When it comes to finding your ideal connections on LinkedIn, one of the fastest and easiest ways to do it is by looking at who’s already paying attention to you on the platform.

With LinkedIn’s “Follow” feature, you have a ready-made list of individuals all over the world who have essentially “opted in” to follow all your status updates and articles on the platform.

LinkedIn Followers = Warm Leads

Now, to be clear, I’m not talking about people you’re already connected to (1st Level Connections).

Rather, I’m talking about people you are not connected to, but who found you one way or another on LinkedIn, and were so impressed they decided to follow everything you post and do on the platform.

I don’t know about you, but those are people I want to be talking to!

How To Find Your LinkedIn Followers

Start by going to this link to be taken to your list of LinkedIn followers.

(Note: You can see how this should look, along with a step-by-step tutorial of the entire process, by visiting this page on my blog.)

Now, once you load your “Followers” page, you’ll be looking at hundreds (if not thousands!) of warm leads.

Here’s why: LinkedIn sorts this list of people based on those who have told the platform they want to “follow” your status updates, articles, etc., but they are not yet connected to you directly.

Even better, LinkedIn sorts the list from top to bottom, starting with the people who have most recently started to follow you, meaning your “warmest” and “newest” leads are right at the top of the screen.

Strategically Connect With Your Followers

The next step is easy – just click on each individual person’s name, and LinkedIn will open a new tab that displays the person’s profile.

Needless to say, you’ll want to reach out and connect with people who (A) Have a lot of followers, meaning they have a large LinkedIn network themselves, and (B) Who have the type of job title that makes them an ideal prospect or potential client for you.

Once you identify someone who looks like a great lead, just click on his or her name, and LinkedIn will open a new tab with his or her individual profile pulled up.

Use This Script to Connect Gather Insights

Once you’re ready to connect, invite the person to connect and (important!) choose “Add a Note” to personalize your invitation.

Here’s the exact script I use to do dozens of these invites each day:

Hi [NAME]! Thanks for following me here on LinkedIn, and would love to connect directly as well. Also, how did you find my profile and information? Always curious to hear how others come across my info here on LinkedIn. Cheers and look forward to connecting!

The reason I use this script is to find out what’s working for me in terms of “inbound” lead generation on LinkedIn.

Are people finding me via general LinkedIn Searches?

Did they come across an article I posted that a friend shared?

Was it a status update?

A LinkedIn Group I posted in?

Something else?

You want to know how people are finding you on LinkedIn, so you can do more of what’s working!

LinkedIn Messaging = Lead Generation

Now, once someone accepts your invite to connect, he or she gets moved directly into your LinkedIn message inbox.

Even better, LinkedIn pulls the text of your personal note into the message, so you now have context for a conversation with that person.

Want More Clients and Customers? Use LinkedIn Messages!

I cannot state this with enough emphasis: LinkedIn’s revamped Messaging experience is now the fastest, easiest and most effective way to generate leads and add new clients using the platform.

(Watch this video to see how it works.)

Your LinkedIn inbox not only gives you the entire history of any messages you’ve exchanged with a person (again, context for your conversations!), it’s done in a back-and-forth, rapid-fire style similar to text messages.

LinkedIn has even added a “green dot” next to a person’s name and face to let you know when he or she was last active on the platform.

Are you getting excited yet?

Can’t you see how amazing it is to know, in real-time, if a warm prospect you just connected to is live on LinkedIn, and available for you to message back-and-forth with?

Best of all, in this instance, you’re connecting with people on LinkedIn who have already indicated they’re interested in the content you create and the updates you share.

Where I come from, we call those “warm” leads, and nothing is more important if you want to sell your products and services to a targeted audience online!