LinkedIn can help you find new prospects and discover more about them before you even think about “selling”.
One good way to win new business is through LinkedIn groups. Use LinkedIn groups to comment on discussions and to create your own discussion threads. These are good ways of letting your contacts know you better, as well as making new contacts.
Get into the habit of visiting groups that are rich in the type of people that you want to be known by.
What should I say in discussions?
It’s important to add to the discussions in the groups, rather than simply looking (lurking?). When I first train entrepreneurs, they often ask:
“What should I say on LinkedIn?”
“I’m not sure what to talk about on LinkedIn”
You should respond to discussions where you have some knowledge or experience; maybe answering a question on something you know a lot about, or have tried in the past (whether it worked or not), maybe you can recommend somebody that knows the answer.
Remember that you need to provide interesting content to your target market. If the content is boring, full of advertising, or not something you’d find interesting – don’t use it.
What discussions should I start?
If you blog, using some of your blogs (but not every blog) as the basis for a discussion and providing a link to the blog is a great technique.
You could also post links to industry news that’s related to your business and start discussions on them. This is great as it doesn’t involve you writing any material yourself! Finding that material can be quite easy too:
- LinkedIn news (on your menu bar) shows interesting things
- Twitter can be a rich source
- And, of course, Real Business is a good source too..!
How should I write?
This is a common question:
- Be natural. Think of discussions that you have face to face, how do you answer those questions? People get to know you through your style, that’s good.
- Think about what you want to be known as/ for. If you want to be known as positive, don’t be moaning about things in the discussions; “a techie” might think of technological angles in your answer; want to be known as well thought through and balanced, reflect that in your answers.
Discussing things on LinkedIn helps build your profile and helps you build relationships. This is an important step in getting invoiceable business from LinkedIn. What to say and how to say it is not as hard as many people will make out!
What do you think? (commenting here maybe a good first step!)
Heather Townsend, Britain’s queen of networking, helps professionals achieve business and career success using social media and networking. Follow her Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks. She is the author of the current best-selling book on networking The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking which has 68 five-star reviews on Amazon.
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