In terms of the value you are going to get from LinkedIn, your contacts are gold.
I mentioned this briefly in video 1 of my LinkedIn Marketing training series but I think it’s worth mentioning here again…
To recap, in the first video, Creating A Powerful Profile, I shared with you how to create a profile that you would not only help you build your network but also showcase and position you, your talents and your skills in front of your ideal customers and even employers.
In this video we talk about building your network and the 5 types of contacts and relationships you want to establish.
Again, inside of this series I’m going to be sharing with you tips and strategies I have implemented inside of my business where I have leveraged LinkedIn as a primary lead generating tool. I have not done any type of advertising for my B2B business.
LinkedIn For B2C Marketing & Prospecting
LinkedIn is also a great platform to use if you’re in the B2C space.
It’s obvious that the consumer is also spending time on this platform. The only difference is the kind of conversation you’re going to be having with them when we compare it to LinkedIn.
We compare Facebook as that relaxed environment where people are just hanging out. They’re not there to be sold or pitched.
And although you are not going to jump on LinkedIn and start pitching and selling, the conversation you’re going to have on LinkedIn is very different than the conversation you’re having with prospects and your audience on Facebook.
Everything I will be sharing inside of these videos, you will be able to apply to your business regardless of the space that you’re in and who you serve.
Assess Your Network
If your LinkedIn network is primarily made up of friends, family, college buddies, high school friends, or current co-workers then this is a hint that you need to go out there and expand and grow your network.
And in this post I will share with you who you should be connecting with.
A Warning To You If You Are Employed & Not On LinkedIn
You may be thinking, “why would I need to grow my network if I’m currently employed?” but like I mentioned in the first video, you should never be close-minded to the idea of building your professional network.
You are a professional that’s looking to build a career, a strong resume and connections.
You should never be off LinkedIn. I see this all of the time. People get a job and they go off Linkedin for years. They then come back years later after they’ve let their relationships go cold and expect to ask their network for help in finding their next job.
Getting Started With Building Your Network.
You have to be very aggressive when it comes to building your network. When you’re just starting out people are not going to just come to you.
However once you start, the LinkedIn algorithm will help you not only in finding others to connect with that are aligned with those already in your network, but your profile will be suggested to others as well which will help you build your network.
Your 5 LinkedIn Contact Types
I like to say there five types of contacts that you want to really go after when you’re building your network.
Let’s take a look at what these are….
#1. Direct Contacts
These are going to be CEOs, Founders, COO, Owners, Presidents….
You may be thinking, “who am I to be connecting with the CEO of any company?” But don’t doubt yourself. You’d be surprised how likely you are to connect with CEOs. If you have that strong profile and that headline that’s going to catch their eye, there’s nothing stopping you from connecting with these type of professionals.
These are going to be Vice President, Directors, Marketing Directors, National Sales Managers….
Anyone that is at that Executive Management level of the an organization.
These are Managers, Administrators, Assistant Managers, Front Office Managers. They have pull inside of the organization but they’re not going to be the final decision maker. They are sometimes called the gatekeeper.
They are going to be the ones that are going to connect you to that final decision maker. An in some cases these individuals will also have decision-making authority. It really just comes down to the dynamics of the operations and your industry.
This is why it’s important to understand your ideal customers and how their businesses and business roles affect your marketing and prospecting.
These are individuals that are not decision makers, influencers or any type of management positions, however you can connect with them and leverage them to help you identify who that person is that you need to speak to inside of the organization.
They may not give you their contact information but they may give you a name and some information that can help you get closer to that person. The next step you can take from there is searching for them in Google or LinkedIn directly and finding their LinkedIn profile.
You have to be very aggressive when it comes to building your network. when you’re just starting out people are not going to just come to you. However once you The links an algorithm will help you not only in finding others to connect with that are aligned with those all the professional that you know work but you will also show up and others profiles as a suggested contact to connect with.
#5. Synergy Based
These individuals are not going to necessarily be your clients but together you guys can potentially add value to each other’s services and organizations.
You many think that you don’t want to talk to your competitors but the best thing you can do is create allies out of these individuals.
Custom Greeting & Communicating With Your New Connections
LinkedIn allows you to send a custom message to anyone you want to connect with.
I’ll be honest with you, I very rarely, if ever use this custom message. But if you feel that giving additional information may help jot someone’s their memory about where you guys met, then do it.
However it will hurt you if you give too much information in that message.
So do tread lightly when it comes to sending out that custom message.
Like I said, I very rarely if ever send up a custom message with an invitation. However, what I do is send out a thank you message whenever I accept an invitation or someone sends me an invitation to connect.
I thank them for connecting with me and allowing me inside of their Network. Here’s the exact message template I use when sending out a thank you message. I will deviate and append to it when i see fit but this not alone get’s me a lot of responses.
Thank You Message Template
It’s a pleasure connecting with you. If you have any digital marketing questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Please No Selling Or Pitching
Taking this extra step makes a huge difference in building your LinkedIn relationships.
It is so important to show gratitude to those individuals for allowing you into their Network.
But one thing to keep in mind in regards to that Thank You message you’re going to send out is to not sell or pitch them about your services or products.
Doing this will set the wrong tone for your relationship and will more than likely turn them off and you will not hear from these professionals again.
So that’s it guys…
These are the 5 contact types you want to focus on to help you start building strong relationships inside of your niche.
However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to connect with people outside of these 5 types.
You never know how you can help each other down the road or how you can provide them with value in the future.
These individuals that I mentioned in this post, are the ones that are going to bring your LinkedIn Network the most value to help you build your business.
Coming Up Next....
In the next videos I’m going to share with you how to use LinkedIn to build that Authority and expert status in front of your professional as well as a sales tool.
Well I hope that this post was valuable to you and helping you start building that LinkedIn that were that you can leverage to generate leads and prospects for your business. If you have any questions whatsoever please feel free to drop me a comment down below and I’ll be happy to answer them.
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