LinkedIn is a different fish altogether when it comes to social media platforms. Facebook and Twitter and even Instagram are much more socially inclined, and can often lead to some pretty in-depth conversations on just about anything (OK, well maybe not Instagram for the in-depth conversations.). LinkedIn is on the more serious, “let’s do business” side. And while it might be easier to build relationships on the other platforms, for many of us, it’s where are target market and higher paying clients hang out. With that in mind, I’ve been working really hard at beefing up my LinkedIn Profile. And I’m seeing some pretty good results for all of my efforts.
However, with the influx of invitations resulting from all my hard work, I’m also seeing a big difference in the way people connect and follow up. There is a right way and a wrong way to do both.
Here are just a few of my observations.
Make sure your profile has a real profile picture. Not the avatar LinkedIn provides. Not an obvious selfie with your lips pursed out with a duck face and your arms sticking out in front of you holding the camera. And not an old photo with your friend cropped out of the picture. If you can’t afford a professional one, at least have someone take a decent one of you with either a professional background or no background at all.
- Complete your profile. Really, it’s important. The more people can find out about you, the more apt they will be to connect with you. There is a little blue thingamabob on the right side of your profile that shows you how complete your profile is and whether or not it needs more information. I would go so far as to suggest making all of your non-sensitive profile information available to the public. As I said … the more they know, the more apt they’ll be to connect.
- Don’t start inviting people to connect willy nilly just because they are in your industry. Yes, coaches want to connect with coaches and speakers with speakers, but don’t go overboard. As an example: My company provides online marketing support to professional speakers and coaches. Our services cover just about anything related to online marketing, including social media. There may be others who provide similar services on LinkedIn, however, that doesn’t mean I want to (and I won’t) connect with every other marketing support company or social media agency on the planet. I use LinkedIn to build relationships for marketing, not hang out with my peeps. There are perfectly lovely Facebook groups that allow me to connect with others in my industry. I’m sure that’s the same with most industries.
- Send a personalized note whenever you reach out to someone to connect. Don’t use the standard “I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn Network” approach. If at all possible, remind them of how you know them or tell them why you want to connect.
- When someone accepts your invitation, it’s a great idea to send a quick message thanking them for connecting and inviting them to contact you if they need anything. Do NOT start selling to them or pushing your products and services!
- Don’t use a “let’s have a get to know you call” as a way to slip in and push your services. I get these all the time, and it’s irritating as heck. What is suppose to be a quick call just to get to know each other and see how you can help each other inevitably turns into an invitation to join one of their groups or take one of their programs or … well, you get the idea.
- A connection on LinkedIn is just that. A connection on LinkedIn. It is not an open invitation for you to add them to your email list or any other social media platform, so just don’t do it. End of story.
- Do NOT start sending bulk LinkedIn messages to your contacts with articles and information about your business. That’s also irritating as heck, and can get you dropped as a contact. Fast.
Not to leave you hanging with a lot of “do nots,” DO like, share and comment on your contacts updates and long posts. Build relationships the right way, not the wrong way.Like, share and comment on your LinkedIn contacts updates to build relationships the right way.Click To Tweet
Want to connect with me on LinkedIn? IF I would be a good connection for you, you can do so here! And IF you would be a good connection for me, I’d be more than happy to connect!
Also published on Medium.