LinkedIn may be one of the most underutilized and underrated social networks. Probably because most people are more excited to check Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok and less excited go somewhere that is centered around work. But with a user base of 660 million business professionals, there’s no better place to find leads and expand your network of potential clients.
1. Attend/Host Webinars and Virtual Networking Events
Since it’s not as easy right now to get in a room with fellow professionals, jumping in on networking events is a great way to meet new people. Here’s what we love about these kinds of events:
- Most people are there for social and business connections. They share who they know and give ideas of contacts at potential businesses to work with.
- Getting your name and company’s name exposed to more people gives you credibility as well as more recognition.
- If the networking event is centered around people who work in similar roles, you have the opportunity to learn and grow from people who have more or diverse experiences than you.
If you’re not finding a networking event that fits what you’re looking for, host one! Reach out to a few friends and get something on the calendar. Have them invite their networks and see what happens.
2. Reach Out To People With Similar Job Positions
I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me to introduce themselves and just ask for a 5 minute water cooler type conversation. With so many of us working from home, the social aspect of our jobs has changed dramatically. It also gives us a lot more flexibility in scheduling and putting in a 5-10 minute meet-and-greet is something to look forward to.
Focus on people with similar jobs and ask them if you can pick their brain about something you’re struggling with at the moment. Or, if they’re ahead of you, see if they’d be willing to share what career moves they made to get to where they are or what they recommend next for you, if you’re looking to grow. Chances are, you’ll flatter the person you’re reaching out to, and they’ll want to meet you – and you’ll have the opportunity to learn from someone in a similar role.
Just remember, do more listening than you do sharing. No one likes feeling like they got suckered into a sales pitch as you share your screen and pull up your 85 page slide deck.
3. Have a Posting Strategy
My boss encouraged me to think about what my personal brand is on LinkedIn. If someone saw my recent posts and activity, who would they assume I am? Before I had a strategy, I was just someone that crawled LinkedIn and liked things that stuck out to me. I occasionally shared my company’s posts to show support, but that was it. No original posts, no thoughts on my profession, not even sharing links to things I found useful or interesting. If you saw my activity, you probably think I didn’t care about my job or my industry.
If you want people to associate you with your profession or the go to person for the kinds of problems your job solves, amp up your posting strategy. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Post a few times a day.
It doesn’t have to be anything crazy insightful or groundbreaking, it can be as simple as sharing an article and pulling out a quote from it and explaining what you gained from it.
Reply to people’s comments
Adding more engagement to comments on your posts shows people you’re a human. It shows you’re not just trying to get as many likes or comments as possible, but rather you’re truly there for interaction and networking.
Share the love
If someone reacts to your post, go to their recent activity and engage in theirs. Like it, comment on it, give them some engagement on their posts. You never know who will see your engagement, click on your profile, and lead you to a potential connection/conversation.
Like or comment when LinkedIn shows you your connection’s activity.
My friend is in a similar position as me and is a networking monster. He likes and comments on things a lot. When LinkedIn shows me his activity and it’s on a post of someone that I see potential with, I like the post or comment as well. Just to break the ice and then offer a water cooler conversation or ask to connect. I then circle back with my friend and ask them how they know that person and if they see any potential in connecting with them. It could end up being a solid networking connection or potential future lead.
Of course, as with all social media, you want to remember to listen more than you talk. Be someone who introduces people to each other and makes connections. Be genuine to who you are. And always be kind. It’s crazy how small online interactions and conversations can lead to new leads which turn into new clients.
And another thing, while these are strategies, you are still connecting with real people and hopefully making real professional relationships.