Please don’t send me a letter after we’ve connected offering me an unbelievable opportunity to make money, especially if you are involved in a MLM. In fact, any email you send soliciting business on LinkedIn is counterproductive. The goal is to get your targeted connections to reach out to you !
A thanks for the connection letter is OK if it’s not mass produced, but it’s not really necessary. Asking people to buy something in an opening letter reeks of desperation. Writing letters to a connection is for something very specific. InMail is best.
Many people are on LinkedIn to build their brand in some way. But, I think most users don’t understand LinkedIn at all. In this post, I’m going to share some thoughts on how to make your LinkedIn efforts fruitful. LinkedIn can make your phone ring, or inbox ding – you just have to know what you are doing.
To build a brand you must first build a following. To build a following it helps to understand how different people see and use LinkedIn. Most LinkedIn users are not active. Most accounts are dead or very rarely visited by the user. Even people with 500+ connections are many times not what I consider an active, tuned in user of LinkedIn. If the person is not listening, how in the world do you expect to sell them something ?
You have to gain the ear of the LinkedIn users who are listening. That means people who are active posters on LinkedIn. Lots of people with 500+ connections have never posted on LinkedIn and never will. And of course there are tons of people who are not on LinkedIn to brand build. They see it as a search engine, a place to be potentially found by a new employer or a place to look people up for various reasons. You aren’t typically gonna sell these types anything on LinkedIn. And those types won’t be reading this post because they don’t read anybody’s LinkedIn posts.
So, look for targeted connections within your industry. Look for people who post frequently and have lots of targeted connections themselves. I look for connections in the Beauty, Hospitality, and Health industries only. If your connections are all over the place you might want to think about totally starting over. It doesn’t take long to build a strong network if you go about it properly.
I singled out LinkedIn users who send me letters trying to sell me something at the beginning of this post. That’s too aggressive for LinkedIn. That said – Bashful Salesmen Raise Skinny Kids !!!
If you want to build your brand on LinkedIn you will have to post, post, post. It really helps if you are like me and have awesome stuff that people want, but generally speaking post things people want to read or view. I post a lot about Mexico because our factories based there. It’s easy to measure your success. Check the number of click thrus on your posts. I get 300-400 per post usually. If nobody is viewing your posts, you need to change gears.
The most important thing you can do is be a good LinkedIn connection to others. That means like somebody’s post if it’s well written and share it ! Like their new photo, congratulate them on their new job, AND click thru to their profile. The unique thing about LinkedIn that all users love is the ability to see who has viewed your profile. So, if you want to be seen by certain people one great way is to view their profile because that person will see that you looked at their profile and maybe view yours to see more about the person checking them out.
Unfortunately, only a tiny number of people actually click thru to other user’s profiles. It’s important to remember this fact because it makes your search profile so important. That’s why a good headshot photo is so important. And it can be important to add certain key info in your title to grab someone’s attention since your photo and title are typically all most will ever see of your profile. Connections are a numbers game, you need as many as possible as long as they are targeted connections.
I’ve had a lot of success on LinkedIn and I’m a huge fan, but I think it’s the least understood of the big three social media giants. If more people will think thru what they are doing on LinkedIn it will result in more people reaching out to them.