Online networking is a good strategy to establish yourself professionally and generate interest in your business. It doesn’t matter if you’re working from home, you can always meet other entrepreneurs, get interesting contacts, and meet new clients and potential collaborators. In this article, reputation management experts teach how to connect with people on LinkedIn.
1. Create your LinkedIn profile
The most important elements for your profile are a professional close-up photograph (don’t upload a photo in front of a mirror), a clear header and a biography that captures the attention of visitors, tells them who you are and what you can do for them professionally. It should be like a personal elevator pitch that makes people notice you.
2. Start creating your network (gradually)
LinkedIn works similar to Facebook, except that you send “connection” requests not “friends”. When you sign up, LinkedIn suggests people you might know from old jobs or school. Connecting with these people is a good way to start creating online links, as the more connections you have, the more profiles you can see.
And if you see a person who can become a customer or an interesting alliance for you, is more likely to accept you if there is a common connection.
3. Customize all connection requests
On LinkedIn, there are many spammers and overwhelming publicity, so every time you click on “Connect”, you will see a pop-up window with the option “Add a note” that will give you the chance to explain to whoever you’re sending the connection who you are and call their attention in the crowd.
Don’t send them your sales pitch; introduce yourself. Tell them what the common points are (the neighborhood, a colleague, the work area) and explain why you want to have them on your network (you want to connect with other graphic designers, their article left you thinking or your company is looking for people with their professional skills). Make sure the message is respectful, friendly and easy to read.
You can also read: Why is LinkedIn important for your career?
4. Look at the profiles you’re interested in
Seeing someone’s LinkedIn profile is like smiling at them and greeting them in real life. When someone sees your profile, you will receive a notification: “Jessica has seen your profile”. This is a good excuse to start a conversation with other freelance workers who specialize in your niche, entrepreneurs working in your area, potential clients or other professionals with skills that interest you.
When you click on a LinkedIn profile, the other person will receive a notification that will notify them. If you have a free LinkedIn profile (like most), you will see who were the last five people who have seen your profile. You can switch to a paid plan if you want to see more “observers”, but it’s not necessary at all.
5. Follow, follow and follow
Well, you’ve sent connection requests to Carlos from the accounts department and to your college colleagues. But what about the industry leaders you’d like to connect with but have never met?
The most successful entrepreneurs, mentors or influencers are likely to achieve hundreds of requests each day. For this reason, you may receive a “No” or your application may go completely unnoticed. In these cases, the “Follow” button is your best ally.
When you log in to a profile and hit the “Follow” button, you’ll start viewing on your LinkedIn home page all the content that this person shares. It’s like a way of saying “Hello, I care about who you are and what you do” without the need for a previous connection request that will most likely be rejected. You can also follow companies, so we recommend you follow your competitors, brands you like and companies you may one day work with.
6. Read, comment and participate
When you sign in to your LinkedIn, you’ll see your homepage in the same way that it is presented on Facebook or Instagram. You’ll see posts that have made your connections, brands and people you follow, as well as some sponsored content (advertisements). This is where magic occurs.
Get used to reading publications and articles from the people you follow and quickly find opportunities to get involved in the conversation. However, don’t waste comments. Wait till you have something pertinent to say that brings a new idea to the interaction or that offers a different perspective on the subject. This will help you stand out, especially if at the same time you can prove you have experience and know what you’re talking about.
These were 6 steps to connect with professionals on LinkedIn. Follow them so you can continue to advance with your activity although your face-to-face networking events have been canceled. We hope this information has been useful to you!
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