The name of the game is trust. On modern online business, the most influencing factor you have to identify is your connections. You do business with people, not names, and serving the people can benefit the most from your services you can develop an audience of devoted friends and a thriving community around your brand.
When I started 3 years ago to develop my own brand around my name I started developing a blog, that, nobody knew anything about it. I was under the impression, that I needn’t do many promotional moves in order to propagate my messages. I had wrong as I found out in the next 3 months of my blog’s operation since all my operations were targeting to YOU.
Today, I have managed to develop a thriving community of more than 17,000 like-minded peers (including many entrepreneurs, small business owners, and freelancers as you) using various strategies and outreach recipes.
Foundations & Mindset
What have I done? Just some thoughts to developing some “good” habits (turn them to operations), block out my calendar for employing them and a constant dedication to growing my network on LinkedIn.
When I started I had a very small network of business associates of less than 70 people from Greece, USA, and Europe. I thought it was enough! But as I have explained it wasn’t because it was “stagnated”. No interaction, some messages, here and there, minimum communication, etc. You know the feeling? I guess you do.
Before 3 years I take the ownership of my LinkedIn strategy wanting to develop suitable operations to follow through to empower and invigorate my LinkedIn network.
Today I have a network of 8932 participants most of which I have communicated with for more than one times, and few of them are now my associates.
- Set clear and measurable goals (I have chosen to have more than 1,000 participants in my network after 12 months, and an active communication [discussions, outreach, etc.] with the 5%-10% of this target group)
- Have a presence. Post interest posts, news, and information that add value to your audience. Publish often and use the blogging features provided by LinkedIn to replicate your posts (post them 1-2 weeks after their original publication) or write original articles. You can utilize automation services like IFTTT and Zapier for automating your publication schedule. Don’t forget to connect with people on special occasions like their birthday, job change, other events, etc.
- Develop an excellent profile in LinkedIn. Focus on what you can do for the people read your profile and not so much what you have done! Research more to find the best elements you should include to your profile and develop your best business profile ever (you can check here, here and here for more information).
- Utilize Slideshare for promoting your work. SlideShare is a service for document and presentation exchange belonging to LinkedIn. If you add, for instance, a presentation in SlideShare you can add it directly to your LinkedIn profile. Use it, any way to fortify your presence..
- Find the people you want to connect with LinkedIn’s tools (search and advanced search tools) and provide the information of interest like people would like to connect with, news and announcements in their field of interest etc. Be a facilitator and network connecting people and resources together creating value for each participant in your network while you are delivering more value to the people you want to connect with.
- Prepare sort message(s) (one for all or detailed for specific target groups) to send to the people you are most interest to connect with (caution: these people are quite busy and short messages, at the point, can provide better results than longer more in-detail messages ). The message can be as simple as Hi, I am <…> and I do <…> I work on <…> and I’d like to add you in my network because I value your work and your experience. <Your NAME, + Signature>, etc.
- Add the new contacts in your network as they accept to become members of your network (or learn why they reject you).
- Be open, approachable and accept any other contact you think of value for yourself and your network. But be also a gatekeeper guarding your network against everyone and anything can “trouble” its participants.
- Provide feedback and more value to your network all the time and every time.
Check this strategy out and tell me if it helps you!