by Kirsten Hodgson
With more than 175 million members as of September 2012 (source: Wikipedia), standing out from the crowd on LinkedIn is important if you want to position yourself as an expert in your field.
The following three actions will help you to do this. By adding value to your relationships you will be remembered and more likely to create long-term and interactive connections.
In terms of offline networking, the actions below are similar to meeting someone at a conference and making an off-hand remark about a case you are interested in. A few weeks later you receive an article about that case along with a note saying how nice it was to meet you. How would this make you feel about that person?
Action 1: Each month introduce two of your LinkedIn connections who’d benefit from meeting one another.
I use LinkedIn’s messages to do this. When writing your message, make sure you let them know the reason for the introduction (e.g. targeting similar clients, offering complementary services), a brief summary of how you know each person and their skill-sets. Make sure you keep a note of introductions you’ve made so that you can follow up and see if the people connected/met down the track.
Action 2: When you come across an article that will be of interest to one or more of your LinkedIn connections, share it with them directly using LinkedIn email.
Let them know why you think it will be of interest to them and why they should read it. This may be something you or a third party has written. For example, if there is an upcoming legislative change you may want to give certain people a heads up…even if you don’t know much more at this stage, the fact that you’re the person bringing it to their attention means they are more likely to think of you if and when they need some help. This shows the other person that you are thinking of them and their needs and helps to position you as someone who understands their business/industry.
Action 3: After accepting someone’s invitation to connect on LinkedIn ALWAYS send them a follow up message thanking them for their invite.
This simple step invites people to continue the conversation should they wish to do so. I do this routinely and, as a result, had two prospective clients (with who I had no prior relationship) email me back to request a meeting to see if I could help them within a two-week timeframe. They have both, subsequently, become clients.
These three actions are simple to implement but can have a huge impact on you and on the others involved.
Action: Put the above three actions as recurring tasks in your calendar or social media action plan. Then monitor what happens.
In the words of C.G. Watson “Every action triggers a reaction.” Try to make your connections react positively to yours.
Which LinkedIn actions do you recommend or appreciate?
Image courtesy digitalart via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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