How to Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile to Find Potential Customers

May 2017
Mitch Meyerson, Speaker, Consultant, and Author

Let’s talk about the best ways to search and find prospects on LinkedIn.

  1. Advanced search.

LinkedIn’s Advanced Search is found just to the right of the Smart Search box. (The tiny, light gray link that says “Advanced.”) The Advanced Search is available to everyone no matter what membership you have. Once you click on the link, a new page opens and you’ll now have the ability to search by:

  • Keyword
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Title or potential title
  • Company
  • School
  • Location

When working with LinkedIn, it’s so important to know who your target market and prospects are. You must be clear on your “buyer” or “purchaser persona.” Once you’re clear on who these individuals might be, it’s an easy cut and paste into these different search fields on LinkedIn.

  • What keywords would your target buyer have in their profiles?
  • What would their titles be?
  • Where would they work?
  • Where did they go to school?
  • Where would they live?
  1. Boolean search.

Even with the Advanced Search, we don’t always get as accurate a result as we’d like. To more fully refine a search, consider using Boolean logic or Boolean search strings.

Boolean search uses a series of “modifiers” to help you refine your search. These modifiers include:

  • + and “ ” to hold search phrases together
  • OR when you’re not sure of a title or keyword
  • AND to definitely include a search term or phrase
  • NOT to exclude a search term or phrase

+ or “ ”

If you’re doing a search for a Chief Executive Officer and don’t use the little plus sign (+) between chief and executive and officer (chief+executive+officer) or you didn’t put that phrase in quotation marks, then LinkedIn will search for a bunch of “chiefs” and a bunch of “executives” and bunch of “officers.” Your result is going to be much less targeted than if you’d used the + sign or the quotation marks around the phrase: “chief executive officer.”


If you’re just not quite sure about whom you’re looking for, then OR becomes your best search friend. Maybe you want to work with the head of a company. What does the head of the company call him or herself? Did they choose CEO OR “chief executive officer” OR founder OR owner OR partner OR co-owner OR co-founder OR… . If you didn’t use OR and put the wrong title in the title search field, then you lose the opportunity of seeing everyone who might be a good fit. You can use the OR modifier in both the keyword and Title (and company) fields on LinkedIn.


Use AND when you want to clarify an audience or a niche. If you were looking for a CEO OR owner OR founder OR partner AND you wanted to make sure to only search for people in the legal industry, you would simply add AND legal AND law AND lawyer AND law firm to your search. If you’re not sure what keywords you want to add, you can always use parentheses to hold options together. Your search might look like this: CEO OR chief+executive OR founder AND (legal OR lawyer OR law).


I think the most important modifier is NOT. When you get your search results, you might see a lot of competitors show up (or employees or job seekers or consultants). If you’re not interested in any of those folks as prospects, you can erase them from your list by using NOT. You might want to add: NOT consultant NOT jobseeker NOT. The use of NOT will definitely target and clarify your results..

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