LinkedIn is no longer just an online CV or resume, it is a value place for business professionals to connect, grow their thought leadership status, gather leads, explore opportunities, and potentially create wealth.
When you are looking at connecting with people on LinkedIn there are a couple of steps to follow:1. Personalise your connection requests
How often you just click accept when you receive the generic LinkedIn request? I am much more likely to accept if someone has included one of these points in the request:
- Where and how I met them
- Who we have in common
- Why they want to connect
- What they have to offer
- What I am wanting from them.
Not only does it personalise the message, it gives a reason to connect and can be a great conversation starter as a relationship builds.
Note – you can’t send a personalised request from mobile unless you go to that person’s full profile. Also if you connect with people from the “People you may know section” you can’t personalise this either.2. Complete your profile fully
Engage with your profile from a potential connections perspective, the more complete your profile is the more likely people are to take you seriously. Start with:
- A great professional photo
- An interesting headline
- A well-crafted summary telling people what you can do for them
- And then complete each section of your profile.
- LinkedIn ranks profiles on their completeness, you want to get to All Star Level.
3. Ask for introductions
If someone is a second degree connection you can ask your first degree connection for an introduction. Be clear about why you are doing this and what benefits it will have for them. Alternatively you can upgrade your account to make use of InMail.
4. Join Groups
Groups are a major advantage to individuals on LinkedIn as they provide an alternative way to connect with people who are outside your sphere of contacts. You can reach out to people privately both and publicly within each topic of discussion.
Use groups to build your thought leadership status by participating in discussions and sharing your expertise. There are over 1 million groups on LinkedIn, so look for ones in your industry, industries your clients and potential clients are in, those that your industry influencers are in, and join these to start engaging.
5. Connect on the go
When you are out networking, you can search for an connect with people there and then, alternatively when you get back to the office, go through the business cards you have received and then go back to step one and personally invite people to connect.