As a CEO, networking is more than just talking with strangers at an event. Networking is about creating connections and relationships with others who can provide invaluable feedback and support as well as creating new business opportunities.
In today’s digitally integrated world, networking has become easier and more streamlined with social media platforms like LinkedIn.
If you use LinkedIn correctly to establish relationships with people you meet at networking or work events, you can establish credibility and your reputation as an industry leader, plus it can also lead to new career and work opportunities.
To become a standout networker on LinkedIn, you must first consider the following three tips:
Have a completed profile
Before you start networking on LinkedIn, it is vital your profile is complete and up-to-date. A completed profile will appear in search results 40 times more than the average LinkedIn profile, making you much more attractive to network with.
Make sure you have filled out as many fields as possible and that you are regularly reviewing and updating your profile. Other key areas to address on your LinkedIn profile include having a professional headshot as your profile image, an excellent summary that profiles your background and your area of expertise, an engaging headline, and a comprehensive list of your professional career history.
Make the first move
After attending a networking event, it is a good idea to follow up with the people you made connections with on LinkedIn. Don’t wait to hear from that person you had a great chat with last week. Be bold and make the first move and reach out with a message on LinkedIn. It can even be something as simple as ‘Great to meet you’ or ‘I saw this great article and thought it might interest you’.
If it’s the first time connecting online with someone you have met in real life, personalise the connection invitation. When you request to connect with someone on LinkedIn, instead of using the generic template LinkedIn provides, write something more personal as it shows you are interested in them. Think about what area or industry the person works in and look for similarities or a topic of interest that you can mention in your message.
Post engaging content
Think about what you can do for your network on LinkedIn. Share your knowledge through posts that give your readers an insight into your expertise and opinions.
LinkedIn is mainly a business social networking site and gives professionals an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their expertise and thought leadership. Posting high quality and valuable content is one of the best ways to demonstrate your knowledge with a captive and engaged target audience.
Networking is no longer limited to industry events and client functions; this is just the starting point. Social networking platforms like LinkedIn can be used as a catalyst to create connections with people and establish relationships that can be of benefit to you professionally and personally.