LinkedIn recently introduced a new, little-known feature called Saved Searches. This feature allows you to search for specific types of contacts and save the search criteria. Then, LinkedIn will email you a weekly update with new contacts from your saved search.
If you set this up the right way, you’ll get a steady stream of new leads every week from LinkedIn. Let’s take a closer look at how this works.
Your Second Degree Connections
To begin, we’ll search for specific 2nd Degree Connections. If you’re new to LinkedIn, here’s a bit of terminology: A 1st Degree Connection is someone you know and are connected to in LinkedIn. Your 2nd Degree Connections are people who are connected to any of your 1st Degree Connections–think of them as a friend of a friend. Once you find a 2nd Degree connection, you can ask for an introduction from your 1st Degree Connection who knows him.
After we find certain 2nd Degree Connections, we’ll save the search results. Once you save it, LinkedIn will email an updated list each week with new people you could meet through an introduction from one of your 1st Degree Connections. For example, I created a search that finds Sales Managers in my area. Each week, I get an update with new Sales Managers who have entered my network and I’ll often ask my 1st Degree Connections to introduce me to some of them.
Here’s how to set it up:
1. Next to the Search Box, click on the Advanced link for a People search.
2. Enter a specific Title. For a broader search you you may want to use the Keyword field instead and enter a job function (such as Sales or Human Resources).
3. If you only want to show people within a certain geography, use the Postal Code filter
4. Now here’s the most important part. In the Relationship section select 2nd Connections. This is because you only want to see a list of new people who could be introduced by your 1st degree connections.
Optional Search Criteria for Paid Subscribers:
Some of the search options are only available to people who pay for the enhanced version of LinkedIn. I think it’s worth investing in. However, if you’re only using the free version you can skip this optional step.
5. Once you have entered all the search criteria, click the Search button. After it displays your list of 2nd Degree Connections, click the Save Search link in the upper right corner.
Now just sit back and let LinkedIn do the work. Each week you’ll receive a list of new 2nd Degree Connections who are qualified leads. Use the “Get Introduced” feature in LinkedIn to initiate a conversation with someone.
PS: If you find that there are too many contacts in the weekly lists (a good problem to have) then you may want to refine your search criteria. For example, you could be more specific about the title you’re searching for.