How to Build LinkedIn Boolean Search Strings That Deliver an Ideal Prospecting List

Brynne Tillman |


Learn how to find your ideal buyers on LinkedIn

Developing targeted search strings for (the free version) is foundational when leveraging LinkedIn for prospecting. Search strings (originally called Boolean Search) is a mathematical formula that delivers a specific list that meets the defined criteria.

In other words, by developing targeted search strings you pinpoint your buyers, influencers, and stakeholders on LinkedIn.

Just like in a mathematical equation, search strings utilize modifiers defined by OR, AND, NOT, “Quotation Marks” and (Parentheses).

Here is how to develop a powerful search string to enhance your social selling prospecting efforts:

When combining two titles or keywords with OR, you will get all-inclusive results. For example, a search that is defined as Marketing OR Sales will result in a list of everyone with the word sales and everyone with the word marketing in their profile.

AND is a limiting term. If you have the search terms Marketing AND Sales the profile will need to include both terms to show up in that search.

NOT helps to eliminate words and phrases from the search result. Marketing NOT Sales will only provide a list of profiles that contain the keyword sales but do not mention marketing anywhere.

The second part of developing a productive search string is utilizing “Quotation Marks”. They are very important when using phrases or terms that include more than one word, for example, if you are looking for a Vice President” if you do not use the quotation marks, you will get results that include all profiles with the term vice and the term president even if they are not together.

The last part of understanding Boolean search strings includes:

Parenthesis – ( ) If you use these with OR meaning you would like would like at least one of these terms.” parentheses is your way of telling the search engine that you are looking for one of these terms: (Marketing OR Sales). The parenthesis is only important if you are looking to use a second term or set of terms to complete your search (Sales OR Marketing) AND (“Vice President” OR Director) In this case you are asking LinkedIn to find profiles that have either sales or marketing listed that are Managers or Directors. The AND means that they have to have one term from the first set of parenthesis and one term from the second to show up in the search.

Now that you have the perfect search – here are a few areas where you can use it!

1.  In Sales Navigator, identify who your client or networking partner knows (mining their connections) using this search helps to drill down to exactly who they know that you want to meet. First, you need to be connected to the person. Then, from their profile click on the 500+ or scroll down to the connections section. Click on the magnify glass and paste your search terms. If you want to drill down further, click on the “advanced” link on the top right of that section.

2.  When completing an advanced search, paste your search criteria in Keywords or Title.

3.  Paste the Boolean search term in the search box at the top. Click the hamburger on the left of that search box to choose People, Companies, Posts etc.

Take some time and build out your perfect LinkedIn search strings – I am confident that once you have this down, finding your buyers on LinkedIn will be much more targeted.

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