I recently posted a carousel that showed many ways to increase your LinkedIn following. I received some great feedback! Specifically, a few folks asked for more information about each method in the carousel. So, I created this 4-part series to do just that. Hope you like it!

What to expect:

Part 1: Mastering the Art of Strategic Searching on LinkedIn
Part 2: Basic Search Methods
Part 3: Be a pro and graduate to Boolean Searching
Part 4: Engagement that grows your LinkedIn Following

Be sure to check out a SPECIAL EVENT at the end of the newsletter! My gift to you!

Part 1: It all starts with strategy

In this article, I’m sharing how you can become a master of strategic searching. 

To begin with, it's crucial to note that search engines, LinkedIn included, rely on complex algorithms to determine the results displayed to users. To ensure you are getting the most out of your searches, it is essential to have a solid grasp of how these algorithms function and how best to optimize your search parameters to yield the most accurate and relevant results. 

However, don’t get hung up on the algo. It changes frequently. Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t share these changes. There are a few “rules” that seem to be holding steady and are worth knowing about. 

New Features: When LinkedIn creates a new feature, the algorithm will favor it to help it gain popularity. A recent example of this is Carousels. If you follow me, you may have noticed that I’ve been posting quite a few carousels for some time now. How do I know the algorithm is favoring this? My analytics tell the story. Check out this graph. The spikes are days I posted a carousel. The other days I posted a variety of different types - long form, short form, polls, images, no images, and videos. None of those performed as well as the carousels.

Editing your post: What’s the impact? Thanks to Richard van der Blom, the king of algorithm research, we recently learned 3 important things:

1. You can now edit your post immediately without penalty

2. If you add the hyperlink as an edit, the algorithm doesn’t necessarily pick it up. However, the jury may still be out on this so we are recommending sticking with putting the links in your comments for now.

3. Richard is preparing a mid-year report with lots of new data! Stay tuned!

Your overall strategy should not be governed by the algorithm but it doesn’t hurt to keep these things in mind. 

Determine your goals 

Before you can outline your search strategies, you need to clearly identify your goals for the search. 

Are you trying to…

gather information on specific topic or product?
find potential customers?
Research the competition?
Find podcast guesting opportunities?
Identify potential referral partners or joint venture opportunities?

Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can tailor your search strategies accordingly.

Mapping out your growth strategy

Depending on your goal, the complexity of your search strategy will vary. What are some of the things to consider in creating your specific goal-oriented search strategy? 

Outcomes: For starters, it is important to not only define your objective but also be clear about the outcomes you desire. For example, if you want to find job candidates, you should decide if you need to fill a position right away or if you're just looking for potential talent for future openings. If your goal is to find leads, you must determine what qualifies someone as a potential lead. Having clear and actionable objectives and outcomes can help simplify your LinkedIn search and your results relevant. 

Audience Definition: Refinement of your target audience requires understanding not just their professional attributes, but also their potential interests and motivations. For instance, if you're trying to connect with HR managers, you might want to think about the challenges they face, the content they consume, and their active participation hours on LinkedIn. Using these insights, you can structure your search and engagement approach in a way that resonates with them. 

Resources Availability: Resources encompass the knowledge and skills required to navigate LinkedIn effectively. What’s the point of search results if you don’t know what to do with them? Have you allotted time for the follow-up on those results? Do you or your team have a good understanding of LinkedIn's advanced search features? Are you comfortable crafting compelling, personalized outreach messages? Do you understand LinkedIn's etiquette to ensure your approach isn't seen as intrusive or spammy? Investing in training or upskilling may be necessary to make the most of your LinkedIn search strategy. 

Keyword/Phrase Selection: Regardless of the search method you settle on, it’s important to know the keywords and phrases that are relevant to the goal.

EXAMPLE: As an example, let’s use the goal of finding joint venture and podcast guest opportunities. To make your podcast or joint venture a success, it's crucial to consider a few key points. First, think about who your target audience is and what topics you can discuss that would interest them. Then, decide on the format that would work best for your message. You might also want to do some research on potential hosts or partners to ensure that they and their audiences are a good fit. It's important to keep your available resources in mind, too, such as your time and budget. Once you have a clear plan, it's time to reach out to potential hosts or partners. Always be professional and try to offer value in your interactions to increase your chances of success. With some effort and a solid plan, you can build great relationships and create a successful podcast or joint venture opportunity.
Since most of my readers are entrepreneurs, a sample search to try out if you want to be a podcast guest: “Entrepreneurship Podcast Host”

Competitor Analysis: Observing how your competitors or similar professionals use LinkedIn can provide valuable insights. Look at who they are connected with, what kind of content they post, and how they engage with their network. This can give you ideas on how to improve your own search strategy. For instance, if you notice a competitor often shares content about a particular topic, it could indicate that this topic is of high interest in your industry and might be a good keyword to include in your search. 

Content Strategy: Once you've identified potential connections, you need a strategy to engage them. This could be through sharing insightful content, commenting on their posts, or sending personalized messages. 

Your content should be valuable, relevant, and interesting to your target audience. This not only attracts more potential connections but also fosters stronger relationships with the ones you've made.
For instance, if your target audience is marketing professionals, you might share articles about the latest marketing trends, case studies from successful marketing campaigns, or your own insights from your marketing experience. This provides value to your connections and positions you as a knowledgeable professional in your field.

That’s it for the overall search strategy tips to help you get great search results! Next week, we will delve into basic search methods on LinkedIn. 

If you have any questions, drop them in the comments or shoot me a DM. 

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