A few months ago I sent a LinkedIn job lead to a young man I met 2 years ago. A friend of mine asked me if I could give him some advice at the time on selling. We then connected on LinkedIn. And a few months later I sent him this job lead.
Four months later he replied to the job lead. And he was grateful and said some very nice things, but it was four months later. What does that tell you? What it tells me is that while he is on LinkedIn he is not connected. He is not listening to his network.
Now I am by no means an expert on LinkedIn. There are many good sources for that. I have found Lori Ruff and Dave Gowel very helpful as well as my friend Jeff. That said if we are going to “connect” via the web there are some things as professionals we should be doing at a minimum.
First make sure our profile is updated. If you aren’t showing your last job or your latest work you aren’t serious and you prospects won’t take you seriously either.
Second link an email account to your profile and link your email to your LinkedIn email. That way when people send you an email via LinkedIn it won’t take you four months to see it.
I have made it a point recently to ask connections to connect via a phone call to learn more about what they are doing and how I might help. Thanks Paul Castain for this tip.
For me it has been helpful to join industry related groups on LinkedIn. I have experienced two benefits from this. 1) It has allowed me to see inside the minds of the thought leaders in that industry. What are they thinking about and how are they reacting. 2) I have made some connections that have lead to friends via the groups.
It is not enough to be connected. You have to be engaged and that means listening and contributing. Having 5,000 connections that won’t take a call means nothing. You have to engage your network otherwise you are wasting your time.
How do you like to connect and deepen the connection?