Let’s face it, there’s no real substitute for face to face networking, it’s a globally proven way to build business relationships. However, with LinkedIn you can network any time of the day from the convenience of your home or office, especially more significant over these challenging times ahead.
Here, I offer you some tips to help you to network on LinkedIn and develop those business relationships that really matter, and while you won’t be out networking face to face in the foreseeable future, it makes sense!
Ensure your profile stands
Oscar Wilde said, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Make sure your profile is complete, up to date and fully optimised. Check that every section has been completed so there are no obvious gaps. You want to make sure that your profile looks as professional as possible, you are the ambassador of your brand and possibly the first point of call before a prospect visits your website. Make sure your headline ‘does what it says on the tin’ so people visiting your profile know exactly what you can do for them.
Connecting and networking
Leverage your network by finding the right people; who would be an ideal client? Segment your market into sectors, key decision makers, organisations and region (if appropriate). For example, I am selling my new online LinkedIn workshops so I would probably want to connect with head of HR, the business owner or the managing director. In other words, those people who will decide on buying my services.
Use the LinkedIn search bar in the top left, click on “people” then “all filters”. This gives you the ability to search 1st and 2nd connections or connections of your 1st connections, in region, industry, company and so on. It’s best to ask a 1st connection for an introduction where possible, as the chances of success are generally higher. Don’t send an impersonal message, add some small talk, mention who you both have connections in common with, it’s important not to do the hard sell. You might want to mention a recent post or article that they’ve shared and comment on that, as a way to interact and get noticed.
Post engaging content
You’re the expert in your industry so post interesting and useful content that your connections will find of benefit to them, whether it’s sharing content you’ve seen elsewhere and sharing your views or share your own post or article on LinkedIn Publisher.
Join LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn need to do more to make groups more appealing and user friendly, but in these challenging times, why don’t you give it a go? Join groups by searching for a keyword relating to a group that you’d like to join. Of course, for this strategy to work, you need to interact with the group, participate in discussions and answer questions that will showcase your experience. Just by joining a couple of groups, your profile could be seen by hundreds or thousands of people so it could be worth trying.
I hope this has given you inspiration to use LinkedIn more proactively than you might not have done in the past. I’m confident that if you make a few small changes and invest in your time, LinkedIn will be more rewarding for you.
My online LinkedIn workshops are tailored specifically to your aims and objectives, offering real, practical, intensive and hands-on training that works. But don’t take my word for it, here are some client reviews.
Whether you’re looking a one to one or group workshop I can help. Prior to working with you, we will discuss your objectives and your workshop will be tailored accordingly. All workshops include 8 weeks’ follow-up, mentoring and support to ensure you succeed as a result.
Get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07752 539719 or via our contact page.
By Ann Davies, Director