How I collect email subscribers from LinkedIn

How I collect email subscribers from LinkedIn.

This is a pretty detailed, step-by-step, system for you to work through, but once you’ve gone through it, and then implemented it, you’ll be amazed by the change in results you see in your LinkedIn account.

Start with your audience

LinkedIn offers us more than a billion members to connect with, follow, and share content with, so there’s no shortage of potential clients, right?

Transforming them into paying clients (normally) takes a bit more effort than just asking them to buy something, so you need to have a system that runs every day – here’s mine.

Firstly, I search LinkedIn for members who meet particular criteria, specifically these;

  • They run a freelance business
  • They are active on the platform, i.e. sharing content, and/or leaving comments
  • engaging with others’ posts (no point trying to engage with inactive members)
  • They would like to have more leads and clients.
  • They would like to automate their lead-generation system.
  • They haven’t yet managed to make email marketing work for them.

Finding the answers takes time, so you need to be patient and work the system.

Set up a search and bookmark it

Even though the LinkedIn algorithm will do its best to fill your feed with relevant content, it can’t be as laser-focused as you want it to be.

You can scroll endlessly for hours, being caught up in a bunch of conversations and having your attention taken up by striking images or videos – and that’s not ideal for productivity.

Instead, do this;

*Warning: the following is a slow and tedious exercise to set up, but once you’ve done it, it becomes a quick and easy task each day.

Put the cursor in the ‘search’ text box at the top-left of the desktop screen and type a phrase (or few words) for the profile of the person you’d like to engage with – for example, ‘Head of Marketing’ (or whoever makes sense for your business).

Then hit the enter key and wait for LinkedIn to return with results. then click (or tap) on the filter entitled “People” – here’s what my example returned;

You can see it brought back more than 1.5 million members from our search – way too many to focus on.

So, now let’s narrow the search; select the “Connections” drop-down and select 2nd connections – this will remove all others from the search results. When I refresh the search, I now get this;

As you can see, we’re now down to 119,000 from 1.5 million. Better, but still too many; let’s now select “Locations” and choose your preferred region – I’ll select the United Kingdom and refresh the search;

We’re getting there… now down to 52,000 which is still too many, so we’ll keep refining the search criteria. Now we’ll open up the “All filters” option which gives more detailed filtering opportunities; here are my selections;

Hitting the “Show results” button now returns a much more manageable number of potential members to engage with, in this instance, it’s taken the number of records down to just under 300;

Once you reach a reasonable number of results with your search, click the ‘bookmark’ option in whichever browser you’re using so that you can re-run this search at any time without having to choose all the filters again – it becomes a one-click search. Below you can see how I bookmark mine using the Chrome browser; (click the star icon and choose a name for the bookmark);


Choosing our targets from the search results

Okay, so now we’re down to a workable number of possible contacts to engage with, we need to take a look at each profile to make sure they are active on the platform, otherwise we’ll never be able to engage with them.

Here’s how I figure that out;

  • I scan down the list and check for completed profiles, or at least the elements on show, e.g. they have a profile image, a headline describing what they do, and a list of services they provide. If they have these, then it’s worth clicking on their name to see what their profile looks like in more detail.
  • When in their profile, I first look at their posts to see if they regularly post, and if not, check the comments to see if they perhaps prefer to engage with other people’s content; here’s an example;

You can see in this image above, that there was a post made 10 hours ago, and then 1 day before that, and then 2 days before that, so a regular content poster.

This would be someone I’d be likely to try and engage with because I know they visit the platform regularly.

If they hadn’t ever posted (yes, some people NEVER post), or it had been months since they’d posted, that would be enough for me to move on and not mark them as someone of interest.

I recommend targeting about 20 ideal clients from your list of results, obviously making sure they are ACTIVE on the platform!


Set up a focused feed and bookmark it

Now that you have identified your 20 LinkedIn members to target, you need to create your focused feed.

This feed will only show content from those 20 people, eradicating any undue potential distractions or noise – so you can be laser-focused on what they’re doing, allowing you to become engaged in their content at every opportunity.

To start your ‘focused feed’, place the mouse cursor in the ‘Search’ text field at the top-left corner of the LinkedIn desktop app. With the cursor there, and without typing anything, just hit the ‘Enter’ button and wait for the results to come back.

With the search returned, now you can start to filter the feed. Click on each filter and set it to whichever value you want, each time checking the feed results.

Using the filter ‘From member’, start to add the 20 members that you want to stay focused on. Type their name until their profile appears on the list and then click on each one you want to add.

The result will be a list of 20 members that, when searched, will show a focused feed that contains only their content (or engagement). Now all you have to do is save the URL as a bookmark in your browser, which means you can simply click on it every day to see refresh your feed.

The screenshot below shows an example of one of my focused feeds;

This example shows 28 members that I check on every day, once logged in to LinkedIn.

An added (and sometimes missed) benefit of this approach is that it’s likely to get you seen by many more people who are in the same space as your targets; for example, if you were targeting ‘Marketing Managers‘ then you’re much more likely to become involved in conversations with more Marketing Managers.


Engage with your focused feed members

Once you have your focused feed ready and running every day, you need to start getting engaged with what’s going on in that feed.

Read the posts and comments, see where you can add value and go execute! ‘Value’ can be many things, opinions, how-to info, shared thoughts, informed advice, or even just commentary of recognition and appreciation.

Whatever you contribute, it’s raising your visibility and people will start to recognise your name, associating you with your ‘thing’.


Move the relationship to your DMs

You’ll find one of two things happening regularly when you begin to engage with your focused feed; you’ll start to gain ‘followers’ and connections, and you’ll start to receive messages via the DM (Direct Messaging) channel.

This is where most of the magic happens. People are choosing to move away from the ‘public’ feed, into a 1-2-1 private channel that includes just them and you.


Make an offer to solve a problem

Now that you’re having conversations inside the DM channel, it’s time to switch on your ‘problem radar’ and look for any signs of things that your new DM’ers are facing, either in their life or business (depending on what you serve).

Here’s an example of a typical DM chat with a new connection;

Me: Hi, Pete. Thanks again for the connection request, always great to expand my network with people who share common business goals.
Pete: Yes, John, likewise, great to connect with you too! I like how you explained the lead-gen process that you mentioned in your post – it made sense for how I do business too.
Me: Ah, great, Pete! Yeah, some people struggle when it comes to attracting new leads, but once they have a clear system to follow, they usually do well.
Pete: Yes, makes sense, I guess… I need to do more of that myself, it’s an area I’ve never really focused too much on.
Me: Yeah, absolutely, Pete. I have a free guide that shows you how to design and build your system – if you think it could be helpful, you can grab a free copy here:
Pete: That’s great, John, thanks! I’ve just downloaded a copy now – I’ll read it this evening!
Me: Great, Pete – any questions, just shout! 👍

Now, in that simple short chat, there’s absolutely nothing salesy, clickbaity, or icky. All I’m doing is being helpful and offering a solution to one of Pete’s problems.

There’s no pressure on either of us, it’s not a ‘sale’ in the true sense, it’s not a pitch for a product or service, it’s just a genuine offer to share something I believe will be of value to someone who’s voiced a challenge.

Whether Pete ever becomes a client or not is (at this point) immaterial. All I want is for him to get the value that I know he can from what I’m sharing with him. If so, then the job is done.

By downloading the document (or accessing whatever I offer, video, course, link etc.), Pete has now chosen to move himself from LinkedIn into my world, i.e. onto my email list, by requesting the free solution.


Congratulations, you just collected a new subscriber from LinkedIn!

You did it! From engaging with targeted LinkedIn members, you moved the conversation to the DM channel, and finally onto your email list.

Inside your email marketing system is where all the sales will take place, and they’ll happen much more easily and seamlessly for you because you’re now into a fully contextualised 1-2-1 relationship with each subscriber (providing you have it configured properly, of course!)

Now it’s time for you to nurture your new-found relationship and convert that interested subscriber into a paying client. 😊


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John Bellingham Email marketing strategist for freelancers

John Bellingham
Email marketing strategist for freelancers.

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