How to Use LinkedIn to Make Organic Connections

LinkedIn is the best tool for connecting professionals. But there are ways you should and shouldn’t use the platform.

So here’s how to use LinkedIn to make organic connections with others.

Find Your People With LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a premium account with some cool extra features. The one that’s perfect for connecting with others is the Advanced Search tool.

You can search for people using several different filters, including industry, job title, and whatever other keywords you enter. Using this tool, you can find specific types of people — people you’ll want to connect with.

Here are some other filters you can use:

  • Location
  • Professional background
  • How closely you’re connected on LinkedIn
  • If they’ve been mentioned in the news recently
  • And many more…

You can find professionals with common interests, experience, or industries. This allows you to naturally start a conversation.

When you find these people, you can add them to your lead list. It’s basically an organized list of professionals you want to contact. Just go to Lists → Lead Lists and click the “Create Lead List” button.

Consider Cold Emailing

Once you have some people you want to connect with, you simply need to message them. LinkedIn does have a feature called InMail, but you can only send 20 messages a month and each message is limited to 300 characters.

Email, on the other hand, has no limits. That’s why I highly recommend sending cold emails. Use an email finder tool to get emails from your LinkedIn connections and searches.

And yes, cold emails do work, despite what you might think.

In fact, Jon Youshaei from EveryVowel and Shane Snow from Contently ran a cold email test with surprising results.

They got a 45.5% open rate, which is about double the average mass email open rate, according to MailChimp and ConstantContact.

And they found personalization was the key.

“The common advice about the little things you can do to optimize cold email is all moot without one thing — personalization,” writes Snow.

Personalization looks like:

  • Using the recipient’s first name in the greeting
  • Referencing one of their accomplishments right off the bat
  • Complimenting them for something they created or shared

So to get started, you can use an email exporting tool to extract each lead’s full name, company name, and email address. From there, you can write an email template, which will help you connect with more people quicker.

When you write your email template, keep it short. Most people don’t have a lot of time to do email, so be friendly and personable while also getting to the point.

Here’s a template you can use:

  • Start with a personalized greeting
  • Write 1-2 sentences that mention what you have in common with the recipient and why you want to connect
  • Write 2-3 sentences sharing who you are and why it would be good for the two of you to connect
  • End with a question so the recipient has something to respond to
  • A personable farewell, like a thank-you along with your name and phone number

Using Sales Navigator and cold emails (written the right way) can be a very effective way to organically connect with others. You can find people with common interests and contact them directly.

And who knows — you might make a connection that starts an exciting new partnership.

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