My Secret Weapon: Using LinkedIn's Advanced Search Function to Find New Clients
by Ned Miller on May 29, 2014 at 12:24:36 am Last Edited By Ned Miller on May 29, 2014 at 12:25:50 am
On Monday the local biz paper wrote an article about how I use LinkedIn's Advanced Search Function. It barely scratches the surface of how I use it but suffice it to say it really, really works and it's only $23 a month. The article has one factoid incorrect, for the $23 membership called Business Account you get 300 names per search, not per month. It allows me to filter the job titles I know hire out for video services. I target companies in healthy, growing industries and using the zip code function I look for prospects near me.
Once I find the person I feel is a good prospect I then send a friendly email with two intriguing attachments and snail mail my brochure with an enclosed biz card.
It does take awhile to really learn the nuances of the Advanced Search. I had a very slow first quarter so I started marketing heavily and I became quite expert at it and landed a few new clients. Since this is the Biz & Mktg Forum I figured you guys should know about the power of Advanced Search:
Re: My Secret Weapon: Using LinkedIn's Advanced Search Function to Find New Clients by Jeff Breuer on May 29, 2014 at 2:37:11 pm
Thanks for sharing Ned. We have a service that automates the search and emails those people, but I'm sure you can attest that there is still something to be said about a physical connection. I'm wondering though, do you just send the business card or have you tried a campaign with some clever and creative marketing piece?
Re: My Secret Weapon: Using LinkedIn's Advanced Search Function to Find New Clients by Todd Terry on May 29, 2014 at 4:02:50 pm Last Edited By Todd Terry on May 29, 2014 at 4:06:08 pm
Ha!!! @ Glen Ross... back in my actor-man days I actually played Shelley Levene in a production of Glengarry Glen Ross (under tons of prosthetic makeup to hide my youthful visage)... and each performance was the most swearing (and smoking) I've ever done in any given two-hour period in my life. But that's neither here nor there....
Not to highjack, but since we are talking about LinkedIn...
Curious as to how you guys handle LinkedIn invitations from people?
Personally, I don't quite "get" LinkedIn. I've personally never received even ONE legitimate business tip or contact (that panned out to be anything) through LinkedIn... and honestly I don't know even one single other person that has either (and I've asked a lot of people). I'm a little dumbfounded that it's like the second or third largest social networking site... but hey, it's working for someone, I guess.
I have to say my personal LinkedIn views have always been a little more like Jack Donaghy's from 30 Rock.
I'm also a little dumbfounded by the rather large number of people who seem to use LinkedIn as a personal blog and blather on about things, related or not (often not). But as I said, it must be working for someone.
The thing I can't quite grasp of are the completely random (and I do mean RANDOM) invitations I get from people. I'm a television commercial producer in Huntsville Alabama. Just looking at my pending invitations... there's a US Army Acquisition manager in California, an IT manager at a Verizon store in Oregon, a technical director at a country music radio station in Arizona, a high school guidance counselor hundreds of miles away... and, lets see... 52 more right now.
I tend to just ignore these, and either accept people that I KNOW, or are close to my industry. But then again, if I already know these people, what's the point of networking with them? I already know them and can pick up the phone.
But where do you draw the line?
Wisdom appreciated, as always....
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc. fantasticplastic.com
Re: My Secret Weapon: Using LinkedIn's Advanced Search Function to Find New Clients by Nick Griffin on May 30, 2014 at 3:53:46 pm
I'm with Todd on this one, but probably for different reasons. When the LinkedIn invite comes from a client I accept them so as not to seem rude or disinterested. However fellow bovines, I rarely will accept an invitation from someone in the same businesses I'm in. With clients potentially viewing LinkedIn why would I ever think it's a good idea to provide them with direct links to others who could do for them what we do?
Re: My Secret Weapon: Using LinkedIn's Advanced Search Function to Find New Clients by Mark Suszko on May 29, 2014 at 6:29:32 pm
We're having a little fun, but Ned does make an interesting point on how you can put L.I. to work if you're willing to make the effort. I still am curious about comparing what he's done there, versus using Google's pro marketing services.
Re: My Secret Weapon: Using LinkedIn's Advanced Search Function to Find New Clients by Al Bergstein on May 29, 2014 at 7:53:28 pm
My take on Ned's excellent marketing, is a few things. One is that he is in Chicago, a huge market. It's much more likely that media buyers for rapidly growing businesses are not as tuned into who to call for video expertise. In smaller markets, It's been my experience that personal relationships through Kiwanis, and other business to business organizations, seem to be the way to make connections.
I got one lead from LinkedIn, and it ended up being a job for hire, low pay but I did get an extra work day out of it, and the customer got satisfied. So I can say it *occassionally* works.
My attitude towards LinkedIn is that it is another, more professional marketing tool than FB. Lots of people see that I'm working, I post a photo and text every day that I shoot, with a snippet about the job. I have had business associates call to find out about pricing jobs for their companies, but usually too far distant from me to be worth doing, so I help them find shooters in the area and give them an idea what to expect.
I haven't felt that it was worth $25 a month for search functions, but I'm not really that hard core on marketing. Might be worth trying in a larger city though.
Re: My Secret Weapon: Using LinkedIn's Advanced Search Function to Find New Clients by Jeff Markgraf on May 30, 2014 at 11:01:16 pm
re: Fred Winston. My favorite Chicago jock ever. Mornings on WFYR, back in the day. Then Dick Bartlett would come in after Fred's shift and make it a point to spray and clean the studio before starting his shift. Fred is a regional, if not national, treasure.
Re: My Secret Weapon: Using LinkedIn's Advanced Search Function to Find New Clients by Mark Suszko on Jun 3, 2014 at 1:00:42 am
John "Records" Landecker, Bob Sirrot, and Fred Winston were my favorite air personalities. I followed Fred all around the dial as we both aged. He's currently the station ID/production voice on a local Springfield, IL station, a gig I'm sure he just FTP's in, but my wife and I always brighten up, hearing his voice.
Re: My Secret Weapon: Using LinkedIn's Advanced Search Function to Find New Clients by Mike Cohen on Jun 3, 2014 at 1:56:19 am
I use LinkedIn for the following purposes:
Participate in some forums. However most forums are for people in the same industry. Kind of like I don't expect Mark or Todd or Nick to hire me for production work just because they interact on this forum. But it's kinda fun. Sure I've hired some fellow Cows as sub contractors but that is again not what the original post is about.
I accept most but not all link requests. Excluding people I already do business with, family and college friends, that leaves about 60% people I have no direct connection with.
I reach out occasionally to say hello and reintroduce myself. I get the impression a lot of people really don't use the service since manu of my messages are unreturned or are replied to weeks later or longer.
Then I get the random contacts from people in unrelated fields (ie, not production and not medical related) and often from the ends of the Earth. Not sure how this happens.
I see why one might pay for the pro service. You can use Linkedin to identity prospects (ie, show me VP of sales at widget companies) because they usually are a 2nd or 3rd connection and you cannot direct message with the free account. So you take your chances of annoying a stranger with a spammy linkedin message on the 5% chance they reply.
I might have to experiment with this myself.
It is obviously working for some people.
Another interesting feature is the "who viewed your profile in last 30 days". I clicked today and with the free account I got:
HR director at XYZ firm
A former co-worker whom I have no contact with ever
A video editor at a tv station in Oklahoma
An unnamed executive at an unnamed company.
Next is the pitch to pay money to see these people and more. Reminds me of Classmates.com.
There is also a news feed, which seems to contain the same viral links that also populate my FB feed, Twitter feed, Reddit and Digg. I suppose the point here is to engage in conversations with tge OPs but most are bland links (that is the OP does not add their own insight).
Back to the forums. I participate in the video editors forum. Fun but not for prospecting as far as I can tell.
Other forums seem to be a combination of:
Introduce yourself - problem here is in a marketing forum you have 50 people who all do essentially the same job pitching their services to one another.
Links to viral articles or blog posts
Work from home spam
Other job postings or recruiting firms
Occasionally an actual thread but there is a lot of pollution in the forums.
Then there is the Profile Building activities. You log in and are asked to update your profile. I do it and have a pretty good rating. Then it asks you to endorse others for skills.
I get endorsed for video related skills by people I have never worked with. Very nice gesture but kind of meaningless. But this is what Linkedin does, creates busywork masked as productivity.
Now if you are looking for a job Linkedin seems like a good place to look. I get numerous suggestions for jobs which I am not remotely qualified for. I wonder how that function works.
Anyway, Linkedin serves some purposes. I call it Facebook for grownups. Although since the exodus of kids, Facebook is now Facebook for grownups and Linked in is in most peoples' opinion kind of useless. But lots of people have an account.
As an experiment I tries to connect with people sharing my name. I have two other Mike Cohens as connections, but I don't think they got the joke!
Can you get business from LinkedIn? For many of us it remains to be seen.
I hope so.