Are you leveraging opportunities on LinkedIn?
Networking on LinkedIn is about making connections without being salesy. Just like you wouldn’t attend a networking event in person to sell, it’s the same on LinkedIn. It’s about meeting people, listening to what their issues are, asking questions, and getting to know them.
Here are 10 in-person strategies you can use on LinkedIn
1. Bring the whole package
You wouldn’t half-heartedly attend a networking event, so don’t do it on LinkedIn. Make sure your profile is 100% complete. According to LinkedIn’s research, people get 40x more opportunities if their profiles are complete. Make sure you have a profile photo, your headline is descriptive, and include two or three work experiences, NOT just the titles – it helps to describe what you did in each position.
2. Think beyond your paid jobs
Present your whole, well-rounded self on LinkedIn. Whether it’s volunteer work, projects you’ve completed, courses that you’ve taken, or organizations that you support – include all your ‘extras’ on LinkedIn. This information helps people get to know you, so they understand what motivates you, and promotes a deeper, more meaningful conversation.
3. Use the LinkedIn Inbox
You don’t have to reach out to strangers. Start by exporting your email contacts list, so you can connect with people you already know. This is a critical step because there may be people you email all the time that don’t know what you do for a living.
4. Get personal and be authentic
Don’t worry about writing everything perfect. It always reads better, and is more conversational, when you write what you would actually say. So, if your summary section reads more like a résumé than a conversation it needs some work. When corresponding, don’t use the default messages that LinkedIn provides, change it up and make it your own.
5. Join groups
LinkedIn groups have a lot of value. It’s where you can network and join conversations with like-minded individuals. Join a group about an organization that you support, a group with industry thought leaders, a group of peers, or a group filled with your target market. Groups allow you to get a variety of perspectives, and you may be able to offer your services to some group members.
6. Lend a hand and be of service
Networking in person or online is about learning about people and serving them. Figure out where you can be of service on LinkedIn. If someone asks a question, and you know the answer, or know someone you can refer them to chime into that conversation. Each post on LinkedIn is an opportunity to start a conversation. This will help your brand and show that you’re helpful and of service to others.
7. Consistently update your status
Be consistent and active on LinkedIn. Regularly post updates, publish articles, and engage in posts from other people. If you go to a networking event every month, you will reap more benefits than if you pop in once every six months. The same concept applies to LinkedIn. Consistency allows you to build relationships.
8. Request opportunities to talk to people
NOT opportunities to sell to them. Ideally, as you’re building a relationship, you’ll look for opportunities to talk to people. Maybe it’s an interview about something in their industry, or finding out how you might be able to help them. Reach out to people you would like to networking with by sending a personalized message over LinkedIn and invite them to a quick 15-minute phone conversation.
9. Do your homework
It’s not enough to say, “I want to learn more about your business.” Do research online, and visit their website so you can come to the phone conversation informed and can have a viable, relevant, and meaningful conversation. Take a look at their interests and what organizations they’re involved in along with their work experience. This gives you things to talk about when you’re on the phone.
10. Step away from the computer
LinkedIn is great for networking, but business and sales aren’t going to happen online. They happen in person. Reach out for the phone and call. Find out where the person will be next – maybe a networking event or conference – so that you can meet in person. Consider using LinkedIn to invite connections to lunch or coffee. You can also reach out via email outside of LinkedIn, or send them something via snail mail. There are a lot of ways to connect offline.
By committing a few minutes each day, you can leverage LinkedIn and build relationships both online and offline.
Looking for more information about how you can take control of LinkedIn? Click here to schedule a call to discuss how you can use LinkedIn to launch your business and grow it.