- Write a comprehensive and well thought-out profile on LinkedIn.
- Get endorsements / testimonials.
- Invest time in making connections.
- Be proactive and approach potential business partners and prospects.
- Offer something of value to the LinkedIn member.
Konstantin Guericke from LinkedIn offered a couple of observations in the LinkedIn Yahoo Groups:
[R]ecommendation #5 makes all the difference in your response rates and the success you have. #2 is interesting, and when you look at his profile, you see not just a collection of references, but specifically references from clients.
Tony also describes the “diminishing returns” effect of adding more than 500 or so connections:
Once you get to 500 connections, you are likely to have access to 1 million business contacts on LinkedIn (as you are able to connect friends of friends). By contrast, if you make it to 5000 connections, you are likely to have access to only 2-3 million business contacts. The reason is that the more connections you have, the harder it is to find new connections who will have friends that are not already connected to you on LinkedIn. So the exciting news is that a lot of the gains of LinkedIn can be achieved by simply getting to 500 connections – and that’s a goal that should be achievable for most consulting professionals.
It’s not that there’s zero value in going from 500 connections to 5,000 — it’s just that the value isn’t proportional to the effort.
My recommendation: Before going from 500 connections to 5,000, spend a lot more time getting to know the first 500, learning how you might be of service to each other, etc. Remember, networking isn’t just about collecting names — it’s about building relationships for mutual benefit.
Quotes of the Day
Jon Williamson (if every mega-networker did this, I wouldn’t have nearly as much of an issue with them as I do):
Everybody receives an email from me when we connect…Most of my new connections and I end up exchangine several emails before that cycle dies down. By then, it has served its purpose, we have laid a bit of a foundation for possibly helping each other in the future.
From an ongoing discussion about “quality vs. quantity” on LinkedInnovators:
I’m very open to meeting people using the introduction services that LinkedIn provides, as well as at parties, etc. At parties, I don’t Xerox my whole contact list and hand it out to everyone I talk to. Following the same logic, I don’t connect on LinkedIn with people I don’t know – that would open my contact list to them.
I think what we have not done is define what is meant by the ambiguous term being used as “quality”. I believe that this is relative to the applications and needs of the individual. If as a technical / sales recruiter, I want to build a network that will provide me the best chance to improve my business then I will build it by connecting with those that have similar interests or provide potential mutually beneficial opportunities. If I build it with a large number of those that I went to college with, most of whom are pastoring a church or in the ministry, then that would not be a “quality” network for my needs. Some just want to re-connect with friends – for that purpose it would not make sense to seek out high level business executives as connections. A quality network (in my opinion) is one that satisfies the specific desired purposes and applications of the individual creating it. Many of us desire to build a network in aid in achieving a business goal. For that purpose it would not make sense to build a network of entry level professionals….you get my point. I definitely agree that volume is a key – I just felt the need to interject…that another key is that your network is assembled with those that can best help you reach the goals you have set in what ever area of focus that may be.