Until recent years, LinkedIn profiles were very much seen as a site for those searching for a new role of employment.
Like so many social sites, fully understanding the capabilities of LinkedIn is paramount. It’s easy to be quite dismissive of them, but if used correctly, LinkedIn will engage with both established and new LinkedIn business connections alike.
It might sound obvious, but before you start to reach out to new connections, ensure that your personal profile is up to date and factually correct. If possible, link to all previous employment using each businesses LinkedIn profile. And if the company that you currently work for doesn’t have a LinkedIn business profile, why not suggest setting one up it to the department who would be responsible for overseeing it?
Next, decide who your target audience or connection is? For example, if you are a Purchasing Manager, working for a steel fabricators, your key connections are likely to be salespersons or other Purchasing Managers who supply the steel.
And every post you write or share, whether daily or less frequently must have an association to the service that your company provides…
Unless you are looking to move into an alternative industry, or already have previous experience or connections in a different sector, there would be little point in connecting with someone in an equine Marketing department! That said, never say never as you don’t know where a connection might lead….
Once you have ascertained your key target connection, use the search tool to reach out to them. Thousands of possible connections will then be listed, so narrow the search further by selecting 2nd connections.
For those of you not familiar with this term, a 1st connection is someone that you are already connected to. A 2nd connection is a potential connection and each of you share at least one 1st connection, so it is highly likely that a 2nd connection will accept your invitation to connect.
If the revised list of suggested contacts still seems massive, you can then narrow your search by region or area. It is suggested and definitely worthwhile to include a covering message when reaching out to a new connection. Aim to reach out to between 10 and 20 connections daily and watch your connections grow, as like everything in life, LinkedIn only works if you make the effort!
Obviously, not everyone will accept your invitation, but each new connection that you make will open up yet more 2nd potential connections. It only takes one connection to be a fruitful one and as they say ‘the rest is history’.