Can you remember the times when you were fresh out of college, having no idea what the future might bring?
When having a nice piece of paper with ‘Bachelor Diploma’ engraved on it made you so proud of yourself but also scared as a child who just lost their mom in the supermarket?
All these isles, all these products, these people staring at you, so many choices, so many turns, and you have to choose just one way.
But which one is right?
Will going left bring you the fulfilment and the joy you always wanted?
Or would it be the mistake of your life?!
Making a choice has always been the scariest for me.
Once I choose something, I stick to it till the very end.
Even if the world comes crashing down on my shoulders.
I will shake the dust off and build another world.
A better one.
I vividly remember those times when I had no clue where my career path should lead to.
Being an entrepreneur has always been my thing, but which industry should I choose?
Was it software?
The list in my head was longer than Bill Gates’ paycheck.
I just needed to decide on one.
And then, just like in a story, a black and yellow pal buzzed on my shoulder.
Since I was brought up by beekeepers and raised on honey and nectar, I considered bees a good omen.
A godsend that tells me that I am about to make a good decision.
That my life is about to be changed for the better.
That’s when I knew it.
I didn’t have to make a choice right away. Not this time.
I will do my thing.
I will build a business, nurture it, and lull it.
It will be my creation in which I will put my blood, sweat and tears, but I will make it.
And with the help of my lovely wife, I did it.
I am the fifth generation of beekeepers in my family.
But I have created a different hive than my forefathers.
In just a couple of years I created an outreach hive.
A hive that will bring the sweetest of nectars to thousands of people out there who may need my help.
Using email and LinkedIn outreach made me realize I had so many options and choices that I was a fool to think that I must pick just one niche.
But which industry should I target first?
Which one will bring me the most prospects that I was aiming for?!
Luckily, LinkedIn has the option of 148 industries top to bottom from which you can choose.
What is the LinkedIn industry list?
It’s pretty straightforward, really. The LinkedIn industry list is just that – a list of 148 industry categories currently available on LinkedIn.
Since we all have that option at the tip of our hands, why wouldn’t we use it for our benefit?
The list and the industry ranking has changed over time. For a long time, HR and Recruiting were on the top of that list. But they are not in the TOP 10 most popular Industries. Not anymore.
Knowing what industry to choose can be crucial for your future networking and relationship building.
It’s the first step of the long outreach process and, most of all, it’s maybe the most important one.
When starting an outreach campaign, you have to be sure you’re focusing on the right sales niche on LinkedIn.
Choosing the suitable LinkedIn Industry can be crucial for your sales and networking, finding new connections, building meaningful relationships and getting the right clients onboard.
As I mentioned, LinkedIn has exactly 148 industries inside the platform. Choosing the right one can sometimes be very difficult.
There’s a common misconception, оr a myth, if you would have it, that opting for an industry where there are not too many people involved won’t get you the right leads.
Let me tell you that numbers don’t matter.
The lead quality does.
You can go for the least popular industry and get fewer clients, but if they are the ideal ones, you can serve them longer, hence no need for lead quantity.
Ending up with a smaller but more meaningful connection circle can easily add to the top of your sales.
On the other hand, if you choose a big LinkedIn industry, more people can be the right fit for you and your company, but there is also much more noise and many more competitors.
So what’s important is that you choose wisely.
Don’t be alarmed. I am right here to ease up your search and navigate your sales ship.
In this blog post, I will get you through the newest LinkedIn industries benchmark and statistics that will help you find the best LinkedIn industries where you should put your efforts whilst making sales and networking on LinkedIn.
So, let’s dive right into the data!
As aforementioned, there are a 148 members long industry list on LinkedIn.
It is up at your disposal to use it any time you want for your best convenience.
The list is long and various, containing all working industries on LinkedIn.
I suppose you have already chosen yours.
I’m sure you’ve done it right.
And I imagine that you have also checked if you made the list of the most popular ones on LinkedIn.
Don’t despair if you have made it up to the finals since, like everything else in life, these things change daily, even hourly.
On this very beneficial list that I tend to mention, you will find some industries you haven’t even heard of yet.
I’ve found this LinkedIn’s 148 industry list very useful since it has best-categorized mine and my company’s professional activity.
The industries have evolved over the years, and different industries have risen and fallen in popularity. Still, the fact that LinkedIn tracks this information – and allows us to search for other profiles by industry – makes it the single most important search filter on the platform. Whether you’re looking for sales leads, a target audience to market to, candidates for a job opening, or just browsing profiles – it is nearly impossible to understate the value of being able to sort through the world of professionals by their industry.
More often than not, people are so surprised by this data that they couldn’t believe that LinkedIn can contain such vast input data knowledge that even those of us (business consultants and sales pros) that think that we have seen and heard it all are flabbergasted.
Many people are simply shocked at the depth of information for intelligence, market sizing and more. But they don’t need to be, because when you use LinkedIn properly, you can get all this info for free, along with thousands of potential referrals!
But it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. Not even with LinkedIn. There are some popular industries that are simply not in the list, and you can’t target directly. I’ll get back to this with examples further down this blog.
Now, the time is ripe for the LinkedIn industry list:
|1||Information Technology and Services|
|2||Hospital & Health Care|
|12||Marketing and Advertising|
|14||Health, Wellness and Fitness|
|16||Food & Beverages|
|18||Oil & Energy|
|20||Mechanical or Industrial Engineering|
|35||Logistics and Supply Chain|
|37||Architecture & Planning|
|38||Apparel & Fashion|
|42||Non-Profit Organization Management|
|47||Arts and Crafts|
|51||Mining & Metals|
|53||Leisure, Travel & Tourism|
|57||Professional Training & Coaching|
|60||Individual & Family Services|
|62||Mental Health Care|
|64||Security and Investigations|
|65||Staffing and Recruiting|
|66||Aviation & Aerospace|
|70||Import and Export|
|72||Public Relations and Communications|
|74||Business Supplies and Equipment|
|75||Writing and Editing|
|79||International Trade and Development|
|80||Renewables & Environment|
|82||Civic & Social Organization|
|85||Defense & Space|
|87||Computer & Network Security|
|108||Packaging and Containers|
|112||Commercial Real Estate|
|113||Motion Pictures and Film|
|116||Luxury Goods & Jewelry|
|120||Wine and Spirits|
|123||Translation and Localization|
|124||Recreational Facilities and Services|
|128||Paper & Forest Products|
|131||Venture Capital & Private Equity|
|132||Gambling & Casinos|
|134||Glass, Ceramics & Concrete|
|137||Museums and Institutions|
|145||Alternative Dispute Resolution|
Top 10 ranking industries on LinkedIn
2020 was about as kind to LinkedIn as it was to the rest of us. In 2020, LinkedIn’s total network size decreased from 448M members 2020 to 428M in 2021. On a more positive note, there were some changes to the top 10 industries, as well as 1 new industry sector added to the list!
But before we get to that, a bit of history for those of you who may be new to the rankings. LinkedIn requires all of its members to declare which of their 148 industry codes best categorizes their professional activity. You must do this first as a new member of the platform, and then you can subsequently change your industry code as you like. The codes have evolved over the years, and different industries have risen and fallen in popularity. Still, the fact that LinkedIn allows us to search for profiles by industry makes it one of the world’s most powerful tools for selling and job hunting that enables us to understand a bit more about the evolution of the world’s professions.
In this post, I’ll do you the honours of sharing the top 10 industries on LinkedIn. All of this data was extracted from LinkedIn in January 2021.
As of January 2021, LinkedIn has slightly over 428 million individual accounts (down from 448 million in 2020). The top 10 industries comprise 27% of all profiles on the network, which means that 27% of all LinkedIn members ticked the box that they are employed in one of these 10 industries.
Check more LinkedIn stats here.
And now, the top 10 LinkedIn industry list:
|1||Information Technology and Services|
|2||Hospital & Healthcare|
Higher Education made its first top 10 appearance, jumping up 2 spots to the safe #8 place overall. Automotive dropped 1 spot in the rankings to #10 overall. Last year’s #10, Marketing & Advertising, fell 2 spots and now sits at #12.
In late 2020, LinkedIn added 1 new industry – Mobile Gaming. There were no other changes to the industries besides that.
Does the LinkedIn industries list serve any other purpose but recruiting?
Using LinkedIn specialized industry list feature solely for recruiting would be a sin.
A deadly one in my book.
And in all business people’s books.
The time when this list was used only for the purposes of recruiting new employees is long dead and buried.
And forgotten, too.
Over the years, a lot of changes and alterations happened to this industries list.
If we compare this list with the list from 2019, we will see that 6 LinkedIn industries that were one of the most popular industries 3 years ago are not in the top 10 list of LinkedIn Industries right now.
This includes Marketing & Advertising, Human Resources, Staffing and Recruiting, Internet, Management Consulting and Telecommunications.
Based on this, we can make various presumptions and gain market insights like some of the following:
In the beginning, LinkedIn Industry List and LinkedIn as a professional platform were officially used for the purposes of recruiting and human resources. But that’s all in the past. The platform grew into the world’s most popular social media network of LinkedIn professionals. Even more, it looks like LinkedIn is not the primary source of HR professionals anymore.
Marketing, advertising, and consulting jobs became less prevalent in the last 3 years.
On the other hand, the LinkedIn network is now more focused on bringing new solutions in the Hospital & Health Care and education industries than ever before.
Based on all this, we can conclude that the most important thing is that LinkedIn is not only the place for job openings and recruiting new people.
Right now, LinkedIn is the place where the business professionals from different LinkedIn industries are gathering and providing value to each other.
Just scrolling through our LinkedIn feed or opening up our messages we can see that LinkedIn is used daily for marketing and sales. Especially when it comes to the B2B sector. At the end of the day, no one can deny that LinkedIn is the most popular social business platform.
So, in order to become influential in your LinkedIn industry, you need to know how to post on LinkedIn and craft an outstanding LinkedIn Profile. This can also come in handy if you’re trying to do some social selling on LinkedIn as well.
Defining your ideal client profile with the list
One of the most important things you can do to accelerate your business is to make sure you’re focusing your sales and marketing efforts on the right companies. But doing so isn’t always an easy feat. One major leap in the right direction is creating a detailed ideal customer profile based on real-time company information.
Your ideal client profile is essentially a fictitious description of your perfect client. The type of client that costs the least to acquire has a substantial lifetime value, is less likely to churn and, eventually, champions your brand.
Having a specific type of client that you’re focusing on will make things easier for you because you know who to target, where to reach them and how to talk to them in a way that resonates and compels them to become your clients.
Instead of trying to strong-arm random people into listening to you, a well -defined ideal clients profile helps you target companies that genuinely want to hear about what you have to offer.
Having built an ideal client profile will help you streamline your sales prospecting. This ideal client profile of yours should be the guiding light in any sales prospecting session. Also, an ideal client profile shall advance your finance scoring. Sorting all your potential prospects from the most to the least valuable is easier when you know what defines a company that’s likely to be slid into your sales funnel. This way, you are also improving your clients’ lifetime value. Once you know what distinguishes companies with the highest success potential of using your services, you can focus your sales and marketing efforts on those companies only.
So where does the LinkedIn industry come in? As I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to decide on serving one niche. But choosing the right industry for your ideal client profile is a great place to start. After all, there are more than 140 industries to choose from. Do your research, decide on one, and if it doesn’t work out you can always try with another. It’s never too early to start testing what works and what doesn’t.
But what if you already have a niche that you successfully serve but LinkedIn doesn’t have that particular industry on the list? For starters, don’t panic. It’s a bit of inconvenience but that doesn’t mean that LinkedIn is not the place for you. You just need to ponder over the list a bit more. Let’s take e-commerce for example. A niche so popular with marketing agencies that didn’t make the LinkedIn list. So where should you focus your social selling efforts? Your safest bet is the apparel and fashion industry, since the majority of these companies have online shops nowadays. By the same logic, you can try with some of the following industries from the list: consumer electronics, consumer goods, cosmetics, luxury goods and jewelry, retail, sporting goods, and so on.
So even if your niche is not on the list there are still numerous options that you can try, and the list is of tremendous help. As always, have in mind that there will some irrelevant companies. And that’s ok. But if you don’t want to waste your time on talking with unqualified prospects you can always do manual qualification.
Different industries equal different approaches
An unqualified prospect takes a lot of time from your nurture team and might end up costing your company more than it pays.
Losing a qualified prospect, on the other hand, is not a walk in the park either.
As I’ve mentioned, different industries require different approaches.
You cannot use the same trick on everyone.
You need an industry specific-tailored plan and strategy for each niche that you’re going to target.
When outreaching, the first thing that you should bear in mind is the industry that you are dipping your toes into. Otherwise, the big sales tide will drag you along.
Each industry is like a different lady.
You cannot use the exact phrases, same compliments and the same playbook with every lady you’ll approach.
Clients (and ladies, too) are smart.
They will discover the game you are playing.
And you’ll be given the leg.
You know what Einstein said about the definition of insanity.
It’s doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
So why would things be any different when it comes to outreach?
Why would you approach an education professional and a software engineer the same way?
Their brains are wired differently.
So using the same language, mannerisms and jargons is the sales definition of insanity.
I said it, write it down!
And that’s not all folks. They have a different set of problems. Or even if they do have the same problem (that your solution can easily solve), the probability is that they perceive the problems from different perspectives.
Let’s take our outreach services for example. Our solution helps B2B companies to build relationships with their ideal clients and fill up their sales funnels with qualified warm leads. But that does not mean that we can use the same messaging for a SaaS and for a management consultant. For instance, when it comes to the SaaS we can highlight the part when for gaining new subscribers. And the management consultant will be more interested in hearing where is their next strategy session going to come from.
As you already know, LinkedIn offers both free and paid versions. There are paid licenses for recruiters, job seekers, professionals, and now sales reps. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is LinkedIn’s paid sales solution. It is a sales management tool designed to help sales reps tap into LinkedIn’s extensive network more effectively and, ultimately, land more (and better) deals.
With the Professional subscription, members can access:
- 20 InMail messages per month
- 1,500 saved leads
- Advanced lead and company search
- Custom lists
- Lead and account alerts
- Notes and tags
So next time you say that you’ve used up all of your options, please do think twice and make sure that you’ve consulted Sales Navigator before giving up, or worse, before using the same approach twice.
How can LinkedIn industries help you do better outreach?
LinkedIn is often thought of as the go-to social network for professionals, but it’s more than just a social media platform. It’s a powerful marketing and sales tool for companies to engage with prospects, clients, employees and business partners.
For me, it was the network that changed my life, my career path, my vision.
Using LinkedIn grew and expanded my business, helped me acquire many valuable contacts, tons of friends and enlarged my clients’ network.
All this thanks to LinkedIn.
When I decided to do outreach prospecting to generate more leads and gain new clients, I knew things won’t always be easy.
I had a team that I had to train not to make the same mistakes I did when I first started reaching out to people.
They had to learn to avoid being pushy, needy and to pitch right away.
I had to teach them that different industries and people require different approach and effort.
Teaching people how not to do what they are used to doing isn’t exactly a smooth ride.
I had to start from zero.
Luckily LinkedIn was of tremendous help along my journey.
With all the features that LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers, like the industries list codes, LinkedIn is offering innovative and creative ways to foster engagement, build business relationships and ultimately drive sales.
One of the cardinal mistakes people make when setting up a LinkedIn account is to assume that their profile will do all of the heavy lifting.
You have to be proactive, and the best way to be proactive is to reach out to your connections with a personal message.
Now, these messages have to be carefully crafted. They need to be more than simply a sales pitch.
If you prefer doing this manually review the LinkedIn profile of the person you intend to contact and look for areas of interest that can be used to personalize your message. Try to find a personal connection between you and your potential lead.
And, of course, use the industries list feature.
You need to know the problems and the issues that this industry you are targeting is facing currently, so you can approach this potential client the right way.
This feature has helped me tremendously when crafting my messages.
First, I do my research about this particular industry I’m targeting.
I get acquainted with the problems and the issues this industry is currently facing to do my outreach the right way.
Not knowing the industry and what are they currently facing will get you assuming.
And don’t ever assume.
Assumption is the mother of all failure.
Don’t go blindfolded and expect results.
How can you possibly build a meaningful business relationship with any individual if you are not familiar with their work?
Going blind and not having any information about their industry can only make you look robotic and insensitive towards the problems they may be facing.
And if you don’t care, people will notice.
And when they do, they’ll give you the leg. I promise you that.
So, make sure that you leverage this handy feature, optimise your outreach, and let your messages do the magic!
Danco is a serial entrepreneur, founder and CEO of BizzBee Solutions, proud father of a 3-year-old and a burger enthusiast. He is inspired by growth and goes above and beyond to make it possible – whether it comes to his 300+ clients or his people. Eager to learn more? Follow Danco on LinkedIn and Facebook.