You’re working your tail off attending every event in town trying to meet the right people and build a pipeline of referrals.  Maybe it’s time to be more strategic about how you attract new business? How about starting with those who already know, like, and trust you, like your network on LinkedIn?

Do you actually know who you are connected to on LinkedIn?  Actually, know who they are without looking at the company they work for?  Time to clean house!  If you don’t know who is in your network, they don’t know who you are either, which means they are most definitely are NOT going to refer you.  Referrals come from people who know, like and trust you, which is why you should know who you’ve invited to your LinkedIn party.

Who should you be connecting to on LinkedIn?

Clients. Prospects. Advocates and supporters of your business.  Charity organizations you support. That’s about it. This is not a class reunion.  It’s a business party where you mingle with your best clients and their best clients. 

When people know, like, and trust you, they will introduce you to others like them, which is why one of our strategies at ThinkViral is to only network where our clients network. People who are willing to publicly recommend you are your allies…your free salespeople.  You need to identify who those people are so you can make sure they are at your LinkedIn party. They will eventually help you build a network of referrals and help you open doors that may not have been possible without them.

Download your connections to see who’s on your list.

This will give you the big picture.  You can sort by company, or first/last name to make it easy.  You might even print the list so you have something to work from.  It’s a great way to see who’s really in your network and build your pipeline from there.  You may be surprised at who you know or who may be at a different company than you thought and is now a prospect.

You may find you don’t recognize half the list and now this is your new call list – hey, they’re connected to you on LinkedIn, it’s not really a cold call.  Clean out the ones that aren’t in the category of business advocate, client or prospect influencer.  Don’t worry, no one is notified when you take them out of your network!

A strategic networking plan like this works much better than a haphazard – join every organization so you can meet people – plan, and you’ll feel more energized when your opportunities to generate good referrals starts increasing.