All successful organisations have one thing in common – their owners, management and staff know how to build and maintain relationships. Here, Alex Pirouz explains how one social media platform in particular can help you do just that.
Without strong relationships, it’s impossible to have success in business. We’ve all heard it before: it’s not what you know, but who you know. But what we should be thinking is: “it’s not who you know, but it’s about who knows you”. I would also goes as far as saying: “It’s not who you call, but who calls you”. And thanks to LinkedIn’s powerful platform, reaching out and building your network has never been easier with over 225 million professionals now on LinkedIn.
With one click of a button you can connect with millions of new potential customers, find new potential partners to help grow your organisation, connect with the media to build your personal or company brand and even hire new staff. And best of all, every connection you make is targeted. Gone are the days where you need to spend countless hours implementing marketing strategies in order to get in front of key decision makers for your product or service. LinkedIn allows you to search, connect and develop relationships in real time with anyone around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Think about the possibilities this creates for you and your business. No longer will you have to pay high recruitment fees to find new potential employees, simply use LinkedIn’s handy recruitment features to search, find and connect with talent all over the world. No longer will you have to spend hours and hours travelling to networking functions, in the hope that you will make a valuable contact. With LinkedIn you can connect with 100s of targeted business professional every week. In a business world that is rapidly changing, learning and implementing the latest sales and marketing strategies is not a choice – it is a necessity if you are to stay relevant.
Whether you’re a newbie, have an account but not active, or would like to further your education, here are three ways you can better plan, connect, and ultimately profit, through LinkedIn.
#1: First and foremost, you need a compelling LinkedIn profile. Your profile is one of, if not the, most important aspects of building your personal and professional network. Unlike a decade ago, nowadays people buy into you before they even look into your company, let alone your product.
#2: Once you have completed your compelling LinkedIn profile, step two is all about creating a plan. I’m sure you have heard of the saying: In life people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. Well, business is no different, and planning gives you a sense of purpose and direction.
Think about some of the goals you’d like to achieve within your current role over the next three, six, or 12 months. Now start to think about all the people you need to connect with in order to help you reach those milestones. For example, if you’re looking to increase your personal or company’s profile you may want to start connecting with journalists and editors in business. If your aim is to increase revenue, you may want to start connecting with potential joint venture partners. Whatever the case, make sure that the connections you make are meaningful and targeted in helping you achieve your goals.
#3: And finally, add value. To be successful on LinkedIn – and in business in general – you have to think about WIIFT (What’s In It For Them) rather than WIIFU (What’s In It For You) initially. Just because they accepted your connection invite, doesn’t mean they are interested in what you have to say. Remember: to be interesting, you have to be interested.
Building relationships through LinkedIn is no different to dealing with people in a network function, or through a friend or colleague. It’s all about adding value and creating a win-win scenario.
Alex Pirouz is an entrepreneur, author and business mentor.
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