3 Invaluable LinkedIn Tips

Business networking before social networking was tough work.

You typically ended up with a stack of business cards in hand, with the challenge of determining your next best actions – who to follow up with and how.

Soon after getting back to your office the phone rings and you are off the hook.  You settle back into your comfort zone of taking care of day-to-day matters.

And you feel good about it because you can now rationalize your actions.

LinkedIn can be another form of rationalization. You make connections and are now free to forget about them and move on to what’s more important.

Business networking is planting seeds of opportunity that will emerge at the right time. LinkedIn allows you to accomplish that with minimal effort.

Here are 3 simple actions that you can take that will allow you to use LinkedIn for its intended purpose – planting seeds for new business opportunities.

 #1 – Acknowledge Every New Connection

Whenever I accept a new connection on LinkedIn I always send a message that acknowledges their effort in connecting.  In other words, thank your connections for making the effort to reach out.

If they happen to mention why they are connecting, you should acknowledge that as well.

In fact, if you are the one making the connection, it helps to add a reason why.

For me, this is often the result of them having read one of my published articles or appreciating my presentation at a small business event.

More than anything, acknowledging your new connections is a courtesy.  

And that’s something that is often remembered.

#2 – Tag Your Connections

LinkedIn gives you the freedom to create up to 200 tags for organizing your connections. A couple that I use are small business associations I’ve worked with – and others where I believe I can make a positive contribution.

We all have our own ways of making associations. This could be related to your products and services, location, or timing – such as seasonal influences.

You will have to choose the tags that are right for your business.

To give you an example, over the last several months I have been unsuccessful in connecting with a particular small business association to suggest a joint venture.

Yesterday I discovered I am connected with their COO – something that happened years ago at her request.

If you make the effort to tag your connections well, you can cultivate them when the timing is right.

#3 – Annotate to Remember How You Are Connected

One of the objectives of LinkedIn is to be your social CRM – your customer relationship manager.  This is why they allow you to download your connections into your existing CRM.

My guess is they would prefer you to use LinkedIn exclusively to manage your connections.

This is why a notes field is offered to capture relevant information. Use this feature.

A few months ago I made a new connection with an executive of an organization that sponsored one of my presentations.  We met at the evening reception, and then continued our conversation over dinner.

Relevant information about your first connection is memorable – and highly valuable when you are reaching out to suggest opportunities for working together.

To grow your business you not only have to plant seeds – you have to cultivate them too.

These three simple recommendations will make your hundreds (or thousands) of LinkedIn connections a goldmine for your business.

All of this will require some experimentation with the technology – but you can do it.

If you want some practice, add me as a LinkedIn connection by clicking here.

Leave a comment below or share this with your community on with any of the share buttons below – or on the little red bar at the bottom of this page.  

Until tomorrow,  Jeff

 Photo Credit: tk-link
 By Jeff Korhan
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Comments

  1. Jeff;

    99 out of 100 LinkedIn posts regurgitate the same tired suggestions. Thankfully yours revealed insights to LI I have never explored – and I am on there every day and run 3 groups with ober 10,000 total members.

    Now my question is who is going to go back and tag my 1300+ connections more thoroughly than the standard LI provided tags?!

    Thanks.

  2. Jeff Korhan says:

    I’m with you Rob – I have no idea how long some of these features have been around, but after recently noticing them I sure wish I had done so sooner!

  3. Thanks Jeff – good points about the tagging and reminders (most of us always think we’ll remember where/when we met someone – ha!) but I like when you remind us to “remember our manners” and personalize our please and thank yous.

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      So true Martha! In fact, the contact I mentioned I had dinner with – that was just 3 months ago. I was looking at his profile pic and asking … how do I know this guy?

      Memories fade quickly when there isn’t any engagement. :)

  4. Thank you, Jeff. Very nice tips. Very useful LinkedIn Features that I did not know existed.

    LinkedIn should be very grateful to you.

    Sumit

  5. Carol Mon says:

    Jeff,

    Great info here. I would love to use notes for my contacts but wonder how to get it. Is this the Lotus notes or is there somewhere else to add notes?

  6. Great tips Jeff! I’m sharing your article on twitter and on with my linkedin connections.

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Thanks so much Marika. Sharing is what its all about! The joy in doing this work is knowing that folks like you derived some value. Cheers!

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