In all the LinkedIn training sessions I run, whether they are sales, marketing or recruitment focused, we always spend a good amount of time looking at different ways to identify potential prospects or introducers on the site, as well as the differing ways to introduce yourself to them.
However, before tapping into the opportunities on offer from LinkedIn’s Advanced search, I always encourage people to first consider developing their networks further than they have already, in order to facilitate the process. As a first step, logically we start by checking who in our “real life” networks are currently on LinkedIn and also identifying what it really is that they are looking for from their network. This helps to give clarity to where our focus should be.
One area that I encourage then to look at are what I tend to call Centres of Influence – these are people who have networks which are highly focused around their area of expertise, an area which, most critically, coincides with your target audience. (more…)
There’s long been an (often) animated debate as to the “right” way to approach networking and particularly to building your network.
In the red corner: there are advocates of a quality based approach where you only connect with people you either know well or who are directly relevant to you and what you do;
In the blue corner: over here, the watchword is ‘quantity’ and so the aim is to connect with all and sundry and rely on the idea of serendipity, that’s to say that these people are bound to know someone (who knows someone) who will be interested in what you do or offer.
LinkedIn of course supports both approaches and seemingly takes no sides in this.
However, there is a caveat to this because of the way that LinkedIn structures and displays its search results, which may influence your thoughts on this. This is particularly relevant if you are looking at this as a (new) business development tool (more…)