Networking (either at events, face-to-face, or online) is all about building relationships.
It’s not about ‘selling!’
It’s simply about everyday communication. About joining in with the conversation.
Every sustainable relationship is generally built on three key stepping stones
2. Like – to varying degrees
3. Trust – to varying degrees
Using LinkedIn to best effect, can be an effective and efficient communication channel for these 3 stages.
Whilst there is still NO SUBSTITUTE for building relationships face-to-face, you can initiate and grow exciting new relationships, online.
Once you’ve met and engaged with others, in groups, and having decided there is mutual rapport and opportunity, you can set a time to meet (even if it’s only by video-conferencing on such platforms at Skype)
Once a face-to-face meeting has taken place, you can use LinkedIn and other social media platforms to continue to build and reinforce relationships; and even reinvigorate older or faded relationships –it’s a great tool for customer retention.
So let me share what I believe are 4 key reasons to engage
1. Raise your profile
• Connect with new people and those already in your client data base
• Have an outstanding personal summary in your profile
• Share ‘status updates’ with your network, regularly
• Join groups
• Comment on and be supportive of other peoples’ activities
2. Get others to know what you do
• Have a fully completed, interesting and welloptimised profile (with ‘apps’)
• Join groups
• Partake in discussions
• Give away free advice
• Ask and answer questions
3. Meet key people and decision makers
• Ask for introductions
• Build your Level 1 contacts. The more Level 1’s you have the more level 2’s you’ll be able to access.
• Ask your network to send your profile to their network – ask for referrals
• Write directly to fellow members of groups to proactively initiate relationships
• Write directly through InMails (premium accounts only) to start relationships
• Follow companies to find key people
4. Help others with their business challenges
• Introduce your level 1’s to each other where you know people who can help or who would be good introductions
• Share your experiences
• Offer advice and guidance where relevant.
Networking across the social media and on LinkedIn can help you with these simple but important activities.
Are you engaged yet?
Or are you still waiting to see if LinkedIn is here to stay?
Don’t get left behind!