LinkedIn is useful for much more than just job searching. The Public Speaker explains how LinkedIn can help you build your network and engage customers.
The focus should be on building relationships with prospects and customers. Make it clear that you're here to provide value, not just to sell to them.
However, I also beleive that it is only possible to develop a small number of high quality connections. So it's important to establish both types of connections within your LinkedIn network. If you aren't currently using a CRM to manage your contacts, LinkedIn provides a minimal tool to tag and track your networking interactions.
When sending a connection request, I always include a personal message that lets the person know why I’m interested in connecting with them. For example:
“Hi, My name’s Lisa Marshall, and I’ve read all of your books on networking. I talk about this topic quite a bit on my podcasts too. I’d love to invite you to share some tips on my podcasts Smart Talk and The Public Speaker.”
If I get a generic connection request, I respond by thanking the sender and asking them to tell me a little about how they found me. It’s a my to continue the conversation and start slowing building a deeper relationship. In my experience, these little interactions eventually lead to great results.
Tip #3: Use LinkedIn for Inbound Communication
I recently talked with Viveka Van Rosen, international LinkedIn expert. She explained that many LinkedIn users focus on outbound communications. Outbound communications tend to promote your products and services. You have a new book out. You launched a new product. You’re opening a new cupcake franchise.
Viveka says the focus should be on building relationships with prospects and customers. Make it clear that you're here to provide value, not just to sell to them. For example, if you’re a professional organizer, you can offer quick tips for organizing a room or saving time. You can post short videos with suggestions for how to organize your closet.
My friend, Wafik El-Diery is a world renowned cancer researcher. His profile includes several videos talking about his research and why it's so critical. It also include many of his published articles. His profile is an excellent example of both providing information and adding value.
I hope I’ve shown you that LinkedIn is a valuable resource in your professional career. Don’t wait till you need a new job to join. Use it now to build your network, communicate with customers, and learn about your industry. Then, when it’s time to change careers, you’ll already have the tools and connections you need to move forward.
This is Lisa B. Marshall, Helping you maximize sales, manage perceptions, and enhance leadership through keynotes, workshops, books, and online courses. Passionate about communication; your success is my business.
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