Are You LinkedIn? Submitted by Theresa Carter – StayNTouch.biz
LinkedIn (www.Linkedin.com) is a business network that has emerged as a replacement for the old rolodex because it is online and self-managed. LinkedIn offers a much more robust way to maintain your business connections and see what they are up to. But beyond that, LinkedIn has become an indispensable tool for business introductions.
Before you begin looking for contacts within LinkedIn, make sure your Profile sells you! A professional picture will help people remember you, so make sure it makes the impression you’re looking for. List your current and past positions, including volunteer positions. Every position you list is another way to “link” with other people. For example, I list my position with WBON. When someone does a google search for WBON, my LinkedIn profile comes up!
Once you are satisfied with your profile, begin looking for people you already have a relationship with. The easiest way to do this is to upload your contacts from your electronic rolodex – Outlook, Yahoo Mail, etc. This upload will identify all the contacts from your rolodex who are already “LinkedIn”. Follow the instructions to “invite” them to connect with you.
As you receive emails indicating that contacts have accepted your invitation, take the time to view their profiles. Have you done business with them in the past? Can you write them a great endorsement? Do it now! Next, check out their connections. This is the fun part. People you know are connected to each other and you had no idea they knew each other. You went to the same college as someone you know and didn’t even know it!
Repeat this process with each accepted invitation and you’ll be building your network in no time. The, when you are looking for a product or service, use your network first!
Doing Business through LinkedIn
Say you’re interested in talking to StayNTouch.biz about your new product. You log into LinkedIn and search for people who work for StayNTouch.biz. Then you Figure out how you might be connected to them. Ideally the connection is just one degree away, or in other words, you know someone who knows the person you are looking to connect with directly. Then ask for an introduction. Try it now by going to my profile and checking out my contacts. Is there anyone you’d like to connect to? Ask me for an introduction.
An introduction received via LinkedIn is much warmer than a cold call, because it comes with a bit of trust. You are no longer a stranger trying to sell things that no one needs, instead you come with a recommendation from a person that the receiver knows. And even if you can’t find a path to connect to someone, sending a direct message via LinkedIn is better than sending a cold email. The reason is that LinkedIn implies business, and so the person you’re trying to reach likely is not going to be as surprised or angry about the unsolicited ping.
Submitted by Theresa Carter, WBON Membership Chair www.StayNTouch.biz – 919.369.7801 If you have any linked in questions, please email me and I’ll try to get back to you right away, but if I get a lot of questions, I may do a follow up article!