There is a good chance that you have a LinkedIn account. You may have had it for a long time. As you know, having a complete profile is critical to using it successfully. Now, you need to leverage your connections.
Leveraging your LinkedIn connections to their fullest potential
Perhaps, LinkedIn doesn’t seem to be doing much for your business. It is very possible that you have concentrated all of your efforts up to this point on increasing your online connections so that you strengthen your credibility and visibility. Believe it or not, building your lists of LinkedIn connections is not your greatest challenge. An even bigger challenge for you will be to take those connections that you have established and to deepen them to the point where those people will buy what you are selling.
The success of social media (including LinkedIn, of course) depends on relationships. Meaningful interactions and face-to-face meetings are critical to the success of your business. So, what can you do to leverage those meaningful relationships so that they become even more significant for you and for your business?
You should be paying close attention to what your connections are doing and where they are going. Because you are connected to them online, the chances are great that they will be sharing information on which events they will be attending. If you see that those events are in your geographic area, you should plan on attending them also. If the events are live, you should consider them a wonderful opportunity to interact with your online connections face to face, even if they are not first-tier connections to you online.
You should approach this by visiting the RSVP page of the event, identifying who among your connections is attending the event, and reaching out to a few of those people. You can communicate with them by sending them a message if they are a close connection or sending them a message through InMail if they are a more distant connection to you. Your message should indicate that you will be attending that particular event and that you look forward to the opportunity to interact with them in person. This approach is effective but unobtrusive at the same time.
Timing is critical
The optimal time to start to build a deeper relationship with your connections is when you are on their minds. Right after you have made a new connection, received an introduction, made an introduction, responded to a question or comment or received a response to a question that you have posed are all ideal times to reach out to build a more meaningful relationship. Online interactions can easily lead to phone calls, continued discussions and face-to-face meetings.
Seek advice from others
There is not a person around who doesn’t love to give his or her 2 cents. Everyone loves to feel valued. If you reach out to your connections and ask their opinions on something that is important to you, you will be surprised at the amount of valuable responses your will receive in return. You will also be strengthening your relationship with your connections. When you do reach out, make sure that you clearly communicate who you are, explain the common thread or threads between you, pay them a compliment and explain why you are seeking their advice. This will prove to be a wonderful approach for you.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.