How Is Connecting on LinkedIn Letting You Down?

I have a confession. This week I accepted a bunch of LinkedIn connection requests without any sort of conversation.  Why? I like to teach good habits through doing them, but also through mistakes.  This is a perfect example of what not to do.

Hitting connect or accept, is like handing out or receiving a business card at a networking event without any conversation.  Would I ever do that in person?  No!

Connect With Conversation on LinkedIn

My upcoming book called “Get Good Or Get Off” is all about doing social media well and making educated choices to do or not do certain aspects of social media.  The big this is that you can’t do social media well without being social.  My action above is an example of not being social. 

 

What could missing the social aspect of social media, be costing me in this case?  

Conversation, context and care can convert a connection into a client. So dismissing the opportunity to start a relationships from the onset, could be a loss in the long-term.

Let’s break down the connection process into 7 options.  In this example the connection will be known as ‘Bob’.

 

Scenario 1

Bob comes across my profile and sends a connection request.  He makes a choice to send without a message (opening conversation).  I hit accept. The end.

Result – Bob has handed me a business card without any conversation and walked away.

 

Scenario 2

Bob sends a connection request with a personal message. I hit accept.  The end.

Result – Bob has handed me a business card while starting a conversation with me, I have taken his business card but ignored him and walked away.

 

Scenario 3

Bob sends a connection request, without a personal message. I hit accept. Then send a personal message of introduction. The end

Result – Bob has handed me a business card and walked away. Meanwhile I’m talking to him but he is no longer there.

 

Scenario 4

Bob sends a connection request with a personal message, I read the message and respond, then hit accept. The end.

Result – Bob has handed me a business card while starting a conversation with me. I have taken his business card and responded, but he has walked away.

 

Scenario 5

Bob sends a connection request, without a personal message. I hit accept. Then send a personal message of introduction. Bob replies.  Conversation is underway.

Result – A potential relationship.

 

Scenario 6

Bob sends a connection request with a personal message, I read the message and respond.  Bob then replies.  Conversation is underway.

Result – A relationship

 

Which scenario did I apply?  Which would have been a better option? 

 

In general, I take scenario 5 or 6 with a connection request because a connection is the start not the end.  Never connect to collect or convert in the first instance.  Connect to create a relationship through conversation and engagement.

 

LinkedIn Connections

Obviously, I have no control over what Bob does or says in his message, but by leading with positive action I can potentially influence Bob’s behaviour, which brings the social aspect to the social media activity.  One thing not to do, is to jump into a sales message.  This is the fastest way to damage a potential relationship or encourage an ‘ignore response.

Connect online as we do in person, with conversation.  Be interested and add value, rather than trying to be interesting.

 

Now look at your LinkedIn process.  Which scenarios relate to your LinkedIn strategy? 

Do you have a connection strategy?  Does it extend beyond the ‘connect’ or ‘accept’ button? Could you do better?

 

If you are unsure how to create your own best practice and need some technical guidance, or would like to develop your own strategy and processes, then I’m here to help.  My passion is helping individuals and organisations use tools such as LinkedIn more effectively to increase brand awareness, build an engaged network, grow your authority and your business growth.

 

 

How to Increase Your Event Attendance ROI

Event and Conference Hacks

How can you want to make the most of your next big event or conference you are attending to get the best return?

Employ some of our hacks before, during and after the event to raise your profile and increase your time and dollar return on investment.

Digital Marketing Exposed event

Pre-event Research

Before the event use social media to start connecting and being seen. Do your research and find and follow the social media accounts of key contacts and the event hashtag being used;

  • Follow speakers and associated accounts on Twitter
  • Follow them on YouTube
  • Like their Facebook Page
  • Follow them on Instagram
  • Look them up on LinkedIn (to leave a footprint) – follow them
  • Which other profiles do they have that you can follow? (Slideshare, Periscope, Pinterest, About.me, Blab, iTunes, Stitcher…)

Pre-event Activity

  1. Post about your intention to attend the event on LinkedIn (mention relevant people such as speakers, other attendees, organisers and sponsors).
  2. Share your interest in the event on Facebook
  3. If the event has a Facebook Group – introduce yourself
  4. Use the event hashtag and schedule some tweets, tag any speakers, organisers and individuals attending
  5. Retweet, Like and engage with event tweets via monitoring the hashtag
  6. Retweet, Like and engage with speakers
  7. Write an article about the event and what you are looking forward to
  8. Make a list of people you want to meet
  9. Charge your devices and pack your event bag with note taking equipment and business cards

“Twitter is a fabulous event companion tool.” 

Event Day Activities

  1. Wear a memorable piece of clothing or branded clothing/colours
  2. Bring plenty of business cards
  3. Check in on Facebook
  4. Arrive early and be a connector
  5. Introduce yourself to people who appear to be alone
  6. Listen – let people talk at you
  7. Ask questions – be interested
  8. Take notes – dot points, mind map, sketch note, whatever your style
  9. Bring your charger and be everyone’s friend
  10. Take photos to share on social media or use in future content
  11. Live Tweet using the event hashtag
  12. Share photos with event hashtag to Instagram
  13. Stay for a drink and network

Digital Marketing Exposed

Post Event Activities

  1. Connect with speakers and attendees you met on LinkedIn after the event
  2. Connect with people you meet and continue conversations
  3. Follow up and deliver anything promised
  4. Review event material and download any extra resources
  5. Thank the speakers for the resources
  6. Write LinkedIn Recommendations for speakers you enjoyed
  7. Storify tweets using the hashtag – this tags anyone you previously mentioned
  8. Create a photo gallery on Facebook or Flickr (and share that)
  9. Create content from notes and lessons learnt, and embed content from others (blogs, slideshow, podcast, video…)
  10. After implementation of learnings, share with the speaker via LinkedIn message, email or Tweet them.

What other tips do you have to share?  We would love to hear about how you engage in the lead up, during and after an event.

Take Action

Put these tips into action at our next big event – Digital Marketing Exposed on 1 December in Perth.

Digital Marketing Expose event

Book your ticket below, or go to the event page for full details.

If you can’t attend then the next best thing is to engage on social media via the event hashtag.  #DMexposed

Digital Marketing Exposed Tagboard

How to stand out from the crowd in business today

Everyone has their own unique DNA and this applies to your business DNA.  Your persona, experience, skills, passions and style are unique to you and will appeal to your ideal target market.  But what if they don’t know you exist yet?

You need to step out and build your online presence and get out to face-to-face events.

Online Solutions

Be active on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful free tool you can use to increase influence and position yourself as an expert within your industry or niche.

Complete your profile, update often, build your connections, interact with your network and within groups, and be a giver.  The more you grow your network and the more active you are, the more visibility you will get.  Of course, be sure to be relevant and real.   Learn LinkedIn.

Get active on Twitter

This is a platform that operates in 140 characters and hashtags.  Get started by sharing content, such as blogs (multiple times over time), following relevant people and interacting with them.  It is great to engage with people at events, particularly online events.

Be active on Facebook

Facebook is a diverse platform and can eat your time if you allow it.  Use lists to target your post to specific groups of people and get involved in relevant groups to gain more exposure.  Use your company Page to build your brand and engage your audience.  Keep in mind this does take time.

 

Offline Solutions

Networking

Attend networking events, awards, industry groups, and follow up with coffee catch ups.  Catch up with your online connections where possible to build the relationship. Not sure where to start?

Speaking

Volunteer to speak at events, as often they need a guest speaker.  If you stick to topics you are passionate about, it won’t be so nerve wracking.  Start small by being interactive in forums and asking relevant questions at presentations you attend, to get yourself seen more. By being the guest speaker, you are instantly lifted to expert status by being brought in by an organisation.

Print Marketing

Ensure any print marketing you use is of a professional quality and matches your online brand. Share links to your website and relevant social media. Use QR codes where appropriate to make it easy for the reader to get to your website or other online address.  Get yourself a name badge, wear branded clothing and even brand your car.  These are all levels of visibility so you become top of mind when the person is ready to buy your solution.

Start Writing

Content is an important part of marketing.  You can write articles for a local newspaper, business news or magazine, write Media Releases to gain media attention, write a book or contribute to someone else’s book.

Of course writing applies to the online space.  Content is key in building your brand and reputation in your niche.  Write blog posts for your own site, guest blogs, ebooks and newsletters.

Start your own blog…. WordPress.org is the best option, or start with WordPress.com or Blogger.  Make a plan and get started.

Get started in 2014

Start thinking outside the box and extending yourself past what you know, or what you have always done.  Get educated on how each platform works via face to face training, online programs and video tutorials.

If it all feels too much and you just want to focus on the things you love, then partner with someone who can work with you to achieve your goals.

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