If you will ever now or in the future need to get a new job, change careers, get advice from experts, build a business, build a following or do just about anything in the professional world, you should be on and active on LinkedIn.
You can connect with people online first or offline first. If you network in person, LinkedIn is a good way to stay in touch with people. If you connect first on LinkedIn, you should try to take it offline as well (whether it’s a call or a coffee visit). LinkedIn is a great tool to keep the conversation going, stay top of mind, and allow you to help as many people as possible.
Don’t let the first or only interaction between you and your contacts be selling. Don’t focus on how you will benefit. Don’t think ‘well if I say hi, introduce myself, and have a few chats, I can sell.” Think about how YOU will provide value.
What would you think of someone that asked a favor the first time they met you. Or someone that you’ve known in the past but recently reconnected just to ask a favor.
The key to making LinkedIn work for you to focus on giving and helping people FIRST. LinkedIn helps you help people first.
Find ways to be helpful to 3 specific people every day or every week. Find out what’s most important to them (don’t ask if you can help them with life insurance or whatever you’re selling — that is selling not helping).
Focus on them. Find out what their concerns are. To avoid a knee jerk reaction, make it NOTHING about what you do. Just figure out a way to help them in some way. If you can’t help right away, interact with their posts. Find something that pertains to their post and direct message them about it (don’t highjack their post either — that’s just poor social media etiquette).
If you have someone that would be a good networking fit, introduce them. If you know someone that is looking for what they are selling, is a good fit for a job opening they recently posted, or maybe a good natural referral partner, introduce them. Don’t introduce them to someone in your network that is just a show-up and throw-up person. Don’t introduce them to someone that is just going to sell.
You can interact with them by liking, commenting and sharing their content. You can promote people that you love and help them get exposure. You can GIVE FIRST!
Build up your network. Help people. Go out of your way to connect people, provide true value, and be kind.
In Harvey Mackay’s book aptly named Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty, hetalks about the importance of establishing relationships long before you need them. He talks about the importance of being seen, being heard, and being helpful.
Just keep in mind: provide your network with what THEY need and what THEY want. Be kind. Be helpful.
Building your network is the right thing to do … and it will benefit you more than you will ever know!