Use LinkedIn To Grow Your Business (Part Four)

Use LinkedIn To Grow Your Business (Part Four)

As we end our conversation on LinkedIn, I want to share some ways that you can really shine by using this tool. In the article “21 Ways To Master LinkedIn” I learned three sure-fire ways to succeed using LinkedIn that I want to share.

The important message, as I see it, is that this technology can help you if you use it, but you can’t just use any technology and expect instant results. You have to use that technology to the fullest in order to get true results. So what’s the right way to use LinkedIn? Here are some tips:

1) Get Social From “Hello.” What do I mean? I never send someone one of those invitation templates. Seriously, could you get any lazier? Take the 30 seconds needed and write a two-sentence note. This positions you as different from the start because apparently the rest of the world has gotten lazy. When someone sends you an invite, take a minute to write an actual response (even when you get a template invite). Doing this inspires someone to not only remember you, but shoot you a note back. At that point you’re starting to get “social” and that puts you one step closer to real-time results.

2) Get On Their Radar Screen. Refresh your status update daily. More importantly than your status update is the status of your links. You might want to pay close attention to this next thought: Everyone has a story and wants to be heard. It seems like we’ve all gotten used to the world not having the time to hear what we have to say. I make it a point to comment on status updates where appropriate.

Sometimes I’m congratulating someone, other times I will agree with a statement publicly. If they shared a resource that I found useful, I let them know with a “like” and a comment. You can also get on their radar screen by commenting on their discussions. How about inviting them into one of yours? If they contribute to one of your discussions, acknowledge them publicly and with an offline “thank you”.

When you see a discussion where someone in your network has the expertise to really shine, acknowledge them.

3) Take Advantage Of “Social” Clues. I make it a point to see if my contacts use the feature where they list what they are reading. If I read the book or want to, that gives us something to talk about. If they use the tripit feature, I might wish them a safe trip or get real jealous that they are off to Europe. I might even compare notes with them about cool places we’ve both been to.

Really the bottom line is that you should be using LinkedIn to really link with that prospect in a new and creative way. LinkedIn can be literally an “awesome” tool for business development. So, use it.