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Generate an outreach list using your LinkedIn connections

You have your goal and the keywords to find the connections that can help you reach that goal. Now it’s time to use that valuable network of yours. Rather than posting to all of your LinkedIn followers en masse, we are going to focus on doing targeted, higher-quality outreach to specific people in your network. Then, you’ll build a short list of people to you to reach out to.

Start searching your connections

The best way to utilize LinkedIn for your purposes here is by using the LinkedIn search bar and filtering through your connections. To look at all of your connections, go to your profile and click the connections link under your profile picture. It might look like this:

Once you’re there, you’ll see different filters you can search by. This will allow you to find people you are directly connected to, in specific areas, at certain companies and more. Utilize the list of keywords you came up with in Step 1 to help you refine your filters, such as the kind of company or another identifying factor. ‍

Search with target keywords

To do this, review your target archetype that you identified in step 1, and put the keywords you came up with in step 1 into the LinkedIn search bar to see who comes up that meets your criteria. Here are a few examples: 

  • For someone with industry expertise in public speaking, you might search for “speaker” or “lecturer”

  • For someone who might have freelance writing opportunities for their firm, you might search for the title of the manager, “SEO manager” or “Editorial Director”

  • If you’re finding someone to partner with for a specific project, search for keywords that align with their areas of expertise.

  • If you’re looking for someone at a specific company, search for that company.

Add them to your list

Crafting an outreach list can help you hone in on the right kind of people to help move you toward achieving the goal you set in step 1. As you identify people, add them to a simple list, using the template in your workbook. This list should include (but is not limited to):

  • Their name

  • Contact information

  • Purpose: In 1-2 sentences, what is the reason to connect with them? How can they help you reach your goal?

  • Priority: How valuable will a conversation be to you? Rank it as high, medium, or low. High priority means that the conversation is imperative to moving your business forward. Medium priority means that if you connect with the person, it will provide value to your business, but it isn’t urgent. Low priority means that it would be nice to connect with the person eventually, or that they have an experience that could be helpful in the future.

Remember, the purpose of this exercise is not to just create a list. It’s a starting point for targeting specific people in your network who can serve unique purposes to help you meet your goal. Aim for 10-15 people on the list to start. We’re going to take the people on this list and craft custom messages for them.

Here is an example of using your list to identify each person’s purpose and priority to you. There’s a template in your workbook as well: 

Once you’ve made your list, you’re ready to move on to the next step. You’ve done the research and legwork to create a targeted list of people in your network who can serve a functional purpose in helping you reach your goal, and you’ve prioritized the importance of connecting with each person. Next, you’ll craft a personalized, targeted message that will ensure a much higher likelihood of receiving a response.

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