LinkedIn: “Caller ID” for Lead Generation


One of the greatest features of LinkedIn also happens to be what I believe is one of the more underutilized aspects of the platform. Those who don’t use it to its fullest advantage are losing out on a huge lead-generation source. I’m talking about the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” feature.

LinkedIn Who's Viewed Your Profile Statistics

The chart above shows my year-to-date stats for the day this post was published. If you’re like me, you follow pretty closely just how many times your profile has been viewed. You might be a bit obsessive your rank for profile views, too. And you like it much more when that blue line goes up, rather than down. I’m more than a bit competitive, so I tend to hit that “obsessive” nail pretty squarely on the head.

You also may feel a little bit like a voyeur, because you can see who has viewed you; assuming the person looking at you has their profile set so you can see them. But that’s okay. What’s more, you can use this information to grow your LinkedIn network and even gain new clients or customers.

Hello? Who is This?

If you think about it, the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” feature is really just a form of Caller ID. What’s more, this type of Caller ID can be powerful and profitable. You just need to know how to properly use it. For that, I’ve found the following strategy to be particularly effective:

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  1. Go to the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section, and see who’s done just that.
  2. Identify with whom you want to connect.
  3. For each individual, don’t click on the “Connect” or “Message” links at the bottom of each profile; instead, click on the person’s name to be taken to their profile.
  4. From their profile, send a message (for 1st degree connections) or a connection request for 2nd and 3rd degrees.

Here’s the start of a message you can use for your 1st degree connections:

XXX, I noticed you had checked out my profile and realized it has been some time since we have talked. I thought we should set up a time to chat and explore ways we might be able to help each other out. I have xxx morning or xxx afternoon free for coffee/a phone call…

The real magic, though, comes from those 2nd and 3rd degree connections. They don’t know you as well, and yet they checked out your profile. There has to be a reason, right? Find out why! Here’s a copy-and-paste connection request for people in these groups:

XXX, Thank you for checking out my profile. I looked at yours and believe that there may be some synergies between us. Let’s connect and explore ways we may be able to work together.

By using this strategy, I’ve “converted” about 80% of those 2nd and 3rd degree connections into 1st degree connections. For this to be truly effective, though, you have to keep in touch with them after they come into your 1st-degree circle. You just can’t stuff them away like, say, baseball-trading cards. If you let these new connections collect dust on them, then you’ve wasted your time and theirs.

Pay to Play (Better)

You’ll be able to use this Caller ID feature to its fullest by being a LinkedIn Premium member. While you can still follow my strategy as a free member, you’ll be able to gain a much bigger bang for your buck (or bucks spent on LinkedIn) by being a Premium member. The free account allows you to see the last five visitors to your profile. If they have their settings as anonymous, though, you won’t be able to see their name. What’s more, you won’t be able to see your viewers if your profile is set to “anonymous.”

If you’re a paid account holder, you’ll be able to see the last 90 days of your viewers. You’ll also be able to view your visitors, even if you are set to anonymous. However, you still won’t be able to see other members who are anonymous.

If you devote just a few minutes a day or week at doing this, you’ll greatly expand your network… and even potentially close a sale or two (or three or four, or even more).

Originally published on LinkedIn.

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