I’ve been amazed of late as to the how people engage and interact with others on Linked In. I’m thinking in this instance specifically of the prolifigate of requests to contact, answer questions and for testimonials etc and how people make these requests.
With this in mind, I thought I’d share my top three tips for how you can use Linked In more effectively:
New Contact Requests – When you make a request to be a contact with me, I expect you to be known to me. If you aren’t but you’ve been recommended to get in touch or think there might be some advantage for us being in contact etc, then please tell me this. In your intro email say who’s referred you and why you think our connecting will be mutually beneficial. Otherwise, why would I make myself, and my network open to you?
Recommendation Request – So I know you. We’ve worked together in the past maybe or our paths have connected somehow. Just like you would (or if you don’t, you should) get in touch with past employers when giving out their names as referees and advise them that you’d like a reference, I’d like to have some kind of personal contact from you asking me to take time and put effort into writing your recommendation. It’s here that you could highlight what you’ld like me to focus on for instance – ie if you’re looking for a new role in say Aeronautical engineering, perhaps you’d like me to mention how good you were at it when we worked together with real examples of the benefits you brought to the business you worked for.
Questions, Questions, Questions – If you ask a question to your contacts be clear why you’ve asked them – maybe you think they are subject matter experts? Or maybe you think you know something they don’t. Either way, set expectations and you will get the answer you are looking for. Equally, don’t forget to look to see if someone else has asked the same question. As Linked In has evolved there are many more answers to be found these days than before. Finally, and this boils down to common courtesy, if someone’s taken the time to answer your question then at the very least acknowledge them when they’ve answered you.
Needless to say, there are many more things you could do and depending upon why you’re using Linked In in the first place. These are in my view three top tips that will make a difference in the results you get from networking and engaging with people using Linked In.
Enjoy the network!