Linkedin power networking - 3 simple steps
How to power connect on LinkedIn. Lead with a theme, dress up to mean business and stay consistent.
Let's face it, Social Network is no longer the network that once set the internet on fire. Finding a long-lost friend or getting back with a distant relation from another continent. Today it is about conversations gone digital and a place to showcase what you got.
LinkedIn in contrast still has quite a bit of networking left. It has been trying hard to come out of that mold and be more a place of professional content and exchanges but let's face it, it is still primarily being used to connect with people.
LinkedIn networking can be a bit of cringefest if not done right. Butting in with a digital hand out without context is awkward. However, put in a little thought and some structure and you can come out blazing.
Start with a theme.
Figure out what you want to be known for and zero in on a theme. You can pick a niche like local business marketing or say go green or say work-life balance. Whatever you pick, stick to it to build your audience and a thread of continuity. The theme can be complementary to your ultimate goal behind networking or you can simply pick something that strokes your passion. I recently came across a successful real estate agent who also happens to be an accomplished musician. No points for guessing but his motivation is to help other musicians make additional cash through real estate. This helps get referrals too for his business.
Next, set up a profile that is ready for networking. We mean business here.
Don't use something from a crazy party shot or something that will freak people out. Note, people are going to open up your profile when you reach out. Avoid selfies with things showing in the background etc. Just do a day at work kind of picture.
Fill out your profile.
Don't just make it look like a resume. Worse just one entry of your current role and the rest empty. It smacks of laziness or lack of seriousness. To some others, it may even look like a bot or a fake account. Lack of details is a big NO. Provide real details and write about things that you care for and make for an interesting read. Give people a reason to accept your request.
Get that title right
If your LinkedIn title says your last job was as a President, but you ignore to mention it was at your school cultural club then you are not building trust. You don't want to start a new professional connect with that. It may actually be better to avoid big fat tites and instead use words around what you actually do. The title is to both impress as well as break the ice.
Put up some posts.
Show off what you got. Write up a few long articles around your theme. Present some well-researched content that grabs eyeballs. Avoid jargon-busting as people don't really care. Instead, write short and simple and write often. Consistency is as important as quality.
Join relevant groups, events
Reinforce your core networking theme with relevant communities. This does two things
- Expand your 2nd level connections.
- You have more in context now to strike up a conversation when you reach out with a connection request.
Context when you send a connection request
It's inconclusive on whether connection requests with a message body works better than simply the one-click connect option. From our own Linkdra platform, we know that a good message body makes a difference. So does timing. But the most important one is context i.e. why are you are reaching out. Share something that means value rather than go salesy.
Your theme, the groups you are part of, the events you are attending or hosting all lend to that context setting.
Ask without being pushy
You are networking, and that means there is an Ask. Keep it modest and don't come in guns blazing. A big ask can put off people. The same goes for multiple follow-ups when you don't get a response post connect.
You don't get up one morning and run for the Olympics. It takes time and preparation. Structure and consistency are essential to win. Happy networking.
If you need to know more on how Linkdra can help you grow your network let's connect.