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More LinkedIn Value: Take Care of Your LinkedIn Connections
Our LinkedIn connections and other digital relationships require care and nurturing to prevent stagnation. I previously wrote about how you can better get to know your LinkedIn connections. Here, I cover ways to stay in touch and support your LinkedIn relationships on the fly. That is, during the normal course of your weekly internet activity.
Network & Emotions
Let’s start with why. I have a network. You have a network. But a network is a concept that only becomes real and valuable when we interact. All of those connections mean little if there isn’t some kind of involvement. In addition to network activation, developing a practice of regular interactions creates stronger individual relationships and generates emotional benefits. When we’re recognized for our work, congratulated on our milestones, or simply receive a I was thinking of you message, it feels good, and it creates a stronger tie with the person who reached out. So with that, let’s connect.
Are you Reachable by LinkedIn Messaging?
I receive a lot of communication via LinkedIn’s messaging and to a lesser extent, LinkedIn InMail. Messaging via LinkedIn is very convenient when you don’t have your contact’s email address or have been out of touch. Ensure you are reachable. If you are checking your LinkedIn inbox every day or two, you are fine. If your LinkedIn time is more sporadic, I strongly recommend enabling email notifications so that you see those LinkedIn messages when they arrive. Or, utilize the mobile apps to be notified when you receive messages.
Develop a Cadence
If you want more ROI from your LinkedIn presence, you need to be present and active on a regular basis.
Pick days and times and make it part of your routine.
Leverage LinkedIn’s mobile apps to do light updates and touch bases with your network during your downtimes in transit, for example.
Eight Ways to Take Care of Your Connections
Like & Share Content Published by Your Connections
Many professionals are using LinkedIn as a platform to publish original content. Put yourself in their shoes. A content creator is looking for an audience and engagement around their ideas or as means of building business. LinkedIn is a social network, which means that popular content becomes more popular because people trust the network. You can be very helpful to your connection by reading their content, and giving Likes, comments or shares. Shares are extremely valuable as they amplify the message.
Start or Contribute to Conversations
Rather than a low-value link-fest, if you see a content update or share from your network that interests you, take time to write a comment, contribute to the conversation, or spark one. Again, this is very valuable for would-be authors.
Congratulate and Connect for Life & Professional Events
Life and professional events are reasons to touch base. Work anniversaries, promotions, new jobs, business launches and milestones, awards, or mentions in media. In many cases, these updates represent new beginnings or significant achievements for your contact. LinkedIn makes it very easy to keep tabs on people. You can Like the update or even better, take 30 seconds to write a quick but meaningful comment, or in some cases, use the update as a reason to connect in a more meaningful way.
Offer Business Referrals
If you trust the work of a connection, and you are in a position to make a referral for their services, do so. Not only do you benefit both parties, you also set yourself up as a valuable relationship broker, which enhances your reputation.
Be a Curator of Valuable Content & Resources
We still need and appreciate high quality, useful content. When you discover highly relevant content or a resource that you feel would be a great value to one or more of your connections, send it or share it. Most people default to sharing the content as an update. You can also be more selective by going sending a LinkedIn message with a link or attachment to one or several connections.
Give Endorsements when Suggested
LinkedIn will show you your connections and ask if you want to endorse them. In 60 seconds, you could cycle through a number of connections, selectively adding your thumbs-up endorsement for the skills mentioned. Its a nice gesture and it helps build the brand of your connection.
Provide Support in a Job Transition
When your connection is on the job market, be supportive. Find out what they are looking for, ask what you can do and offer specifics. You can act as a sounding board or have an ideation conversation, offer resume feedback or a mock interview, or offer to make a connection.
Ask for Help
A true relationship is a two-way street. When you could use some advice, insight, a recommendation or an introduction reach out to your LinkedIn connections.
Crowdsource feedback on an idea
Use as an informal survey / sounding board
Ask for career advice, or an informational conversation related to your career direction
Create a Workflow to Get More Results for your Time
You’re busy. I get it. Map out what you want to do for these quick LinkedIn visits: check your inbox, process invites, send congratulatory messages, check your network updates, comment on a post or conversation, share and like articles and other content. You can assign certain activities on certain days. You can time box your activity so you don’t overstay. When you develop a rhythm, you will be able to ping or meaningfully support several connections per visit. And that’s it. A sampling of key activities to better invest in your professional relationships. To better leverage your time and presence on LinkedIn (and ensure you're making the impression you intend to, get in touch regarding LinkedIn profile services.
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