You read over and over again how amazing LinkedIn is for business. There is no doubt that it is the case. However, you might be wondering what to do with all of those LinkedIn contacts that you have accumulated.
The many wonderful aspects of LinkedIn
There is so much more to LinkedIn than simply using your connections to obtain an introduction to another person whom you have wanted to connect with for a long time but weren’t sure how to make that happen. It is also much more than merely joining groups so that you can share content. Those two functions are undoubtedly important; however, LinkedIn can give you so much more than that if you only let it. It is a good idea to study LinkedIn for all that it offers and then to leverage it for everything that you can get out of it for your particular business. One of the extremely effective ways to use LinkedIn is to take the connections that you have established and to turn (at least a healthy percentage of) them into actual clients. So, how do you start to do that? You have the material to accomplish that and now you need to figure out the most effective and appropriate approach to make that happen. There are several steps that you should understand before you begin.
A rarity: If something is difficult to get your hands on and you do manage to successfully acquire it, you have done something really amazing for your business. It is a true accomplishment. When it comes to your LinkedIn connections and your expressing the fact that you want to take your relationship with those people to the next level, you need to make it clear that you don’t do that for everyone. You need to give the person the sense that you thought long and hard before you chose him or her.
Making it reciprocal: First and foremost, you must express your sincerity and genuineness to the other person. Above all else, you must make them understand that you are giving with all of your heart, without any feeling of wanting something in return. Of course, on some level at some point, everyone wants something in return. However, your first priority must be the other person and your ability to solve his or her problems. You are sharing with that person because you sincerely wish to help solve whichever issues he or she is experiencing.
Make sure that you are consistent in your efforts: If you have any chance of getting your LinkedIn connections to become clients, you will have to build your relationship with that person from the ground up, just like all relationships must be built. That means that you really have to be there for that person and you have to be committed to interacting with that person regularly. If you are not consistent and available, it won’t work out between you. You will be finished before you even begin. Two easy ways to do that (initially) are by updating your LinkedIn status regularly (so that the person can see what you are doing) and engaging in discussions within LinkedIn groups related to your industry when you are able to add valuable opinions and share helpful advice.
Command authority: All of the qualities that have been discussed up to now are very important. However, having authority is also important and, in some ways, it is the glue that holds everything else together. Without authority, you won’t be respected and people will not be interested in interacting with you and eventually buying from you. You must establish yourself as a subject matter expert and you must come across as credible and trustworthy to the people with whom you wish to interact.
Taking your LinkedIn connections and turning them into clients is what you should have wanted all along. It is the next (or, at least, ultimate) step in your interactivity through LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a wonderful, effective, results-driven social media tool that you should leverage as much as you possibly can for your business. Once you have established a more solid relationship with your LinkedIn connections, you should really start to establish connections with them by taking your relationship to the next level and interacting in a more meaningful way. Make sure that you engage with your LinkedIn connections and new clients in ways that fortify your relationship.[signoff][/signoff]
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.