Think of LinkedIn like a real-life networking event. If you walk in and try and tell everybody about your product right away, people are going to be annoyed. They’ll avoid speaking with you all together. Same thing goes for LinkedIn! Timothy Hughes (@) talks about this in his book “Social Selling”.
Personalize your message to whomever you’re trying to connect with. DO NOT leave the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn”. Also, don’t try to sell them on your product on the ‘introduction’ screen.
Instead, lead with something genuine! I like to comment something nice about their experience or background. Maybe we have mutual connections in common. Perhaps they’d be an asset to my network because we’re in the same industry. Whatever the case may be, take an extra second and personalize it. You’d be surprised at what people have to say in return.
That took me an entire 3 minutes to look up the most recent post Jason shared, personalize the approach and send the connection request. Now, when Jason accepts, he’s going to see my personalized message and think, ‘Hmm… This guy actually took a few minutes to be relevant. I wonder what he does.’ This could be the beginning to a long and prosperous relationship and I could even help him with a problem someday.
2. Save the Math Equations For Facebook
If you truly care about developing your network, providing value and establishing yourself as an industry thought leader, don’t bother engaging with things that are a waste of time. They seem harmless and it’s an easy way to get a lot of new profile views and connections, but all its takes is one bad ‘like’ and you could ruin your reputation to a potential influencer or buyer. Because… as I’m sure you’ve all seen, you accept a new connection and your feed gets filled with junk.
For most of us, I don’t want to clog my feed with silly things. Once I see someone like, share or comment on something irrelevant to my ‘world’, I either ‘hide this particular update’ or ‘unfollow user’. I don’t have time to scroll through my feed and see something irrelevant. I go to Facebook and Instagram for that stuff.
Think of it this way; would your boss, mentor or favorite leader find your post worthwhile? If not… then don’t like or comment.
3. Show Your Appreciation!
When someone comments or shares your content, send them over a quick thank you. Envision this: Karen shares my article with her network of 2,000 people. My name, and article have just been introduced to her network. That’s a completely new audience that I’ve been introduced to… Maybe someone in Karen’s network has some questions for me about what I do for a living.
You never know the opportunities that can present themselves unless you do the little things. All of these tips only take a little time to do but will pay off tenfold. If the person never connects with you, even though you personalized it, don’t get discouraged! You can always remove your connection request and try again. (LinkedIn Article on how to do that)