April 14, 2014

LinkedIn – Authentic Networking on LinkedIn

LinkedIn – Authentic Networking on LinkedIn

Written by: Sue Ellson
Title: Authentic Networking on LinkedIn
First Published Date: 07 April 2014
Last Revision Date: 14 December 2015
Statistics: 14 December 2015 – 651 views 8 Likes 5 Comments 7,865 Followers
Format: LinkedIn Post in the LinkedIn Pulse Blog
Publisher: LinkedIn
Editor: Not applicable
Online at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140407042716-77832–authentic-networking-on-linkedin
Words: 1,098
Published text: See Edition 2 Transcript 14 December 2015 below
Copy of article as it first appeared: See below

Authentic Networking on LinkedIn

by Sue Ellson BBus AIMM MAHRI CDAA (Assoc) ASA

Whether it is for your work, career or business, LinkedIn has many useful resources – and if you use them authentically, you can achieve your purpose. You can still show up in the real world, allow automatic features to help you, share the love, connect with your profession, remain contactable, keep up to date and value your network.

As an ‘early adopter’ of the LinkedIn professional network social media platform – yes, I joined on 21 December 2003 as one of the first 100,000 LinkedIn members, I have been able to utilise a variety of the LinkedIn resources for work,career and business purposes.

It has helped me build my network and retain a relationship with people in a non-intrusive way – something that I never could have done via individual emails, letters and phone calls.

But time goes by and the world changes. So, I would like to share some of my best tips for remaining authentic in the online world, more specifically via LinkedIn.

1. Keep showing up in the offline world
There is absolutely no point in assuming that you can do all of your networking via LinkedIn from your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, notebook or desktop computer. You still need to get out and about and meet people face to face. Do not neglect the opportunity to interact in person as this will solidify your relationships and remind people that you exist in the real world. You can then invite these new contacts to join you within three days of meeting them and remember to give them some value in your first online interaction.

2. For each new connection, set a reminder
As a new connection is added, you can tag them with a category but you can also set a reminder and describe how you met. A reminder is a very useful tool for following up. To maintain a relationship, you need to keep in touch at least three times a year. When your reminder appears, diary for your next contact process.

3. Feed the LinkedIn beast with connections, content and contributions
Invite people to join LinkedIn (either personally or via email – preferably not by syncing), share useful updates (but don’t just spam the news feed with links to other content) and for the groups that you have joined, add to the conversation with useful tips, ideas and strategies (not sales talk).

4. Share the love and opportunities
When an opportunity comes up, share it with the people you know – if you hear about a new project, why not search your connections by keyword and see if it would be of interest to one of them and pass the details on. Be proactive and if you see something worthwhile, like it or add a comment so that the details can be passed on through your network.

5. Profile your professional association
Running a professional association is often a thankless task completed by hard working volunteers and many people now assume that paying for an annual membership is a waste of money. Don’t let your industry die! Support them through LinkedIn, profile them on your own LinkedIn profile (in both the Membership category and the Experience section), join their LinkedIn group and once again, share their news to fellow professionals or industry identities. Invite non-members to their events and showcase the opportunities available.

6. Make yourself contactable
Include your contact details in the Contact section where there are boxes for you to fill in (and where your 1st level connections can find it), but also in your Summary and Advice for Contacting You sections. If you don’t want to reveal your phone number or email address online, post a URL where they can submit their enquiry online, but for goodness sake, make it possible for people to reach you directly!

7. Tell the truth
In every instance. Don’t fudge titles, dates, duties, achievements, recommendations, anything. You will be found out. If you are over 40, accept it. You have experience, skills, knowledge and networks that some people will value and if they don’t, you do not want to work with them. You do not need to give away private information and you must not mention confidential commercial details.

8. Keep up to date
As the LinkedIn offering is regularly changing, keep your profile current by updating and reviewing your profile every three months. Start collecting some statistics (like your number of connections, views per 90 days, number of recommendations) every three months too so that you can measure your return on investment (ROI).

9. Build relationships over time
You cannot expect to send a message and get a sale. A trusted network takes time to build and you need a minimum of seven exchanges to develop relationship. Once you have a connection and you have started communicating, remember to maintain it both directly via the reminder process but also by remaining active on LinkedIn as their various tools, algorithms and direct correspondence will keep you in the other members’ minds (for example, your face will appear in the news feed, your news may be shared via email).

10. Value your network
LinkedIn has given you the opportunity to connect and remain in contact with many people online, both directly and indirectly, in a way that many professionals feel is comfortable. Do not abuse that privilege. If you lose someone from your mailing list, you could invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn so that you can keep in touch in a professional sense. When you can, give something back, without expectation. You have received value, so consider providing some value back to the LinkedIn network.

Out of the four main social media platforms where I have an online presence, I have found LinkedIn to be the most productive. I am a completely independent publisher of tips and information (no, LinkedIn did not ask me to write this!), but I truly believe that it provides enormous benefits to individuals and businesses, but if you are reading this, remember that you must remain authentic.

Social media has a way of democratising human behaviour – and if you try and outsmart it for negative purposes, it will only be a matter of time before you will have the wrath of other members who can choose to disconnect, unfollow or hide your updates. LinkedIn can also restrict spamming activity (thank goodness as not all of us have time to stop these annoying people).

As long as you remain authentic, long may you prosper!


#authentic #networking #LinkedIn #socialmedia
LinkedIn Profile, Statistics, ROI, Work, Career, Business, Relationship Building

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Sue Ellson BBus AIMM MAHRI CDAA (Assoc) ASA
Connect with me at http://au.linkedin.com/in/sueellson
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