the white toolbar that appears. Next, go to the Connections of box and type in your connection’s name. When his/her name appears in the drop-down menu, choose that entry, and then click the blue Apply button.
- Then use any of the other available filters to narrow the search to people at the right company, location, school attended, title, etc.
Caveat: If your connection has chosen to hide their first-level network from their connections, you’ll only be able to see people to whom both of you are connected.
What to Do with the Search Results
Review the list that LinkedIn provides for you. If you find people who look interesting to you, check out their profile. Then ask your connection how best to approach the people (through a LinkedIn connection request, phone call, email, in-person meeting, etc.).
The three questions I would ask my connection about the people on the list are:
- Do you know them? (After all, not everyone knows the people in their network well enough to refer you)
- Do you think they would be interested in hearing about how I might be able to help them? (You’re trying to find out if your connection knows them well enough to know their level of interest in what you do)
- Can I use your name and our relationship when I reach out to them? (This is getting their permission to name drop)
If you get “Yes” or “You bet” to all three questions? Then go ahead, reach out! Start a new relationship by referring to your mutual connection.
How to Reach Out
The reach-out could take place in the form of a LinkedIn connection request, but you could also use more traditional methods, like a phone call, email, or stopping by for a visit.
Whichever option you choose for reaching out, it’s far easier than asking those in your existing network the open-ended question,“Who in your network could help me find a job, customer, etc.?” After all, you’re not putting all the pressure on your connection to come up with the right people. Instead, you’re using LinkedIn’s Connections of feature to find the right people all by yourself.
If you’re like most people, you can’t wait to get started and put this exciting LinkedIn feature to use.
What are YOU waiting for? Start NOW.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Power Formula.
About the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. An experienced businessman, speaker, and author, Wayne shares his passion for social media with 40,000+ business professionals. Through private business consulting and presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine and also the American Marketing Association, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with him on Twitter.