by Todd Schnick
If you are in business, you likely have an account on LinkedIn. This is good. But I doubt that most of you are using the simple functions the social network provides to your strategic advantage.
And as is usually the case, it is simpler than you think.
And yeah, it will take some time. But not hours, like you’re worried about. So, let’s get that out of the way first. You will have to invest a few minutes here and there to achieve anything with this. No shortcuts here, bud.
Okay, then. Moving on.
Three simple ways to get more leverage out of LinkedIn:
Scroll through your status updates and connect with people you see there by sending a simple personal message. That’s it. LinkedIn provides a way to send a simple message — especially easy on smartphone and tablet apps. Use this to your advantage. Say hello. Ask how things are going. Is business going well? New job going nicely? Enjoying the promotion? Send simple one or two sentence notes to touch base.
If they respond? Boom. You’ve got yourself a conversation started.
LinkedIn provides a daily email that informs you to congratulate someone on a new gig. So do so. Use this as a trigger event to make contact with this person. Offer to help with the new gig. You never know where those conversations will lead. For me, I’ve sold business this way, including someone who couldn’t hire me at their last job, but had permission to contract with me at their new gig.
Work anniversaries…a relatively new feature of the LinkedIn daily email. Here, you will be presented with a short list of some of your contacts who are celebrating an anniversary at their current organization.
This is a heck of an opportunity to reach out and say hello to someone you’ve been wanting to reconnect with. But the key again? Do not merely phone it in and send the default “Congrats!” message. That’s completely worthless. In addition to offering your heartfelt congratulations, take the opportunity to offer additional meaningful comments that just might spark a deeper conversation. You never know where it might lead.
So that’s it. That’s all there is to it. Three simple ways to connect/reconnect with people potentially important to you. But the key to success with these simple little strategy?
Don’t overthink it. Do overlay too much grandiose strategy, messaging, keyword research, and tactical execution. You don’t need an all-hands-on-deck session in the conference room to whiteboard all this out. This is simply about one thing. Using your LinkedIn network to connect with a fellow human being, saying hello, and striking up a conversation. Well, two things — keeping it all organized in Nimble!
This conversation might lead to a little dialog.
This dialog might lead to a phone call.
This phone call might lead to a cup of coffee.
Boom. That’s what you’re after. A connection.
From there, the sale is up to you. But you’ve done the hard part….
About the Author: Todd Schnick has advised hundreds of organizations ranging from tech startups to multi-million dollar organizations. He serves as a marketing, sales, and business strategist. His popular radio shows include Intrepid Radio, Manufacturing Revival Radio, Business in the Morning, TheFoodStudio, and Health Care Insider.