Here’s a simple tip to improve your effectiveness on LinkedIn.
Now, there’s very few people in the business world who haven’t heard of the social media, LinkedIn. If you haven’t, well seriously, where have you been? But the point is this, from a business-to-business perspective, it really is the number one social media because it is a business social network, a professionals’ social network.
But, because LinkedIn doesn’t quite get all of the glamour, and the PR, and the press that the likes of Facebook and Twitter do, oftentimes it’s overlooked; and those who are on LinkedIn often don’t fully appreciate just what a powerful tool it can be.
So, in this short session, I just really want to share with you just one simple tip to improve your chances of success on LinkedIn. It really, really is as simple as responding to people properly when they want to connect with you.
You see, when you’re on LinkedIn, lots and lots of people will want to connect with you if you’re in any way active in the social media, and you’ll get contact requests from loads of different people, many of whom you’ll know, many of whom you won’t know. But, arguably, if those people are potentially in your target market or could be in your target market, then it’s worth connecting with them.
But here’s how we here at Buzz maximise our chances of success on LinkedIn when we connect with people.
We go through a bit of a process. When somebody requests for us to be one of their connections, before I do that, I take a look at their business profile.
The reason for doing that is simply because I want to connect with people who are going to be relevant to me, my target market, and my business. There’s no point in connecting with people who, quite frankly, you’re never likely to do business with, either as a supplier or as a client. So we take a look at their profile first of all.
We do, actually, probably get rid of around about a third of the connection requests that we get. I hate to say it, but we’re not interested in connecting with developers in India. We’re not interested in connecting with personal development gurus in California. Why? Because either way, supplier or client, we’re unlikely to do business with them, and the reason is because we’re a local business and we like to do business locally.
We’re a Leicestershire-based business and almost all of our clients are in Leicestershire, almost all of our marketing is in Leicestershire, and to be honest, there’s no point to be connecting with some well-connected guru from the United States, unless they’re likely to refer business to me in my area. But that’s a choice for us. You may be different. You may have a slightly different take on this thing and that’s entirely up to you. I’m just saying that’s where we are and that’s why we eliminate an awful lot of people who try and connect with us on LinkedIn.
But the next step we take, if we are going to allow them to connect with us on LinkedIn, is that, yes, we allow them to connect, but here’s the key. We always send them a message when we’ve connected.
The message goes something like this:
“Hi, whatever their name is, it’s great to connect with you and, hopefully, I can be of help with you at some point here on LinkedIn. However, if there’s something you’re looking for in the short term or you think I can help, even if you just need a spot of advice, then please get in touch. I’ll be more than happy to help. Here’s my phone number. Look forward to hearing from you. Best regards, Karl.”
It really is that simple. Now, here’s an interesting thing. There’s a handful of reasons why people connect with others on LinkedIn. Some people just want a really big network. I’m not entirely sure what that will achieve. Other people do genuinely want to connect with you because you could be useful at some point now or in the not too distant future. Or, they might connect with you because you’re connected with people they want to connect with, etc. But always, no matter what, we send a message to somebody we connect with when we first connect with them.
Now, interestingly enough, what a lot of people misunderstand is that LinkedIn is a massive search engine. There are more than 300 million people on LinkedIn, and people go there and they search for stuff.
People do search for website designer in Leicestershire or in Leicester, and we want to be pitched well when it comes to that.
So we’ve done the necessary steps to make sure that we do. But, when they come and visit my profile and they want to connect with me, they’re in the market to look for something.
It would be rather shoddy of me not to respond and offer that handshake of, hey, how can we help you today? To me, that’s just good use of social media. But so few people do that. They’ll just click “Connect”, off you go. To me, that seems silly because we do win regular work out of LinkedIn.
We’ve developed a strong network on LinkedIn, and it is the number one lead-generating social media for our business. To be honest, that’s one of the few steps that we take, but it really isn’t complicated and doesn’t have to be difficult.
The key with being on social media is just to be social. Don’t just connect, communicate. Don’t just respond, take some action. Be proactive. Say to people, “Look, great to connect with you. Is there any way I can help right now? Give me a call or send me an email.” I t really is that simple.
If social media is an important marketing channel for you, then take some steps to improve it and start with this one. It doesn’t take much to improve your effectiveness on LInkedIn. It’s really simple and I promise you it will just be a matter of time before you start to pick up work and more quality connections as a result.
For more on using LinkedIn for building your business check out this blog post: http://buzzwebsitedesign.com/using-linkedin-for-marketing/