Why Who You Target Is More Important Than What You Sell

Why Who You Target Is More Important Than What You Sell

When done correctly, cold prospecting on LinkedIn can be your most effective form of sales outreach. To start a successful messaging campaign on LinkedIn, you need to determine, in the simplest of terms, what to sell and who to sell it to. 

These two things go hand-in-hand – a chicken and the egg situation if you will. But at the end of the day, you may be surprised to hear that who you target is more important than what you sell.

Targeted advertising is everywhere these days. You talk about a store or product and then 10 minutes later, it’s being pushed to you on your Instagram as an ad. Half of adult internet users say that when apps use their data for targeted advertising, they discover products and services they are interested in. So it’s no wonder that targeting the right people really matters when doing sales outreach.

It’s no different on LinkedIn. You will always find people to buy your service or product. But if you are contacting the wrong people, you’ll have a difficult time selling it.

What exactly is a Target Audience?

Before you start defining your target audience, you need to understand why you are not reaching out to any, and everyone. When it comes to LinkedIn, you can only send around 100 connection requests per week - that’s 20 per business day! 

Make sure not to go over LinkedIn’s limits to prevent your account from getting flagged

Target audiences differ depending on the type of outreach you are doing. For example, if you are running a targeted ad on Facebook, your target audience may be as simple as anyone who has ever signed up for your mailing list. On LinkedIn, your target audience will be a bit more nuanced than that. 

Determine your LinkedIn Target Audience

Identifying your target audience will be based on a few different things.


Look at your current client base

Take a look at your clients. What do they all have in common? Are they all business owners? Are they all in tech? Are they all in one location? Do they all work in the same industry?

Once you define the similarities, you will have an easier time understanding the types of people your services are currently helping. Then you can go ahead and target people with those similarities.


Identify the pain points your services help alleviate

It is important to think about the specific pains that your service or product helps ease. 

You may be working with marketing directors of medium-size businesses, but you may be able to target business owners of smaller businesses who are just getting their marketing off the ground.

Ask yourself about the hidden benefits of your product or service. How does your business help its clients in ways they need but may not know they need? Who would benefit from that?


Consider who would be most likely to answer a LinkedIn message

When it comes to LinkedIn, the easiest and most surefire way to target people in your sales outreach is to send them direct messages. This way, your outreach is personal and direct.

It’s important to consider who will be active enough on LinkedIn to read and respond to your message. The CEO of a 5,000-person company is less likely to respond than the CEO of a 200-person company.

Consider who is a decision-maker within a company. An entry-level social media intern is not likely to have a say in the marketing department’s high-level decisions. So be sure to consider this before establishing who you will be targeting.

How to Target your Audience

When creating a LinkedIn messaging campaign, there are several ways to decide who to target. At HyperSocial, we use LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This tool is available directly through your personal LinkedIn account and will allow you to filter your targets based on job title, location, industry, company headcount, and more. 

The most basic way to create a target audience with Sales Navigator is to focus on these four different filters: Geography, Industry, Company Headcount, and Titles.




With the Sales Navigator Geography filter, you search areas as large as a continent, or as specific as a zip code.

This is a great way to pinpoint your search since you can mention the location when reaching out and rely on it to be accurate.




Sales Navigator has 416 different industries that companies can be sorted into, so you can get very specific with the types of businesses you’d like to target. 

For example, if you are trying to contact any companies in the health sector, Sales Navigator breaks it down into the seven categories above.


Company Headcount

company headcount

Sales Navigator breaks company headcount into nine different sizes as seen above. 

If you know your services are best suited for smaller businesses, you can filter to a headcount of 1-50. If you are looking for midsize, set this from 50-500. If you’re looking to target therapists with a stand-alone practice, try targeting Self-employed.




There are a couple of different ways to target specific titles. Both the titles and the seniority level will help to target specific roles.

A search for business owners may include all of the titles on the left. A search for higher-ups in marketing may look like the search on the right.

Using these basic filters to start will help you personalize and humanize your outreach. You can make confident statements in your copy about someone’s role, location, and industry without worrying about the statement’s validity.


Why the “Who” is so Important

If you connect with people who won’t benefit from your services, won’t be active on LinkedIn, or aren’t decision-makers at their company, you will be wasting connection requests! Your cold outreach will bring in cold prospects who won’t convert.

Once you define your target audience, you can start planning how to approach them. You can make educated decisions about tonality, creativeness, and call-to-action statements that will urge your specific prospects to answer.

Without your audience defined, you will be casting a net that is too wide. Since you only have 100 connections to send a week, you need to be sure you aren’t wasting any of them.

The truth is that although your services may be unique, there are bound to be a few other businesses that offer similar services or products to yours. Some of them may even be more developed. But by taking control of WHO you reach out to, and therefore HOW you reach out to them, your marketing and sales outreach efforts will start on the right foot and give you a leg up on your competitors.

Products and services evolve. The more people you serve, the more you can learn about your product or service. If you get your outreach started with the right target audience, you will learn more about your business as a whole. So get started today!


HyperSocial can Help you with All This and More

HyperSocial’s goal is to help B2B businesses to humanize their outreach while keeping a positive presence on LinkedIn.

We teach you our process and help implement it so your day-to-day sales outreach will transform.

Check out more about it here!

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