LinkedIn is one of the leading social media platforms for building and maintaining professional and business connections. While other social media sites are used to communicate (mostly) with family, friends, and followers, LinkedIn is designed to facilitate working and professional relationships.
But simply adding connections to your network is not going to automagically get you new business.
So, how should you go about prospecting for and engaging with leads on LinkedIn?
First, do your research on the potential connection.
If you send messages that aren’t tailored or personalized to the prospect, you’re going to come off as spammy. Remember, you’re talking to a person, not a robot. Check out what groups they belong to, to get a feel for their interests. Thoroughly read their profile, and even peruse their other social media profiles to get an even better understanding of their interests and goals and see if they align with yours. You can find links to their different profiles under the ‘Contact Info’ part of their LinkedIn profile.
Your reputation is everything in business, and how you conduct yourself with your LinkedIn leads and connections is critical to ensuring your future success. Always act professional and honest when communicating on the platform. Your conduct and actions will stick with you and form your reputation, for good or ill.
Read this post if you want to ‘Invite someone you don’t know on LinkedIn‘.
Second, you need a Content Strategy
If you want to generate new leads, you need a content strategy. LinkedIn provides you with a wide spectrum of opportunities for content creation. For instance, you can use LinkedIn Pulse, their publishing platform to share content, educate & engage your connections in meaningful conversations. Make sure to write content that humanizes your brand by sharing your personal opinions.
Third, you need to engage with your network publicly
Don’t just ‘like’ everything you see… In fact, I recommend you take a 30-Day ‘Like-Diet’
Instead ask questions, and try to entice the readers to engage with your content. When someone leaves a comment on your post, be sure to interact with them. This will also help you establish yourself as a thought-leader or someone who’s helpful in answering queries.
Different ideas to engage with your network:
- ask your network a question
- share a tip
- post a video
- comment on someone else’s update
- tag someone in your update
- use LinkedIn Hashtags
- endorse or recommend someone
- participate in a discussion in a LinkedIn Group
- congratulate someone on their new job
Fourth, use the LinkedIn Messanger to engage with your contacts one-on-one
People do business with people. One on one. The new LinkedIn Messager is the greatest invention – since sliced bread. It’s a great tool to engage with your new contacts, on a personal level.
With the new Active Status you even see when your contacts are online, therefore speeding up the communication.
LinkedIn is fundamentally different than other social media platforms. Remember to research your prospects thoroughly, and engage with them on a personalized, conversational level. If you want to generate leads and build a high-quality network on LinkedIn, you’ll want to build relationships and maintain beneficial relationships for you and your business.