Thursday, October 18, 2012

5 Easy Ways to Pay It Forward on LinkedIn

By ,

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, why not set aside a half hour each week between now and Turkey Day to show some gratitude to your network by paying it forward on LinkedIn? Here are 5 ways you can:

1. Write an unexpected Recommendation for a connection.
If you worked with or hired someone that turned out to be a rock star go ahead and write a recommendation for them. It’s also a great way to reconnect with a connection that’s drifted off your regular touch base list. Just keep it brief and specific and avoid writing a generic reco because they’re almost always useless to your contact.

Most folks don’t even display recos that sound similar to this, “Bob is a stand-up guy and someone I’d be happy to work with again in the future. Most people think they know sales, but Bob really does!” This might have some posting value if it instead said, “Bob is a reliable, proactive and positive team player, and if I were asked to name a few sales leaders to be on a speaker panel, Bob’s name would be at the top of my list. He exceeded our team goals quarter after quarter and made it to our President’s list 5 years in a row.”

2. Endorse a connection’s skills when you’re reminded of them (maybe via a tweet, status update, blog post or prompt from LinkedIn).

Since LinkedIn added this new “To Do” to our lists, I’ve heard both groaning about as well as praise for it, but why not try to endorse at least 1 connection’s skills during your regular visits to LinkedIn?

3. Invite new or old contacts to connect on LinkedIn.
Just be sure to send a PERSONAL message expressing what you noted, respect or appreciate about them, and if you only “met” them via Twitter or somewhere random like that, just be honest about why you want to be connected on LinkedIn (“let’s not lose touch”). Whatever you do, don’t use the default Invitation to Connect unless you’re using your smart phone right in front of them at an event or on the subway (or whatever) and have opened the LinkedIn mobile app.

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