LinkedIn is one of the most productive platforms out there when it comes to professional networking. Obviously, the more LinkedIn contacts and connections you build, the better.
But prospecting, making connections, and growing your LinkedIn contact list is often easier said than done. It’s time-consuming to create genuine business relationships with the right people, and many salespeople, or business professionals in general simply don’t have enough time to dedicate to the process.
The secret is figuring out how to leverage LinkedIn in all the right ways. That’s why we’ve pulled together this list of LinkedIn tools, tricks, tips, and hacks to grow your contact list quickly and easily.
1. Use Leadjet to prospect in half the time
Leadjet is a browser extension that helps salespeople work faster and more efficiently by automatically adding LinkedIn prospects in a single click to your CRM without having to take the time to enter the data manually. It ensures that sourcing prospects on LinkedIn only takes about half the time.
The extension allows you to double your prospecting efficiency when you don’t have to manually enter your prospective lead’s information into the CRM. Instead, it just automatically extracts the respective information and seamlessly inserts it into the appropriate CRM fields.
This tool can essentially save salespeople 60 minutes per day, ensuring you have that extra time to focus filling your contact list with prospects and clients with real potential — and actually selling to them.
2. Personalize LinkedIn connection message requests on your mobile app
Don’t accidentally send out the default LinkedIn connection request, which is way too easy to do within the app. It actually takes a conscious effort not to send that default invite.
Yes, it will take you an additional minute or two to personalize your request. But it will be worth it when that person accepts (versus ignores) your invite.
And remember, if someone ignores your invite, they have the option to choose ‘I don’t know this person.’ After a few people click that, your account might be limited or restricted, another reason taking the time to personalize your message will benefit you in the long run.
So ditch the generic requests. Your tiny extra effort will indeed pay off when your contact list grows.
Here’s how to do it: Go to the profile of the person you want to connect with and click the three dots to the far right of the ‘Connect’ button. This will open a new window where you can then personalize your invite in 300 characters or less.
3. Don’t let your competitors steal your prospects
At first, the ‘People Also Viewed’ feature on LinkedIn can seem helpful. Appearing on the right side of the page, this feature allows you to gain more potential prospects by viewing others.
The problem is that you don’t want your competitors doing the same thing! If you leave this feature on, any prospect can get a sneak peek at your competitors by just visiting your LinkedIn profile.
Luckily, this is an easy fix. Simply go into your ‘Settings & Privacy’ page. Click on ‘Privacy’ in the top navigation bar. Then, scroll down and ensure that ‘Viewers of this profile also viewed’ is set to no.
4. Find out your social selling index
For those of you who are social selling — doing your sales directly via LinkedIn — you should take advantage of LinkedIn’s very own assessment tool. It helps users see how well their profiles are optimized for selling.
Basically, the tool measures how well you are utilizing LinkedIn and how successful your sales efforts are.
Don’t feel bad if your score isn’t great. You can work to improve it by doing things like increasing connections, posting articles and content, interacting with others, and more. This will eventually boost your score, your contact list, and your business.
Click here to see your own Social Selling Dashboard (provided you’re already logged into LinkedIn).
5. Extend your headline on your LinkedIn profile
If you’re working on your desktop, you’re limited to just 120 characters in your headline. But, if you’re on your mobile phone, you have over 200 characters to utilize, pending you edit your headline on LinkedIn’s mobile app version.
Just make sure to put any of the really important info into your headline first, because those final characters could get cut off if viewed on the desktop version of LinkedIn.
6. Change your ‘Connect’ button to ‘Follow’
Changing your connect button to follow may not seem so important.
But it is.
While it may be slightly more difficult for people to connect with you, it means they’ll probably follow you in order to do so. Plus, this will improve the quality of your connections, as people will have to seek out the connect option (located in the ‘More’ menu) if they want to create a connection. Having a ‘Follow’ button means you’re particular about who connects with you, and your selectivity can actually send the right message to potential followers, connections, and future prospects/clients.
Before, this button was reserved for influencers, but now it’s available to anyone. You, too, are now worthy of a follow and not just a connect!
If you’re busy (and honestly — who isn’t?) and aren’t just hanging around on LinkedIn all day, this option is also ideal, because you don’t have to accept or ignore when people follow you. In fact, you don’t have to do anything at all.
Here’s how to change your button to ‘Follow.’ Go to the LinkedIn mobile app, click on ‘Settings’ (the gear icon on the top right), click on the ‘Privacy’ tab, scroll down to ‘Who can follow you,’ and select the ‘Make follow primary’ option.
If you’re on your desktop, you can also change the button by the following process: ‘Settings,’ then ‘Privacy,’ then ‘Blocking,’ and finally ‘Hiding’ (turn this to ‘Yes’).
7. Improve LinkedIn advanced search results with Boolean Search
Find exactly what you’re looking for using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature, which allows for Boolean search parameters. This means you can add or eliminate specific elements to dig up exactly what you need.
Essentially, this allows you to filter results by using quotes and connector words to find certain search terms together. For example, if you’re looking for someone who has advanced sales techniques and knows about market research, if you put quotation marks around each of those phrases, Boolean will ensure the terms are grouped together and your results are more relevant, showing you prospects with “advanced sales techniques” and “market research experience.”
Here’s exactly how to use Boolean search to get the results you want:
- Use quotes. This will help you search for an exact phrase, like “market research experience.”
- Use connecting words. Using words such as ‘and,’ ‘not,’ and ‘or’ allow you to search for more than one phrase or word and group these characteristics together or find one specific thing and exclude the other (using ‘not’). Examples would be things like ‘Instagram or Facebook,’ ‘hit sales goals and has management experience,’ or ‘Manager not VP.’
Play around combining quotes and connecting words until you feel you’re getting the results you’re looking for.
8. Use LinkedIn’s showcase pages feature on your company LinkedIn page
If you have a LinkedIn company page, make sure to add showcase pages, which are designed to promote and showcase some of the best aspects of your business. Namely, your product to start, but also things like events, news, and anything else that’s key to your business.
Showcase pages basically allow you to have your own form of a website on your LinkedIn profile, as you can create up to 10 showcase pages. Members can follow and interact with your pages. Plus, similar to other social media sites, you can do things like get notifications about engagement, see insights and metrics on performance, create groups, and more. You can also use Whatagraph to track analytics on your pages.
9. Time your posts just right
Posting on a Sunday afternoon won’t get you far on LinkedIn. Remember, the platform has an entirely different audience than social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, or Pinterest, where users often scroll on weekends or late at night. A study by ImpactPlus showed that Sundays between 9am and 3am were the worst times for posting on LinkedIn.
But what about the best times? LinkedIn is a business social media tool, so you’ll want to post at the beginning and end of the workday for the average business professional. Ideal times are at 7am to 9am, or 5pm to 6pm. Lunchtime is another valid option.
Make sure to take time zones into account, too. If you’re based in London, but many of your contacts and followers are based in New York City, it may be worth it to time things to appeal to clients in both time zones. For example, posting around 5pm in London is noon in New York City, meaning you’re getting the end of the day for your European clients, and lunchtime for those in the US. Doing some test runs with posting can help you see when the majority of your contacts are interacting, especially if you work with clients in a variety of time zones.
You may also want to consider your line of business. Higher education and healthcare workers seem to check LinkedIn mid-morning to mid-afternoon, where B2B business professionals often use time during commutes or lunch hours to check the site.
A good rule of thumb is to always avoid weekends. Mondays can be too busy, and on Fridays, many might be distracted or cutting out early for the weekend. So, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are the best days for posting.
Using the aforementioned LinkedIn hacks, you’ll not only grow your contact list, but also increase your interactions, focus on more meaningful LinkedIn connections, and improve your networking in general. Remember, the more contacts you have, the more opportunities you’ll have to find the right prospects, make more sales, and increase revenue.