Vikram Rajan

The Fastest LinkedIn Marketing Technique

Three distinct strategies revealed.

November 21, 2011
by Vikram Rajan


There are literally 97 CPA Insider articles that mention LinkedIn. While I’ve written many, none of them mentions my favorite feature: Advanced People Search. This is one of the essential parts of the fastest marketing campaign using LinkedIn.

As you know, LinkedIn is the largest professional-to-professional social network. If Facebook is like a cocktail party, then LinkedIn is a business conference. Similar to traditional networking, LinkedIn can take up precious time. That said, unlike traditional networking, online networking through LinkedIn can keep up and nurture relationships in a matter of clicks. Of course, you have to know what to click.

Here are three of my favorite and fastest LinkedIn marketing strategies:

Have you uploaded all your contacts, past clients, current clients, colleagues, referral sources, even family and friends to your LinkedIn network? That’s the first step. Next, join all your peer groups (AICPA, state society, etc.) and then search for your alumni associations, fraternity/sorority and civic associations. Having done so, join the groups related to your target markets. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to start your own group!

  1. Start Your Own Group

    Go to LinkedIn and start your own group. Don’t name it after your firm (LinkedIn offers Company Pages for that). Instead add a description as its name, such as: What accounting service for Whom. For example, “Tax Accounting for Real Estate,” “Forensic Accounting for Business Partnerships” or “Auditing Non-Profits,” etc.
  2. Invite Members

    In the step-by-step “wizard,” LinkedIn will prompt you to invite your (relevant) Connections. From your LinkedIn “address book,” start inviting your referral sources and other adjacent professionals, including past and current clients. Remember to include CPAs who don’t compete in your space (geographically or practice area). CPAs are starting to recommend business to one another the way attorneys have been doing for decades (one of the benefits of specialization).

    Your LinkedIn Connections (or address book) represents your 1st Degree. It’s the contacts you’ve uploaded from Outlook, Gmail, etc. and those who have found you (and you’ve accepted). While LinkedIn helps you efficiently keep your 1st Degree up-to-date, you can also do so via e-mail. The real power of LinkedIn comes from your 2nd Degree (aka, “friends of friends). This is where “Advanced People Search” comes in.

    Now for some multi-tasking. Open up another tab in your browser (that is, keep this article open). Go to LinkedIn.com, login and check out the search field in the upper right hand corner. Does it say ‘People’ to the left of the search box? If it doesn’t, click on the drop-down box and select it. Now, to the right of the blue magnifying glass, click on the word ‘Advanced.’

    Behold the bounty of LinkedIn’s search capability! Incidentally, these are all the demographics upon which you can build a direct LinkedIn Ads (pay-per-click) campaign. Most of it is irrelevant. I’d like for you to unlock the power of your professional network.

    Remember, you’re searching for potential members for your new group. Remember your group is titled, “What accounting service for Whom.” The ‘Whom’ (its variations and adjacent professionals) are the Keywords for which you’re going to search. For now, type in ‘President,’ ‘CEO’ or ‘Partner.” This will bring up all the business-owner types in your network. Before conducting a full search, toggle some of the other parameters to familiarize yourself with these options.

    After the Keywords search box, skip over the Names and search for Location. Keep Located in or near; keep United States and type in your Postal Code. What’s a good radius for your area? Do most people prefer to work with an accountant within 25 miles?

    Scroll down for this experiment and skip over Industries, though it can come in handy for you. Below the Groups (which you cannot select unless you pay for LinkedIn), you should see Relationship. Uncheck All LinkedIn Members and only select 2nd Connections then scroll down to the bottom and click Search.

    Who do you find? The more 1st degree Connections you have, the more potent your 2nd Connections. After you’ve uploaded all your contacts, you will have a number that is hardly manageable. So what can you do with all these people?

    LinkedIn won’t allow you to e-mail your 2nd Connections or add them to your 1st degree network, unless you already know their e-mail addresses. In such cases, you can click on Get Introduced for each contact. If you have multiple connections in common, choose your closest relationship.

    Copy and paste this invitation: “Hi, again. I see that you know [2nd Connection]. He seems like he’d benefit from my new group, “[Insert Group Name].” As a CPA, I will be posting relevant tips, ideas and links in there. Can you please forward my invitation?”

  3. Now, Work Your Group!

    This can seem tedious, but it’s the least expensive, fastest, most credible, classiest and non-threatening way to grow your direct marketing list. Start a group, by inviting your 1st degree connection method and asking them to forward an invitation to those you’ve Advanced People Found is the easiest part. This is like joining a gym. The toughest part is posting fresh, relevant content regularly. Like going to the gym consistently, posting often is the best way to ensure the greatest results.

So what are you waiting for? Let LinkedIn start working for you.

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Vikram Rajan is the founder of phoneBlogger.net, an innovative ghostwriting service that does the blogging, newsletters and LinkedIn marketing for CPAs. You can read more marketing ideas on his PracticeMarketingBLOG.com.

© 2011