If you’re looking to expand your network, gain new lead sources, or build business connections, LinkedIn is a MUST HAVE social media platform to be active on.
You’ll find recruiters using LinkedIn to find job candidates; CEOs looking to grow their influence and build trust with buyers; and solopreneurs looking for freelancers to build their dream team. In the world of business relationships, you just never know who you’ll meet that will possibly send you your most lucrative client, so growing your network steadily and consistently makes good business sense.
I’ve been on LinkedIn for years, for corporate and then utilizing it for my business growth. I’ve had good success with not only gaining clients and leads from this platform - but also authentically creating connections and building professional network referrals.
After being on LinkedIn for so long, helping others to organize and establish a strong profile - I have a few tips to help others out to set you up for success on the platform. I am telling you, LinkedIn is a forgotten networking tool. I am here to replenish and revitalize this lead source and show you how to best navigate it.
Here are my TOP 5 tips:
1. Nobody likes a spammer. Logging in to your dashboard and sending out a blast of connection requests is not a good use of your time. And if you think blasting your current connections with your latest product, service, or event will make you instant friends or business connections, think again. These are typical forms of spamming which will lose you connections instead of gaining them. You will be ignored.
2. Don’t use people just for introductions. When someone accepts your connection, get to know that person and their company before asking for introductions to others in their network. People are very protective of their networks and will pick and choose whom they allow access. If they refer you to their connection, and that introduction or meeting doesn’t go well, then THEIR reputation is at stake. Building relationships goes two ways for this exact reason.
3. Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. Follow this simple common sense: If you don’t want to be bombarded with connection requests and product offers or offers to join teams and you don’t know the person asking, why would you do those same things to others? Connect with others who have a common interest or whose companies compliment yours. A personalized connection request makes a big difference, too. Take the time to research and understand their business and service or product. Incorporate that into your welcome message. It can do a long way.
4. Allow time to build relationships and to build your network. Be patient. Be consistent. Your network will NOT grow overnight, especially if you use spam tactics to connect with people. Again, please don’t do this. Think of networking as the “planting of seeds,” where you certainly talk about what you do and who you are but in a natural, organic, and authentic way instead of in sales mode. If you are posting regularly - your name will show up in their feed, on their notifications, you’ll be on the radar. Over time your connections will remember what you do and if they like your style, they will readily refer people to you.
5. Provide value to others. Speaking of posting…one way to showcase your expertise to your LinkedIn connections is to share consistently. Write articles, participate in groups, ask questions, and share about your mission and why it’s important to you. Educate your followers about what you do or the problems you can solve. When done consistently, this type of sharing will keep you in people’s minds and you just never know when they will be ready to hire you or send you a referral.
Networking on LinkedIn really boils down to common sense: Act professionally so you portray your business in the best possible light and be authentic in your interactions. Taking the approach of natural, organic, and real - this is what will set you apart from all the others.
You can prospect and build lead generation on LinkedIn, done the right way - this can be an incredible source for client referrals.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Jackie Sinclair