DID YOU KNOW: 27% of LinkedIn users have between 500 and 999 connections, 10% of LinkedIn users said they have more than 3,000 connections, and only 1% of respondents identified themselves as Super Connectors with more than 10000 connections. (Source: 2016 Power Study)
How many connections do you have?
It’s strange isn’t it – you have all these influential people on one platform, right within your reach, but you just can’t reach out to them so easily and hope that they will help you or your business in a matter of seconds.
To interact on LinkedIn is an art, and if you create and curate with care, you will get your audience’s attention.
Here’s how LinkedIn really strikes a chord with its users: users are out there to find interesting ideas, people, and businesses. Sales are a calculated second step.
If you don’t treat it as such, and all you do is sell your business with every connection request or message you send, there’s no chance you will get noticed or acknowledged.
I have two questions for you:
1. Do you send or receive messages like these – “Check out my new product!” or “Hurry, our offer runs out in a few weeks!”
2. How many times do you receive responses or personally respond to “salesy” messages?
Let’s find out why, and how we can build more meaningful relationships on LinkedIn…
Connecting on LinkedIn is easier than you think
“Trust is paramount to building any kind of business relationship.” – Adam Houlahan
Connection is power.
Whether you provide services to other businesses (B2B) or directly work with consumers (B2C), you need knowledgeable and influential people by your side. Now, this may seem like a tough task, but it truly isn’t. LinkedIn has made the path to success way more convenient than it was before.
Remember this: just like you, people want to collaborate. You will find other businesses that are in search of people like you for the next best collaboration. Unlike what you probably believe, it isn’t a one-sided engagement, and that is why you need to keep your hopes up and get your strategy straight.
It’s time to put on your creative hat and come up with interesting text that you can send to your future business partner, employee, investor, or mentor.
How is LinkedIn different from other platforms?
When it comes to LinkedIn, you have to maintain a level of etiquette, which is normally not a necessity on other social media platforms. It’s a professional, semi-formal space where value and what you bring to the table matter.
It is much more than just a networking platform for professionals. Find the right balance between your content and communication, steer clear of a robotic, salesy approach, and work to attract your audience with the value you offer.
Everything you need to know to build the right network on LinkedIn
Setting up your page on LinkedIn is the easy part. To build a network of like-minded people is a whole other deal. Even to reach out to your target audience, you need a well thought out strategy.
Unfortunately, you cannot just message every potential connection and expect them to do you a favour. Firstly, they probably don’t know who you are, and secondly, you need to earn their trust. But how are you going to do that?
- Be specific
People often make the mistake of sending a lengthy, redundant text right after or even before connecting with someone. Maybe this is because you’re used to the way Facebook or Instagram works in their informal settings. If you approach LinkedIn using the same methods you would use on other platforms, you won’t get too far.
Maybe you’re being too informative, or not enough. Too vague or too straightforward. There’s a way to strike a balance on LinkedIn – be specific, relevant, and to the point. Think long and hard about why you are sending this connection request and how it is going to benefit either of you.
- Have meaningful conversations
Think of LinkedIn as a platform for virtual meetings. When you’re in a business meeting, would you be asking anyone to buy your products directly? No!
First, you would have a small talk, introduce yourself and share why you’re there, and then introduce your product as the flow of your conversation permits.
If you show up as an interesting individual who wants to build a worthy connection, people will certainly want to be associated with you. Focus on building a long-term professional relationship, and the rest will follow.
Christ Stanton-Cook, one of our followers, expressed the same concern saying, “I suggest a better response than an invite or sales pitch is to ask how they’re getting along, how are they coping with COVID and be prepared to engage in the conversation if you are prepared to ask real questions.”
- Personalise before sending a connection request
People have certain rules when it comes to connecting with individuals and businesses on LinkedIn. They tend to consider these criteria:
- Do they know the person?
- Do they have any mutual acquaintances?
- Do they know the business?
- Do they belong to the same industry?
- Can they be of any help?
Right off the bat, if you send a generic request, why would anyone oblige? Would you accept any strange and random connection request that comes your way on Facebook?
Let’s say you met the person in a social gathering a week ago and you wanted to connect on LinkedIn. Share a message along the lines of, “It was lovely to meet you last week”.
- Be generous and helpful
If you go out of your way to help an individual, you have a higher chance of selling your service or product.
Connections are built on trust. To gain the trust of a stranger, you will need to do something out of the box, something nice. If it’s someone you knew beforehand, you can send a bottle of wine or your product for free. A sweet gesture can go a long way.
As the law of reciprocity suggests, that individual would want to do something nice for you in return. Once you gain their trust by going out of your way to appreciate them, think about how you can be of help and how they can help you too.
Karen Chaston, a follower of ours, pointed out the impact of being helpful, saying, “You are so right, people will always remember a gift that has been given without expectation. It is about asking how I can assist you.”
- Engage with your connections
You don’t always have to reach out to new people. If you post regularly and smartly, people will start reaching out to you. In all of this, don’t forget about the people who are already in your network, who value you and would love to collaborate with you.
That’s why engaging with your existing connections is equally important. When they interact with your profile, it will show up in their networks too. A simple “like” or a “comment” can help you reach the right people. Keep it meaningful, add value where you can, and show your prowess on the subject matter to stand out.
- Connect and collaborate
Connecting is only half the job. Unless you manage to collaborate with your connections on the platform, it doesn’t have any significant value. Remember, the collaboration doesn’t have to be on a business level.
You can collaborate in your content, and that is equally valuable. If you give importance to your audience’s opinion, that will show your willingness to progress. When someone criticizes your content, learn to take it on the chin, and find the positives in it.
If you’re looking to collaborate on a business level, then be prepared to take the first step. Don’t pitch your idea to your connection – they have all likely heard it several times. Try a different approach; understand what the individual is looking for and whether you meet their criteria or not. If your business ticks all the boxes, then take the next step to approach them with your collaboration idea.
Build connections based on quality content
Never forget that quality is far more important than quantity. In this day and age, people hardly have time for irrelevant content. If you can ensure that your content is topnotch and unique, then you are halfway there. New LinkedIn users make the mistake of rushing into everything. Take time, and think before every post you publish.
Serve the needs of people that you want in your network. By creating innovative content, you will leave a long-lasting impression. Whether it is a message or a post, be creative with it. Creating real conversations with the right people is a key differentiator when it comes to building connections.
“Creating real conversations with the right people is a key differentiator.” – Adam Houlahan
Be someone who thinks and works differently, in a way that makes people reach out to you to connect.
But next time you send a connection request, here’s a parting tip:
“How can I be of value?” or “Great to be connected, I look forward to getting to know you better.”
Even if it’s not robotic but lacks genuine warmth and intent, your message will miss the mark.
Try this approach and interact seamlessly with new connections and start building your network the right way.
Other ways we can help you
P.S. Here are 5 ways we can help you accelerate your Lead Generation results:
1. Grab our free 4-Week LinkedIn Profile Optimisation Course
It’s the road map to positioning your profile in the top 5% of the 700 million LinkedIn users
currently active – Click Here
2. Join our FREE LinkedIn Group and connect with entrepreneurs who are scaling too
It’s our Facebook community where smart entrepreneurs learn to get more leads and smart
ways to scale using LinkedIn — Click Here
3. Register for our FREE LinkedIn update webinar
Every 12-Weeks you can join us for a free update on all the latest news, ninja tips and outline of new features released by LinkedIn – Click Here
4. Join our LinkedIn Inner Circle Solo Program on our Free Trial Click Here for more details
5. Work with our team privately
If you’d like to work directly with us to create new marketing opportunities send us a quick message Click here … tell us a little about your business and we’ll organise a time for a deeper chat