✨ Start Here
Building Your Lifeline on Inbound
Breaking into Strategic Accounts
1. You Have 3 Buckets to Fill
Your network on LinkedIn ultimately comes down to three buckets of people:
- Engaged customers / prospects
Not every prospect is going to be actively posting on LinkedIn. That’s okay. We’ll cover reaching those customers in the Inbound section.
By having an active network with some people in each of these buckets, you’ll build your credibility. If you already have more than 500 connections and/or you’ve been active on LinkedIn, this section will be a refresher. We’ll be using and re-using these principles in future sections!
2. Find Your Influencers
TASK: Find 5-10 influencers in your industry who are active on LinkedIn and share content that you like and can engage with.
This is a starting point to begin engaging on LinkedIn. The kinds of influencers you should be looking for:
- 5K to 30K followers
- Posts about content that is relevant to your ICP persona
- Posts regularly (minimum 3x / week, preferably daily)
- Has an active comments section (the influencer engages with comments on their posts)
If you already know some active accounts on LinkedIn that you’d like to prospect, you can use their activity feeds to find these profiles.
Step 1. Go to activity feeds of active ICP profiles.
Look at "all activity."
Step 2. Find larger (5K+ follower) accounts that they like, engage, and comment on.
If you were prospecting Nick, you would see he's engaging with Florin Tatulea. This post has a lot of engagement. So, I want to see if Florin is the right fit influencer.
Step 3. Hit the "bell" on profiles (or bookmark them) that fit the right criteria.
After checking out Florin's profile we see he meets the criteria we're looking for.
- Industry fit. Florin speaks to ICPs in our industry.
- Follower count. 5K+ followers.
- Actively posting with lots of comments. There are lots of posts and he has lots of engagement.
If you don’t have ICP accounts yet or you haven’t found your influencers yet, you can use LinkedIn’s search to find profiles who are active.
Step 1. Alternate between inclusive queries and Boolean Queries.
Boolean queries or "hard searches" force the search to use the entire search keyword.
This is a Boolean query. It only searches for the exact match phrase of "social selling."
This search is not a Boolean query. It is an inclusive query. It will find people who use either "social" or "selling" or "social selling" in their profiles. It is very broad and finds a lot of different key terms.
Use the boolean queries to find profiles with exact-match phrasing who are influencers in your industry. Step 2. Find accounts who have a lot of followers.
Filter the results by People and then pay attention to the follower count in the results list. You can filter down profiles by company or location (among other things) if you have a sense of where the influencers are as well.
Here you can see these profiles are much too small. It may take some time to find the right profiles, which is why we recommend going through people’s activity feeds first.
Once you find your influencers, click Follow! You can start engaging on their posts (liking / commenting) immediately. But we’ll need these influencers for part of your outbound prospecting on LinkedIn. Best to get them solidified now.
3. Find Your Peers
TASK: Build your network to 500+ connections.
A surprising but consistent result is having 500+ connections is a key element of having credibility. If you don’t have 500+ connections, buyers will perceive you as “new” or “inexperienced” on LinkedIn, even if you are not.
Peers can be:
- People at your company
- People in the same industry
- People who have the same role or job title
- Recommended: 2nd degree connections
This is where you get to have fun! These peers are likely a lot like you. They either occupy similar roles or have similar professional interests. They’re on LinkedIn for the same reasons as you are.
We recommend keeping peer connection requests to 2nd degree connections. It helps broaden your network based on your existing connections. 3rd degree connections are generally a waste of time if they’re not a prospect.
Once you find your peers, click Connect! We’ll cover the specifics of connection strategies later, but it’s safe to say that if you’ve nailed your Profile in the previous module, you can just leave the connection request blank.
4. Find Your Customers
Well, well, well. We’ve arrived to our first real prospecting part of the guide. Right?!
Nah. Just kidding. We’re going to cover this more in depth inside the Outbound section because connecting with your customers requires more thoughtful strategy than you might realize.
Click below to jump in.