Are you collecting LinkedIn connections like you used to collect baseball cards? And are they just sitting there—like that box of baseball cards in the closet—gathering dust?

Well, it's time to take action and use LinkedIn to maximize those relationships.

In this week's article, the third in my five-part series of winning LinkedIn strategies for 2020, I will show you how to capitalize on the connections you already have.

(If you missed the two previous articles, you can check them out by clicking here and here.)

LinkedIn Winning Strategy #3:  Your Baseball Cards Could Be Very Valuable (Advanced People Search of Your First-Level Connections)

Overview: By now your LinkedIn network is probably made up of many types of people, and they've become part of your network for differing reasons. Some are included in your network simply because they are friends, relatives, and coworkers, and there is nothing wrong with that, but others are exactly the right people who can help achieve your most important business objectives for this year and beyond.

So, how do you use LinkedIn to find those people and what should be your next step(s) for starting a meaningful conversation?

Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Click your cursor into the big white search box in the top toolbar, and then select People in the dropdown menu.

2. When the white toolbar appears just below the top toolbar, select All Filters, and you'll be taken to the All People Filters page.

3. Check the 1st box under the Connections filter.

4. Then decide which of the other fifteen search filters (or any combination of those filters) will help you tighten this list to just the right people. You can choose job titles, company names, geographic areas, etc., anything you think your targets would use to describe themselves on their LinkedIn profiles.

After you get the search results, you can enter other keywords (e.g., skills, certifications, degrees, products, services, etc.) in the big white search box in the top toolbar to tighten the search down even further. (Note: It works best if you add the keywords to this search box after you have used all the available filters from the All People Filters page.) 

5. Check out the full profiles of the people that look the most interesting to you.

6. After you review the full profile of someone on this list whom you're interested in chatting with, send a direct LinkedIn message and thank the person for being part of your network. If the person is merely a casual acquaintance, remind him/her how you came to know each other.

Then mention ways you might be able to collaborate or help each other. You may even want to include a time that you're available for a meeting or phone call.

The easiest way to send a direct message is to click the Message button on the person's profile. You can also include attachments and links in this message to give your connection additional information.

7. Your connection may not be ready to meet or chat right now, but that doesn't mean he or she won't be interested in having a discussion with you in the future. Consider setting up some type of follow-up reminder for yourself in whatever system you use.

Your LinkedIn network should be one of your most treasured business assets, not simply a dusty digital collection of random people. Once you follow the seven simple steps outlined above, you'll realize just how valuable your network can be for accomplishing your most ambitious business goals. Now, that is what I call a winning LinkedIn strategy!

If you need help from me on this winning strategy and many other simple strategies to improve your LinkedIn ROI, along with a detailed critique of your profile, take advantage of my limited time offer: a one-hour, one-on-one phone consultation for just $197.

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.