Whenever I give a workshop relating to social media, I often ask the following question when talking about social networks: “How many of you are currently on LinkedIn?”
In most cases about 60% of the people in the room put up their hand. I then ask those same people: ” How many of you have ever actually received any value from being on LinkedIn”?
One hand usually stays up.
What people tend to forget is that in most cases you’re not going to “receive” value simply upon signing up. This applies to all social media tools/applications. You need to be willing to put in some work (i.e. “give”) in order to receive. The truth is, the majority of people couldn’t be bothered and thus never end up using their accounts.
It is for those people that I want to provide the following simple use for LinkedIn, which involves very little time investment. It’s often overlooked and yet it’s right there front and centre. Basically, by following these steps you can find and connect with almost any person, from any industry in any city. The bigger your network, the better it works (concept of 3 degrees of separation).
- Create a profile on LinkedIn
- Build your network (add just me to start if you’re lazy)
- Click on the “advanced” button
- Type in your search criteria (limit your search to your network only, in order for introductions to work)
- Browse the top results (they are listed in order of relevance by default)
- Request an introduction
- Fill in the blanks in the automated form.
This sets into motion an automatic message that will be sent to the connector from your immediate network as well as the end person that you are trying to reach. The ball is thus in their court and you will receive an answer 99.9% of the time. Just remember to limit your first degree connections to people that you have either personally met, done business with, or at least chatted via phone.
Why does this work?
Simple: When people see an introduction from a familiar contact, they feel obliged to respond. Don’t forget, 50 million users wouldn’t have signed up if this stuff didn’t work.
Have a look at my “Quick Tip” presentation below , which explains this exercise in visual form.