These days, I am guiding more and more creative professionals to begin their Strategic Networking online by connecting with prospects on LinkedIn.
Why? Because it's a great way to get a conversation going without feeling salesly. Plus, it's working! It's really becoming a thing!
So many of my clients and coaching group members are thrilled to be getting phone calls, requests for proposals and even actual projects by connecting on LinkedIn. There's nothing wrong with reaching out to strangers, as long as they're the right strangers!
There's nothing magic about it. You don't even need the "premium" version. You simply invite people you'd like to know and work with to connect. Or just invite the ones LinkedIn's algorithm recommends for you!
One client said:
"I have made about 60 connections in the last week and will send out more invitations tomorrow. I am working on my thank yous to today's connections right now. I would highly recommend this method to everybody. It is definitely drumming up some interest and doesn't feel pushy at all."
Have you tried it yet? I mean really tried it. Follow these guidelines for inviting people to connect:
- Always add a really short personal note mentioning why you want to connect or would be a good fit (i.e. something you have in common).
- Thank everyone who accepts your invitation.
- Thank everyone who invites you to connect.
- Keep the conversation going by asking a question (curiosity as a marketing tool) and/or offering your help (generosity as a marketing tool), all without being pushy or spammy, of course.
If you don't know what to say, here's an example:
“Hi (name), You don’t know me (yet), but we both know (mutual contact) and I would love to connect with you. I am, of course, available to help, if you ever need a (blank) who knows how to (blank)."
It doesn't hurt to throw in a compliment too -- flattery may get you everywhere.
Try it. Choose 10 people you'd like to work with and invite them to connect. Then let me know what happens.
I'll be talking more about how to use LinkedIn to connect with prospects this week on the Office Hours group coaching session, a perk for everyone who has my Simplest Marketing Planner. It's on sale today.
I just delivered the April installment of the planner. It's not too late to start 2nd quarter on the right foot. Get it now and you can join the next Office Hours tomorrow (Thursday).
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