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!

Views: 158

Comment by Kevin Rowlinson on March 5, 2010 at 11:59am

We seem to be limited to only 300 spaces on introductions. Why is that? Can I get more space?

Kevin Rowlinson
Comment by Michelle Fischer on March 5, 2010 at 12:05pm
Hi Kevin,
Sadly I don't think you can but in my experience this is more than enough (and certainly beats Twitter!)
Comment by Ralph Leon on March 5, 2010 at 2:21pm
I definitely think one key to building a good relationship is communicating properly and effectively. I think your tips provide such advice. I think another great tip is to join groups. I know when I first signed up on LinkedIn I did not know very many people. Through groups I have met people that share same interests and are in a similar industry. Thanks for sharing your tips Michelle!
Comment by Michelle Fischer on March 5, 2010 at 4:29pm
Thanks Ralph. You're right about groups - but only if you use them in an effective way - so many people seem to join groups they think they should be members of then do nothing to contribute to them - it's like they have them as a Flag for what they do. I recommend that you ask questions, answer questions, invite comments, share reflections and all the stuff you'd do in a normal group. Otherwise, really what is the point? Glad to have helped you Ralph.

Comment by Trish on March 7, 2010 at 6:55am
Michelle, great post. I'm not as versed in LinkedIn and my husband is learning it now as he networks to find a new job. Do you have any recommendations of how to find groups that network in person also? He'd like to find a local group to be part of and not exactly sure if this can be found via LinkedIn. Have you found LinkedIn to be a good source for this type of info? Thanks so much.

Comment by Marsha Keeffer on March 7, 2010 at 6:54pm
Thanks for getting the word out, Michelle. It's common sense to be clear with people you're reaching out to, but so often it's not the case. You're right - I'm not interested in connecting up with 5 million people...and just adding hundreds of people as friends doesn't mean there is even a relationship. Which kind of makes all those 'friends' not too meaningful.
Comment by Michelle Fischer on March 8, 2010 at 10:24am
Hi Trish and Marsha,
Thanks for commenting - I'm glad to see my blog (which was really a bit of a moan truth be told) resonated for you both!

Trish, regarding local groups that network in person, I'm less familiar with the specifics of these for your part of the world or indeed your husband's sector. That said, this would be a perfect question to ask (by your husband) on Linked In… A means of highlighting his status and also putting his details in front of like minded people.

Best wishes
Comment by Sarah Calverley on March 10, 2010 at 7:32pm
Good advice Michelle - the one niggly point is the length of introduction email allowed when sending an invite...I just can't always fit everything in! Thanks for the tips


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