Here's a secret: The leads you've been searching for might just be in your connection's network.
So, how do you find them without viewing your connection's profile?
Here's a simple trick - use the 'Connections of' filter on LinkedIn's search feature.
How to search through your connection's network
Previously, you could see your 1st-degree connections' network only when you visited their profile, and if they didn't "hide" their connections.
In case you're not aware of how you can "hide" your connections, here's how to do it:
- Click: 'Me' >> 'Settings & Privacy' >> Privacy >> 'Who can see your connections'
- Select 'Only you' to make your connections invisible to your network.
From your profile, here's how you can see your 1st-degree connections' network without visiting their profiles:
- Put your cursor in the search box and hit 'Enter.'
- Select the 'People' tab.
- On the right sidebar, you can now filter people by 'Connections of.' Simply type the name of your 1st-degree connection, and it will appear in the search box. Click on the name and hit 'Enter.'
How can we leverage this new search feature?
1. You don't have to ask your connections if they have a network in a particular industry, company, country, etc.
Before asking for referrals, you can do your homework first and check who's in your connection's network. For example, Forbes contributor Joe Escobedo is my 1st-degree connection. I can use the new search feature and filter by 'Company' to see the other Forbes contributors, editors, etc. in Joe's network.
Below is the result that I got. If I wanted to reach out to any of them, I could seek Joe's help. This feature will save me time in figuring out who the other Forbes contributors are, editors, etc. in his network that I could reach out to.
Remember: If your 1st-degree connections "hide" their connections, you won't get any results when you filter by '2nd Connections' or '3rd Connections.' You'll see only your common connections, which are your '1st Connections.'
2. You can now easily send connection requests to your 2nd-degree connections who are in your selected 1st-degree connection's network
On my sample result below, I searched who among Rey Baguio's connections are in my 2nd-degree connections. I knew Rey had a lot of connections in the freelance industry, so I intentionally searched through his network.
Through filtering by 'Connections' and by 'Country,' I got 456 results - this is the number of my Philippine-based 2nd-degree connections who are Rey's 1st-degree connections.
With these results, I can easily select those whom I'd like to connect with.
If you utilize this strategy, always 'add a note' when sending connection requests. You could mention how you found them, i.e., you have a common connection - in this case, Rey Baguio.
3. You can use this feature if you want to be referred to a specific LinkedIn user who may be in your network, but not your 1st-degree connection
This is the opposite of #1 - you know who you want to reach out to, but you have no idea who among your connections are in that person's network.
For example, if I want to be introduced to one of my 2nd-degree connections, Manu (Swish) Goswami, I have to know first who our common connections are.
To find out, all I have to do is to type his name in the search box and hit 'Enter.'
Based on the results, we have 24 common connections. I'll click on the results, and further narrow down the results by filtering by country. And now I only have 2 left in the list:
I can then choose to ask Ben Ampil to introduce me to Manu Goswami.
If LinkedIn is the most underrated social networking site, its search function is the most mysterious, but one of the most powerful LinkedIn features.
Keep experimenting as you grow your network. There's so much treasure in this search function.