How to Find Lists

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At the LinkedIn webinar we discussed how to work with lists of professionals with contact information. If you upload a whole list into your Contacts, you can:

  • search within the list on all of the LinkedIn data in these profiles and
  • reliably keep track of people from the list…

…since the professionals will be, in most cases, updating their profiles. Data entered by a person about herself is more reliable than any other data. Sure enough, part of the data will be wrong or obsolete, but that’s not a good reason to walk away from all of it!

Apparently it’s efficient to work with lists of professionals and narrow the lists down for any current search. (Compare with searching on the World Wide Web, aiming to locate the right professionals in one step, using complex searches. It can work wonders, but it also can be slow and difficult.)

But how do you find lists?

Well, you probably already have some on your hard drive or can export lists from your CRM system. Here are a couple more approaches.

1. Simply Search on Google. As always, we need to imagine what we are going to find when the list shows up in the search results. Sometimes very simple ideas will reveal interesting lists. There are endless ways to do that. Let me demonstrate two for now.

If I were to find a list of suppliers hosted by a site in Australia (where I just was at a very enjoyable RCSA Annual Conference) that has people listed who work at IBM and KPMG here’s what I could try:

The very first result is a good-sized list of people with contact info. (I will use it in the next post to demo the LI uploading technique).

Please note that I am not trying to find “everything” of some sort. (That is an impossible task for 99% of the searches, anyway!) The idea is to (hopefully) locate a list with a couple of global consulting firms’ company names along with the words list and supplier. If we wanted to look further, we could use other company names and perhaps also words like vendor instead of supplier or directory instead of list. The results that I may obtain in a few searches like this may get me enough information, and very quickly, to move to the next steps in my research.

2. Use a Custom Search Engine. Searching for files with certain types such as Excel has been a common technique. You can use the operator filetype: on Google. The following Custom Search Engine “Document Finder (Formats)” will do the same behind the scenes and will locate files of the given format when you choose the appropriate refinement:

Enter some keywords in the box above, search, then use refinements to look for a given file type only.

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