By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
When you have a brand like, “The Big Game Hunter,” people reach out to all the time to connect with you on LinkedIn. They believe you can help them and want access to your network as well. Unfortunately, too few people actually communicate with anyone they are connected with on LinkedIn until they need them. By then, few of the people you are in your alleged network remember who you are when you reach out for help, let alone are actually willing to help (except the recruiters, of course, and some of them can’t be bothered because your experience differs from what their clients may be looking for at the time you reach out to them.
How Can You Make Your LinkedIn Network Work for You?
- Understand human nature. A real network involves relationships. A relationship involves give and take. A CEO candidate I coach has been referring people to a recruiter who reaches out to him for years. Now that something relevant has opened up for him, he was approached for the position. Do you think the fact he referred people had a little something to do with it?
- Try modest flattery. If someone in your network writes an article for LinkedIn, comment on it . . . but don’t use a template to do so. I remember getting more than 100 “Great posts” from mobile users after one of my articles ran. Instead, use the speech-to-text option on your phone to tell people how the article helped you, how you agree with them, ask a question or politely disagree.
- Tell people what you think. Write for LinkedIn and publish it. Republish it on Facebook Notes, Medium and elsewhere. Become known as a thought leader.
- Share your posts with your connections on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere. You should share your posts with the public more than once but share with your connections once.
- Attend local events for groups. Many local groups have in-person events. Attend and start talking to people. How do you start talking to people? Easy, start by saying, “Hi! I’m _________.” It works every time.
- Engage in conversations with people. The LinkedIn app makes communications with people easy. Don’t think you have time? Use it while commuting. Use it instead of playing games on your phone.
- Write recommendations. I’m not talking about the check boxes where LinkedIn suggests skills. I am talking about actual references of people whose work you can attest to. Don’t try gaming the system by asking recruiters. All itu takes is one employer who recognizes a spam reference . . .
You need the foundation when you don’t need you don’t need your network to do anything. Give to them so that later, when you really need them, you might get something in return.
That’s how you can make your LinkedIn network work for you.
© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2017
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is an executive job search and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
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