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Posted by Todd Hockenberry ● Apr 16, 2019

Using LinkedIn Searches for Strategic Success

On today’s episode of The Industrial Executive podcast our guest is Wayne Breitbarth, author of the best selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Wayne is also the first ever repeat guest this podcast, a testament to his knowledge and to the importance of LinkedIn to strategic success.

Last time we talked with Wayne about optimizing your LinkedIn profile so prospects can easily find you. Today, we're focusing on the flip side of that coin — using LinkedIn to find other people, others who might fit your ideal customer or maybe even your ideal employee.

Here’s what Wayne had to say.

Everybody’s On LinkedIn Now

“LinkedIn is bigger and better than ever.” — Wayne Breitbarth

We all know there's engineers, salespeople, and marketers on LinkedIn.

But did you know there are also 225,000 welders on LinkedIn? That there are 681,000 truck drivers and delivery personnel who’ve created profiles on the site?

Who'd have thought?

Everybody has a personal brand now — marketers, salespeople, MBAs, welders, and truck drivers. We also have a place to put our brand for free — LinkedIn.

People are recognizing that LinkedIn is an indispensable tool. We know we need to be on LinkedIn, or else we're going to be missed.

So, if everybody’s on LinkedIn, how do we engage with people?

Well, to engage with people, we need to be able to search for people. And to do searches we need data that the search engine can grab. We need the information people have posted on their profiles.

The good news is that as people are optimizing their profiles, LinkedIn is becoming an excellent search tool.

So, how do we use LinkedIn as a search tool to engage with people?

Searching for People on LinkedIn Via the Advanced Filters

“As much as having a good profile is an important part of LinkedIn, we start to make an impact for our businesses when we start doing searches. ” — Wayne Breitbarth

Engaging with people on LinkedIn is simple. It’s basically a two step process — you find people and you connect with them.

So, how do you find people? To find people on LinkedIn you need to use the search engine.

But you can’t just use the search box at the top of your page. It won’t really help you that much.

To get a decent search, you need to use the advanced filters. Here’s what you need to do to conduct an advanced search.

  • Go to the search box at the top of your page.
  • Click inside the search box and let your cursor hover there.
  • A menu will drop down. Click the first item on the menu which says "search for people."
  • A new toolbar will show up below the black toolbar at the top of your page.
  • To the right of that toolbar it will say "all filters". Click that button.
  • Once you click “all filters”, a new screen pops up with 14 different filters.
  • Using these filters, you can now search for people by categories like company, city, title, school, or industry.

Look at the following example.

Suppose you work for a company looking to hire machine operators. You could use these filters to pull a list of people who might be good candidates.

Engaging With Contacts On LinkedIn

“People are recognizing that LinkedIn is an indispensable tool. ” — Wayne Breitbarth

So, you’ve found a great list of people. Now what?

Chances are, you're not already connected with this list of people. If you were, you would have called them already.

The people on your search result list are probably second or third degree connections.

You’ll want to start with your second degree connections. The good news is that LinkedIn shows your degree of connection right after someone's name. A second degree connection means the contact is not a friend of yours, but they’re a friend of a friend. So, at least one of your friends knows that person.

So, start with these second degree connections. Look at the list of your friends who know that contact, and reach out to those people. Just message them and ask if they know the person who came up in your search result. If they don't, that's okay. You can move on to the next person.

If they do, that’s great. Just let them know why you're asking. If you have an opening for machine operators at your company, just let your friend know you think this person would be a great fit. Then ask your friend if you can mention their name when you reach out to the candidate.

Your next step is to use a LinkedIn connection request to connect with the person who came up in your search result. Add a note that says something like this:

I just met with John Smith. He suggested that we connect on LinkedIn and thought you might be interested in hearing about a position that we have at our company that I think you'd be a great fit for. Would you like to have a confidential conversation about this opening? In the meantime, I'd be honored to join your LinkedIn network.

This step is key. Most people look at their search results list and just push "connect" for every contact without taking the extra steps of finding a common friend and adding a note to the message. Reach out to your mutual connections and add a note.

That will go a long way in helping you to engage with your list of people.

If you know how to use the right features, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to help you find your ideal customer or your ideal employee.

LinkedIn can be key to achieving strategic success.

How are you using LinkedIn in your company?

This post is based on a The Industrial Executive podcast with Wayne Breitbarth. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe here.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen here.

Topics: Industrial Executive