Published: May 30, 2017
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman says we’re using his network all wrong.
In Keith Ferrazzi’s bestselling business classic “Never Eat Alone,” Hoffman explains, “LinkedIn is a closed network, and for a very simple reason: For the network to have value as an introduction tool, the connections need to have meaning.”
[quote align=”right”]“It’s up to you to vet each and every request so that if someone comes to you and says, ‘Would you introduce me?’ you’re in a position to evaluate whether the connection would be of mutual benefit.”[/quote]
LinkedIn offers incredible power — if used correctly. Build a more meaningful network with these simple tactics:
First, quality over quantity.
Hitting that LinkedIn milestone of 500+ connections means nothing if your connections are weak. When accepting invitations to connect, make sure your connection benefits both parties. Does this connection add value to your professional network? Are you comfortable ‘introducing’ this new contact to others?
The same goes for extending invitations to connect. Have you met this person? Will you find value in their connection? Are you connecting just for the sake of numbers or do you see an opportunity? And sometimes a shot in the dark message to a far-off connection can pay off — just be sure to personalize your message.
Put LinkedIn’s search functions to work. Check out your connection locations before embarking on vacation and connect for a coffee date while you’re in town. Have an opening in your company? Check your network for anyone with related experience and reach out with the opportunity if you think they may be a good fit. Search functions can build stronger relationships when you use them to create opportunities.
Use your resources. Be a resource.
When you build a stronger network, you are strategically surrounding yourself with experts. Interact with your network by asking for advice. People love to weigh in, so post a question or directly message an expert to get the conversation going.
By the same token, share meaningful content too. Add value to your network by posting industry news, career-focused articles and personal quips.
Ready to make meaningful connections? Let’s Chat!