This was an unexpected discovery.
As I reflected on what I’ve learned these past two years of building my business, I was surprised to discover the word “community” was a major component on my LinkedIn journey.
When I first decided to become active on LinkedIn, I concentrated only on the numbers, not on who I was connecting with. I have since discovered that the “who” is more important than the numbers. It’s the people who make the difference.
I have learned so much from Ilise Benun and her Simplest Marketing Plan, and others, like Lisa Mullis, AWAI and everyone in the GRO Business Incubator.
While I’m not a LinkedIn expert, following are some ideas that have helped me. I divided them up between connecting, commenting, and content creation. I hope that you can find a few ideas that are beneficial.
- Look for people you want to connect with – start commenting on their posts, attend their virtual events, their webinars, their LinkedIn Lives, listen to their podcasts. Make a genuine connection with them. Start to get to know them as a person.
- If you find someone on LinkedIn who is sharing about a skill you want to learn more about (e.g. networking), follow that person, check out their content, comment on their posts. You’ll start to learn more about that specific skill just by following that person’s content.
- When it feels right, send a person a DM (direct message) asking to have a 15-minute “coffee chat” but with no agenda. Don’t mention what you do unless it comes up naturally in the conversation.
- Introduce people to each other when appropriate.
- Meet people in real life when possible. I have met several people in person and it’s been great!
- The benefit of establishing a relationship is that this “connection” could become a friend. I have been blessed to make some incredible friendships here on LinkedIn and they started out as a connection, just a name.
- When I first started on LinkedIn, I knew very few people, so I started looking for posts that I liked. To get past the fear of commenting on a stranger’s post, I pretended we were already friends and commented as if we were. I psyched myself up to respond as if it was a friend’s post – what would I say to that friend? The best part about that “pretending” is that some of those people have actually become friends.
- If you have to choose between commenting or posting, I suggest commenting because then the focus is on the other person. Commenting encourages that person, and most people notice if you consistently comment on their posts. It’s a way to start establishing a relationship with that person.
- If you don’t know what to say, find a sentence or thought that resonates with you and include that quote in your comments, telling the person why you like it (this idea came from Danielle Hughes).
- Compliment or celebrate someone.
- Send a compliment in the DMs when appropriate. Be sure it’s genuine.
- Make a list of 10 potential clients – connect with them, comment on their posts, start establishing a relationship with them.
- To help my posts all be original, I keep a folder of ideas. A lot of my ideas come from everyday life. Vary the topics for the posts – they don’t all have to be business-related. Have some that show your personality, show who you are, because people want to know about you.
- Keep a folder of quotes that you like. You can share a quote when you need a post idea and expand on it. Always be sure you give the person credit for the quote and tag them if they are on LinkedIn.
- Consistency over quantity. Post three times a week, twice a week, once a week – whatever works for you. It doesn’t have to be every day, but do your best to be consistent.
- My philosophy is I don’t want to be embarrassed later by something I wrote, so I try to make each post have value, be positive and uplifting, and for me, honoring to God.
Overall my biggest takeaways are to be generous, be kind, give lots of praise, and highlight others. All of these attributes have helped to create a foundation of a positive community. And this community of people is making all the difference for me being on LinkedIn.
If you want a sure way to follow Val's path, check out Marketing Mentor's Simplest Marketing Plan for 2023 and sign up for Marketing Mentor's Quick Tips here.