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Linked-In or Linked-Out?

Effectively Setting Up and Growing Your LinkedIn Network

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A lot of people I talk to tell me that they are confused about what LinkedIn does or doesn’t do, may be overwhelmed with setting up a new social media channel, may be lost and unsure of where to start, and most are disappointed with their lack of success in generating leads.

Last week we talked about leveraging your social networks and effortless prospecting.  One of the tools we glossed over at a very high level was utilizing LinkedIn, one of the most powerful social media platforms for a business period!  LinkedIn is not a passing fad, nor have you missed it.

By the Numbers as of January 1st, 2019:

  • 590 Million Users as of January 1, 2018
  • 200 Million use LinkedIn daily
  • 2 New Users EVERY second of every day
  • 41% of Millionaires use LinkedIn
  • CEOs average 930 connections on LinkedIn
  • On July 13, 2016, Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for $26.2B

Purpose of LinkedIn

So, what’s the point of LinkedIn anyway?  While I obviously can’t answer that for you, I can share some ways that LinkedIn is used by other professionals, including myself:

  • Expanding your network – Growing your professional network
  • Adding value to your network with additional resources
  • Lead Generation, especially business to business, and prospecting
  • Online Name Recognition (If you search for a name on the internet, you’re likely to have LinkedIn at the very top of your search results being 1st or 2nd alongside Facebook)
  • Others, including your prospects, use it to learn more about you prior to a meeting or interview
  • You can learn more about your prospects and meeting attendees
  • Professional Credibility by having a comprehensive profile, posting, and sharing content
  • Market Research including finding other professionals to invite to your Bold Networking meetings
  • Frequently updated, comprehensive contact database with supporting details and contact information including photographic headshots (way more powerful and current than our grandparents Rolodex).

Effective Mindsets for Being Successful on LinkedIn

  • Be professional, not polarizing (avoid heated or controversial topics) and say or share something smart
  • Go Slow avoiding the temptation to send mass connection requests (quality over quantity)
  • Protect your network (After getting to 500+ connections)
  • Both quantity and quality create your LinkedIn Value
  • Be a Giver, Not a Taker and find every possible way to add value
  • The Law of Influence on LinkedIn – Your Influence on LinkedIn is determined by how abundantly you place other’s interests first on LinkedIn
  • Connect with and nurture your relationships with those you are most likely to give referrals to and then those you are most likely to get referrals from, just like inviting to Bold Networking professional networking meetings.
  • Ultimately, the goal is to create authentic 1:1 relationships offline ASAP.

Step by Step:  6-Week Plan (Less than an hour per week)

Even if you’re not even on LinkedIn yet, you’ll be on your way to LinkedIn All-Star status within a few short weeks.

Week 1 – Initial Set-up

  • Join & Complete Intro with Photo (Professional Headshot Preferred)
    • Headline – 120 characters of the most searchable information on LinkedIn
      • My Headline:  Bold Networking Founder | Professional Networking Meetings & Sales Training | BoldNetworking.com
    • Basic Summary – up to a 2,000-word overview of what you do, the problems you solve, and compelling stories.  For now, simply add your 30-second commercial with your keywords for which you’d like to be known for.
  • Start the experience & education section
  • Invite 20 connections – start with professionals you already know
    • Search in the top bar for them -> Connect -> Add Note -> Short, personal message about how you know them and why you’d like to connect on LinkedIn
  • Connect your email account and send initial connection requests to your network.
    • We want to get to 500+ connections quickly and then we’ll shift gears to quality over quantity.
      • Less than 500+ connections suggests you aren’t very active
      • Thousands of contacts you don’t know and can’t introduce someone else to dilutes your value (However, some folks benefit from having a much larger audience than they reasonably know).

Week 2 – Begin Connecting, Refine Intro and Summary Message

  • Accept invitations and Send unique messages.  Example response to a connection request:

Thanks for the connection request and happy to make new connections.  I’m sure there are several people in my network that will appreciate getting to know you and what you do. 

If it makes sense to you, let’s have a short call to learn more about each other and whether or not staying connected makes sense or not.  I can be reached at XXX-XXX-XXXX.  Please let me know when it’s convenient for us to chat.

    • Finish experience & education section (add keywords)
    • Add 2-3 Success stories about the work you do to your summary section
    • Join 5 to 10 groups
      • Search -> Leave search block blank and hit enter -> More -> Groups -> in the search box at top enter group you might be interested in and enter -> Ask to Join
      • Or, https://linkedin.com/groups/discover
    • Invite 20 connections – start with professionals you already know, friends, and family

Week 3 – Refine Summary Section and Add an Article or Share Post

  • Refine your Summary section with keywords focused on problems you solve and perfect your Prospecting Message (30-second commercial)
  • Accept invitations
  • Write 2-3 recommendations for those you’ve already connected
  • Follow 2 competitors
    • Search -> Companies -> Competitors Name -> Follow
  • Add article or multi-media post
  • Connect with 20 Professionals – additional professionals, friends, and family you already know

Week 4 – Volunteer Section, More Groups, and Ideal Clients

  • Add volunteer section
    • Duplicate in the work section as well to make yourself easier to find
  • Join 5 more groups
  • Write 2-3 more recommendations for those you’ve already connected
  • Search 20 possible Ideal Clients and send “Friend” request.
    • Please include professionals that you are likely to give referrals to and professionals you are likely to get referrals from.
    • Search in top bar -> People -> All Filters
    • Research the contacts that come up by clicking on their profile by selecting their name
    • For those, you’d like to connect with, select the CONNECT button and then ADD NOTE (Avoid sending the generic connection request message or you’ll have generic connections).  Example Connection Message:

In reviewing your profile, we’re connected to a few of the same professionals and I believe several people in my network might appreciate knowing you.  If it makes sense, let’s have a short call to learn if connecting here on LinkedIn makes sense or not.

Week 5 – Articles, Connections, and Status Update

  • Add another pdf, article, or infographic to your professional gallery
  • Connect with 20 more professionals
  • Accept invitations
  • Write 2-3 more recommendations for those you’ve already connected
  • Add Outlook Social Connector or Rapportive
  • Post a status update that might be helpful to your network
    • Share an Article, Photo, Video, or Idea

Week 6- Add value and Recommendations Continue

  • Continue Searches for Ideal Clients and Professional Connections
  • Connect with 20 Ideal Prospects
  • Write 2-3 more recommendations for those you’ve already connected
  • Request a recommendation from a connection with sample text

Long-Term LinkedIn Strategy

Quality Content is King and Consistency is Queen.  Wash, Rinse, and Repeat!

Daily

  • Invite people you’ve met in person to connect on LinkedIn
  • Respond to potential clients immediately…messages, requests,
  • Review updates
  • Check group discussions and add meaningful comments and share if appropriate
  • Post status updates – especially third-party stories like client successes
  • Continue Searches and connecting with your ideal prospects
  • Schedule meetings with key connections

Weekly

  • Evaluate groups
  • Review connections of your best connections
  • Share relevant articles in your groups
  • Write 3+ recommendations.

Monthly

  • Profile update (always change something)
  • Add multi-media
  • Comment on Group Posts

Training Worksheet Download

Upcoming Events

Ca$h Mob at Mother Road Market – Thursday, 3/21 from 5p-7p — 11th and Lewis.  Please save the date and invite others.

Claremore, OK Bold Networking Team Launch – Brett Lauderdale is officially launching the Claremore Bold Networking team on Wednesday’s at 11:30 am beginning March 6th at J. Farley’s.  If you know any professionals, excluding Property Casualty Insurance agents, please invite them to come (that seat is already claimed and paid for!)