As the most popular professional social network, LinkedIn is an ultra-powerful and unavoidable prospecting tool.
Provided you use it correctly and to its full potential 😉
And this requires mastering filters and Boolean search.
Targeting and personalization are the most important elements to stand out from the crowd and be more effective on LinkedIn! 🎯
Let's go. We show you!
LinkedIn Sales Navigator vs. LinkedIn Search
Using Sales Navigator is the key to getting the most out of LinkedIn.
The filters are much more comprehensive, the number of simultaneous searches is not limited, and most importantly... you have access to the entire LinkedIn database... over 774 million qualified B2B contacts💥
With LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can save your searches and automatically rerun them daily, weekly or monthly.
A "beautiful search" with LinkedIn Sales Navigator filters + a LinkedIn Boolean search = ultra-targeted LinkedIn prospecting
Filters for prospecting in LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Once in LinkedIn Sales Navigator, all filters are accessible by clicking on All filters (the link is discreetly hidden in the search bar 😉 )
LinkedIn Sales Navigator features several types of filters that allow for an increasingly high level of refinement. You get a highly qualified and personalized search result by applying the corresponding filters to the targeted prospects.
Rigid filters: the basis of a LinkedIn Sales Navigator search
The base of the base. These filters are used to inform the starting point of your search.
Here is a quick tour of the database 🏠.
- Title: this is the primary filter that allows you to choose the targeted companies' target functions (currently held or in the past).
- Geographical area: it is possible to fill in a geographical region, a postal code, or the company's head office location. This filter can be particularly useful if you are targeting an event that would take place in person.
- Relationship Level: This filter allows you to target people you have a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or higher-level relationship with on LinkedIn or group members. Thanks to this filter, it is possible to contact people with whom you have connections in common. This can serve as a more personalized conversation starter: "Hello, I saw that you know so-and-so...". It makes it seem less like we're coming out of nowhere! 👋
- Company name: this filter allows you to choose the targeted companies and search for the right prospects there.
🚨 Even better: LinkedIn Sales Navigator Advanced (former name Sales Navigator Teams) can directly import a list of companies into LinkedIn filters. We show you how to do that here.
- Among the rigid filters are also the profile language and LinkedIn group membership.
💡 Useful tip: for all filter categories (excluding relationship level), you can apply a negative filter to exclude
Flexible filters: to go further
After filling in the primary fields, let's complete our prospect search with more detailed information.
- The industry filter allows you to target companies and profiles in the targeted industries only.
- The hierarchical levels proposed by Sales Navigator are: owner, partner, CEO, VP, director, manager, senior manager, young graduate, training, unpaid.
- Company size: 1-10, 11-50, ..., 5001-10,000, 10,000+. This filter allows you to target startups, SMEs, or large companies according to the type of customer the product or solution is aimed at.
- Keywords of published content: this filter can be useful to find people who have published posts containing certain keywords related to the type of product or solution you offer. The published content shows a person's interests since he/she has written this content himself/herself. This means that they have invested themselves and we can be sure that they will be interested in our product.
- Sales Navigator also offers filters for years of experience and seniority. However, the experience level will not be the same for managers in all companies, nor will seniority play the same role in holding a position. It is, therefore, more interesting to filter directly by hierarchical level or function.
Liquid filters: the final touch
Finally, Sales Navigator allows you to select the function: occupied by prospects in their companies: purchasing, administration, arts and design, support, etc.
Sales Navigator offers other filters to refine the search, such as school further. For example, this can help target people who went to the same school as us, which can serve as a conversation starter.
The LinkedIn Boolean search
With all these filters, the search will already be exact.
But it's possible to refine it even more! 🔥
By using Boolean operators in the "Keywords" filter, you'll be able to detail your searches further.
💡Unlike the filters above, you can use Booleans in the "classic" LinkedIn search.
Learning how to use LinkedIn Boolean search is easy.
Once you understand the basics, you'll be able to create your boolean "template" and change what you need for your different inquiries.
Once you have done your template, you have to adapt it to your target audience.
In addition to being accurate, it's fast! 💪🏼
First, here's a quick overview of the different Booleans.
- AND: results include all items in the query. Useful in combined searches.
- OR: choose one or the other term.
- NOT: exclude a word from the search
- "" : expression of linked keywords, searches for exact expressions.
- () : a succession of conditions allows associating elements between them. Note that the system processes first what is between brackets.
- firstname:, lastname:,title:,company:,school:, ****are the most recent operators
⚠️ Warning: The three Booleans AND, OR, and NOT are always to be written in upper case.
Let's go into a little more detail to understand how the LinkedIn Boolean search operators work fully.
Quotation marks indicate a sequence of characters that must be searched for precisely as displayed.
If you want to search for an exact phrase, you can enclose it in quotation marks. LinkedIn will search for the words in the order they are written in the quotes.
For example, writing "marketing manager" searches for profiles containing marketing manager in their current description or their previous position.
To search for profiles that include multiple keywords, separate the different terms with the word AND in upper case.
For example, by typing manager AND purchasing, LinkedIn searches for profiles with manager AND purchasing in their description.
The OR boolean includes one or all of the terms listed. At least one of the words typed will appear in the profile, regardless of the order. This will result in profiles that contain one, the other or all of the words indicated. The more you enter OR more you will obtain results.
For example, a search for manager OR director will return profiles containing manager or director or both.
To exclude a term from the search, you can write the term with a NOT in front of it. The search will exclude profiles containing that term.
For example, the marketing search NOT "intern" will exclude all profiles containing the word "intern".
Remember your middle school math classes 🤓. The items in parentheses are processed with each other and over the rest of the formula. The LinkedIn system works the same way!
Parentheses require that the terms and operators inside them be searched first.
Parentheses are used to group terms joined by OR when there is another Boolean operator in the search. Parentheses will therefore come into play to perform a more advanced search.
For example, the search ("VP" OR vice-president) AND sales will find profiles containing the word "VP" or having as a function vice-president, and that in sales.
In recent years, new operators have been added to the historical Booleans. The following five operators consist of entering terms after the colon.
- Title: This will be the most useful of the five operators shown here. Enter any keyword or phrase after the colon. The system will select profiles containing the specified keyword.
- Company: Enter a company name after the colon, and the engine selects profiles whose current company is the one indicated.
- School: Enter a school name, and LinkedIn searches for profiles that indicate they studied at that school.
- first name: Enter a first name after the colon, and LinkedIn searches for profiles whose first name is the one indicated.
- Lastname: Enter a last name after the colon, and LinkedIn selects profiles with that last name.
And there you have it. You know all about LinkedIn's booleans. Let's make a concrete use case using all of them. Let's say we're looking to get in touch with the marketing department. Here's what the search might look like :
title: marketing AND (manager OR CMO OR "Head of" OR Director) NOT (Intern OR Alternate OR Internship OR Investor OR Assistant )
In this example, we are looking for profiles with the title manager, CMO, director, or the expression "head of"; excluding profiles of interns, alternates, and assistants, all in marketing.
The Spotlight LinkedIn research
Spotlight search is often overlooked, and yet! It is not only a source of inspiration to find new leads similar to you or that have interesting recent activities.
- Your leads who have changed jobs in the last 90 days
- People with a TeamLink intro 🤨 TeamLink is a tool available on LinkedIn Sales Navigator that allows you to view your team's relationships. This feature makes it easier to connect with a lead by showing yourself to your team's network, even if you're not in a direct connection. Powerful no?
- People who have a shared experience with yours.People who have been mentioned in the news, posts in the last 30 days
- People who have published a post on their news feed recently.
- Prospects who follow your company page: These people have an undeniable interest in your business, product or service 🔥
All of these uncommon filters are a nugget for finding new leads and, more importantly, being able to leverage them.
Search via the company import
In a logic of ABM (Account Based Marketing), where the targeted account is the entry foot to find its new prospects, the custom lists import feature is a GOLD functionality ⭐️.
It's so powerful that we detail everything in the dedicated article "How to import your business lists on LinkedIn".
Use cases: infinite strategies
Combining the different filters and the LinkedIn Boolean search makes it possible to build a very fine targeting, which may be reduced compared to a simple "marketing director" search, but which will be much more qualitative 🎯.
Let's explore some examples to illustrate this.
☝️ First example: search for CEOs of startups.
- Filters: company headcount (check 1-10 and 11-50) + hierarchical level (check CEO).
- Negative filters: assistant, internship, trainee...
- Boolean: title: ("CEO" OR "PDG" OR "Head of" OR "Directeur") NOT (Assistant OR Assistant)
✌️ Second example: search for HR of large groups.
- Filters: company headcount (check 5001-10,000 and +10,000) + title (enter anything "human resources", "HR")
- Negative filters: assistant, internship, trainee...
- Boolean: title: (HR OR human resources) AND (Director OR "HRD" OR manager) NOT (Intern OR Internship OR Trainee OR Intern)
👊 Last example: search for marketing directors in the luxury sector.
- Filters: industry + title
- Negative filters: assistant, internship, trainee...
- Boolean: title: (marketing OR IT) AND (Director OR "Head of") NOT (Trainee OR Internship OR Alternate OR Alternate OR Assistant OR Assistant)
And there you have it. You have all the elements to master LinkedIn filters and Boolean search 🙌
Now it's your turn for targeted, personalized prospecting... hyper qualified what!