By Will Kintish, Business Networking Skills And LinkedIn Authority
You set your profile up, however complete or incomplete, then do nothing.
Users who are proactive:
- Amend their profile regularly so some of their network see this in their home page news feed.
Obviously if you change your job tell the world. If you are getting involved in a new marketplace, mention it. You will sometimes have a different opinion about things; change your profile. Video is the now (not the future) so every so often add or change a video. I have a saying which works for me “Strategy for survival is visibility”.
- Update their status regularly informing their network of useful or interesting business based ideas or news.
What can you say?
- Tell people about your successes
- Share information from other websites
- Ask questions where you think your network can help
- If you have a vacancy advertise it here. It’s free!
- Occasionally promote your services and products
- If you’re a tweeter, tick the box and you are tweeting at the same time
- Review other peoples’ updates on their homepage and comment
People love having you focus on them. If someone has done something you feel they are proud of, comment on it, they will like you for it.
- Share the profiles of their level 1 contacts with others in their network.
The first principle of networking is being kind. Help, share and support; so when you think one of your level 1 contacts could be a good contact to someone else on LinkedIn suggest to them why you’d like to broker an introduction.
- Ask for introductions to level 2 contacts from their level 1’s.
When people like and trust you they will always be happy to help you. When you spot level 2 contacts you want to meet ask your level 1 contacts to introduce you. Ensure though you always email or call them first as many people are linked to others and simply don’t know them. Asking for an introduction in those circumstances, I believe, is a waste of time
- Check peoples’ profiles when theirs have been viewed.
Every business relationship starts somewhere. When people check my profile I sometimes check theirs if they look interesting. If they are really interesting i.e. a potential prospect I will write them a message or invite them to link in.
- Invite new contacts both external and internal.
When you have more level 1 contacts you will obviously have lots more level 2’s. They can often be your key contacts] when you use the advanced search button. They are often people who you want to meet but you don’t know them. But hopefully your level 1 contacts do.
- Use the advanced search button to find useful contacts.
LinkedIn is simply a 135,000,000+ database. Using most of the data fields is free. So when you fill in the relevant fields you can find bulls-eye targets you want to meet. Often they will be level 2’s; again ask your level 1’s for an introduction
- Join and contribute to relevant groups.
There are 1m+ groups on LinkedIn relating to every topic you can imagine. Consider joining these groups, and regard it as if you have joined a club. Like everything in life what you put into something you normally get something out and this is relevant for LinkedIn groups. If your target market is a particular industry or you are involved in research in a certain area join those groups. For example much of my advise is given to professional services firms so I am in groups like Legal Marketing and Managing Partners. Being in a club and not attending or not being visible is often a waste of time (and money).
Here you should write articles, comment on what other group members say and start your own discussions. Sometimes be controversial - this often stimulates good but, I hope, business-like articles. LinkedIn is all about engaging not selling but when your marketplace sees what you have to say having used your knowledge experience and expertise this can sometimes lead to a ‘sell’.
- Set up a group where relevant.
The same applies when you set up a group. But ensure when you do you keep it active and follow similar suggestions in the previous paragraph.
- Follow target companies and use the signal application.
If you are interested in following companies say so on their company page and if you want to know their news look out for the ‘signal or company buzz‘ button under the ‘More’ button at the top of any LinkedIn page.
- Use LinkedIn for recruitment
LinkedIn started as a recruitment site and even today about 40% of its income comes from that source. Lots of members recruit and / or find a job. Check out the ‘Jobs’ button at the top toolbar on any LinkedIn page
- Search for useful information using the ‘answers’ section.
Click on the ‘More’ button along the top toolbar and you see the first heading is Answers. This again is a massive area for you to be proactive by getting involved in discussions around your particular area of work.
- Post events and run polls.
And finally, again under the ‘More’ button you can do just that; promote events and do surveys.
The author of this article is Will Kintish, leading UK authority on effective and confident networking both offline and online. If you’d like Will to speak at your conference or training workshops, call him on 0161 773 3727. Visit www.kintish.co.uk and www.linkedintraining.co.uk for further free and valuable information on all aspects of networking.
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