Many professionals on LinkedIn are open networkers, so called LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networker). That means, philosophically, that they accept every invitation to connect they receive. In reality, it means most will accept most invitations they receive. The point is that your odds of being quickly accepted are high, and your odds of being ignored or worse marked as “I don’t know” or “spam” are very low.
LIONs are among the most well connected members of LinkedIn. They often have from 1,000 to 20,000+ first level connections, so connecting with LIONs can exponentially increase your reach—and your appearance in search results—virtually overnight.
One of the easiest ways to find LIONs is simply to go into the advanced search function of LinkedIn and use “lion” as a keyword. Or you could join one of the many open networking groups and start connection with other members. Or you could add “LION” or “LinkedIn Open Networker” to your own profile and wait for people to find you. Or you could use one of the paid services like TopLinked.com to connect you with like-minded people.
However, all of those tactics will connect you will LIONs in any industry. As a lawyer or law student, it’s great to meet people across the board because you never know who will be the source of your next opportunity—be it a new job, a leadership position, or a new client.
But how can you drill down to find LIONs most relevant to you right now? Such as other lawyers, hiring attorneys, headhunters, and potential clients.
Go back to the advanced search function. Use keyword pairs like:
- attorney lion
- lawyer lion
- esq lion
- jd mba lion
- legal recruiter lion
- attorney recruiter lion
- attorney recruitment lion
- lawyer recruiter lion
- lawyer recruitment lion
- executive search lion
You can also use keyword pairing to find LIONs in the industries you serve—who are potential clients as well as potential connections into your target employers. For example, you might use a keyword pairs like “healthcare lion” or “banking lion.” (You can try to drill down further by using keyword pairs that include targeted employers, but that’s a low yield search even for huge employers.)
Interested finding LIONs who are alumni from a particular school? Try “lion” as a keyword and “Harvard” as the school.
Then go back and try every search again, this time using the phrase “open networker” (including the quotes) in place of “lion.” So “attorney lion” becomes “attorney ‘open networker.’”
Not every person whose profile is brought up by these searches will be an open networker (for example, these searches will also pull of current and former employees of “Food Lion”), but in just 30 minutes, these searches can find you 100 new, well-connected professionals in law or law-related fields. And once you’ve connected with them, you can expect some of connections to reach out to you.