Working your tail off “networking” at every event in town hoping to meet people who want what you sell isn’t the only way to attract new business. It’s much easier to take advantage of the business relationships you already have and work to build new ones from there.
So who do you know? Who knows you? If you were going to host an exclusive party for all your best clients, who gets in? Besides your own clients, who do your clients need to see at your party? If there’s no one at your party they know, they may not feel comfortable attending, which is why it’s critical to think through your invitation list.
Translate that party analogy to LinkedIn. Just because it’s online doesn’t mean it’s less valuable and we already know everyone we do business with is there. Using LinkedIn is not about becoming a superstar by filling out all the profile sections according to LinkedIn’s standards.
LinkedIn only has value to you if the people you have in your network can make a difference in your professional life. If you have no idea who your connections are, they have no idea who you are either, which means they are never going to refer you. Referrals come from people who know, like, and trust you, which is why it’s critical to know who’s at your LinkedIn party.
Who Should You Connect with on LinkedIn?
We only connect with clients, prospects, advocates, and supporters of our company, charity organizations we support, and industry media. That’s about it. LinkedIn is a business party, not a class reunion, and we know if we don’t act accordingly, we risk losing opportunities to mingle with our best clients… and their best clients.
Over 90% of our business comes from LinkedIn. That’s not because we’re a social media company. It’s because we carefully select who gets into our LinkedIn parties so we can focus on strengthening those relationships. If they trust us enough, they might be willing to help us through a difficult business situation, or even send us a new client. That doesn’t happen if they aren’t sure who we are.
LinkedIn is essentially a business event with endless opportunities to generate referrals. If you treat it like Facebook or other social networks, you miss out on the incredible value a referral network brings.
So many companies waste money buying prospect lists when they’re already sitting on a gold mine. Combine your list of LinkedIn connections with your team’s connections and you could have the warmest list in town.
Make It Easy – Download Your Connections
Downloading your list of connections into an Excel spreadsheet gives you a quick snapshot of who’s at your LinkedIn party… and who’s not. Are your key clients there? Are your referral partners there? Have you let people in you don’t know? Remember, this is YOUR business party so you get to decide who gets in the door.
What if you don’t recognize some of the names on your list? It’s okay, we’ve all accepted requests to avoid hurting feelings or because we believed more connections would equate to more business. But LinkedIn isn’t a numbers game. If you don’t recognize your connections, they likely don’t recognize you, so why would they ever refer you?
If you don’t know someone on your list, make a decision to reach out to them, or dump them. Don’t worry, they won’t receive a notification if you remove them from your network! It’s better to have 20 connections who want to refer you than 200 connections who barely know your name.
LinkedIn is only as useful as you make it and that starts with who you decide to invite and accept into your LinkedIn party. The more you focus on building a meaningful network, the more you will see opportunities expand.
WHO We Work With…
- Civic Groups
- Commercial Construction
- Commercial Developers
- Economic Development Agencies
- Professional Services
WHAT We Sell…
- Social Media Corporate Training
- Social Media Policies and Guidelines
- Social Media Management Plans
- Outsourced Social Media Management
- Social Media for C-Suite & Decision-Makers
- Social Media Plans for Fundraising and Events
- Social Media Intelligence & Reporting
- Social Websites
- Project Showcases & PR Stories