Okay now you have a complete personal profile,you’ve set up a company page and you’re feeling comfortable about navigating LinkedIn. Now it’s time to work on your Connection/Fan Strategy.
Step Two:Fan Strategy
Just sending and receiving invitations without any follow up activity will not help you grow your business. You need to think about how you’ll connect with and use your LinkedIn Connections.
Who Will You Connect With?
This is the first question you need to answer. It is the foundation of your fan strategy.
Will you be connecting with customers,referral sources,partners,potential customers,all of the above? With over 100 million people currently using LinkedIn it’s ineffective to say you’ll connect with anyone. You want to determine who you’ll connect to.
There’s no wrong answer.
Determining who you want to connect to will help you focus your communication. It doesn’t mean that you won’t expand your choices or narrow them in the future.
By starting out knowing who you want to connect to,you will maximize your time and effort on LinkedIn.
Don’t worry about what they want.
As you become active on LinkedIn,you’ll receive requests for invitations. If they fit within your guidelines,then accept their invitation. If they don’t you may choose to delete them or hold them for the future.
The key is not to worry about why they want to connect with you. Here’s an example.
Recently I received an invitation from a person I didn’t know. They selected “Friend”as how they knew me (and they weren’t),they used the generic email copy provided by LinkedIn,we didn’t have any common connections and they weren’t even in industries I do business with.
What did I do?
I didn’t spend a whole lot of time trying to figure out their motive. I left the invitation in my LinkedIn Inbox,deleted the email request and moved on. If over time,I find I do have a connection to that person,I will connect,but right now they aren’t relevant to me and my business.
The key is to know who you want to connect to and why.
Once you determine who you want to connect to,then you must determine why. This will give you cause for action in the next step. If you don’t know why you’re connecting to people,they become dead wood on your list. Even worse as you ramp up your communication,they may find you irrelevant. This does not help you grow your business.
A client of mine wanted to connect only with customers and trusted friends in the industry. When I asked her why she was very clear. “I want to stay connected with my current customers and develop them as a referral source. My customer base relocates on a regular basis. It would take an enormous amount of time to keep track of them all. Because they use LinkedIn on a regular basis,I can stay in touch,provide useful information and ultimately develop a referral business from them.”
Do you see how clear that intention was? How does that compare to your intention on connecting.
Over the next few days complete the following:
- Determine who you want to connect to.
- Determine why you want to connect to them.
- Start with your closest contacts first that meet this criteria and send out invitations.
As you start to build a list,you may notice some of your connections are linked to people who you’d like to meet. You can ask your connections for an introduction to those new people directly through LinkedIn or through email outside of LinkedIn.
By determining who you want to connect to and why,you set yourself up to build a list of people you can utilize to grow your business.
In Part Three we’ll talk about the importance of your communication strategy.
For more ideas on building a Fan Strategy,check out our guide:What is Your Fan Strategy?
Want to learn from Jen live? Check out the Life Simplified upcoming workshops.