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Communication is Key

Building your “Roadmap to Results” is all about effort. The more time and effort you put in, the greater the potential value you can create. The way you communicate is key. If your goal is to generate business and leads on LinkedIn, you need to think about growing your connections. There are many different ways to connect, from meeting people offline to connecting with them on Facebook or Twitter. Think about peers in your industry, clients, prospective clients, community leaders, etc.—anybody you may know and have a good reason to be connected with.

Creating Awareness via LinkedIn Invitations

One of your goals on LinkedIn is to reengage with people from your past. While searching for people to connect with, you find a former classmate who was in your group for that torturous project that you thought would never end. After the few moments of drifting down memory lane, you decide that you want to connect with this person, so you click on the “Connect” button. What automatically pops up is the generic “I want to connect with you on LinkedIn” but you should not send that!

You just read that and now might think I am crazy. But in fact, I stand by what I said. Effective connections on LinkedIn is all about being engaging and relationship building. If you send “I want to connect with you on LinkedIn”, you are not inviting this person to engage with you or have a virtual conversation. Let’s assume that you both graduated within the past five years. The ironic thing is that while you’ve drifted apart, you have a lot to catch up on. If you send the generic LinkedIn invite message, the reality is no one is probably going to start a conversation and a fantastic opportunity to re-engage a friend from the past has been marginalized.

However with a couple of simple tips, this doesn’t have to be. Just like Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, you can see the future now and correct it before it occurs. The process is simple. All you need to do is customize your email to your old classmate. Perhaps something like this, “Hi John, can you believe we graduated three years ago? I’d love to catch up with you if you are available.” With that invitation, you started a conversation, and who knows, maybe even a little reunion.

Staying Top of Mind

As you grow out your LinkedIn connections, the goal is two-fold, stay top of mind and add value as they are actively seeking it. If one of your connections asks a question, answer it, but ONLY if you have relevant information to share. You do not want to waste anyone’s time. Additionally, you may find a great article that you want to share, but only do so if you the article is relevant to a majority of your connections.

That being said, now let’s say you post something very interesting and someone messages you. If someone takes time to go out of his or her way to send you a message, you should without a doubt write something back. This can be a great opportunity to get to know this particular connection better. If everything goes well, you can meet for coffee one day, and perhaps end up doing business with one another. Keep this in mind, engagement builds relationships. Relationships build trust and in business, who do you tend to do business with? You tend to do business with people you trust.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, if you want your connections to be there for you, you have to be there for them. Get to know your connections. Look at their profiles and see if you have anything in common so you can start a simple conversation. Help your connections when they are looking for help. But maybe most importantly, always remain relevant and interesting yourself. Stay up to date on the latest trends so that you can be the one posting the breaking stories. LinkedIn is all about taking steps to improve your communication skills and business.

 

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