Before you click “Connect” on that prospect’s LinkedIn profile, be sure your company page and profile are fully optimized. Both are first impressions of your brand that a prospect will look at before deciding whether or not to engage. If you haven’t taken this important step, read this recent blog post to get up-to-speed.
With those two items checked off your list, you can now start focusing on building your LinkedIn network. While 500+ connections is a common goal, quality is definitely more important than quantity. If done properly, your LinkedIn network can become a strategic source of referrals and introductions that boosts your brand and credibility.
Let’s first talk about how to increase your connections. Here are 5 ways that will resonate across industries.
- Start with who you know. Connect with your current and previous colleagues, as well as classmates and existing clients.
- Starting to work with a new client? Add all key contacts to your network.
- Now that you’re connected to those key contacts, search their networks for 3 – 5 other individuals (per contact) at companies with which you’d like to do business.
- When celebrating a win with a client or wrapping up a successful project, ask for introductions to those 3 – 5 individuals. If you do that for 3 contacts, you’ve got 9 – 15 qualified leads.
- Attend a successful industry event or conference? Connect with contacts you met.
Now that you’ve got a network of connections, how are you going to leverage them?
- Share updates from your company’s LinkedIn page when there is a new post to build awareness of your brand.
- Check your LinkedIn newsfeed on a weekly basis to see what your connections are posting and engage with their content by liking or providing comments. This will keep you and your brand top-of-mind so when a need arises, they recall your organization above others.
- Scan your connections’ networks on a quarterly basis to see if they have any new connections you’d like to be introduced to.
As with any outreach, especially when it comes to prospecting, take the time to send personalized InMails and invitations. As for anyone who’s set up an introduction for you or made a recommendation, don’t forget to return the favor!