5 Tips to Steal Competitors’ Audience on LinkedIn

Sasha Bouloudnine
June 17, 2024
14 min read

According to Nielsen, targeting competitors' audiences can boost brand power by up to 34%.

Though you cannot access the list of followers of a LinkedIn company.

linkedin page followers not clickable - image27.png

What if I told you it's still possible?

In this article, we’ll see 5 methods to steal your competitors’ audience on LinkedIn

  1. Hack into your competitors’ followers
  2. Target competitors’ followers with LinkedIn ads
  3. Reach out competitors’ post commenters & likers
  4. Reach out to competitors’ events attendees
  5. Reach out to competitors’ courses students

Why loose time building an audience, when you can simply steal it out?

Method #1: Hack into your Competitors’ Followers

The first method is to use a trick to hack into all the followers of your competitors.

If these people are your competitor's followers, it is highly likely they will love your offer too. Turn your competitors’ audience into active buyers.

Please note you need a Sales Navigator account to achieve this.

The sneaky step-by-step guide:

  1. Step #1: Create a LinkedIn burn account
  2. Step #2: Subscribe for Sales Navigator Free Trial
  3. Step #3: Search Company page followers
  4. Step #4: Extract followers and get their emails
  5. Step #5: Followers Outreach

Step #1: Create a LinkedIn burn account

The first step is to create a new LinkedIn account, and say that you currently work at your competitor's company.

We don't recommend doing this trick with your own LinkedIn account. You will add information about the profile that is different from reality.

First, create a new LinkedIn account.

create a linkedin burn account with proton mail - image19.png

For the email address, we can recommend Proton mail: free up to 1GB of storage, and end-to-end encrypted.

Fill in the information requested from you:

  1. First name
  2. Name
  3. Pays
  4. Postal code

Are you lacking inspiration? ask ChatGPT to help you create a new identity that seems credible.

ask chatgpt to provide credible new identity - image21.png

Now, this point is critical: in the part Most recent job title, add your competitor’s company.

type your competitor company in current linkedin job - image22.png

This is what will allow us to retrieve the list of followers of our competitor on LinkedIn.

End up adding an image, and finish creating your profile.

linkedin burn account profile page example - image6.png

For profile pictures you can use this website: https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/. It's free, diverse, and generated by AI so royalty-free.

Let’s move to the next step.

Step #2: Subscribe for Sales Navigator Free Trial

Don't have a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account?

No problem: Sales Navigator is available for free for 30 days. We will take advantage of this offer.

From your profile page, click Try Premium for $0.

try linkedin sales navigator premium for free - image20.png

Fill in your banking information, and complete the checkout.

linkedin sales nav purchase checkout - image1.png

You will of course not be charged to the bank card: this is a bank imprint of no consequence.

And there you go!

welcome to sales navigator core - image5.png

Welcome to Sales Navigator, without spending a penny.

Finally, think about immediately cancelling your subscription, to avoid being taken by surprise once the free trial is over. No hidden fees.

Heading to the next step.

Step #3: Search Company page followers

It's time to get down to business.

Go to the Sales Navigator Leads search engine. Once on this page, select Following your company.

click following your company sales navigator search - image28.png

And there you have it: the list of 3500+ followers is displayed and publicly accessible.

But how to export these results and find the emails?

Step #4: Extract followers and get their emails

We will extract the list of followers with their professional emails with the Sales Navigator Leads Scraper from lobstr.io.

lobstr io sales navigator leads scraper product page - image9.png

First, copy the search URL from your browser.

copy sales navigator leads search url - image3.png

Next, create a Sales Navigator Leads Scraper from the lobstr.io app, add the URL and click Save then Save & Extract.

It's very simple, and you can do this in seconds.

export leads from sales nav lobstr io full demo - image35.gif

You will export entire Sales Navigator search results in a structured CSV file.

Mails included.

export sales nav leads to csv with emails snapshot - image14.png

With the free plan, benefit from 300 leads with emails included. It’s free, for real.

Step #5: Followers Outreach

Once you have this list, you can begin a sales prospecting campaign.

You can either send emails from your mailbox, or use a mass prospecting tool with automated marketing campaigns, such as lemlist.

What message should you send to maximize your chances?

Here is a proposed template.

Subject: %competitor% lover? Time to move on

Hi,

I noticed you follow %competitor%.

We offer a similar service with %clear advantage of your solution%.

Wanna have a try?

PS: Use code BEST for a 20% discount.

Best, Sasha

Emphasize:

  1. The decisive advantage of your solution
  2. The promotional code to increase value and create a sense of urgency

That's it for the first technique.

We will now look at the second technique, using a LinkedIn built-in advertising solution: LinkedIn Ads.

Method #2: Target competitors’ followers with LinkedIn ads

You have the list of followers of your competing company but you want to avoid intrusive cold mailing?

You can target this audience with advertising with LinkedIn Ads.

  1. Step #1: Create a LinkedIn Ads Manager Account
  2. Step #2: Upload your Competitors’ Followers Audience
  3. Step #3: Publish your Ad

Step #1: Create a LinkedIn Ads Manager Account

Start by creating a LinkedIn Ads account: it’s free.

create a linkedin ads free account - image15.png

Step #2: Upload your Competitors’ Followers Audience

Once connected to the LinkedIn Ads Campaign Manager, create a campaign on Advanced mode.

In Audiences, choose: List upload > Contact List.

upload list linkedin ads advanced mode - image25.png

Your list should be structured with the following columns:

  1. Email
  2. First name
  3. Last name
  4. Job Title
  5. Employee Company

You can modify the file retrieved previously, and upload it directly to the LinkedIn Ads Manager.

This is what the file you are going to upload looks like.

linkedin ads audience upload list file structure example - image7.png

Please note, your list must contain at least 300 contacts.

Upload your file, and launch your campaign.

linkedin ads upload list and click on agree and upload - image32.png

And there you go!

You will broadcast your ads to all of your competitors’ followers.

Furthermore, by checking the parameter Enable Audience Expansion, LinkedIn will automatically target profiles similar to your initial competitor’s audience.

linkedin ads enable audience expansion feature - image11.png

This method is illustrated with the LinkedIn Ads tool, but you can do exactly the same with Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

From this first set of chosen followers, you will reach a large and relevant audience.

Step #3: Publish your Ad

Choose your promotional advertising format.

You have the following choices:

  1. Single image
  2. Carousel image
  3. Video
  4. Text
  5. Spotlight: a product showcase
  6. Message: deliver message to your target audiences’ inbox
  7. Conversation
  8. Event
  9. Document

linkedin ads format - image33.png

Once you have chosen the format, generate your visual advertising, for example with Canvas or with an AI image generation tool like Midjourney. And launch your campaign.

You lack inspiration?

You can also steal your competitors’ LinkedIn ads.

Visit the LinkedIn page of your competitor and click on "Posts" → "Ads.". You can see the ad type, ad links, design, and copy.

steal your competitors linkedin ads - image26.png

Your competitors’ audience is yours.

Steal your competitors’ customers.


So much for the second method.

We will now discuss the third method: leverage competitors’ social media activity.

Method #3: Reach out competitors’ post commenters & likers

If someone likes or comments on a post, it is because they are interested in the discussed topic.

It is relevant to target people who have liked or commented on your competitors' posts.

linkedin post likers and commenters are potential customers - image13.png

  1. Step #1: Build Competitors’ Influencers List
  2. Step #2: Collect User Posts
  3. Step #3: Extract Posts’ Commenters & Likers
  4. Step #4: Post Commenters & Likers Outreach

Step #1: Build Competitors’ Influencers List

First, start with building a list of influencers in your niche.

You don't know how to start?

Ask ChatGPT to generate a list for you, specifying your industry and your country.

The GPT prompt to find relevant LinkedIn influencers:

best linkedin influencers for %industry% in %country% on linkedin

chat gpt list of niche linkedin influencers - image10.png

The list is a bit broad, but it's a good start.

For example, in the scraping/growth SaaS USA niche, we have on LinkedIn:

f
https://www.linkedin.com/in/dharmesh https://www.linkedin.com/in/hitenshah https://www.linkedin.com/in/bbalfour https://www.linkedin.com/in/randfishkin https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrickccampbell https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonmlemkin https://www.linkedin.com/in/steliefti https://www.linkedin.com/in/lincolnmurphy

Alternatively, to get a more targeted audience, you can:

  1. Search for posts by keywords with the LinkedIn search engine
  2. Collect your competitors from an aggregator like Capterra

A large audience has the advantage of being… large. But the acquisition cost is higher.

It's up to you to choose what suits you most based on your growth objectives and your budget.

Step #2: Collect User Posts

We have the influencers, great.

We will now fetch their LinkedIn posts with the LinkedIn User Activity Scraper from lobstr.io.

lobstr io linkedin user activity scraper product page - image30.png

In Tasks, add the list of influencer URLs retrieved previously, and launch the scraper.

You will quickly export all influencers posts into a structured CSV, with for each post:

  1. Author
  2. Publication date
  3. Post URL
  4. Likes count
  5. Comments count
  6. Content

export linkedin posts to csv snapshot - image17.png

The post URL is critical here. We will use it now.

Step #3: Extract Posts’ Commenters & Likers

We will extract now what interests us: the list of commentators & likers of LinkedIn posts.

lobstr.io provides 2 scrapers to achieve this:

  1. Linkedin Post Commenters Scraper
  2. Linkedin Post Likers Scraper

lobstr io linkedin post likers and commenters scrapers - image8.png

Choose one or the other depending on what you want to achieve.

Usually posts get more likers than commenters, but commenters are more committed and are possibly more promising leads. Quantity over quality. Test both to build conviction.

Add the URLs of the posts retrieved before, and launch the scraper. You can even directly upload the file previously found.

lobstr io add linkedin post urls linkedin post likers scraper - image36.png

Extract the list of all profiles.

Then use the LinkedIn Profile Scraper to fetch additional information, including professional email address.

export post likers to csv snapshot - image16.png

Step #4: Post Commenters & Likers Outreach

With email, you can launch a cold mailing campaign.

Be careful though, if you collect the reactions too early you won't have enough volume. On the contrary, if you extract profiles too late, your audience will have forgotten what you're talking about.

Timing is everything:

  1. h+0 the post is published
  2. h+24 you collect the commenters & likers
  3. h+48 you send a message

In other words, it takes 48 hours between the publication of the post and the first email sending.

Here is an idea for an outreach template.

Subject: Interested in %topic%? We get more ✨

Hi,

I noticed you did react on a %competitor post% about this %topic%.

We have a %piece of content% that might bring additional precious insights. Wanna check it out?

Best, Sasha

Rather than a commercial offer that is too direct, offer additional content less intrusive and more effective.


That's it for the third method! We will now see the 4th method: contact events lovers.

Method #4: Reach out to competitors’ events attendees

One of your (prestigious) competitors organized a LinkedIn event?

Good news, he surely spent a lot of money to build the event, spread the word, and convince participants to come...

However, on LinkedIn, the list of participants is public.

We will take advantage of it to steal the results of all this work.

  1. Step #1: Find Relevant LinkedIn Events
  2. Step #2: Scrap LinkedIn Event Attendees
  3. Step #3: LinkedIn Event Attendees Outreach
  4. Step #4: Automate Event Attendees Lead Generation Pipeline

Step #1: Find Relevant LinkedIn Events

First, let’s find events on LinkedIn.

For this you can simply use the LinkedIn search engine as following:

  1. Type a keyword
  2. Use filter Events
  3. Retrieve interesting events

use the linkedin search engine to find linkedin events - image23.png

Step #2: Scrap LinkedIn Event Attendees

First, go to the event page, and click on Attend.

attend a linkedin event - image18.png

Then click Networking you... tada!

The public list of all participants is available.

access public list of linkedin event attendees - image34.png

How to extract it?

Go to lobstr.io, and select the LinkedIn Event Attendees Scraper.

lobstr io linkedin event attendees scraper - image4.png

You will automatically extract all the participants from the event, with for each:

  1. Name
  2. First name
  3. LinkedIn URL
  4. Job
  5. Business
  6. Email

Step #3: LinkedIn Event Attendees Outreach

It’s time to contact the participants of this event! But how to convince them to switch in your favor?

You have two options: send them an email before or after the event.

Here's one outreach proposal before the event has taken place.

Subject: Are you also going to the %competitor% event? 👀

Hello,

I saw you were going to %event name%. Me too! 😄

How did you come across it?

Best, Sasha

Here, the goal is to send a friendly message to improve your brand awareness. People need to know you exist.

No need to force sell too soon. Build trust with potential customers first.

And a second proposal for a message sent after the event.

Subject: %event% how was it? 👀

Hello,

I saw you went to the %competitor% event.

So how was it? I was attending, but I completely forgot to go there...

Best, Sasha

And if the attendee tells you that they found the event bad?

This is a gold mine for you. Start a sales sequence.

Step #4: Automate Event Attendees Lead Generation Pipeline

Your first test is positive?

Let’s go further and completely automate the entire acquisition pipeline.

First, retrieve the URL(s) from your browser that match your LinkedIn search, for example:

f
https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/events/?keywords=%22growth%22

copy linkedin events search url - image12.png

Then use our LinkedIn Search Scraper:

  1. Extract events every 24 hours
  2. Newt events only
  3. Auto-export to a Googlesheet

Each time a new event is detected, extract the attendees, get the emails.

Finally, launch a commercial prospecting campaign by email, or directly via LinkedIn depending on whether you have the prospect's email address.

This is what @hanseflats suggests in this tweet on 01/15/2024:

full automated lead generation pipeline schema based on linkedin events - image31.png

Build. Automate. Scale up.

Deploy a fully automated digital marketing strategy.

Method #5: Reach out to Competitors’ Courses Students

Your competitors have created a dedicated course on LinkedIn and students love this content?

It is a clear mark of interest for your offer.

We will contact these serious students right now:

  1. Step #1: Find Relevant Competitors’ Courses
  2. Step #2: Extract Students Likers + Commenters
  3. Step #3: Competitors’ Course Students Outreach

Step #1: Find Relevant Competitors’ Courses

Same as before: use the LinkedIn search tool to find relevant courses.

Choose:

  1. A keyword e.g. "growth"
  2. Courses filter
  3. Advanced filters — Level, Subjects & Topics…

search events using linkedin search engine - image2.png

Choose the course with a name that matches your company offer.

I'm going to pick this one: Designing Growth Strategies. 2643+ likers, that’s big!

linkedin course likers - image29.png

We will now see how to extract the participants from this course.

Step #2: Extract Students Likers + Commenters

Use our LinkedIn Courses Reviewers + Likers Scraper, to automatically extract all likers and reviewers frome this course

lobstr io linkedin course reviewers and likers scraper - image24.png

You will extract all the likers and all the reviewers of each course.

And for each profile:

  1. Name
  2. Job
  3. Localisation
  4. Email (!)

Step #3: Competitors’ Course Students Outreach

We will now send a message to introduce the student to our product.

This is an outreach proposal.

Subject: Is %course% worth it? 🧑‍🎓

Hello,

I saw that you took part in %course%.

How was it? I want to participate but it’s a significant time investment...

Best, Sasha

As before, we do not immediately sell our product. First, we try to create a genuine contact, before promoting our interests.

Did the student like the course?

It’s perfect: introduce him to another complementary tool, yours. And maximize your sales.

1516989175726.jpegSasha Bouloudnine

Co-founder @ lobstr.io since 2019. Genuine data avid and lowercase aesthetic observer. Ensure you get the hot data you need.

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