Although many LinkedIn users boast hundreds, possibly even thousands, of connections, the number who bother to interact with their new contacts is actually very small. It is easier, after all, to collect scores of connections than to build meaningful and fruitful relationships with other professionals over the internet.
So, how can you make the most of your LinkedIn profile and stay up to date with the latest happenings in your chosen field? Read on to find out how to navigate the tricky world of LinkedIn and approach other users in a way that reaps results.
1. Send Them A Friendly Greeting
As soon as your invitation to link up is accepted (or vice versa), send your new connection a brief and friendly greeting such as “Thanks for linking up with me, it’s great to virtually meet you. I look forward to our future interactions and to discovering more about your work.” This is a great way to make them remember you and is much more appealing than a sales-like pitch in which you boast about your work. Leave the self-promotion to a time when you have established a strong relationship.
2. Explore Their Profile
Before going further with your interactions, conduct a little research into your new connection’s professional life. Important areas to look at include:
• Recent activity: Who have they recently connected with and what are their current projects?
• Education, qualifications and past experiences
• Shared connections: This will give you lots to talk about if it turns out you have colleagues in common
• Common interests
• Any information that might indicate their personality type: This will help you to tailor messages that appeal to them
• Their company’s culture and achievements
Finding out this kind of information and referring to it in your follow-up messages will demonstrate that you care about their work and are serious about developing a professional relationship with them. Don’t be afraid to flatter them a little!
3. Be Consistent And Keep In Touch
Don’t let your new connection forget about you before you have exchanged valuable information or collaborated on an exciting business venture. Try to stay at the forefront of their mind without hectoring them. This means sending catch-up messages regularly – every week or so will probably do. When you send these messages, remember to go into an increasing amount of detail about your own career and your reasons for wanting to link up. This will gradually persuade your new connection of your worth as a new contact and improve the chances that your relationship bears fruit.
4. Connect Via Other Channels And Comment On Their Updates
Adding appropriate and professional comments to their updates will help to show that you are a savvy LinkedIn user and can be trusted as a businessperson. Once you have charmed them on LinkedIn, you can then move on to other platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. This may give you a fuller picture of their work and personality.