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How to Grow Your Business using LinkedIn Step 3: Work Your Networks

Oct, 11 2016

Are you using LinkedIn to build your business? …sell a product or service? …get personal introductions from other connections? ...find a new job? …establish yourself as a thought leader?

In my first article in this series, I used an image from HonestSlogans.com. They create more, shall we say, “direct,” catchphrases for well-known companies. For LinkedIn, they came up with: “Connect with people for no good reason at all.”

However, in order to do any of the things listed above, you really DO want to expand your network of LinkedIn connections for some very good reasons! A solid base of LinkedIn connections allows you the ability to get warm introductions to prospects or hiring managers. When you post an update about a product/service/idea, it’s put in front of more eyeballs. When you write articles as a LinkedIn author, your post is broadcast to more people (to learn more about this, ready my second article in this series).

To be clear, I don’t mean go out and spam the world. I’m talking about getting solid connections of people in your sphere or industry – not a bunch of junk contacts. Most of us have tons of offline contacts we haven’t even connected with on LinkedIn. So, think: how many LinkedIn connections do you have? Now, measure that against how many contacts you have in your email account. How about your customer relationship management (CRM) system?

 

Are you ready to try some things to increase your connections?

 

TIP #1: Did you know you can upload all your email account contacts (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) and LinkedIn will automatically locate and connect with them for you? 

 

TIP #2: You can also create an Excel file with everyone in your database or CRM and upload contacts for the same result. NOTE: Gird your loins, because you’ll start getting a million emails as people accept your connection. I went from 1200 connections one day to 3000+ about 2 weeks later.

 

As a result of these two “tips,” I’ve had many worthwhile conversations with new connections about how my product can help them.

 

TIP #3: There’s “adding connections” and then there’s “truly connecting” with other LinkedIn members. Those are two very different activities. Here’s what I mean: I bet you have a list of employers you’d like to do business with. On LinkedIn, you’re able to search for and find people who work for those companies and have HR Benefits titles. Now, send a focused connection request…

“Hi Joe! Thought I'd connect - I'm working with many {insert INDUSTRY NAME – IT, manufacturing, retail} companies and we’re seeing some great results with the innovative benefits packages we’re putting together. I’d love a chance to earn your business. Do you have a few minutes to talk sometime in the week ahead? Either way, I’d still like to be a connection – you never know, right? Thanks! Your First Name.”

Obviously, you’d want to use the “hook” that is specific to what you can do for a prospect better than anyone else – your differentiator. If they’re at all open to looking for a new employee benefits consultant, you’ll get a meeting or at the very least a connection (which is great since people move around to different companies).

 

TIP #4: Once you have a solid base of connections, there will be times you can help others or ask for help from others.

For instance, multiple friends have asked for my help getting a foot in the door at a company where there is a job opening they want. Perhaps I’m connected to a decision maker or just someone who works at the company who can put in a good word for my friend. A meeting gets scheduled all because I send a quick note asking for their help on behalf of my friend. Without that connection, my friend wouldn’t have gotten their resume through the maze or had coffee with someone on the inside to see if they really wanted the open job.

Using the example in Tip #3, perhaps you have a connection (or a connection of a connection) who knows someone in HR/Benefits at your target prospect company. Reaching out to ask for their help in doing an e-introduction could result in a big win.

So, take the time to increase your connections and create a solid network. Then, use it to help others and yourself!

Now, it’s your turn! How do you use LinkedIn to build your business? Have you ever gotten a major sale or job as a result of help from a LinkedIn connection? What tips do you have to “work your networks” on LinkedIn?

Heidi

Heidi has a passion for helping busy families control their healthcare dime, time and peace of mind! She writes articles to do just that, while keeping it fun and simple for her readers! She also speaks on healthcare issues and is the owner of www.freshbenies.com.

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