by Kathy Bernard
LinkedIn is great for contacting your first degree connections for free, but to reach prospects you don’t know is expensive. You must have either a business or sales premium account ($59.99/month to send 15 messages or $79.99/month to send 20), or you can advertise.
Now because you can send unlimited messages to people within your LinkedIn groups, you have a better option. Here’s how:
Click into the search box and select Groups. Type in the types of groups that would have your prospects as members, such as “St. Louis” or “Purchasing.” From the list that pops up, join up to 100 groups like LinkedWorking St. Louis or Purchasing and Supply Chain Professionals.
Invite group managers to connect and in your invitation to them, let them know that you just requested to join their group – this will help speed up your acceptance.
Once you are accepted into a group, visit the group page, and click “See all” to see all members. You can sort people by name, but, unfortunately, not by location or company. Click “Message” next to a person’s name to send them a personalized message to build the relationship. Recipients have the option to reject your message, so don’t be salesy. Note that you can only send messages to one person at a time.
: To find out what groups your prospects are in, visit their profile, scroll to the bottom and under Interests, click “See all” and then Groups. Voila! You’ll know which groups to join!
Kathy Bernard (email@example.com), CEO of WiserU.com, is a St. Louis-based LinkedIn expert/trainer who equips businesses to maximize LinkedIn for sales, marketing, or fundraising.