Linkedin! Are you linkedin?
The power of linkedin is amazing but you need to know the basics. Unlike Facebook, there aren’t comments such as “I’m about to go for a run” or “I’ve just got in from a hard day working” but instead you get links to business information and business news in general. Linkedin is more about linking people together (the clue is in the name) who can help your network and not necessarily you. An example is that I get involved in company startups so I might try and link in with senior CEO’s, FCO’s or business development professionals and project managers.
Like my business, with linkedin I can link with people who I have never met and may never do business with but should I have a need for help I can just reach out and get it. So, it is a little disappointing when you reach out to someone who might add value to your network only to be asked “do I know you?” or “How did we meet?” and once you have explained that they can add value to your network, you never hear from them again.
I work with international companies from Perth in Australia to the Middle East, the US and the UK. Some company owners and CEO’s I have never met but this doesn’t mean that we can’t do business together. Similarly if someone reaches out to you and asks you to join their network, don’t question them about how you know each other because they would have volunteered this information if they had known you. Be grateful that someone has taken the time to look at your profile and think that you might add some value to their network.
I have many really good experiences on Linkedin. Recently I linked with Suzi Grala from breezedigital.co.uk who specialise in SEO and Pay Per Click. The conversation went something like this: “hey Suzi, Tino from cloud computing wants to connect with you” Suzi replies, “I accept” and adds” hey, let me know if I can help you in any way” to which I say ”yep, will do as soon as my clients need your help” to which Suzi replies” thanks, that is most kind of you” The above isn’t the exact wording but what a fantastic experience. I reached out to a complete stranger and she welcomed me. The message that I was getting was “let me help you, yes I want to be part of you network” So thank you Suzi!
I currently have a small number of people in my network. I don’t “know” them all personally but I know that should I need help I can just reach out to them. In my opinion and I’m sure that I’m not alone, linkedin is about growing your professional network and surrounding yourself with gurus and experts so that when the time comes that you need help, all that you need to do is turn to my network.
One last bit of advice: if someone reaches out to you and you accept, by all means thank them for connecting but don't hit them with a sales email or add them to your business newsletter..that is just rude!
Have a great week!