Occasionally a client will ask if they need to pay for a subscription to LinkedIn to use it effectively. The answer is simply: no.
The one exception would be if you are a recruiter or HR personnel, then a paid subscription probably makes sense.
The one simple thing to remember when using LinkedIn as a prospecting tool is this: Advanced Search
We’re always amazed at the number of people who never realized this powerful little option exists!
With LinkedIn Advanced Search you can search for people by:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Company (current and past)
- Profile Language
- Nonprofit Interests
Want to find who all the economic decision makers are at XYZ Company? Search for “Current Company” = XYZ and “title” = CFO (or controller, or risk manager, or bookkeeper etc.).
Want to find out if any of your college classmates are in an industry you specialize in? Do a search by school and industry.
Want to find people in a certain industry who share a passion for a particular non-profit? (Industry and nonprofit interest)
Looking to get in on the ground floor of new businesses? Search by location and keyword “startup” or “entrepreneur”.
You’re probably getting the idea by now.
Once you’ve located someone who shares an interest or fits the description you are looking for, send them an invitation request and include a (very) brief reason why they might like to connect.
Hi Mike, I was hoping we could connect here on LinkedIn. I see you’re in the construction industry and graduated from The Ohio State University. I’m also an OSU grad and I specialize in insuring construction companies. It appears we have a lot of connections in common.
Simple as that. If they approve your connection request, send them a short note (through LinkedIn) thanking them for connecting and invite them to meet with you over a cup of coffee, or give them a link to a free white paper or something else that might interest them.
Just like that they’ve gone from a stranger to a warm lead. You haven’t left your desk, and it’s taken about 5 minutes of your time.
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