No Business on LinkedIn? Maybe it is a Bad Connection

ANNOUNCEMENT!!!: Moving forward, Victoria Ipri will be writing a weekly article on the Green Buzz Agency Blog that will run on Tuesdays. If you like the article below, check back every Tuesday for more insight on LinkedIn and check out the blog archive for the many other articles she has contributed since July.

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LinkedIn

Photo credit: clasesdeperiodismo / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA


So here you are, following all the rules for LinkedIn lead generation. You’ve got a few hundred ‘connections’, joined a bunch of groups, and update your status regularly. But still, nothing is happening! No conversations, no leads, no business!

What are you doing wrong? Maybe you’re not as connected as you think.

Building your community is just one step towards engagement. If your relationships with other LinkedIn members have not moved beyond that initial, “Hey, thanks for the connect!”…you may actually have a disconnect.

This disconnect occurs when you perceive LinkedIn to be something it is not. You believe the hype, extolling the virtues of lead generation via social media. But what that hype doesn’t tell you is this: LinkedIn is just a tool. It can only get you so far in the lead generation process. The rest is up to you, and good, ol’ fashioned conversation with other members. Yes, I mean emails and…gulp…that amazing invention we call the telephone.

You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: social media, LinkedIn specifically, is about building relationships. You can’t expect to connect with someone today and sell your product tomorrow. It wouldn’t work that way in the real world. Why do we expect it to work that way online?

The All Important Follow-Up


When it comes to follow up, the advice is simple. Just do it, while you’re still fresh in the prospect’s mind. Did you ever get an email or phone call from someone you simply can’t place…..then he says, “We met at the ABC seminar about two months ago. Do you remember me?” Awkward.

Once you’ve connected, don’t let that trail grow cold. Reach out with an email, thanking the person for connecting. Ask a question. Offer a compliment. Point out that the two of you share a group. Anything to create an ongoing dialogue! If common interests exist, move on to a phone call and, perhaps, a meeting in person.

What’s Happening in Their World


What are your connections up to? Are they talking about a new venture? Can you lend some expertise? Have they RSVP’d to a local event? This is your chance to get involved. Look for opportunities to grow your relationships in the “real” world.

 

Be an MVP


Don’t wait for folks to come to you. Be useful. What are your groups and connections chatting up on the LI home page? Can you add valuable insight or advice? Give it freely. Just as you seek out others for their expertise, people will seek you out after you’ve established yourself as a valuable player. Keep the dialogue moving by answering your connections’ requests for advice.

 

Make the Most of Travel


Going to a seminar in Des Moines? Contact a few worthwhile connections in the area and ask them to coffee. Face-to-face is still the most powerful medium there is. Because we’re all doing so much less of it, it’s even more impressive.

There is more to the game of engagement than simply clicking “connect.” LinkedIn can help you build solid, rewarding relationships when used correctly. If increased referrals, more highly targeted lead generation, and new business are important to your survival, you owe it to yourself to get it right.

Need help? Please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Victoria Ipri is CEO of Modello Media, Inc., an e-marketing strategy firm based in suburban Philadelphia, PA. She welcomes your questions and comments on this forum, or contact her directly at: ModelloMedia@gmail.com

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Comments:
  • Good post, Victoria. My biggest frustration with LinkedIN is that it seems the moment I connect with someone, they respond with a link to their product/service/ebook, etc. That’s akin to going to a networking event and saying, “Here’s my card!” before even introducing oneself.

    Great tips. Keep them coming.

    September 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm
  • So a thought just occurred to me here… Has anyone ever thrown a LinkedIn cocktail party? Invited ALL their connections to an event, to bring people that all have one thing in common with each other – they know YOU. I was kicking around a Facebook conversation that was public (via someone’s wall), involving one friend and soon I had a small gathering planned as people chimed in that they wanted to see each other. What would happen if you did this with your professional network. I bet a lot of people would get value by meeting the people you are connected to in person. And if you pulled off a good event with good turnout, you would be the great matchmaker since you know (at least hopefully know) who everyone is and what they do. Has anyone ever seen something like this done?

    September 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm

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