LinkedIn ~ “I have got some connections. What next?”

100 Million Users.

An increasing number of contacts.

More groups.

Increased participation in discussions.

And … a few emails.

But no business!

Sound familiar!

You are not alone. There are many people on LinkedIn who are stuck.

There is no business development traction. If anything you are finding it increasingly hard to maintain your engagement. Let’s face it with all the other tasks you are involved in, fee earning notwithstanding, you could do without having to think about LinkedIn.

If nothing else, no one has told you what you are supposed to do, and whilst you can see the benefit of LinkedIn for recruitment or connecting with old colleagues, the purview for business development seems limited.

But don’t give up – not yet.

If you haven’t yet organised your contacts, you need to sort out your tags so that you sub-divide those contacts that offer the best opportunity of generating leads or new business either directly or through a referral. The alternative is to wade through all your contacts. Try grouping them into 1st level, 2nd level and so on. You need to consider which contacts are going to be buyers and which referrers. Better still in the tradition of The Go-Giver, think how you can introduce one contact to the other, to make you the Big Cheese on Campus. This is no different to a face to face event where rather than looking to sell you or your services, you should attempt to introduce or refer business the way of the people present. This is so powerful.

What material can you share with your contacts that might add value? Don’t just think about your material but other sites which would be helpful. Try not to send them the way of your competitors. There is no point in having a connection if you are not constantly looking to engage.

Start looking at blogs and websites that have share buttons with a LinkedIn button and deciding whether any of your contacts might be interested in the content. But don’t just send them the information without further ado. No, you need to be reaching out and explaining why this information is so important, and perhaps suggest a meet up to explain the significance.

The important thing to remember is that your LinkedIn contacts are not going to come looking for you unless your stay close to them, helpful and they think you can add value to their business.

Give yourself the target of growing your contacts each day – try to connect with 3 old and 3 new contacts – but at the same time have a systematic process of contacting your contacts. Don’t just rely on InMail. See if they have a contact telephone number. If they do, call them.

“Hi it’s [name]. I am just touching base. It is a while since we last connected on LinkedIn.”

What about organsing a meet up for all your LinkedIn contacts? Organise the event, and make it easy for people to attend. Use the events page on LinkedIn.

What about using your group to set up a Mastermind group? Or a monthly get together to exchange best practice or intelligence?

The point is: you need to be ultra committed to using LinkedIn as something more than a place to deposit your CV. Give yourself some objectives.

One final note, be careful about the recommendations that you are seeking. There is no right or wrong number but once you get to certain point, you may end up creating the impression that all you do is spend your time getting recommendations, and it lessens the impact of the really good ones from the so so ones.

~ JS ~

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