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Tips for Communicating Through LinkedIn

Linked In CoverFor the past few weeks we have focused on getting started with LinkedIn.

In some ways, communicating on LinkedIn is confusing. For one thing, if you don’t upgrade your account it seems as if you cannot send InMail messages. But, you can. The way you do it is that you have to be a member of the same group and send them a message through that group privately. Go to the group, click members, find the member’s profile, go to it, and then find “send message” and click it.

3 Most Important Things to Remember

  • Don’t Spam — It’s very important to realize that if you’re going to send InMail messages that you do not want to send spam to people. It’s best to focus on relationship building. Reach out to them by finding an article you wrote to share with them, or something someone else wrong to share with them, that you think they’ll enjoy.
  • Pay Attention — But first, show them that you have paid attention to what they say by commenting on their updates, group posts, and even off LinkedIn on their blog posts, other social media and more. This will set the stage for you to be able to contact them in a manner that they’ll actually read because they will recognize your name and realize you’re not spamming them.
  • Make it Personal — Make your messages personal. Word your messages as though you were talking to a friend, directly. You want to build relationships so try asking for the reader’s help or offering a free item. Remember you want to create a relationship-building message not turn them off.

You can do that by focusing on how you can add value to their business and their lives. When you focus on what your audience needs, and not on what you need (a new client, a sale, money, money, money) you’ll succeed at getting exactly what you really want.

Join and Participate in Groups

Join several groups that look like they might consist of your target audience. Monitor and participate in the groups daily. Find out what the group talks about. Make note of what their problems are. After a month, if you don’t see people, who fit your target market, leave the group and join another.

Post Comments on Group Discussions

When people do post something that is useful attempt to engage them by making a comment about the post. Try to be positive, but you can also be real and call them out on the post if it’s something you feel strongly about and will advance your position as an authority on the topic.

Post Discussion Starters in Groups

Before leaving any group, try to post a discussion starter in the group. Make sure it’s not a sales post, or just a link to an article. Post a real question, or answer a real question in a new post that someone else in that audience asked or could potentially ask. When people respond, be sure to comment back.

Accept Connections but Pay Attention

The more people you connect to the better, but you do want your connections to be useful for you. As you become more active on LinkedIn, you’ll notice people seek out a connection with you and you may find that some of them are indeed spammers. It’s okay, you can delete and even block the connection should that happen.

Start Asking for Recommendations

Every day, until you’ve asked every connection you’ve worked with,  send out a personal request for a recommendation. The recommendations on LinkedIn, due to the way they’re collected are highly coveted and sought after. The right words will make all the difference. Remember to send a personal note asking for the recommendation with a reminder of what you did with or for them to help them choose their words.

Finally, update your profile regularly with an update, an image, or a post. In addition, keep the rest of your profile fresh and polished. As LinkedIn adds more features, you can add more to your profile. You’ll be happy you did because LinkedIn is a great place to connect with existing clients and find potential clients.

You never know who might be checking your profile out because they want to work with you!

Do you have any other tips to share?