If you’ve been using LinkedIn for some time now, you’ve probably noticed that the LinkedIn people search is not always effective and can even be irrelevant. Why does that happen? Well, because the platform’s algorithm is not the most efficient one. If you want to learn how to reach out to someone on LinkedIn quickly without spending hours on end searching, then this article is for you.
In it, we will tell you how to master searching on LinkedIn by showing you some tips and tricks that make the experience that much better and more efficient, and that’s without having to pay for a premium account or some other sales feature.
Let’s take a look at all the LinkedIn best practices you should be aware of.
Forget About the Main “Keyword” Search Bar
Our first recommendation would be to steer clear of the main search bar – there’s no reason for you to use it, regardless of whether you’re searching for a keyword or something else.
Let’s show you why with a simple example. Say you’re looking for people in “Marketing.” By using the “Title” filter to search for the word “Marketer” or “Marketing,” LinkedIn will show you all the profiles that have that word in their job titles. What if you want to find experts that just work in the marketing industry? Then you can head over to the “Industry” filter and type in “Marketing & Advertising” – that way, you will be able to look at everyone who states they’re a member of that particular industry.
The only time to use the main search bar is if you’re looking for a particular person and you know his or her name. Otherwise, by using the filters, you can make your searches that much more effective. For example, if you’re looking for people in the health industry and you type the word “health” into the main search bar, you will get
- All the job titles that have the word “health” in them;
- Profiles in companies that contain the word “health”;
- Users that have listed something “health”-related in their skills;
- Everyone that has listed “health” as part of their interests;
- And last but not least, all the profiles that have the word “health” in their profile in any way.
Because of that, when you’re using the main search bar, you’re getting all types of results but not the ones you’re looking for.
Use “Title” to Find Your Best Prospects
The main search bar is obviously not the only way to find your prospects. Frequently when we’re looking for prospects, we’re interested in
- What they do
- Where they work
- The industry they’re in
- The size of the business
- Their seniority
- Where they’re located
- Whether they’re in a decision-making position
LinkedIn has made the size of the company, the seniority of the prospect, and their status visible only if you purchase the Sales Navigator plan, and we won’t be reviewing that in this article. But still, the title remains one of the best ways to target prospects. It’s probably the best qualification tool that LinkedIn has. In most cases, it’s much more efficient than the main search bar as the results it gives are much more precise, and if you combine it with a Boolean operator, it’s even more powerful.
Use Boolean Operators
If you’ve never used them before, Boolean operators may appear as some kind of wizardry to you. But, in reality, even though they’re super effective, they’re also easy to use. Their main idea is to enable you to combine different elements or aspects of what you’re searching for in a particular search bar.
Here’s how to use some Boolean operators:
Use Quotation Marks in the Search Bar
Say you’re looking for a specific expression, like “Sales Guru.” If you conduct the search without quotation marks, you will get results with only “Sales” and only “Guru” in their titles. However, by adding quotation marks, LinkedIn will display only people whose job titles include the “Sales Guru” expression in them.
Test the “Not” Exclusions
This Boolean operator allows you to eliminate all irrelevant search results. Let’s take an example: if you’re looking for prospects in marketing, you will only type that keyword in your search. However, when browsing the results, you can get ones such as “freelance marketing,” which is not what you’re looking for at all. So, by specifying “marketing not freelance,” the search will remove all the profiles that have the word “Freelance” in their title. Obviously, you can add other words to the “not” elements in order to conduct an even more refined search.
Make Use of the “Or” and “And” Inclusions
Once you’ve gotten the hang of how to use the “not” function, the “or” and “and” are pretty much used in a similar way. They allow you to associate items. For example, if you want to find a person who did their master’s at Yale, you can take the “School” field and add “Master and Yale”.
Never Exceed 1,000 Results
Maybe you didn’t know this, but LinkedIn never shows you more than 1,000 standard search results, even if there are much more available. For most people, this is a benefit, as it pushes you to narrow down your search and get better leads.
Look for Companies in Your Targeted Industry
This is a different approach that can be very effective in some situations. Let’s say you’re trying to sell a product to recruiters or job-seekers. By searching for “recruiters” on LinkedIn, you will get some good results. But how can that help you sell to recruitment agencies?
Here it’s vital to know that every industry has a website that brings the biggest companies together. In our example, if you look for “recruitment firms” on Google, you will find a site that has brought together at least 400 recruitment companies from all corners of the globe. Once you have the list of all those companies, you can paste it into the “Companies” filter on LinkedIn to find your prospects.
Consider Searching by Region
This is not a trick by all means, as it’s a pretty straightforward tip that you need only to remember. When you get thousands of search results by typing “fitness”, for example, you can vastly narrow down the search results by filtering the location and choosing a particular region.
This will not only make your job easier, as you will have fewer results to go through, but it will also show you only the ones that are relevant to you based on your needs.
Before We Let You Go
If you don’t want to pay for a premium LinkedIn account, you don’t have to. Even though the platform’s algorithm is flimsy and often ineffective, there are still ways to operate within it and find the prospects you’re looking for. Hopefully, our article was enough for you to improve your LinkedIn people search.
If you want to learn more about LinkedIn marketing, head over to our blog, where there are many other articles on this subject. If you’re generally interested in all things marketing, social media, and business, then make sure to follow us on all social media platforms.