Purposeful LinkedIn Networking

In one way or another, you have access to nearly 610 Million people who are on LinkedIn. Even if these LinkedIn Members are not active on LinkedIn, purposefully networking on LinkedIn is a powerful way to get into the right conversations with the right people, at the right time.

I routinely remind my clients of two important business process facts of LinkedIn Networking.

#1 You do not have to connect with every Tom, Dick, and Betty on LinkedIn. No disrespect to all the Toms, Dicks and Bettys on LinkedIn, they could be fabulous people. I’ll tell them as well, not to connect with every George, Harry or Sylvia on LinkedIn either. I use a very deliberate philosophy to decide who I should connect with. Relevance is at the core of this philosophy. I use the word relevance broadly around life, business, career, community, industry, role, interest and curiosity.

#2 There are two people you should connect with on LinkedIn (and in life). I urge everyone who wants to get the greatest value from their LinkedIn Network to make a new connection every day of their life. The more you network on LinkedIn the easier it becomes to network on LinkedIn.

Many years ago LinkedIn used to show the size of our 2nd level network. Back when I only had a few thousand connections I remember this number being close to 13Million people. Today I am fortunate to have a large and highly relevant LinkedIn Network. As I research new LinkedIn Connections today it has become far easier to connect with them.

The old quote of “6 degrees from Kevin Bacon” has morphed into my quote, “2 degrees away from my Most Important Viewer”.

Here are the two people you should connect with on LinkedIn:

(A) People you can help

These are the people you could help in some way or another.

Maybe it’s your ability to encourage, motivate, inform or educate them through the content you share and the ideas you bring to relevant conversations.

Maybe you can help them through a direct conversation over a LinkedIn or email message or even a quick phone call.

Maybe you can help them by alerting them of future opportunities you discover from your LinkedIn Network that they could benefit from.

Maybe they need help connecting with that a LinkedIn Connection who could be the most profound connection and conversation they have ever made.

(B) People who can help you

These are the people who can help you in some way or another, either in business, life, community or career.

Maybe you can get encouragement, motivation or educated from their content and engagement in relevant conversations.

Maybe you can get into an open and mutually beneficial conversation with them via LinkedIn message, email, quick phone call or visit.

Maybe as your relationship and reputation grow with them, they would be able/willing to introduce you to your next great LinkedIn Connection, (i.e. a potential client).

Maybe these LinkedIn Members are actually your Most Important Viewer (target audience) and again, as your relationship and reputation grow with them, they would be open to a direct business conversation which could turn a LinkedIn Connection into a prospect or better yet a client.

You can adjust my definitions of People you can help and People who can help you as you wish to best fit your specific business or career goals. However, don’t disrespect the core definitions by driving them down to ‘people I can sell to’.

If you are not networking on LinkedIn for mutual benefit, as we should in life, I can guarantee you’ll get far less long term value from networking.

One of the truly rewarding aspects of networking with these two people on LinkedIn is that often one becomes the other. Sometimes you don’t see it happening until the person you thought needed your help introduces you to someone they know well who needs your services, products or skills. And, maybe that person you connect with who became a client, personally needs your help with their own goals.

Two additional important aspects of networking on LinkedIn, which I am committed to are:

  1. My research (searching) on LinkedIn is focused on people who can help me. This is typically influencers or my Most Important Viewer.
  2. I immediately engage with everyone I connect with on LinkedIn. I think it’s a huge missed opportunity when LinkedIn Members fail to do this.

The amount of time I invest in my immediate engagement is based on the potential value this LinkedIn Connection could have to my business goals. Often those I can help will get a friendly LinkedIn message thanking them for the connection and letting them know I will help them in any way I can. Those who I believe can help me (often the influencers or my Most Important Viewers) may get a phone call or business email message thanking them for the connection and inviting them to a conversation regarding their business goals or needs. No sales pitch, ever.

I strive to live by my edit of “Networking is finding, developing and nurturing relationships that mutually move people forward through life.” As I discovered the potential of networking on LinkedIn I encourage all LinkedIn Members to do the same.

If your sales team needs to understand and start networking on LinkedIn purposefully, let’s talk.

Teddy
336-283-6121
info@burrissconsulting.com

5 Ways to help others using LinkedIn

I listened to a 30 minute YouTube video from Simon Sinek today. He got me to thinking about what I am doing to grow my business.

He must have used the word “ME” a few dozen times in his speech as he worked to drive home a few important points. I feel I heard him loud and clear.

One of the points I took from Simon’s message is not really new. I’ve heard it many different times in different ways. Simon has even given this ‘message’ to me before in his other talks.

I won’t distract from the video anymore. I encourage you to go watch it yourself – Simon Sinek: If you don’t Understand People, you don’t Understand Business.

The point I took from Simon’s message that I will share here is basically; ‘How are you helping others?’

My philosophy behind LinkedIn is based on 4 areas:

  1. Presence
  2. Network
  3. Reputation
  4. Prospecting

Two of these areas of LinkedIn, as well as in life, are directly impacted by how we help others. One of the problems with our fast-paced world is we don’t allow enough time to stop and do something for others. I suffer from this challenge myself.

Here are 5 ways to help others on LinkedIn that can be quick and easy, yet very impactful for the other person:

#1 – Endorsements – We can acknowledge someone for their specific skills and experiences by simply clicking on the “+” symbol in the skills section of the LinkedIn Member. Fortunately, LinkedIn also gives us the ability to show how serious we are by asking us for a level of skill and our relationship with the LinkedIn Member when we Endorse them. This is optional for those who don’t want to click three more times.

#2 – Recommendations – If we really want to show someone how much we think of their skills, experiences and/or business value we can write a LinkedIn Recommendation for them. This way to help allows us creativity in our recommendation with personalized words.

#3 – Introductions – A powerful feature of LinkedIn is the ability to get introduced to people who can help us in our business or career journey. To help others, we could accept a request to get introduced or be proactive and consider, ‘Who should I introduce to each other today?’ This is a powerful way to help other people on LinkedIn.

#4 – Like/Comment/Share – LinkedIn Members who write and share their own content on LinkedIn are appreciative when other LinkedIn Members engage on their content in meaningful and relevant ways. A Like is one click, a Comment takes a few clicks and words and a Share may cost us 15-30 seconds. This is another powerful way to help another person on LinkedIn.

#5 – Public Accolades – LinkedIn has a feature called #Kudos built into the LinkedIn Post function. If someone did something fabulous, kind, friendly, nice, useful, etc, we can consider publicly acknowledging them with a #Kudos Post. Public acknowledgment is a great way to help others on LinkedIn.

Bonus – A few more simple ways to help others on LinkedIn using kind and friendly words include:

  • @Mention them in a relevant post or comment
  • Public acknowledgment of their birthday, career anniversary or new job/role.
  • Send them a private message when you can thanking them, encouraging them or just to say hello.
  • Call them or visit them when you are in their town and have a few moments to say hello.
  • Consider them for their skills, experiences or business services.
  • Refer or better yet, recommend them (when you can) to others who could benefit from their skills/services/products

As I wrote in my first book, “Networking for Mutual Benefit”, there are two caveats to helping others:

  1. You must Give with no Expectations. What you get from giving cannot be defined or required.
  2. Give sincerely thinking of only the other person.

As I listened to Simon’s speech I was reminded we must understanding people and care for others in order to be truly successful in our businesses and lives. The rewards from giving can not be measured by dollars or a P&L.

Do you have any other ways to help others using LinkedIn? Please share with us in the comments.

Teddy

15 Best Practices of LinkedIn Networking

Networking on LinkedIn is an important practice and must be done correctly and consistently in order to create real business results.

It all starts with knowing who you want to connect with. Who, in what companies, industries, and regions?

As you connect on LinkedIn you’ll create opportunities to connect with even more people you want to connect with.

I love the old adage, “6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.” This is so old school. Today it’s “3 degrees of separation from anyone who connects with purpose and intention on LinkedIn.”

I ‘preach’ this regularly and am obliged to do so again here:

“There are two people you need to connect with on LinkedIn, those you can help and those who can help you.
Consider the invites from those you can help, as you purposefully send invites to those who can help you in your business or career.”

 

  1. As you connect on LinkedIn remember to smile and be friendly. You’re networking with other real people.
  2. Follow the Dale Carnegie principle; ‘make the conversation all about the other person.”
  3. I’ve added a spin to this philosophy in my Networking for Mutual Benefit; “Make the conversation all about the other person until you get permission to talk about yourself or your business.”
  4. As you connect you never know who knows who, and who can introduce you to who. This could be considered mysterious, however, for me, it’s one of the coolest things about networking.
  5. Keep connecting, and as long as you are doing it correctly, with purpose and intention, focused on your goals, trust the magic of networking will work.
  6. Don’t just network on LinkedIn, find opportunities to meet in person or have a Skype or Phone conversation. “Digital Face to Face is better than never face to face.”
  7. People want to do business with people they trust, respect and like. Get into open conversations, this can help you achieve greater trust, respect, and relationships.
  8. Listen to what your connections say or ask. Don’t listen to respond, but rather, listen to understand first and foremost.
  9. Remember to Give to your LinkedIn Network. When you give ideas, information and/or new philosophies that are relevant to your target audience, this adds to the trust, respect, and relationship.
  10. Don’t confuse barfing out brochures and case studies as a form of Giving. Give your target audience what they want, need, & are interested in, even if it’s not about your business.
  11. Help your LinkedIn Network, including your target audience, to connect with others who can help each other. Do this with no expectations of anything in return.
  12. Pay attention to your LinkedIn Network as you continue to grow your network. Show empathy and bolster their self-esteem when and where you can. You will always be remembered for caring for your network.
  13. If you lead with Give and care for your network, they will be acceptable to introduce you to others who you need meet. Ask for introductions when you can.
  14. Pay attention to who your network is connected to, and to whom they can introduce you to. Again, as you get permission, ask for appropriate introductions.
  15. Networking is a life style, not something you do once a week or when an urgent need arises.

I discovered years ago that my Network is my most important asset in life. This includes my LinkedIn Network.

Never disrespect your LinkedIn Network, continuously build your LinkedIn Network, develop a diverse LinkedIn Network, help your LinkedIn Network, care for your LinkedIn Network, share your LinkedIn Network and Give to your LinkedIn Network with no expectations.

It’ll return great dividends if you do.

Read more of my articles about Networking on LinkedIn on my blog

If I can help you and/or your team with your LinkedIn Networking practices, let’s talk.

/Teddy

336-283-6121

Should I begin using LinkedIn as a Senior in High School?

The answer to this question is similar to another question:
 
Should I start saving money in high school? 
Yes, you should start saving what money you can as early as you can.
 
Look what $1000 a year can create if you start investing at 16 yrs old. 
Base on a simple 5% APR.
 
At age 22 – $8300 in the account. At 35 – $34,000, and at 65 – $222,000.
Imagine if the APR were closer to 10%, the result would be closer to $1.4M at age 65.
 
Financial advisors will tell us to follow these best practices for the greatest financial results:
 
  • Start investing as early as we can
  • Consistently add to the funds
  • Manage the risks relevant to our goals
  • Diversify our investments
  • Reinvest the interest
  • Measure our results
 
A financial asset and a LinkedIn network are two different types of assets, however, managed correctly they are both important assets in life. There are great similarities in the best practices of these two assets.
 
As a LinkedIn consultant, I offer these best practices of Networking on LinkedIn:
 
  • Start as early as you can. 
  • Consistently grow your LinkedIn Network every day.
  • Manage the risk by making purposeful decisions of who you connect with.
  • Diversity your connections beyond your current role/career.
  • Reinvest in your network by helping your network when and where you can.
  • Measure your network to ensure you are actually building a mutually beneficial network.

Grow your LinkedIn through every phase of your career and business.

Starting early with these best practices can create the greatest value in your life if you are purposeful and deliberate in your actions.

 
If however, you are going to start building your LinkedIn Network in high school you will want to commit to the process, otherwise, your LinkedIn Network will become stale and become disconnected, just as our high school friends become when we lose track of them in life. I recommend installing the LinkedIn App on your smartphone and use it at least a few times each month as you begin networking on LinkedIn.
 
The more you connect on LinkedIn the more chances you’ll have to find ideas and philosophies that can help you in your career journey.
 
The more you connect on LinkedIn and engage with your network in meaningful ways, the more you can grow your personal/professional brand. 
 
Here are a few examples of value:
 
  • LinkedIn helps you stay in touch with the career journeys of the people you meet in real high school and beyond.
  • LinkedIn helps you to meet new people through your existing network.
  • LinkedIn can help you discover new career ideas as you start and travel through your career journey.
  • LinkedIn can help you uncover new ideas and sources of knowledge through the people in your growing network.
  • LinkedIn can help you stay aware of industries, companies, and people you are interested in.
  • LinkedIn can help you to be discovered through your 1st and 2nd level connections as an authority in the space you want to be known for.
 
I am an advocate of starting to grow your LinkedIn network before you leave high school. Deliberately begin to use LinkedIn with purpose and focus on your career and business goals.
The return on investment can be significant.
 
If you want to discuss this philosophy further, contact me – info@BurrissConsulting.com or 336-283-6121