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How To Build A Powerful Network On LinkedIn
Your Audience Is On LinkedIn.
In fact, there is no better place on the net to build a powerful network. The latest stats according to LinkedIn is there are more than half a billion professionals worldwide who gather on LinkedIn to stay connected and informed, advance their careers, and work smarter.
- 63 million decision-makers
- 17 million opinion leaders
- 90 million senior-level influencers
- 10 million C-level execs and more.
Let’s build your network!
Building A Powerful Network to Further Your Business Goals
You have the net. Now do the work.
You’ve optimized your profile, right? If not, start there.
Using LinkedIn’s many free tools to reach out, invite, educate, and impress prospects on LinkedIn is important, but if you’re interested in presenting yourself as a credible expert then you need to step up your game and start adding value to your network.
Having the right network will improve the quality and relevance of your feed, the people who send you messages, and who engages with your content. Remember, you and your network are on a professional journey together, and the stronger your network, the further you can go.
Expand your network
I’m hoping you’re on LinkedIn, and after all these years have a bit of a network to start with as a base.
Here are some tips to expand it:
- Start with the address book import to see who you already know on LinkedIn, but STOP before sending a mass invite!
- Search for old acquaintances and people you may have lost touch with.
- After meeting a new business contact, always follow up with them on LinkedIn in addition to email.
- Connect with people who view your profile.
Once you have a few more connections, here are a few more ways to start to build a powerful network on LinkedIn.
- Post Status Updates Daily
- Engage With Your Connections’ Updates
- Start relationships with new connections by commenting on their updates. Build an audience by joining the conversation on popular posts in your niche.
- Add Your LinkedIn URL to Your Email Signature
- Join and Participate in Groups
- Once you find and join a group, participate by starting a discussion or asking a question
- Also consider creating your own group.
Quick Searchability Hack
Add keywords to your profile. The three main areas to focus on are your headline and Summary and Experience sections. All of these sections are searchable.
When filling out these sections, tell stories and be creative, use every character allowed and work in relevant keywords that people will search for.
Personalize Connection Requests
Review LinkedIn’s suggested connections at least a few times a week. Make it a goal to find people in your industry or niche and personally connect with them. Try to connect with two or three people each time.
Make a connection
You’ve found someone to connect with. You’ve initiated the connection: What next?
The more specific you can be, the better. This will increase your add-back rate.
Make it a point to mention something specific—that you read an article where they were featured and were impressed by their comments, or you heard them speak at a conference and admired their point of view.
You can also like or comment on your new contacts’ updates. Set up Google alerts with their names and “ping” people with a quick note to compliment them if you see that they’ve been featured.
Tips and Best Practices
How to stay top of mind with your connections
You can amp up the relationship by asking them for advice. Here’s how:
Ask them a simple question that 1) they are uniquely qualified to answer, and you explain why that’s the case; and 2) they can answer in three to four minutes.
From there, report back on your progress to let your new connection know how you used their advice, so they understand you’re really listening and are, therefore, worth their time investment.
Post things that encourage a response. For example, if you’re posting a link, express an opinion with it. Think about using the best type of post for the topic.
Despite the rumors, the algorithm doesn’t favor any particular format. You have video, images, multi-images, text and long-form articles. More formats are on the way.
Use @mentions to pull other people you know into a conversation when you think they’ll have something valuable to add.
Be thoughtful: only mention people that you think are likely to respond, max five is a good rule of thumb.
Engage in the conversation, respond to commenters and encourage back and forth.
Niche Over Broad
LinkedIn has shared their data that members are more interested in going deep on topics they’re interested in. Consistently they see better conversation around niche ideas (eg #performancemanagement) than the broad (#management).
Use hashtags (we recommend no more than three) to help other members find the conversations that match their own interests and help them build a powerful network on LinkedIn.
Authenticity is key: all the tips above work out better when members talk about things they truly care about, in a way that’s natural for them. Genuine conversation around real experiences spark better and deeper conversation. Better conversation, in turn, leads to stronger community and connection.
If you’re really trying to stand out, share content on LinkedIn every single day — and whenever possible, include video so people get a better sense of your personality.
If you’ve done all of the above, you’re almost a pro. However, most people miss the most important part:
The story behind the post!
Without a story, no one will care.
To tell a gripping story, you need to remove every adjective from your dictionary, and stop using them including amazing, super, nice, great, wonderful, and best.
Instead, you need to write with TANGIBLE examples.
Not only that, you need to know how to write to drive engagement. It starts with the first two sentences. If those don’t pull your reader’s attention, then you’ve lost them.
Every quality piece begins with a problem, significant change, announcement, or credibility. Pause for a moment and think about your piece.
- Significant change:
The last two sentences are almost as important as the first two. If people don’t walk away feeling a strong emotion, then don’t expect them to like, comment, or share your post.
Use Engagement Posts to Drive Subscribers
Let’s not forget, the goal here is to drive sales. To turn your engagement into email subscribers, you can offer a relevant download or ask them for their opinion on a content release.
Because LinkedIn decreases engagement for posts with links, one strategy is to put the link in the first comment. When you hit thirty comments on the piece, move it to the text area because garnering the initial engagement is the hardest.
Use Appreciation Posts to Develop Key Relationships
LinkedIn loves when you appreciate people in your network.
They go crazy over it. But don’t just say thanks, add value.
- Introduce the problem you had before your meeting with the person you’re appreciating.
- Explain the credibility of the person using a tangible example
- Dive into the key learning lessons from the conversation using bullet points
- Tag them in the update.
Convert To Sales
If you implemented the content and engagement tactics outlined above every day for a month, then people are starting to follow every post you publish. Your network knows of you and people in their network know of you.
It’s time to make sales.
We sell in a genuine way – by focusing on relationship building using content marketing. This tactic is more useful if you have high-value prospects. This means your average deal size should, at least, be one thousand dollars.
Because almost every conversation leads into “What do you do?,” our angle is to get high-value prospects on the phone with you before they even receive a sales pitch.
How does this work? We offer to include them in blog posts, podcasts, case studies, live stream videos, or even online magazines where you can highlight them. We’re playing to their ego – and it works.
Create a Powerful Ecosystem
To excel at one social platform, it often requires the help of others because excellent marketing is an ecosystem. You’re competing for attention. To drive millions of views on LinkedIn, you need to combine the powerful network on LinkedIn with Facebook and Google.
Once you’ve connected with and nurtured many of your target LinkedIn prospects, you have the leverage to build a tribe. You can build a Facebook Group, a Slack community or a LinkedIn Group, but be careful. Engagement is key, and without active community members those are dead zones.
To get people into your community, there are two ways:
- LinkedIn messaging (more painful, but still works)
Wherever your prospects go, they’ll see your engaging content. And by the time they hop on a call with you, they’ll already trust you. Say goodbye to your normal sales cycle by mastering LinkedIn.
You’ve Received an Invitation to Connect: Now What?
Let’s flip the coin. If someone asks to connect with you, and his or her profile piques your curiosity, write back thanking the person for connecting and mention that you’re interested in his or her work as well.
Be specific in explaining why, and suggest a call or video chat so you can get acquainted.
Take Your Connections Offline
Hoping for a face-to-face encounter? Scour their news feed for mentions of events or conferences they’re attending, or ask them if they’ll be at a particular conference that seems likely. After you’ve found the opportunity, make it a point to go hear them speak or otherwise arrange to meet them for two minutes to say hello.
Some Tools To Make Your Life Easier
Search For New Potential Customers, Instantly
Using LeadFuze’s lead generation software, you no longer just have to find business contacts one by one on LinkedIn. Instead, search for leads in specific roles and industries, that use certain software, that spend on Adwords, who are hiring, and more. Then, unlock a lot more data like verified emails, phone numbers, social profiles and more!
Buffer is one of the top social media management tools with which lets you post to your Linkedin pages, groups and profile from one place. They even have a browser extension. You can share the link to any web page or blog post you are on just by clicking on this extension and then scheduling it on Linkedin.
Hootsuite has a feature called streams which show different parts of your Linkedin feeds in one place. For example, you can create a stream for your home page and your updates and place them side by side. The home page stream will show you updates from your connections and your updates stream will show things you have posted.
ReachOut, ZoomInfo’s Chrome extension, allows you to simplify your social prospecting process. When you install this plugin, you’ll get access to a prospect’s direct phone numbers and email addresses from ZoomInfo’s B2B database immediately when you view their LinkedIn profile.
Awario is an app that primarily focuses on social listening. The platform’s complex monitoring searches are more thorough that most other platforms, ensuring you won’t miss any mention of your brand, industry or competitors. Once you locate potential prospects, you can engage with them right away from Awario.
Elevate is not a separate tool, per se, but it works as a LinkedIn advertising solution.
Elevate is a platform that a company can pay for their employees to become brand advocates. Basically, it makes it easier for your marketing or sales team to control or suggest content that your employees share on LinkedIn. Should employees be sharing your suggested content anyway? Probably. But this spoon-feeds posts and moves the needle.
I’d love to hear how you use LinkedIn, and as always, feel free to connect with me there.