They key to networking on LinkedIn is to know what results you want.

 

Drive Founder Ann Hawkins has been using LinkedIn successfully since 2008.

She has 3,700 connections and 4, 250 followers.

Her profile is viewed approc 250 times a week and she regularly gets new clients from LinkedIn.

She manages the Drive the Network Group with over 800 members.

 

Why are you using LinkedIn? 

Are you looking to connect with potential clients, a peer group, get referrals, learn about a specific topic, show how much you know about a specific topic or something else?

Who will find you?

  • If you want to get found by potential clients or collaborators check your profile. LinkedIn is a great serach engine for people both on and off the site. If someone searches for what you do, will your profile appear in the search results? Make sure you’re using the right keywords.
  • Check your contact details. If you have a website, add it to the details.
  • Have a good professional, business like photo that shows your eyes. It’s the first stage of creating trust.

Who to connect with? 

There are endless debates about this and there is no right or wrong answer. You need to find what works for you and adjust your approach accordingly. Here are some things I’ve found work for me:

  • Connect with people because you like them, want to learn from them, or because they have something interesting to say that doesn’t turn into a sales pitch.
  • Don’t connect to give a sales pitch, connect to build relationships.
  • If someone gives you a sales pitch seconds after connecting, remove the connection. Life’s too short to be spammed.

How to behave

  • If you’re there to network, behave like you would in a face to face networking meeting. Don’t pitch, have a conversation.
  • Don’t get sucked into arguments, disagreements, or click bait posts. IGNORE them.
  • Don’t like a post that has a million other likes and comments – if you do it has no effect on the post but annoys the people who are following you.
  • If you don’t have anything meaningfull to add to the discussion keep quiet.
  • Recognise that some people think causing disagreements is a good way to get attention. Don’t get sucked in and don’t do it yourself.
  • Remember that more people are watching and listening than you will ever know. Always behave as though your ideal client is looking over your shoulder and watching how you interact with others.

What to post and how often

  • How often you post depends on how much good content you can create. If you have a pile of great evergreen blog posts or articles you could post every day because no-one is likely to see them all.
  • Posting to a self-imposed schedule when you have nothing interesting to say is not a good idea. Only post when you’re sure you’ll be adding something useful, interesting or helpful that your audience will enjoy.
  • Try to avoid the cliched bandwaggons of sporting events with a tenuous link to leadership or teamwork or similar over worked themes. Spurious links to national or religious holidays are also best avoided.

If you’ve got questions or want to practice your LinkedIn networking join our LinkedIn Group and give it a go with some friendlly subtle networkers!

 

Do you have any tips to add or questions to ask? Leave them in the comments below.