When prospecting new clients or growing business to business connections, the business-oriented social networking site LinkedIn offers free useful tools for you and your team. We would like to share some key strategies to get going on LinkedIn, and to make the most of all the prospecting and networking tools has to offer. The more first-degree connections you have on LinkedIn, the more professionals you’re only a click away from contacting. Here are a few simple ways to connect business to business on LinkedIn that you already know and identify ones you’d like to.
People You May Know.
On several pages throughout LinkedIn, a People You May Know section highlights members who share connections or experience with you. Unlike on other pages around LinkedIn, the People You May Know tool assumes that you and your potential connection already know one another. The tool skips the usual forms asking for proof of your relationship with that person. Furthermore, the mobile version of LinkedIn on iOS or Android needs only a button press to send a connection request.
Note who views your profile.
A tool on your home page can show which LinkedIn members clicked through to your profile, and provides an easy way to discover connections who might be interested in doing business with you. Clicking on the profile views widget on your LinkedIn homepage reveals a chronological graph of view activity for your profile. If you’d like to go further, LinkedIn Premium members have no limit to the number of views they can investigate.
Many of the business contacts you already have in Outlook or Gmail probably use LinkedIn, too. Use the Import tool to quickly find and connect with them, and invite the ones you’d like to connect with who may not have explored LinkedIn yet. Be mindful of unsolicited invitations, however — nobody likes inbox clutter, and some recommendations are best delivered face-to-face.
If one of your existing contacts is connected to someone you’d like to meet, you can request to be introduced through LinkedIn. Just because you can send someone a connection request doesn’t mean you should — some LinkedIn members frown upon unsolicited requests. Asking to be introduced by a mutual connection works just like networking in real life, and can avoid awkwardness during the prospecting and lead generation process. This puts you in instant contact with someone you might otherwise have never interacted with.
Generating new business to business leads on LinkedIn can become a valuable asset for your company, but it’s important to understand the best practices for B2B on social media. What strategies have delivered for you and your business on LinkedIn? What other ways can you gain new connections and network with prospects? We’d love to hear your ideas.