Open the Door of Opportunity
I have been training people on LinkedIn now for more than six years and I keep hearing the same question,”Now that I am LinkedIn what do I do?” Following is a list of 10 things (this is Part I) you can be doing that are can really make a difference in your results. Currently I get about 40% of my business from LinkedIn. Maybe this will help you? Weigh in on your best strategies and if I use them I will be sure to acknowledge your idea!
- Join a variety of LinkedIn Groups. Start by joining three to five groups. There are so many great groups on LinkedIn that it would be hard to give you a short list. There are literally thousands of groups. But the best advice I can give here is to join a local group. For instance, we have a LinkedIn Chicago group. Also consider joining alumni groups. Then join a couple of groups that are targeted to your industry. If you have a company and are a thought leader and speak, consider joining a professional speakers group. Joining diverse groups will help you grow your network faster as there won’t be as much cross over in your groups which means you will meet new people rather than experience what is called in the science of networks a “redundant network.”
- Observe who the leaders are in each group for a couple of weeks and invite these people into your network. It won’t take you long to see you the leaders are in each group. They are actively posting great questions, getting other group members responding with great answers and complimentary comments. These are also people who have the most comments in response to their questions. Now look at these peoples’ profiles. Observe what other groups they are in. Look for patterns. You will see that these top leaders join similar groups. Either join those other groups as LinkedIn allows you to be in 50 groups (don’t worry as you can always remove yourself from a group whenever you choose) or just put the group name on a list you are growing for later when you want to join more groups.
- Observe the type of entries that contain the most comments. As you start to observe the entries that contain the most comments by the other group members you will start seeing the types of questions that are of top current interest by that community. Of course these questions and the topics they are related to will also be great topics for you to be blogging about and researching and talking wth prospects or networking referral sources about which will help you grow your presence as a thought leader in your market.
- Start creating a list of great questions that relate to your business. The questions that receive the most comments should have you thinking about other great questions that could be of value. For example you might ask what is the best advice you were ever given about social networking. An add-on question could be something like what is the worst advice you were ever given and why?
- Post your questions and in your post share that you will provide additional insights you get from other replies you get. People love to get an aggregation of good ideas from a wide variety of people–the wisdom of crowds at work. Take the type to harvest your answers and then store them in a word document or somewhere like a private Google site (I love these sites and they are free!) where you can get copy and paste them later onto your blog when you have a significant number.
What other strategies have you seen working well? What is missing that no one is currently addressing? Please share your insights or comments.