Once you figure them out, I guarantee you that you will look at LinkedIn in a completely different way.

After all, these strategies played a HUGE role in helping us hit $3M ARR in less than 3 years, ensure a stable inflow of leads in our DMs and generate 1M views on our content every month.

This article will cover:

How to use LinkedIn for sales prospecting?

As I said, there are three key concepts around which LinkedIn prospecting circles around.

LinkedIn profile optimization. Think of it this way... it's the first thing your prospects see. After your message, of course. Therefore, you want it to be on point.

LinkedIn Search + Sales Navigator. One is free, the other is not. Both of them are robust and can narrow down your target audience across key parameters.

LinkedIn outreach + cold emails. Once ready, your mission is to grab the prospect's attention and motivate them to talk to you. In short, you can achieve this via DM messaging or through a sales cadence that involves an omnichannel approach.

Let's start from the top.

How to optimize your LinkedIn profile?

In the TV series Suits, the legendary Harvey Specter is famous for his quote...

In the world of LinkedIn prospecting, your first impression is your LinkedIn profile.

You'd be amazed at how many fake LinkedIn profiles exist. Considering the fact that sales is about building relationships and trust, you want to have a nice, clean, and very real profile.

  • Real personal information and a profile pick... sort of like a modern business card that contains key information. Take a look at how Becc Holland does it...
linkedin profile optimization
  • A quick overview of who you are and what you're about. Our Ilya wrote a dope "About" section...
linkedin profile optimization
  • Real, legit work experience! Personally, I prefer to add some extra information rather than just the title and my company's name. Here's how I did it for lemlist, but the logic is the same everywhere...
linkedin profile optimization

Of course, I urge you to use all features of LinkedIn, like the "Featured" section below the "About", "Education" details, and the rest. It's free, it increases your exposure on Search and overall looks better.

On the other hand, suspicious images, incomplete profiles, lack of work experience, low number of connections, no profile pick at all, lack of engagement, and grammar mistakes are all indicators of a fake LinkedIn profile.

fake LinkedIn profile

Quite a trustworthy dude, is he not? ūü•∂

If you don't take the time to optimize your profile, you won't built trust with your prospects and your chances of success become limited.

General rule is... make sure your LinkedIn profile looks as sharp as you do when you go out on a Friday night.

LinkedIn prospecting: best practices

Using LinkedIn for prospecting is a no-brainer because of its robust search algorithm and overall popularity of the network.

For many industries, the information you're looking for is there. The trick is to find the efficient way to identify prospects, qualify them, and capture the intel you need to ramp up your conversion rate at scale.

With that in mind, let's cut to the chase and start talking about tactics.

LinkedIn Search & Sales Navigator

Whether you prefer to use free LinkedIn Search or go for the Sales Navigator, it doesn't matter. The logic is exactly the same.

The only difference is that you have more targeting power, better data, and more filters if you buy LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

In this article, we'll be using the free option. But, let me show you the difference in data you can get on your target audience with free search compared to the Navigator:

  • Head of Business Development + VP of Sales (free)
  • Australia-based audience (free)
  • Tech space (free)
  • Below 20 employees (Navigator needed)
  • 5+ years of experience in a role (Navigator needed)

As you can see, what Sales Navigator does is allows you to go narrow.

Step number one is to play with LinkedIn Search filters based on your target. You can leverage locations, industry, type of connections, companies, etc.

Here's what I get with the filters from above:

LinkedIn prospecting

If you wanna know more about LinkedIn Search shortcuts, such as those "" marks, here are a few useful ones:

  • OR (e.g. Growth OR Sales) - LinkedIn will list all the profiles that have either one of these two keywords... In this example, I searched "Head of Business Development" OR "VP of Sales"
  • AND (e.g. Growth AND Content) - A more narrow search as LinkedIn will now look for profiles that must include both terms
  • NOT (e.g. Growth NOT Sales) - Will list profiles that include the word growth and not sales
  • Type under quote marks (e.g. "VP of Growth") to get all LinkedIn profiles with that exact match

Once you're finished playing with filters, you should be able to see a decent list of prospects in your results.

How to add connections from your search?

The beauty of LinkedIn engagement

If you don't have a lot of followers on LinkedIn yet, worry not. There's no reason why you can't leverage engagement from other profiles.

Any influencers in your industry? Who do your potential clients like to follow on LinkedIn? Why? How active are your biggest competitors?

All the likes and comments their posts generate represent a great opportunity for you to:

  • see what questions do people have
  • discover new prospects
  • jump into the conversation and PROVIDE VALUE

For instance, imagine that lemlist has been founded yesterday. We're at the beginning and my plan as a growth marketer is to use this tactic.

I find Becc Holland. A highly reputable sales expert who speaks frequently about cold emails. Her posts drive serious engagement. Bingo!

Now, I don't wanna start leaving useless and selfish comments such as "you need to try lemlist out". Unless I pack it in a nice joke on rare occasions, it's a waste of space.

However, I can connect with all the people who posted something relevant to our business. I might start engaging on my prospect's profiles too.

Do that for a few days or weeks before I decide to cold email them.

How to add connections who commented or liked a specific post?

Use LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn groups get a bad rep. I agree that some are quite spammy or worse, completely dead.

And I can definitely express my disappointment in how much LinkedIn inverts in them.

But, as an owner of a group, once you find one that's active and relevant, it's a goldmine.

LinkedIn groups

Prospects are grouped around the common interest and an amazing amount of useful information lives there.

Let's imagine a situation where I want to leverage Game of Content to sell lemlist.

By joining this community and actively participating in it, I realize that there are a lot of people in the "content distribution" and "backlink" businesses here. Excellent, this target is among our audience verticals.

I can connect with them, build a relationship, position myself as an expert around the subject and, once I'm ready, pitch them lemlist.

The good thing about being a member of the group is that you can DM fellow members easily.

How to get emails from LinkedIn group members

"People also viewed" feature

Whenever you visit a profile of a prospect, LinkedIn displays a list of other members based on a variety of factors.

These factors include profiles that viewers have also looked at besides the one you're currently on. They are similar in terms of job titles and connected industries.

LinkedIn prospecting

Not as scalable as you'd want, but it's low-hanging fruit.

Skills & endorsements

LinkedIn members like to endorse other LinkedIn members. Among those members are some of your prospects.

And who's to say that these things can't point you in the direction of a new prospect or two.

LinkedIn prospecting

Not scalable either, but why not try to take advantage of it... it's there and it's free.

LinkedIn outreach strategy

In this section, we'll focus on some specific things... all run on autopilot:

and of course...

But, before we dig into these automated workflows, I know what you're thinking. Will LinkedIn allows this kind of automation?

LinkedIn definitely isn't a fan of these. But it's the same as Google not being a fan of you sending 1000 emails in 1o minutes.

And I agree with them because people take advantage of these workflows in a bad way. They try to take every shortcut they can.

On the other hand, it's not fair for me to do the same boring task over and OVER AGAIN, and waste my time.

So my suggestion is to behave in the same way as when you're driving. There's that 5-10% tolerance from the police when you drive a bit faster than allowed... but only a bit of course.

I never send more than 100 cold emails a day... and it's rare that I get to a 100 even. I also avoid adding more than 20 people a day.

Moral of the story? I try to kill exhaustingly repetitive tasks like clicking on "connect on LinkedIn" 20x times a day with automation. But I repay LinkedIn by connecting in a personalized, relevant way without overusing the automation.

I think that's fair. No punishment so far.

The easiest way to automate this process is to use Phantombuster. With its help, you will be able to send connection requests with personalized messages.

LinkedIn automation

To-do list:
1. Do a search on LinkedIn or with Sales Navigator
2. Copy the link of your search
3. Use LinkedIn Network Booster or Sales Navigator Network Booster

How to add connections who commented or liked a specific post?

The process is very similar to the previous one. For this, we will need 2 additional phantoms: Linkedin Post Likers and Linkedin Post Commenters.

LinkedIn automation

To-do list:
1. Create a post on LinkedIn
2. Use these 2 phantoms to scrape people who liked and commented on a post
3. Use Linkedin Network Booster phantom to send connection requests

Here's how it works:

1. Do a search on LinkedIn or use Sales Navigator
2. Copy the link of your search
3. Use this phantom to get emails from your prospects.

LinkedIn automation

Oh, it's even better to use this workflow in combo with lemlist, let me show you...

Target LinkedIn Prospects, Find Emails & Send Campaigns Automatically
Remember when you had to do all this things manually... check every lead on LinkedIn yourself. Use hundreds of extensions to extract their emails. Put all those emails in a spreadsheet. Upload to your cold email tool.

How to get emails from LinkedIn group members?

Here's how it works...

1. Choose a relevant group where you are a member
2. Scrape all group members with LinkedIn Group Members
3. Find their emails with this phantom
4. Send an email campaign

And voilà, you can create a multi-channel strategy with quite an easy automation.

LinkedIn prospecting messages

I rarely use the same LinkedIn prospecting message template for every prospect.

Whenever I'm writing one, the copy depends on the objective itself. Here are a few examples:

  • There's a specific question where I aim to pick my prospect's brain
Example: Send a voice message on something I've seen them talk about in a Facebook Group for example and ask a question related to it...
  • Give a genuine compliment with no ask at the end
Example: "Just watched your interview on [Podcast]. Great stuff! Particularly enjoyed [relevant personalization]"
  • Referred by someone or have a mutual connection create a group chat
Example: "[Common connection] suggested we should get in touch. She mentioned your fierce battles with email deliverability and spam filters.

I can help... truly, just lemme know. Any friend of [connection] is a friend of mine. :)"

LinkedIn voice messages... I borrowed that from Morgan J Ingram as I loved his strategy around it.

The goal of a DM is to start the conversation and build a relationship. So the metric you're chasing is a reply, not a conversion.

Multi-channel sales sequence

In the ideal world, you will have time to build relationships with everyone and completely personalize any approach you make.

In the real world, however, there's not enough time. But there's still a way to reach out to your prospects in a unique way at scale.

Combine LinkedIn and cold emails.

It all starts by doing proper research on LinkedIn and grouping the prospects into a relevant segment. For example, founders of early-stage startups looking to drive growth.

Once I identify them on LinkedIn, instead of connecting with all 200 of them, I can shoot them a relevant cold email.

The flow will look like this:

  • Narrow down my LinkedIn search... we can use the one we did earlier in the article.
  • Export all the prospects to lemlist

Here's the link if you wanna use this integration.

I'd definitely go through this list in lemlist and add custom intro lines directly in the buddies-to-be section... to make things hyper-personalized.

Once you open buddies-to-be, you will see the "Custom variables" in the top right, and after you click it, just add another variable called Tiramisu.

I use Tiramisu cold email strategy for my intro lines.

Afterward, I come up with an intro line for every prospect and input it in each buddy in lemlist. Yes, every prospect. :)

  • Create a very cool cold email sequence

I want to send three emails in total. In other words, two follow-ups besides the first email. Two-day delays between each one.

For the main email, I'm going to use one of my classic approaches.

The video in the email will be the same for everyone because I will segment my audience this way. The segment can be organized around a specific pain point.

Example: email deliverability --> Video: tips on fighting spam filters

If I have 3 different pain points, I'll shoot 3 different videos and use link personalization to show the right video to prospects.

For the remaining two emails in the sequence, I'll use two variations of these sales follow-ups. Depending on the prospect's activity on LinkedIn, I might trade one email follow-up for a direct message on LinkedIn.

So it's 2 emails + one DM.

In the bag, job well done.

The success of this sequence will depend on how well you've done your research (e.g. identified pain points of each prospect) and did you manage to get their attention in their inbox (e.g. is your cold email worthy of a reply or for them to schedule a meeting).

Bottom line

LinkedIn is amazing. Prospecting on LinkedIn is a breeze. Just leaving these two sentences here is enough for the summary of this article.

Robust search engine, tons of information, super intuitive, and almost everybody is there.

Hope this article brought some value to your world.

Let me know,

[email protected]