LinkedIn Networking Essentials

LinkedIn IS a networking platform! Repeat this at least twenty times a day when you get up in the morning! I’m always amazed at how many people have LinkedIn profiles, but yet do nothing to actually network there. Okay, I get it. Maybe not everyone is a sales person, but surely everyone can benefit from knowing more people in their career field. What if you walk in on Monday and get the dreaded pink slip? What are you going to do then? When it comes to personal networks size (and quality) actually does matter. So, let’s talk about how even the most wall flower of all the wall flowers can network efficiently on LinkedIn.

Connections

Don’t be too picky about your connections, and at the same time, be very picky. This sounds contradictory, and it is. Here’s the deal, though. LinkedIn works like that old game, six degrees of separation. I’m connected to you. You’re connected to someone else. And, I’m only indirectly connected to you. But there’s massive power in that indirect connection! The more connections you have, the more your network expands. But…you need to be directly connected to someone in order to message them. (Inmails are so expensive!) You need both! A large number of connections and also targeted connections.

Networking

Reach out to people in your network regularly. Doesn’t have to be every month. Just at least once a year for those people who’ve fallen by the wayside. You’ll be surprised at how much business will just bubble to the surface just by doing this.

Status Updates

Keep your profile and your status updates up to date! Tell your audience what you’re up to, as far as work is concerned. What projects are you working on? How might that benefit them? What types of employees are you looking for? You’d be amazed at who’s reading your updates and who you can get to reach out to you this way.

Communicate

And, while you’re actually networking, how about really communicating with people? Ask them how the new job is going. How’s that move to Colorado Springs? Again, your goal is to stir up the proverbial mud and see what rises to the top!

A Few Ways To Really Alienate People on LinkedIn

Alright, I’m going to just start out with my own pet peeve so you can see what I’m talking about here. Then I’ll show you some other ways to become really unpopular and annoying on LinkedIn. But to get the ball rolling in the right way, let me just unveil my number one annoyance.

Getting spammed with a five-paragraph message about something I don’t really care about!

There, I said it! And, if you’ve spent any time whatsoever on LinkedIn, I’m sure you know what I mean. (I get so much of this, I might hazard to say that a few of you reading this have been guilty of this practice! GRRRRR!)

Some days I go to LinkedIn, click on my messages and right there front and center is a huge, multi-paragraph thingy, usually about a biz op and full of meaningless hype. And, to boot, it’s from someone who’s connected with me but someone I don’t really know that well. I can just picture them sitting at their desk copying and pasting the same inane message over and over again to their entire network. Nothing screams Annoying Spammer quit like this practice!

Quit it!

Here’s another one, which is basically the same but done through email.

It’s getting an email from that same someone that I don’t even recognize saying that we’re connected on LinkedIn and that here’s the world’s most important, best offer for whatever it is, and that I can get in on the ground floor only if I act now, etc. Seriously, I get this stuff all the time. Well, not ALL the time, but enough to where it makes me cringe every time I see something like this.

My other pet peeve is the polar opposite of this. This next one happens less frequently, but it’s still hyper-annoying! It’s getting a message with the single word “Hi!” or perhaps something like “Hi, how are you?”. The problem with this is that I have to try to figure out who the person is and why they’re saying hello to me. I know what they’re doing. They think they’re getting my permission to message me and I appreciate that, but wow, just give me a short clue as to what this is all about.

So, bottom line here. If you’ve been guilty of any of the above, for Gosh sake, quit! You’re alienating and really annoying one of your greatest assets. Your network!