4 LinkedIn Goals: But Do Relationships & Credibility Equal Profit?
Looking for a set of LinkedIn Goals? In this second article of the series we look at the first 4 LinkedIn Goals of our full LinkedIn process; building relationships and credibility on LinkedIn. But we also have to ask do relationships and credibility equal profit?
Once you have setup an account, enhanced your profile, setup management applications, and most importantly set aside regular scheduled time for LinkedIn activity [LinkedIn: How to Get to First Base] we can set some clear goals and start making progress. Here are the first 4 LinkedIn Goals in the full LinkedIn Process we have put together;
1. LINKEDIN GOAL 1 – DEEPEN RELATIONSHIPS WITH EXISTING CONTACTS THAT ARE EXISTING LINKEDIN USES:
By finding and adding people you know within LinkedIn itself you can quickly connect with people you know that are up and running with a LinkedIn account. Many people, sign up (because they were invited by a few people and finally at the fourth invite the peer pressure & curiosity was too great and you had to join right?), and then they don’t maximise the immediate relationships you have by connecting on LinkedIn.
STOP for a second and think! Why do we actually want to connect with these people anyway, you already know them and they already know you, what use is ‘connecting’ on LinkedIn? After all it is NOT a race to see who has the highest number of connections on LinkedIn. But what it is, is an opportunity to deepen and build on the existing relationships you have.
You see, I bet you are not the only person that your contact John Dow knows that does what you do. What if John Dow thinks you’re great, but they also know someone else, and overtime they build and deepen a relationship through visual awareness (if nothing more) on LinkedIn…. And you don’t do that! Referrals and direct business opportunities will likely go elsewhere. Increased familiarity builds trust, trust leads to influence, & influence leads to ROI. Become familiar.
2. LINKEDIN GOAL 2 – DEEPEN RELATIONSHIPS WITH EXISTING CONTACTS THAT ARE NOT EXISTING LINKEDIN USES:
How? By simply inviting them to join. Some will take you up on the invite straight away, others you might have to wait another 3 months until they finally get that fourth invite and decide to join and accept you. And sure, a large percentage will not join, no matter... you offered. This is a great chance to be seen as a proactive person, someone a little special and different from everyone else they know. Wouldn’t you want to stay in touch with a person like that?
3. LINKEDIN GOAL 3 – ENHANCE CREDITABILITY
Do this by directly asking people to recommend you. If you’ve done a good job people will be happy to help you out.
i) Pick your top 10-20 current or past clients.
ii) Send an email explaining you need their help, and what you want them to do. Below is an example email I actually sent out to a handful of past clients when I first started to use my LinkedIn profile a while back, and guess what, 80-90% did what I asked. An excellent way to go from zero to 3, 4 , 5, 10 or whatever recommends in a matter of days.
Can you do me this quick favour please… See my generic spam below :)
Happy New Year!
Been a little while… I hope everything is going well for you? How has business & life been?
I’m currently in Switzerland, I’ll be here for a few months, it’s a good place to base myself to get some serious snowboarding done. Plus it’s a very quick flight to both Norway and the UK, which is where I’m focusing on future growth of mimosaPLANET at the moment.
I have a quick favour to ask, I was hoping you could help me out?
I’m looking to extend my online profile and further extend my reach and promotion through social media. Basically, I’d really appreciate if you could recommend me on LinkedIn, just 2 or 3 sentences is excellent and much appreciated. If you haven’t heard of LinkedIn… it is simply an online directory where you can keep a list of all your contacts and have all their up to date contact details, it focuses on Personal Business Profiles (business strengths) rather than friends like facebook and others do. If you are not on LinkedIn I personally recommend it, it is easy and takes just a few minutes to setup and there are a few very successful methods we have used to get real leads out of LinkedIn!!! You can add me as a connection on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescooper, I’ll send you an invite.
All the best for 2010. Talk soon...
Now, some of you will think, ok easy I can do that, and others of you will freak out!!! If you think “James, I could never do that it’s way too forward or pushy” …. Really, is it? Come on, you know these people! Make it your own, use language you are happy with, the point is people like to help, people don’t like to refer or write testimonials, so just be open and explain what you doing and that you need their help. I love rocket science.
Or, if you are afraid to send because you don’t think you or your company did a good enough job to warrant a “sure, I would love to” response, then good! This is a wakeup call to your service delivery. Hey, no one is perfect, gee I know I’m far from it, but if you feel this way for your top clients it’s time to improve, get obsessed with delivering exceptional value to people. Doesn’t help you get recommendations today, but it will tomorrow… and ultimately you get unsolicited recommendations. This is just to get a head start.
iii) Use the LinkedIn Recommendation Request feature - if they are an existing LinkedIn user. If they are not an existing LinkedIn user, send an invite to join from within LinkedIn first (use the ‘Add Connection’ feature and simply type there eMail address in a press send), then once they join, send the Recommendation Request.
4. LINKEDIN GOAL 4 – DEEPEN RELATIONSHIPS WITH NEW OFFLINE CONTACTS
Invite people to connect on LinkedIn that you meet at networking events and in the normal course of business, use the Add Connections feature. Those 5 business cards you normally walk away with at events and do nothing with….time to deepen the relationship. Can you see how you can keep a networking connection fresh far easier than in the past just by connecting online. Both parties can increase each other’s visibility through seeing each other’s activity on LinkedIn. By keeping an active online connection, you keep front of mind, You do not fade into the wash of faces and cards from many chance one off meetings.
Do Relationships & Credibility Equal Profit?
I'm keen to hear your thoughts on this, so do comment below.
Think about the popular networking events. BNI works for people because each week members meet, foster, build and deepen their relationships. They become familiar with each other, they can demonstrate factors to enhance credibility, and trust is gained. Trust leads to influence, influence leads to referrals or direct business, which in turn leads to profits, and lastly an ability to measure true ROI.
Do this fostering online at LinkedIn and you can also gain the advantage of scaling beyond face to face limitations. Can you foster a super tight relationship with 1000 people? Unlikely, but if we think of relationships on a scale 1- 10, we might have 20 people we are 10s with, and 100 5s, and 500 2s. What if you could increase the 500 people at 2s to become 5s... and so on. Think about it. Online scalability makes this possible.
Do relationships and credibility equal profit? Yes.
Can LinkedIn help you deepen relationships and build credibility on top of what you do already? Yes.
- Review the first four steps from the first article in this article series, then
- Complete the next four steps listed in this article, plus
- Look out for the next article on LinkedIn engagement activity.
Start & Join Discussion
How have you built relationships using LinkedIn? What about credibility? (or what do you plan to do?) Have you been successful in turning relationships and credibility to business profits? Add your comments below.