Networking and LinkedIn – combine the two for ultimate success.
When I speak at events or run workshops about LinkedIn, there is always a key message that I want to get across to the attendees. This message is that to make LinkedIn work successfully for you and your business, you need to combine your online efforts with meeting people face to face, speaking to them on the phone and (of course) having continued conversation / interaction with them on LinkedIn.
So if you are of the mind-set that “I went to one networking meeting, that’s enough to get me a client” you need to change. You need to make sure that not only are you attending the networking meeting regularly, but that you are giving fantastic content online regularly also. By doing this, you will ensure you are firmly in the centre of that potential client’s radar, so that when they decide to buy, YOU are at the forefront of their mind.
Why does networking and LinkedIn work so well together?
- People buy people, so if you have met someone and they like YOU they will recommend you as opposed to others in the same field. Being connected with each other on LinkedIn will remind that person about you.
- You must connect with people within 48 hours of meeting them so you are fresh in their mind. Don’t forget to add a personal note when you connect; you could remind them where you met.
- Be helpful – when networking, see how you can help others then make sure you follow up on these promises by email or LinkedIn. You could add the information as a status update on LinkedIn and @tag them so that all your contacts will see the information as well.
- Connect with the networking organisers. It is a great way to gain more exposure if you are connected to the organiser, and you may then show up in people’s “people you may know” section on LinkedIn when they too connect with the organiser. This will lead to more connections.
- Join the LinkedIn group – does your networking group have a LinkedIn group? Groups are a great way to showcase you expertise to the members, plus keep the connection there between meetings. If you look at the members’ section of the group you could connect with all the members (with a personal note of course). If you are well-connected in the group, you will find you have more profile views which could lead to more clients.
- Connect with people before the event – this works brilliantly for conferences and has worked really well for me. When you book on an event, have a look at the list of attendees or exhibitors and connect with them before you go. You could even arrange to meet up at the event – what a great way to meet influencers or clients when you have something pre-arranged. Don’t forget a follow-up when you return to the office.
- Keep the members in a LinkedIn ‘tag’. You will be able to easily identify these members and regularly ‘like’ and share their content as well as endorse them for the skills they have. This will keep you in the forefront of their minds should they, or someone they know, need your services.
Wait – what if you don’t network?! It’s fine, think about who you need to reach in your business – keep them on your radar, connect with them on other social sites, regularly ‘like’ and share their content. Give useful content so they start to know who you are and what you do, then when the time is right, see if you can speak to them on the phone or meet them one to one. If you have a good reason, or are sharing something of value, I am sure they will say “yes”. After all if you are seen as the expert in your field on LinkedIn, they will want to pick your brains!
Networking and LinkedIn are not a quick fix; they both require dedication to bring in more clients for your business. If you want to get a LinkedIn plan in place, please do get in contact with me. firstname.lastname@example.org
What to do now:
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Jade Pluck owner of LinkedIn to Success, not only writes your LinkedIn profile so that you get found by potential clients, but most importantly teaches you how to use it effectively, so that you gain more business from it.
LinkedIn is an essential business tool that utilises your business connections to grow your business, so it is essential to make sure your profile is complete and that you are using it regularly in your business.
For more information, please look at my website www.linkedintosuccess.co.uk