The right way to link in: Polishing your LinkedIn etiquette

The right way to link in: Polishing your LinkedIn etiquette

Last week in the first of this three-part guide to using LinkedIn more effectively, we looked at laying the groundwork for your LinkedIn profile.

Now that you’ve got the right mindset, you’re on your way to writing a great introductory email.

But before you do that, you need to double-check that you are coming from the right space.

1. Respect time

Remember that attention is a scarce commodity. Asking someone for five minutes of their time is like asking them for $50. There’s no reason for them to give it to you just because you want it. You have to make it worth their while.

2. Make 100% sure they’re the right person

People have written to me offering to run my call centres. I don’t use them. If getting cold-call emails is irritating then getting one that has nothing to do with your business is worse. If you aren’t 100% sure you’re speaking to the right person then do more research. Social is about, as Bryan Kramer says, human to human connection: “There is no B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human: #H2H.”

3. It’s not about you

You want to build your business, and that’s important to you, but it’s not important to others. Don’t waste time telling people how great you are. Instead, focus on them. What are their interests, needs and passions, how can you be of benefit to them?

4. Mutuality matters

As Forbes and Huffington Post writer Kare Anderson reminds us, mutuality matters. You’ve got to come together over interests that are mutually beneficial. Finding this sweet spot is far more sophisticated than ’you scratch my back and I scratch yours’. It’s about understanding that everyone benefits from the connection over time even when it’s not immediately apparent.

If you’ve got the right mindset, you can write a great introductory note – which is what we’ll be doing next.

Dionne Kasian-Lew is the CEO of the Social Executive®, an advisor to boards and senior executives on digital and social media rated in the top 1% for global community influence by Kred. Her latest book The Social Executive – Why Leaders Need Social Media and How It’s Good For Business (Wiley) is now available.

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