Optimize Your Networking and Make LinkedIn Work for You
2019 is here and I am being asked more and more about making LinkedIn work to gain clients. The ability to use this platform to build relationships, network with other professionals, gain clients and build your own business reputation can all be achieved if you follow three simple tips. You also have to be consistent and patient. Keep at it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Of course, you want to make sure your profile is complete and professional and stands out from the crowd.
Be Real – perhaps I should say “be human.” How many times a week do you receive what is clearly an automated message in your Inbox? For me, it’s multiple times a day. I no longer read past the first line because I know what the rest of it will say. AI may be here to stay, and bots may be applicable in some instances; however, people relate to people. Send a Connection request with a note. Be friendly, not salesy. Ask for the connection making a brief value statement if applicable. For example, “I’d love to connect with you. My company has discovered how to help your industry find skilled and unskilled labor. If I can be of service, let me know.” When they accept, thank them and maybe refer to something relating to their industry or link over to a blog you have written. Very soft, very personable, not a sales speech.
Write Original Articles – you do not need to write a novel. Once a month, or more if you are so inclined, put up an original article on LinkedIn. Use links to prior articles/blogs you have written. Keep it short and show your expertise on the particular subject matter. A few days after publishing the article, Share it as a Post. Remember to use royalty-free sites for your photos: Pikwizard, Pixabay, Unsplash
Engage with Others – remember to engage with others on LinkedIn. It’s about Sharing. Look at what others are posting and, where applicable, put up a Comment. Share a post if it makes sense to share it with your connections. Share your opinions on posts that interest you. Always be professional and respectful. LinkedIn is not Facebook and should not be used as such. As always on social platforms, I recommend staying away from controversial issues like politics unless you are truly comfortable with being outspoken about a volatile subject. People tend to want to reciprocate, so engaging with them will likely encourage them to engage with your posts/articles.
When it’s applicable, take things off-line and meet face-to-face with someone you have made a connection with on LinkedIn. Sitting down over a meal or coffee is still important and solidifies an online relationship. Of course, LinkedIn is a global network and that isn’t always feasible. You can still build strong professional relationships if you reach out, be yourself and engage with others by responding to what they are sharing.