If you've got five minutes, you can create a first-rate list of prospects, plus have LinkedIn notify you when new people match your prospect criteria—and you don't even need a premium membership to do it.

But I'm always amazed at just how many self-proclaimed experienced LinkedIn users do not know how to do this. Therefore, I'm going to show you just how simple it is to do it with the current free LinkedIn user interface.

When using LinkedIn on your desktop, there are currently fourteen search filters (e.g., title, locations, current and past companies). These will help you quickly narrow down the 600+ million person LinkedIn database to the exact right list for you.

Building a highly targeted LinkedIn prospect list

Whether you're looking for new customers, donors for your nonprofit, or a great new job, these simple steps will help you build the perfect list of prospects to reach your personal or professional goals.

1. Put your cursor in your top toolbar search box and select Search for People from the drop-down menu.

2. Click the words All Filters in the white toolbar that appears below your top toolbar.

3. Put the words you'd like to search for in the appropriate filter boxes or check the box if your desired word(s) already appears under a filter category. Use LinkedIn's Boolean search rules so you get the best possible list.

For instance, if you search for executive vice-president, you'll get people who have executive and/or vice-president on their profile. If you search for "executive vice-president" (with quotation marks), you'll get only people who have executive vice-president on their profile. When you've entered all your words and checked any applicable boxes, click the blue Apply button.

If I'm looking for people who work at Harley-Davidson in the greater Milwaukee area and have a current title that includes purchasing or sourcing, my entry would look like this (see screen shots).

LinkedIn then gives me a list of 76 people who meet those search criteria. Everyone who does this search exactly as I've done it will get a list of 76 people, but the order of the list (LinkedIn calls this relevancy to the searcher) and access to full profiles (currently you can view the profiles of 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree and fellow LinkedIn group members) will be different for each person who performs the search.

Setting a search alert for your targeted list

Once you get a list that looks great, be sure to set a search alert. Then each week LinkedIn will notify you of all additional people who meet your specific search criteria. 

This can be done by clicking All Filters and then copying the words you've put in the Title search box and pasting them into the search box in your top toolbar. After clicking <return>, the list will be the same as before, but now LinkedIn will display the Saved searches box in the righthand column. Simply click the Create search alert button in that box and then the Save button.

Check out my recent article How to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Response on LinkedIn to learn tips and tricks for capitalizing on the list you receive.

Follow these simple steps, and your LinkedIn prospect machine will be up and running, bringing you new prospects each week.


If you'd like me to show you other hard-to-find, "can't miss" LinkedIn features, help you formulate your personal LinkedIn strategy, plus provide an in-depth critique of your LinkedIn profile, sign up for a one-hour, one-on-one consultation with me for the significantly reduced rate of $197.

Book your personal session today at https://www.powerformula.net/one-on-one-linkedin-consultation/.