The truth is, when it comes to business, you can’t afford to adopt an exclusive networking approach, such as only connecting with people on LinkedIn who you know.
The very reason that social media exists is to connect with people and networks that you haven’t yet encountered in person and to enhance the relationships you have with current connections.
It is geographically impossible to reach out to another industry or individual on a daily basis without venturing outside of your personal sphere. Last year, LinkedIn reported having over 225 million users and that number is growing. How can you be a part of this business world?
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Here are the seven steps to start high-level connecting on LinkedIn:
- Create a knockout profile This starts with a smart and savvy title. Try to avoid being generic and cultivate a name that is recognisable but will also standout.
- Research Look at other professionals in your industry and take note of what they’re doing. What works well? What doesn’t sit right with you? Make a list.
- Choose the right picture LinkedIn is like online dating for business. They need to see what you’re about in one carefully selected snapshot. Review a selection with your colleagues or mentor, and consider having the right one taken professionally.
- Review connections thoroughly Take time to look at every profile you add and consider how you might be able to work with them in the future. Pinpoint what they are about and then figure out how (and with what) you will approach them with now and in the future. Sometimes it is worth waiting until you learn more about their offering.
- Consider upgrading For a reasonable monthly fee you can have full access to LinkedIn, which enables you to view everyone who has checked out your profile and to send InMail to people who are not yet connections.
- Send a person of interest an InMail Ask yourself – what can you do for them? It’s important to treat every connection as a person, not a potential business sale. You’ve got every right to contact a connection in a sincere and well thought out manner.
- Be active Don’t let your profile lie dormant for any amount of time. Contribute daily to discussions and share your knowledge. Ensure you post relevant updates regularly.