Ever get a random request from someone on LinkedIn and think to yourself, “WTF is this and what do you want?” Yeh, me too.
I was also the guy who sent out all those requests with the standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message. And as a result, I was also the guy who never got anything out of it and never was able to give anything of value to them.
LinkedIn is the holy grail for business development and in my opinion, people by in large have no clue how to use it effectively. Here’s what they currently do:
- Send general requests to people who they think are in their target market that they could benefit from being connected to.
- Liking articles from people without actually reading them all the time.
- Sharing their company curated content so they feel like they are being “social” and helpful.
- Messaging and In-mailing people over and over again about their product and service trying to book an appointment.
Honestly, it’s a bunch of people running around like chickens with their heads cut off. But it’s not their fault. They’ve just never been taught how to use it effectively. My goal with this article is to give you some insight on how to start leveraging LinkedIn to add value to others and in turn, accomplish whatever it is you are trying to accomplish.
So let’s get started:
1. Personal Message
Always include a personal message when you try and connect with someone. Since I’ve started to do this, over 50% of people I reach out to actually accept compared to the 10–15% previously — MASSIVE difference!
2. Why You’re Reaching Out and Add Value
In the personal note, include something that explains why you’re reaching out and what value it bring to them. For example, here’s what I write:
“ Hey John,
I’d love to connect with you. I noticed you were also an advisor and I have a new-age training, coaching and consulting company. What I’m doing is providing tons of free content and interviewing top advisors. If you’d like access, let me know and I’ll shoot you over the link.
It’s straight and to the point and explains how they will derive value.
3. The Key is in the Follow Up
A lot of the time, because they aren’t used to receiving personal notes, they just accept and don’t think to respond. so my follow up is as follows:
“ Happy Monday!
I wanted to go ahead and include the link to our exclusive Facebook group for advisors. We’re pumping out valuable and practical content for free on a daily basis and hope some of it helps you! I wanted to invite you to join our movement. Hope to see you on the other side… https://www.facebook.com/groups/thefinancialadvisorsalliance/
Kill it this week!”
Sometimes they still don’t respond, however they click the link to check it out. Believe it or not though — a lot of them do respond and are very appreciative. Why you ask? Because you added value to THEM. That’s the key. You can’t go in for the kill right away, remember, you gotta be in this for the long term.
4. Content, Content, Content
One of my biggest pet peeves is that people just simply share articles and don’t give any context whatsoever. Why would someone actually read that if you’re not explaining why they should read it?
Share what you’re take aways were, share how you got better after reading — I guess just prove to your audience that you’ve actually read it.
I’ve found myself and other people just sharing stuff for the sake of sharing stuff but not actually reading it ourselves or getting any value from it.
I guess what I’m getting at is just be better.
5. Video Over Everything
LinkedIn recently started allowing “native” video on their platform. This means that you can upload video to a post and host it on their site. Before all you could do is share a link from another site like YouTube.
Whenever a platform does something like this, their algorithm favors it and makes sure their users know it’s a new feature.
I posted a video and an article on the same day to test this out. Both pieces of content have been available for just over a week and the article has 401 views BUT the video has 3,887 views.
That means there were almost 4,000 eyes (we’ll i guess 8,000…bad joke, I know) on that video and that exposure is insane!
Figure out a way to add value to your audience with a video rather than just an article.
You can be discovered in an instant and forgotten even faster. Once you start building this value proposition and content for your audience, don’t stop. People do it for a week, maybe two, don’t get anything from it and think it doesn’t work. It will work! You just need to be patient. Don’t stop too early. Don’t quit.
I hope this helps and as always, if I can be of any help, let me know.