The Six Types Of People Who Use LinkedIn (And How To Use It)

In the last post, we talked about the basics of LinkedIn marketing, and how you can craft your own unique selling advantage on the platform.

But in this article, let’s go a little bit more in depth.

Since LinkedIn is a HUGE platform, it’s literally impossible to craft a one sized fits all LinkedIn marketing solution.

Therefore, i’ve taken the liberty to break up the demographics of LinkedIn into the 6 most common types of folks who use LinkedIn.

We’ll take a look at how these 6 groups of people use LinkedIn as a tool for their professional careers, and more importantly, we’ll also cover the best ways that they can leverage the platform for professional success.

In particular, here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Who the 6 different groups of people on LinkedIn are, and what the common LinkedIn marketing goals and objectives are.
  • The different LinkedIn marketing tools at their disposal
  • How each specific group of people can use LinkedIn to achieve their goals and objectives.

Take note: Since this is meant to be an introduction to the different types of users on LinkedIn, the specific methods of LinkedIn marketing won’t be covered in detail.

We’ll be releasing more detailed posts into specific marketing methods for each group of users in the future as this blog progresses, so please do follow us to make sure you don’t miss out!

Let’s begin!

Group #1: Job Seekers

Broadly defined, job seekers represent the biggest chunk of LinkedIn’s user base.

These users are on LinkedIn to actively seek out careers and find new opportunities.

Job seekers are professionals who are either actively or passively looking for new job opportunities.

Active Job Seekers Are…

Active job seekers are professionals who are currently unemployed, and are looking for placements as soon as possible.

This group mostly keep an eye out for headhunters operating in the target industry that they’re trying to enter.

For example, if i’m an active job seeker trying to enter the tech industry, i’d most likely keep an eye out for headhunters in tech and related fields, like digital marketing, or even Blockchain.

The Objectives Of An Active Job Seeker

Their objectives here on LinkedIn is simple: they’re looking for work that:

  • Aligns with their interests
  • Suit their skill sets
  • Preferably pays them higher than their previous positions

Active job seekers might also be looking to relocate to another country that they wish to work in, either for personal reasons or professional reasons.

Passive Job Seekers Mean…

Passive job seekers are those individuals who might be in a job currently, but are looking for a change in environment, or a new workplace.

Passive job seekers surprisingly make up the majority of searches on LinkedIn, accounting for 64% of all searches by Agencies on LinkedIn.

The main audience that they are looking for are owners of businesses or entrepreneurs, headhunters, and HR managers.

One major difference that Passive Job Seekers have from Active Job Seekers is that Passive Job Seekers tend to find jobs and opportunities confidentially, or tend to want to keep it private and to select individuals only.

This means that they tend to only reveal that they’re seeking for a job to select headhunters, business owners, or their close connections.

Understandably so, this is because Passive Job Seekers don’t want to alert their current employers that they’re looking to jump ship, for fear of losing their current job.

So How Can Job Seekers Use LinkedIn?

The best way to use content and LinkedIn Marketing to maximise your effectiveness if you are a Job seeker on LinkedIn is to write posts that showcase your ability and knowledge, as well as your skill sets.

Here are some methods that you can consider if you’re trying to be found for job offers:

  • Write posts related to your field of work
  • Share news about the latest happenings in the industry
  • Optimise your profile and showcase your different skill sets and 
  • You might also want to consider creating a few Slideshares to showcase some of your past work, and include a few ways to contact you for work. The possibilities are endless here.

Group #2: Recruiters

Recruiters Are…

Recruiters are the group of people that LinkedIn bets their money on, simply because they are likely to be users of LinkedIn’s full suite of services.

They are representatives of companies that seek out human capital or talented individuals for their companies.

Recruiters typically get a cut or commission for their work, so the money that they make depends heavily on the quality of the connection that they introduce.

The LinkedIn Marketing Objectives Of A Recruiter

The main audience that they are looking for are talented individuals and professionals that they think fit the bill of a client that they are servicing.

Normally, recruiters get a brief of the type of hire that they are looking for, and their job is to make sure that everyone sent through that door fits the bill.

The Different Types Of Recruiters

Broadly speaking, there are 3 ways that a recruiter gets paid for their services.

Retained Recruiters

This group of recruiters work on a retained basis (hence the name), which means that they charge an upfront fee to conduct a search for the ideal applicant. .

It also usually means that this recruiter is working for the client exclusively (there are no other recruitment agencies working on that particular brief).

If you’re dealing with a Recruiter on a Retained Recruitment contract, then it probably means that you’re valued highly by the Recruiter; these group of people can get paid up to 50% of your salary.

Contingency Recruiters

Contingency recruiters work very similarly to a commission based job.

This group of people are unlike the Retained Recruiters, who are the only people working on the brief.

Often times, companies engage this group of people because their own HR department; or other agencies they’ve engaged previously are unable to find the ideal candidate.

Usually, this also means that it’s tough for the candidate: often times they end up having to go through a ton of paperwork and interviews simply because of the level of competition amongst the candidates trying to fit in through the door.

This group of recruiters are normally paid 25% of a successful candidate’s salary.

get paid once they find the right candidate for the job (usually 25% of a candidate’s salary). Recruiters working on this basis are often times competing with the client’s internal HR department which will also be conducting a search for the same job. They may also be in competition with other recruitment companies.

Contained Recruiters

Contained Recruiters are paid in a hybrid of both the Retained and Contingency Recruiters.

They simply get paid a portion of the fee upfront, and collect the rest of the payment after a candidate has successfully been placed.

How Can Recruiters Use LinkedIn?

If you’re a recruiter, chances are your performance is closely tied to finding the right fit between the brief your client provides, and the candidate that you suggest to them for the interview.

That being said, it’s always good to build your LinkedIn presence to have a ready pool of candidates at your command, and not wait till the brief comes knocking and you panic.

Broadly speaking, here are some methods that you can consider using on LinkedIn:

  • Use LinkedIn’s advanced search functions to find the right candidate (more details coming soon)
  • Share updates and news about the latest job openings and availabilities
  • Building segmented lists of candidates in your niche
  • Optimise your profile to appeal to the right candidates

Group #3: Salesmen / Business Development People

Salesmen often call themselves business development people (now, the next time you see one, you can be smarter about it)

Salesmen are…

Well, as their name suggests, Salesmen are people that sell either products or services on behalf of their company.

They use LinkedIn primarily to find prospects, build relationships with them,  and then eventually, get them into the sales funnel, and sell them their products or service

The LinkedIn Marketing Objectives Of Salesmen/Business Development People

There are 2 possible audiences that these people are trying to reach out to on LinkedIn.

  1. To find prospects and leads for their business. To do this, many salesmen often sign up for Linkedin’s Sales Navigator, which is really an enhanced version of LinkedIn
  2. The next audience that Salesmen look for are business partners. These refer to companies or other individuals that sell either the same products, or a complimentary one. The reason why they look for this second group of individuals is to set up partnerships to co sell to their respective audiences, and bring both their businesses forward.

The Different Types Of Salesmen/Business Development People

B2C Salesmen/Business Development

This group of people sell products and services for the mass market.

Some examples might include selling food items, mobile phones, or even events.

For the most part, LinkedIn isn’t the ideal choice of a marketing platform for them, since LinkedIn focuses on B2B selling, not B2C.

However, if you’re a B2C salesman, you can still benefit from LinkedIn in the following ways:

  • Building traction and interest in your product in terms of brand impressions
  • Getting key decision makers to view your product and your company to consider working making mass orders in bulk
  • Funnelling traffic from LinkedIn to your website, where you can even sell your products and services through your own custom funnel

B2B Salesmen/Business Development

This is the main group of people that LinkedIn focuses on, when it comes to Salesmen and Business Development people.

B2B salesmen are interested in selling their solutions and services to key decision makers in a company, and use LinkedIn to often bypass the gatekeepers in an organisation.

Traditionally, key executives used to set up different gatekeepers to weed out this group of people (savage, I know), such as secretaries, automated emails, and so on.

But with tools like LinkedIn’s InMail, and with a diverse set of tools available for the B2B salesmen to reach out and attract key decision makers, the tables have been turned.

If you’re a B2B salesmen, chances are you’re interested in getting the attention of these key executives and management teams to take a look at your product, try a trial of your service, or just straight out pitch them with a cold email (don’t do that, by the way).

So How Can Salesmen/Business Development People Use LinkedIn?

If you’re selling on LinkedIn, your best bet is really to adopt the content selling cycle into LinkedIn and work your way from there.

Content Selling Cycle

Some methods you can consider might include:

  • Gaining traction and attention from your target audience using status updates and news sharing
  • Optimising your profile to sell your unique content advantage on LinkedIn
  • Offer something unique in exchange for contact details (instead of cold pitching; this builds a relationship that you can work off from later on)
  • Getting them into your sales and lead funnel, build rapport and trust with your prospects
  • Making a limited time offer, or a free trial to build interest in your product or service

Group #4: Businessmen

Businessmen might refer to entrepreneurs or established company executives who make key decisions.

This group of people primarily use LinkedIn to find new business partnerships with other executives, or simply to connect and reach out to them.

They are mostly interested in thought leadership articles, interesting business news, as well as establishing themselves as the forefront of the industry.

The Different Types Of Businessmen

The Established CEO

You’re probably the head of an entire country’s operations representing your company, or you might even have been running your own business for quite some time now.

Your interests might consist of the following:

  • Building thought leadership to push your own reputation forward and build brand equity
  • Working to build ties with other CEOs for future collaboration and partnerships
  • Voicing out your views publicly to “put yourself out there”, by commenting on articles and posts that you resonate strongly with

A good example of an established CEO is Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, or Tony Robbins, the renowned motivational speaker.

Fun fact: Some of the top tier CEOs on LinkedIn will normally have the Linkedfluencer badge next to their Profile name.

The Startup

If you’re a startup, then your objectives for using LinkedIn might be very different from an established CEO.

For the established CEO, LinkedIn is a form of maintaining, even bringing their brand equity to the next level. Simply put, they don’t need to market their business as aggressively as you do, since their company already does it for them.

For example, Tony Robbins doesn’t need to promote his brand as aggressively as a startup; simply because he’s already reaping the benefits of marketing efforts done by his company’s marketing department.

In this case, understand that at this point, your purpose of using LinkedIn is very much similar to a Salesman.

I say that, because for the most part, your interests for using LinkedIn might consist of the following:

  • Building awareness of your company, and aggressively promoting yourself on the platform (what I like to call “New Kid Marketing”)
  • Building user base and audience around your content and around your products and services
  • Selling to your target audience, and scaling your business as fast as possible (because you’re trying to find product marketing fit)

The Middle Businessman

As the name suggests, this group of people are people who are not owners or CEOs of large established firms, but neither are they struggling to pay the bills or get funded.

Instead, they’re people who own or are in charge of running a middle sized company, most likely 3-5 years old.

If you’re a middle businessman, your objectives and interests for using LinkedIn might consist of the following:

  • Finding new methods and people to bring your company partnerships and business development to the next level
  • Building your legacy and brand name as a company that is up and coming
  • Building awareness and interest with people who know of the company’s existence, but not quite as well as you’d like

So How Can Businessmen Use LinkedIn?

If you’re a businessman, then you can really use LinkedIn in the following ways to achieve your LinkedIn Marketing objectives:

  • If you’re trying to build an audience around your brand, write tons of text status updates (as of the time of this writing, text based status updates are the most favoured by LinkedIn over any other form of status updates like videos, or pictures)
  • You can use LinkedIn Pulse to write thought leadership articles, industry research and opinions about your field of work, to get conversations going.
  • Another option that you can consider is to cold pitch fellow connections through filtering your target audience using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search Features. You’ll be able to see this feature by going to Search Bar > Search For People. Again, more details about these techniques will come soon as this blog progresses


No matter which group of LinkedIn users you belong to, LinkedIn offers you a ton of options and tools to take your professional career to the next level.

What matters most is defining a clear objective for yourself, and knowing which tools work best to help you reach your goals.

Truth be told, we’ve left out a ton of techniques that are available at your disposal for you to achieve your LinkedIn marketing objectives because there simply isn’t enough space in one post to cover them all.

As this blog progresses, we’ll cover in detail specific marketing strategies and techniques that you can apply to your own LinkedIn profile.

Did you enjoy this post? Let me know in the comments what you think! I read every comment.


  1. Awesome content n perfectly recited

  2. Nice graphic, great stats and nice insights and suggestions to back it all up.
    Thanks John!

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