Well, it’s time to take action and use LinkedIn to maximize those relationships.
Follow these six simple steps to create a win-win situation for you and your network.
Step 1: Define with Whom You Want to Go Deeper
Your LinkedIn network is made up of many types of people, and they’ve become part of your network for differing reasons. S0 start by choosing the people with whom you’d most like to meet or have a conversation.
Step 2: Make a List of Typical Keywords on Their Profile
What combination of keywords could you use to filter your entire network down to the perfect list? These would be words your target audience might include on their profile, like:
- Company name
- Schools attended
- Educational majors
Step 3: Perform a “Connection Only” Advanced People Search
Put your cursor into the Search box in the top toolbar. Then choose the last entry in the drop-down list, Search for people with filters. Next, check “1st” under Filter people by Connections.
Now that you have a listing of your complete first-level network, additional filters are available in the right-hand column to narrow that list. You’ll find the Keyword filter to be quite valuable, but you’ll need to click the down arrow to uncover all the available keyword options.
Be sure to take advantage of the other filters, also, including locations, current and past companies, industries, etc.
Step 4: Set a Search Alert
Once you have completed a search that gives you a really good list of the right people, click the Create search alert box. LinkedIn will then email you weekly with any additional people who meet your defined search criteria.
Step 5: Send a Message Offering Help
After you review the full profile of someone on this list that you’re interested in chatting with, send a direct LinkedIn message and thank the person for being part of your network. If the person is merely a casual acquaintance, remind him/her how you came to know each other. Then mention ways you might be able to collaborate or help each other. You may also want to include a time that you’re available for a meeting or phone call.
The easiest way to send a direct message is to click the Message button on their profile. You can also include attachments and links in this message to give your connection additional information.
Step 6: Set the Appropriate Follow-Up
Your old LinkedIn connections may not be ready to meet or chat right now, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in having a discussion with you in the future. Consider setting up some type of follow-up reminder for yourself in whatever system you use.
Your LinkedIn network should be one of your most treasured business assets, not simply a “dusty” digital collection of random people. Once you follow the six simple steps outlined above, you’ll realize just how valuable your old LinkedIn Connections can be for accomplishing your most ambitious business goals.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Power Formula.
About the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. An experienced businessman, speaker, and author, Wayne shares his passion for social media with 40,000+ business professionals. Through private business consulting and presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine and the American Marketing Association, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with him on Twitter.