With LinkedIn's "Follow" feature, you have a ready-made list of individuals all over the world who have essentially "opted in" to follow all your status updates and articles on the platform.
Now, to be clear, I'm not talking about people you're already connected to (1st Level Connections). Rather, I'm talking about people you're not connected to, but who've found you one way or another on LinkedIn, and were so impressed that they decided to follow everything you post and do on the platform.
I don't know about you, but those are people I want to be talking to.
How To Find Your LinkedIn Followers
Start by going to this link to be taken to your list of LinkedIn followers.
LinkedIn sorts this list of people based on those who have told the platform they want to "follow" your status updates, articles, etc., but they're not yet connected to you directly.
Even better, LinkedIn sorts the list from top to bottom, starting with the people who've most recently started to follow you - meaning your "warmest" and "newest" leads are right at the top of the screen.
Strategically Connect With Your Followers
The next step is easy - just click on each individual person's name, and LinkedIn will open a new tab that displays the person's profile.
Needless to say, you'll want to reach out and connect with people who:
a) Have a lot of followers, meaning they have a large LinkedIn network themselves, and...
b) Who have the type of job title that makes them an ideal prospect or potential client for you
Once you identify someone who looks like a great lead, just click on his or her name, and LinkedIn will open a new tab with his or her individual profile pulled up.
Use This Script to Connect + Gather Insights
Once you're ready to connect, invite the person to do so - and importantly, choose "Add a Note" to personalize your invitation.
Here's the exact script I use for my invites of this type:
Thanks for following me here on LinkedIn, and would love to connect directly as well. Also, how did you find my profile and information?
Always curious to hear how others come across my info here on LinkedIn.
Cheers and look forward to connecting.
The reason I use this script is to find out what's working for me in terms of "inbound" lead generation on LinkedIn. Are people finding me via general LinkedIn Searches? Did they come across an article I posted that a friend shared? Was it a status update?
If possible, you want to know how people are finding you on LinkedIn, as this will enable you to do more of what's working.
LinkedIn Messaging = Lead Generation
Once someone accepts your invite to connect, he or she gets moved directly into your LinkedIn message inbox.
Even better, LinkedIn pulls the text of your personal note into the message, so you now have context for a conversation with that person.
Want More Clients and Customers? Use LinkedIn Messages
I cannot state this with enough emphasis - LinkedIn's revamped Messaging experience is now the fastest, easiest and most effective way to generate leads and add new clients using the platform.
Your LinkedIn inbox not only gives you the entire history of any messages you've exchanged with a person (again, context for your conversations), but it's also presented in a back-and-forth, rapid-fire style, similar to text messages.
More recently, LinkedIn's even added a green dot next to a person's name and face to let you know when he or she was last active on the platform.
Can you see how powerful it is to know - in real-time - if a warm prospect you just connected to is live on LinkedIn, and is available for you to message back-and-forth with?
Best of all, in this instance, you're connecting with people on LinkedIn who've already indicated that they're interested in the content you create and the updates you share.
Where I come from, we call those "warm" leads, and nothing is more important if you want to sell your products and services to a targeted audience online.