How To Use LinkedIn to Connect Like a Pro

It happens quite often that I receive connect requests through LinkedIn from people I don’t know, where the sender only sends the standard message:

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

Bad LinkedIn Request

Don’t get me wrong I appreciate that someone found me interesting enough to send that request. However I wonder about the value of the connection if they don’t feel the need to introduce themselves in anyway.

This is similar to going to a networking mixer and handing people your business card and saying, “Here’s my number. Call me.” Ok, I admit may have heard that in a song. It sounds pretty strange though, right?

If you really want to have success with LinkedIn and build a useful network of connections, it’s simple. Personalize your messages! I guarantee you’ll get more responses if you do.

Here are a couple of simple introductions you could use.

Hey Paul,
We have several contacts in common so I thought I’d introduce myself. I run an interactive marketing company and one of our core products is SEO. I’d love to connect and hear more about you.

Scott,
I noticed we are both in the Social Media Marketing group on LinkedIn, so I thought I’d connect with you personally too. It’s always good to know others in the industry.

How long would it take to type one of these? Plus you might learn something about the connections.

After all LinkedIn is for networking and building relationships, not collecting numbers.

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4 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Network Like a Pro

There is always a lot of talk about Facebook breaking records for sheer numbers of users and now Google+ has come a long and proved to be the fastest growing network of all time, but their cousin LinkedIn is still the networking site for business. LinkedIn has morphed from it’s early days of just being a place to post your resume to a full fledged networking platform. Whether you are looking for a job, looking to promote your business or to network with others in your industry, the opportunities are great.

LinkedIn logo network like a pro
First, don’t take the “Build it and they will come” approach. Just like the good old days when you had to go to networking events to meet people, you have to take a proactive approach with social networking sites. It’s all about engagement. There are many ways to do this.

  1. Like other networks you have the ability to update your status. Do this frequently, but don’t over do it. Plus, no one really cares what you had for breakfast or that little johnny scored an A on his math test. Keep it relevant. Maybe tips and tricks for your industry, news or links to relevant articles you have read as well as other resources.
  2.  One of the great features that LinkedIn proveides is the Q & A section of the site. This is a great place for you to strut your stuff and show off your knowledge. Answer questions from your industry. People often ask questions here because they need an expert to help them solve a problem. Let people know you are the “go to” guy/girl for your industry.
  3. Start hanging out in groups. LinkedIn groups are another way to start meeting new people. Is your target market local? There are groups for that? There are also groups based on industry, topical group and more. If you can’t find a group that fits the target market that you want to hang out with, create your own. Oneword of warning though, make sure if you create your own group you foster open and fair discussion. After all you’re there for engagement not to blast people with your marketing message.
  4. This tip is related to groups and is a bit more under the radar. Using LinkedIn’s people search you can search for specific people by name, or you can search by company and then position. If you are using the free version it is more difficult to directly contact some that is not already a connection. So let’s say you are trying to get in contact with some one at the XYZ Technology company, but none of your connections know this person. So an introduction is not possible. Once you use LinkedIn search to find them, check out their profile and find out what groups they belong to. There’s a good chance you have a group in common. If you don’t already, find a group that they are members of that interests you and join the group. You can then add them as a connection as well as message them, using the “member of a group” option.

 

 

LinkedIn Business Profiles: Add Admins to Your Company’s Profile

Did you know that you can now add admins to your company’s LinkedIn profile?

It used to be once you created a profile for your company only you were able to edit it. Then they added the feature that anyone who has an email from your company domain. Now, you can add people in your network. You still have control of the profile as the creator, but this is great if you’ve hired an outside consultant to manage your social media for you. They can now manage it without needing access to your account.

To use this option go to your company profile on LinkedIn and click on the “Edit” button on the upper right corner. Then under the “Company Pages Admins” section, choose “Designated users only”.  Then type in the name of the person you want to add in the box where it says, “Start typing a name.” That’s it! The image below shows a screen shot from our page.

Add admins to your LinkedIn busines profile