Does having hundreds of contacts on LinkedIn make you a successful networker? Not necessarily. According to Put LinkedIn to Work For You: 7 Ways published by Inc. Magazine, author Kevin Daum says, “People gather connections like colorful Easter eggs and never actually have any sort of meaningful interaction. They join groups and never engage or read the feeds. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to leverage the online networking power of LinkedIn marketing with these simple steps:
Before you create your profile, think about what you really want to achieve. Do you want to establish industry connections? Find a new career? Joining like-minded groups? Grow business opportunities? Accomplishing your purpose becomes easier when you have clear-cut goals to focus your energy on.
When professionals arrive on your page, this is your chance to shine. You won’t get a second opportunity to reverse an initial impression, so make sure your profile is engaging. Double check – no triple check — for typos or grammatical errors. In short, don’t publish your profile until it’s perfect.
Almost everyone has ties to groups that they should be a part of, such as alumni organizations, trade associations, or specific social networks. Define the industries that matter most to you, find the groups that stay up-to-the-minute on the latest happenings, and join them.
The best way to expand your network is to start with the people with whom you are already connected. Who do they know that would be a good connection for you? Ask them to put you in touch with relevant connections, and be sure to return the favor. Next, make sure you have a specific purpose in mind before reaching out to these new people. Finally, remember to thank your original connection that put you in touch in the first place.
Whether it’s a lunch date or a phone call, get some one-on-one time with important connections each week. This extra offline effort will be instrumental in building stronger relationships.
We’ve all seen the standard outgoing message when we invite people to become connections. Before you hit send, take a few minutes and compose something more meaningful. In just a few sentences, you can offer something helpful, whether it’s specific advice or an event invitation. This personalized approach will help you stand out from the template-masses.
LinkedIn is an ideal forum to post and share relevant and important information. Don’t spam people and don’t post content for the sole purpose of being seen. Instead, give your community with valuable insights that are genuinely worth sharing.
Remember, not all LinkedIn offerings will make sense for all businesses, so focus on strategies, people, and groups that bring the most value to you, and allow you to deliver the most value to this professional community.
Developing a LinkedIn strategy should be part of your brand awareness effort. When planning your upcoming marketing budget, consider devoting a bigger percentage to social media activities.
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