The New Year is often a time of setting resolutions and establishing good habits to meet your goals for the coming year. This year, I challenge you to dedicate at least 15 minutes each week to using LinkedIn. LinkedIn is most valuable to those who know how to use it effectively. It is not a sales platform or a place to collect as many connections as possible. The real value in LinkedIn comes for those who are able to establish communication in order to develop and maintain good relationships.
The Challenge: Dedicate 15 minutes each week to your LinkedIn Network
Connect with 10 new people each week. Send them a personal message asking to connect. By doing so, you are communicating with them as an individual and laying the foundation for future contacts. You are starting to build the relationship. Now, get to know them. Ask what she or he does. Ask them who you can connect them to within your network. Ask how you can help them. By approaching a new connection this way, you are establishing a connection and adding value. Thereby, building trust and a solid relationship that will help to grow your business.
Send 5-7 new messages each week to people you have connections with. This does not have to be lengthy or in-depth. The message can be as simple as, “Hey there, it’s been a while since we last talked, What are you up to?” This is beneficial for 2 reasons:
1) You’re starting communication.
2) You’re front of mind again. By contacting 7 people in your network each day, you quickly get to know everyone in your network so you’re better able to connect people within your network and know who can help when and where. Over time, you will continue to build the relationship with your connections by maintaining regular contact.
Keep it about them! We all know what it’s like to get a new connection, only to be followed by a lengthy sales pitch the following day. LinkedIn is not the appropriate platform for this. When you are good at what you do, AND you have good relationships with the people in your network, then you won’t have to tell people what you do. They will ask you and they will be happy to help you.