Using LinkedIn for prospecting
The social network provides an easy way for CPAs to find potential clients in targeted industries and locations.
May 19, 2014
LinkedIn, the business-related social media platform, offers more than just the ability to connect with people and to grow your network. It also gives members a way to create a prospecting list—which is a great business development tool for a networking site with 240 million users in more than 200 countries.
How to begin
Note: You must have a LinkedIn profile before you can create a saved search.
Note: LinkedIn automatically updates the saved search alerting you to new additions to the list and sends an email to the address associated with the LinkedIn profile.
The number of results you receive will vary depending on how many connections you have, the number of groups of which you’re a member, and the breadth of your search criteria. It is also influenced by the version of LinkedIn you are using—i.e., whether it’s the free version or the premium offering.
While the free LinkedIn version allows for only three saved searches, you can delete them and add new ones when needed. LinkedIn’s premium, paid feature allows for more search criteria and functionality, saved search results, and information about those on the results list.
Let’s see how this works. Let’s say you work for a Denver-based CPA firm and you want to find out more information about local business owners who fit your ideal customer profile. You specialize in accounting and auditing for small to medium-size construction companies. Your goal is to find potential new prospects within a 100-mile radius of the Denver area. When completing the search criteria, include the following:
Now that you have the prospecting list, take time to review the profiles. Determine who would be in the first wave of contacts, the second wave, and so forth. There may be some people on the list who are one connection away from you, allowing for a network introduction or In-Mail message, if you have the premium service.
If you are serious about prospecting and want a tool to help you locate professionals in an industry or by title and location, consider LinkedIn. Try the free version first to see if you’re getting what you need. If not, consider a subscription to a more advanced, premium service.
Editor’s note: This column was originally published in the March 2014 CPA Client Bulletin Select subscriber resource guide.
Speaker, author, and trainer Becky Livingston is a social media and digital marketing consultant to CPA firms.