You know that feeling you get when you buy a new car? It’s exciting, and you can’t wait to show it off to all your friends. You love the color, and that new car smell can’t be beat!
But if you buy the car, then park it in the garage… what’s the point? You don’t get to enjoy it, and no one gets to see it.
In last week’s blog we talked about creating an amazing LinkedIn profile. And now that you have this awesome new profile, you want people to visit it. This LinkedIn engagement strategy is 5 powerful tips to help build an engaged LinkedIn network.
LinkedIn is the easiest way to showcase who you are and what you do. When used correctly it helps you build relationships and grow your professional network.
When it’s not used in the correct way, it’s nothing but an electronic resume. In fact, people often tell me that not engaging on LinkedIn is one of their biggest regrets. It turns out that when that network becomes necessary, they did not do the work to build it.
Developing a LinkedIn Engagement Strategy
Just like that shiny new car, you’re proud of it. So let’s build the network and leverage that amazing new profile through a smart LinkedIn engagement strategy.
It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, nor does it have to take a ton of your time. But you do have to be consistent to make it work.
Remember the old advertising lingo of TOMA? Top of Mind Awareness. When you need a service or product, you usually purchase the first one that comes to mind. Right? I know I do.
It’s the same in the professional world. If you have an area of expertise that you want people to know about, highlight it on LinkedIn.
This is a platform where you can become known as a subject matter expert. And even if you’re not looking for a job, you want people to seek you out. You become more valuable to your business and your employer when others want you.
That requires connection. Human connection. I have LinkedIn connections that have sent business my way for years. And I’ve never met them in person.
It can be a little tricky because you never want to sound spammy. And these days it seems everyone is trying to sell you something.
LinkedIn should be your way to build a solid professional network. And you have to work at it every day.
Each day you should do these five things. No matter what.
1. Research and Build Connections
Every day look for the five most important topics in your industry. Then do a search for posts on those topics. Let’s say you’re an accountant. And at this particular time, helping clients navigate the PPP is important.
Search LinkedIn for posts on PPP. When you find the posts, send a LinkedIn connection message to the person who posted it.
Not a generic invite, but a genuine heartfelt message. Tell them that you appreciated the post and you’d like to connect. BAM… there you go. You’re on your way to building your network with relevant professionals.
They don’t all have to be accountants. In fact, they shouldn’t be. They should be individuals who share a common professional interest. Even if it’s a temporary interest. Connect.
2. Respond to LinkedIn Likes and Comments
Never ignore a like or a comment that someone leaves on your post. LinkedIn algorithms prefer interaction. So what you post will get seen by more people when there’s interaction on the post. Thank people for the likes and respond to the comments.
If someone who isn’t a first-level connection happens to like your post, reach out and invite them to connect. That doesn’t happen often because of the algorithms, but it does happen. So take advantage of it.
3. Engage with People
How to increase your LinkedIn engagement is to engage with people and post. Once you have a connection, engage with what they post. Comment on their posts and interact with the other comments.
I encourage you to spend 10 minutes each day engaging. This isn’t the same as scrolling through Facebook. Don’t think of it as a time drain. It’s so important. You’re building a professional network. They have to know you. Interact daily with at least 15 of your first-level connection posts.
4. Give a Shout Out
Take the time to send birthday wishes and congratulations to your connections. LinkedIn makes this so easy and it can help build online connections.
I like to personalize it a little, but even if you don’t, it’s a nice gesture. Everyone appreciates a shout out.
5. Read LinkedIn Articles
Read ONE LinkedIn Article. Each day, read one. You’ll learn about your connections and what they’re up to. You’ll discover the cool things they’re up to. And it will give you even more to talk about when you interact.
If a first- or second-level connection wrote the article, comment on it. AND… send them a direct message to let them know you enjoyed the article. That goes a long way. If it’s an article written by someone you aren’t already connected to, reach out.
Your goal should be to gain about 20 new connections each week – high quality connections that have interest in you or your industry.
This might sound like a lot. But you can accomplish all of it in under 20 minutes a day. It’s time that’s well spent.
You don’t know what the future holds for your career. None of us do. That’s why it’s important to build your LinkedIn network and to stay active.
Whether you stay where you are and want to grow or you want to leave your company, either way the network is a critical piece of the puzzle. So take the time to develop your LinkedIn engagement strategy.
I’m including a link to a free PDF for a LinkedIn tip sheet that will help you get your profile looking amazing. And if you aren’t already connected to me on LinkedIn, let’s do that! Looking forward to seeing your connection request come into my inbox!
You’re all set to go build a valuable and engaged LinkedIn connection network! Go for it!
Cynthia Corsetti is an Executive and Career Coach. Whether you’re looking for a career transition or to make a bigger impact in your current career, Cynthia is the partner you’re looking for. Follow her on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Photo credit ARt.com