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Following LinkedIn’s launched back in 2002, the platform became known as the place to be for recruiters and job seekers alike. It was (and still is), the place to house your digital resume for the world to see. Today however, LinkedIn has flourished into a full-fledged social network for professionals from all walks of life. It’s a place to find jobs, headhunt, network, and share industry knowledge. As of January 2018, LinkedIn had over 250 million active users, of which 40 percent use the social media platform on a daily basis. But more interestingly, LinkedIn has proven to be ideal for finding new B2B leads, with B2B marketers stating that 80 percent of their leads have come from LinkedIn.

Renee Smith, technical marketer at Los Angeles-based Salted Stone, couldn’t recommend LinkedIn enough when we asked her about B2B marketing. “LinkedIn is built for B2B marketers. [LinkedIn is] comprised entirely of professionals aligning themselves directly with their business,” she said.

What is LinkedIn Advanced Search?

LinkedIn advanced search is a faceted search feature that can help you narrow down your search criteria in a number of different ways. You can search for people or companies, filter your results by industry, past companies, connection degrees, schools, regions, occupations, and more.

In this article, we’ll show how to use LinkedIn advanced search to find new B2B leads. To demonstrate, I’ll be targeting New York-based CEOs in the IT industry.  

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1. Access LinkedIn Advanced Search

To get started with LinkedIn Advanced Search, simply click on the LinkedIn search bar.

Now, choose from either “People,” “Jobs” or “Posts.” If you’re hunting for B2B leads, you’ll want to click “People”. You’ll then be presented with a new navigation bar with additional options. From this interface, you can filter your search by location, connections, and current company.

However, clicking the “All Filters” button will send you into LinkedIn Advanced Search mode, with even more options.

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2. Apply the Relevant Filters

You should now be looking at all the filters LinkedIn Advanced Search has to offer.

Because I’m looking for CEOs in New York working in the IT industry, I can start by filling in the fields like so:

  • “Title” field with “CEO”
  • “Location” field with “New York”
  • “Industry” field with “Information Technology and Services” (Note, industries are already configured, you just need to check the right box).

Once all the relevant filters have been selected, you can then click on “Apply.”  

3. Review Search Results

You will now be shown a search results page showing you all the LinkedIn members who match your search criteria. As you can see, I’ve found a long list of LinkedIn users who are New York based, CEOs, and working in the IT industry.

Exactly how you approach each lead is your call. You could send them a message or connect with them before engaging via direct messages or by commenting on their content.

Engage Prospective Leads, Don't Pitch Them

LinkedIn’s advanced search function is a truly underestimated tool for marketing and sales professionals. But to get the most out of each connection you make, Monica Wolyniec, marketing and communications manager at New York City-based Boomset, Inc. recommended taking a softer approach to LinkedIn leads. “Don't connect [just] to pitch. Engage, connect, and converse in order to add value to your prospect's pain points,” she advised.

Create and Share Industry Content

Dhaval Doshi, founder and director of Mumbai, India-based Smarthome NX, concurred. He urged marketers and professionals to leverage content marketing on LinkedIn in order to woo B2B leads. “Document your journey as a professional or entrepreneur and publish as many videos [or articles] as possible to build authority.

Be Authentic

Doshi also thinks,it's imperative to showcase your personality, "... be authentic, as authenticity and candid content gets a lot more engagement and helps show off your true personality,” said Doshi.

How are you approaching B2B lead generation on LinkedIn? Let us know in the comments below!