Many people unwittingly make the mistake of thinking that LinkedIn is only for connecting to people you already know.
Whilst LinkedIn IS great for helping to keep you front of mind with those you know, in my view it’s not the real jewel in LinkedIn’s crown.
For me, the jewel is LinkedIn’s ability to enable you to find and connect with your ideal prospect (even if you don’t know their name!) within seconds.
Find people you don’t yet know, but would like to, in an instant by using LinkedIn’s advanced search feature.
The Awesome Power of Advanced Search!
Located in the top right hand corner of your account, advanced search means you can apply powerful filters, such as job title, sector, regionality etc.
As an example, below you can see the fields I’ve populated to find 485 managing directors located within just 25 miles of our B5 postcode in the accounting and financial services sectors only.
This search took me just 2 seconds!
Just before you get understandably excited when you see the results the advanced search generates and fire off lots of connection requests, STOP!
There are certain processes you need to follow to maximise your connection rates and ensure you don’t get an ‘IDK’ or ‘I don’t know’ restriction.
‘I Don’t Know’ (IDK) Restriction
An IDK restriction from LinkedIn limits your ability to connect by requiring you to add the invitee’s email address.
Issue more than 15 invitations a day and/or you don’t invite prospects in a way that encourages connection AND discourages them pressing the ‘I don’t know you’ button.
5 Key Steps To Connecting With People You Don’t Yet Know (But Would Like To)
Here are the 5 key steps to achieve this:
Step 1 – Optimise Your Personal Profile To +++ Connection Rates
Here are just a few of the ways:
- Upload a professional and approachable head and shoulders pic
- In the headline (to the right of your picture) write the benefit of what you offer. You can include keywords too
- Ensure you’ve a personal summary that isn’t too sales-y and discusses who you help, how and why.
Step 2 – Create Your Advanced Search
- When searching here’s a great tip for you: put a + symbol between words to create a phrase e.g. instead of managing director, use managing+director
- This means that LinkedIn only searches for that phrase instead of managing and/or director. It will MASSIVELY increase the efficiency of the search
- When you create your advanced search, you can save it by clicking the cog icon located top right (you get 3 saved searches as a free member)
- The saved search is a live database so it automatically updates and sends you alerts when more people join LinkedIn who meet your criteria.
Step 3 – Invite Your Hottest Prospects To Connect
- Whilst there are a number of ways to do this, the important factor is to send a personalised message, which should say why you’d like to connect, including for example, what you have in common
- Avoid the temptation to use the LinkedIn mobile app and just press ‘connect’ without sending a personalised message!
- Limit invitations to connect to 10-15 a day to avoid the IDK restriction
- My tip is to upgrade to the cheapest premium account. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
- Save more searches and access the full saved search results (as a free member, LinkedIn will only let you see the first two to three pages)
- Access extra search filters, such as size of company
See all of the people that have viewed your profile (subject to the viewers’ privacy settings).
Step 4 – Say “Thank You”
- When the prospect connects, send a ‘thanks for connecting’ message, where you offer your assistance. It might be difficult, but resist the urge to sell!
Step 5 – Relationship-Build With A View To Appointment-Setting
- No one likes to be sold to. And the very worst thing you can do is immediately try to sell to your new connection!
- Until you’ve relationship-built (does the prospect know, like, trust you?), you haven’t yet equipped them to buy from you
- You can continue the relationship-building inside or outside of LinkedIn with a 5-step ‘give forward’ process. there’s a whole separate strategy of how to do this!
This method of finding, connecting and relationship-building using LinkedIn generates leads for me everyday.
Whilst this method works, make no mistake, you need to put the time and effort in to achieve results.
Once you’ve optimised your profile, I suggest you allocate 1-2 hours everyday to implement this level of finding, connecting and relationship-building.
If you’d rather not spend the time and effort doing this yourself, check out Prospect Booster, The Appointment-Setting and Guaranteed Lead Generation ‘Done For You’ Service.
And please feel free to like and share this post if you’ve found it useful!
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