At a recent lunch meeting, the idea of prospecting for new business via Linkedin was brought up. Typically I think of Linkedin as a way to keep in touch with former colleagues and connect with industry individuals. One of the necessary tools in your social media arsenal, if you will.
However, by using Linkedin aggressively—instead of passively—I was introduced to a few ways that using Linkedin could actually improve your bottom line.
1. Thank Your Connections
Connect. Connect. Connect. The size of your network is dependent on your connectivity. Send a simple thank you after individuals accept your connections. This is a great time to introduce yourself and extend a non-intrusive offer to help in any way you can (i.e. look at their website for functionality, give an insurance quote, etc.). Even if an connection does not instantly lead to business, it increases the amount of people you know which could lead to business in the future.
2. Group Action
Don’t be afraid to interact with fellow users. Engage in a variety of groups. This can also help you grow your network based on common interests and business objectives. Engage in group discussions. Post news that demonstrates your expertise, and establishes you as an industry leader. Contribute to conversations, being sure to add value.
Starting a group is another great way to establish yourself and your company as a thought leader. Creating a narrowly defined group will help you attract the right kinds of prospects. Allow the group to be an open group—the more members the better. Engage, engage, re-engage. Be sure you are closely monitoring your group and keeping its content relevant and useful.
3. Use it as a Follow Up
Be sure to send a Linkedin connection invitation to customers/colleagues/prospects after every meeting. This reinforces your name and skillset. You can even use this as a time to ask for an introduction to a decision member on their contact list.
Does your Linkedin profile need a makeover? Click here for an infographic from last year that is still relevant and helpful.