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Using Boolean Search on LinkedIn to Find Targeted Leads [2021]

April 19, 2021

Boolean search. That word always makes me giggle. Boolean. Anyway. Let’s talk about what it is and how to use it on LinkedIn to find the exact people you’re trying to connect with.

Boolean search means that when you type something into the search bar in LinkedIn, you use operators or modifiers to make your search more specific.

In this blog, I’m going to introduce you to this method and how you can start to use it to connect with targeted leads.

BTW, if video is more your jam, you’re in luck. Here it is:

What are the Boolean Modifiers?

LinkedIn supports a number of modifiers. In this blog, I’m going to cover three specifically: quotes, OR, and NOT.

There are others but we’re starting here for now.

Let’s begin with quotation marks.

Using Quotes in Your Boolean Searches on LinkedIn

When you search something and put any of those words in quotes, you’re telling LinkedIn only to show you words with that exact phrase and those words in that order.

For example, there’s a difference between searching for blog editor and “blog editor.”

Blog editor will turn up any results where the person has “blog” and “editor” in their title, regardless of how exactly the words are being used.

“Blog editor” in quotes, on the other hand, will only show you people who have the exact words “blog editor,” written just like that, on their profile.

Check out these screenshots. Blog editor without quotes gives us nearly 1.4 million people in search results.

blog editor boolean search on LinkedIn

“Blog editor” in quotes gives us just 5,800. Because we searched something more precise, our results are more targeted.

blog editor in quotes boolean search on LinkedIn

The next modifier is the word OR.

When you put OR in between two words, you’re telling LinkedIn to show you all search results that have at least one of those keywords. This means that it’s going to broaden your results.

Here’s an example.

Remember that blog editor gives us just shy of 1.4 million.

blog editor boolean search on LinkedIn

Blog OR editor gives us more than 5.5 million results.

blog or editor boolean search on LinkedIn

Blog editor gives less flexibility because the search results need to contain both of those words, not just one or the other.

The next modifier is NOT. When you put NOT before a word in your search, you’re telling LinkedIn to exclude any results with that keyword. Here’s an example.

Blog editor, once again, gives us about 1.4 million results.

blog editor boolean search on LinkedIn

When I search blog NOT editor, I get just shy of 1.3 million results.

blog not editor boolean search on LinkedIn

By excluding any results with the word editor, I narrow down the results and get fewer.

What Does it All Mean?

Who cares?? You might be wondering why any of this matters.

Here’s why.

When you try to reach everyone, you end up reaching no one.

You want to get hyper-specific with your search, because this is going to help you find those high-quality, highly-targeted leads.

You know, the people you actually want to work with who will pay you more for your work? Yeah, those folks.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that by getting fewer search results as a result of using these boolean modifiers, you’re limiting yourself.

You’re not. You’re finding the best people to connect with on LinkedIn.

When it comes to landing the clients you want, this is where it all starts. Mess this part up, and you’re going to make things really hard for yourself later on.

LinkedIn is my jam. It has helped me close hundreds of thousands of dollars in business. If you want to learn more about how I do this, here are some resources you might find helpful.

I have a free guide on optimizing your LinkedIn profile to show up higher in search results.

This video will show you how to do LinkedIn hashtag research in one minute.

And this video is a longer explanation of hashtag research, running at about 10 minutes.

Finally, if you want more help improving your engagement on LinkedIn, this is the video for you.

If you want to work more closely with me to land your next big clients, I have two programs you might be interested in: The 7-Day Secret (a mini-course) and Revenue Spark (my full program + coaching).

Don’t be afraid to get specific with your LinkedIn searches. It’s going to get you the highest-quality results!

Get to work. ;-)