Being successful on LinkedIn is never about the number of connections you have, it’s all about how engaged your connections are on the platform and with you.

I know so many people who have 5000, 10,000 or 20,000 connections but get very little engagement with their content and struggle to generate any business from it.


Because over the years they’ve made connections with people who are not in their target market or connected with people who aren’t active on the platform.

As you can imagine this makes it very hard to build meaningful relationships with their audience in order to turn those into LinkedIn leads, sales and business opportunities.

So in this article, as well as learning how to start generating sales leads on LinkedIn, I want to cover two main steps you can take to avoid this from happening in your network.

The first strategy is getting clear on your target market and then using Sales Navigator to search, find and connect with them.

This is super important, your success on LinkedIn is predicated on having a network of targeted contacts.

Doing so will ensure you start more meaningful conversations and get greater engagement with your content.

If you’re unfamiliar with Sales Navigator this is a tool within LinkedIn that allows you to filter down from the millions of members on the platform to those within your target market.

This is done through their ‘Advanced Search’ function.

For example let’s say your target market are founders/partners of Sales and Marketing agencies in Melbourne with a company headcount of anywhere between 1-50 employees.

All you need to do is simply input those metrics into the advanced search and hit ‘Search’.

When doing so remember to only search for 2nd and 3rd degree connections, this will ensure LinkedIn only shows you contacts outside of your network.

generating sales leads on LinkedIn
This will then bring up a list of those contacts within LinkedIn. From here you have two options.

First you can start connecting with your target market from the top of the list and work your way down.

Or you can go to the contacts within the last tab, this will give you a list of all the contacts within your search who have posted content in the past 30 days.

LinkedIn search results screenshot
This is a much better option, generally speaking those who post content on the platform are going to be more active and engaged.

Plus you will want to engage with their content before you reach out to them, this will help increase your connection acceptance rate and ensure more connections turn into conversations.

In order to do this you will need to save these contacts as a lead and then visit the home page of Sales Navigator and click on the “Lead Shares’ link.

This will give you a newsfeed of all the content your saved leads have shared on the platform over the past 30 days.

LinkedIn screenshot of lead shares
From there all you need to do is spend 15-20 minutes a day engaging with their content and send 75 connection invitations to that list per day.

If you do this process well, this should open up anywhere between 10-14 conversations per week and you will add 150-175 targeted contacts to your network.

When there are no more contacts to invite simply move onto those who haven’t posted content in the past 30 days, which brings us to strategy number two.

Now because these contacts haven’t posted content recently we need to look for other cues that will tell us whether or not they are active and engaged on the platform.

Remember there’s no point building up a huge network of contacts if they aren’t on the platform regularly and take it seriously.

Below I’ve listed a few of the things to look for before you reach out and connect.

Profile Picture

LinkedIn Profile Screenshot
First and foremost make sure you have a look at their profile and see if they have a profile picture.

This should go without saying, but there’s a lot of people who run automated tools that miss this point completely.

Connecting with someone who doesn’t have a profile picture is like handing your business card to someone at a networking function who has a mask on their face.

Or worst yet going to a networking function with a mask on and expecting to successfully network with others in the room.

So remember the first golden rule: No picture no connection. It’s that simple.

Connection Numbers

LinkedIn Profile Screenshot
Next you want to check their connection numbers, this can be seen in the screenshot above.

If a prospect has less than 250 connections there’s a good chance they aren’t actively using the platform.

Therefore there’s no point connecting with them, as your invite will either be reported as spam or ignored.

Profile Completeness

LinkedIn profile sections
From here you want to have a quick look over their profile to ensure they’ve completed at least 50% of it.

This means they have something written in their summary, experiences are up to date and it looks like they have invested a bit of time setting it up.

It doesn’t need to be an amazing profile with all the bells and whistles.

The truth of the matter is, most people haven’t been educated on the importance of having a great LinkedIn profile so it would be pretty hard to expect everyone’s profile to be amazing.

However, if someone has at least put some kind of effort in, it shows they are to some degree invested in the platform.

So there you have it, a systemised way to search, find and connect with active members in your target market on LinkedIn.

Following this process will not only help you open up more conversations with your target market but will get you more views and engagement on your content as your posts will now start to appear in your connections newsfeed.

If you love this strategy, but just don’t have the time to execute or perhaps you aren’t sure if you have the skills to make it happen. Then we recommend checking out our campaign management service.

We’ll take over your LinkedIn Marketing Campaign from end to end, ensuring you’re connecting with your target market consistently, starting conversations the right way and producing content that builds your influence in your industry. To find out more follow this link.