Many people have been using LinkedIn for about ten years now. And yet I still run into way too many people who haven’t found consistent ways to use LinkedIn to grow their personal brand. Or land a great job opportunity. Thus, I’m going to dedicate this post to helping you create a winning LinkedIn strategy that will get you the professional results you deserve.
A Winning LinkedIn Strategy
Yes, LinkedIn has over 660 million people in its database. But you’re most interested in the people who can help you achieve your business and professional goals, right? By using LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search function, you can laser focus your search for those people. You can then set a search alert so LinkedIn will notify you when it discovers new people who meet your search criteria.
In other words, LinkedIn will serve up the perfect list of targets (and I use targets in the most positive way). This could be customers, vendors, donors, employees, and strategic partners. Of course, add future employers and industry influencers to that list of endless possibilities.
Step 1: Click your cursor into the big white search box in the top toolbar, and then select People in the dropdown menu.
Step 2: When the white toolbar appears just below the top toolbar, select All Filters on the far right of the toolbar.
Step 3: You will then be taken to the All People Filters page. Here you can select up to fifteen different search filters or any combination of those. Choose job titles, company names, geographic areas, and more. Anything you think your targets would use to describe themselves on their LinkedIn profiles.
Step 4: Review the list of people your search uncovers. Specifically, make sure they actually look like people you’d like to meet. Then see which of your connections already know these individuals. Next, strategize about whether your next step should be an invitation to join your network, a referral, or some other form of traditional way to reach out (email, phone call, personal visit, etc).
Set Up Automatic Alerts
Step 5: So how do you set up an automatic weekly alert so LinkedIn will let you know when new people meet that search criteria? Type one bit of information from any of the search criteria you used (location, title, industry, school, etc.) into the white search box in the top toolbar.
When the search list reappears, possibly in a different order but it is the same list, the Saved searches box will be on the top right next to the search results. Click Create search alert and hit the Save button. Then LinkedIn will notify you via email of the new entrants to your list.
You can have a maximum of three saved search alerts working for you at any one time with a free LinkedIn account. Also, keep in mind that these types of searches, although available for free LinkedIn users, may be limited on a monthly basis.
Send Out the Welcome Wagon
Step 6: The next step is where the Welcome Wagon part kicks in. Once you’re notified of new people on the list, you can welcome them to your town. Perhaps congratulate them on their promotion or starting a business or changing companies, etc. (keeping in mind that you want to move this new relationship forward). Obviously, the information you receive from LinkedIn will depend on the filters you used to set up your search.
This step can be done in two ways:
- A LinkedIn invitation to join your network (always include a personal note with the invitation)
- An InMail (if you have a premium account)
You can also do your Welcome Wagon “reach-out” with a phone call or email (if you have the person’s email address, of course). Better yet, mail them something or drop it off at their office. Whichever technique you choose, just think how impressed they’ll be with your thoughtful message. This proactive step just might begin what could be a fruitful relationship for both parties!
There you have it… a winning LinkedIn strategy. Do a good job of creating a targeted search and setting a search alert. Once you do, LinkedIn will keep filling your virtual room with just the right people for you.
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.