Business networking, face to face or online is still networking. LinkedIn is a virtual form of professional networking. Usually people network because they want referrals. In order for this to work, you have to give to get. You also need to be active with your network on LinkedIn.
Networking is all about building good relationships, trust, visibility, and likeability. You want to use the power and leverage digital technology. Your results will be multiplied when you combine your social networking with offline networking methods. This can be as simple as scheduling a meetup. Here’s a couple of tips you can use to get referrals to your network on LinkedIn.
Referrals from LinkedIn
- Build a targeted network of like-minded individuals.
- Communicate in an open transparent way what you do.
- Interact and engage with your network on a regular basis.
In my opinion, one of the best tools that you can use on LinkedIn to start networking is LinkedIn answers. This allows you to answer and ask questions on almost any topic. By focusing on topics that are related to your industry, you are engaging with people who are interested in your market.
With the questions that I ask on LinkedIn answers, I will usually follow-up with a personal reply thanking the people who answered my questions. If they are someone that I am not currently connected to, I add them to my network. Make a point to engage in answering questions that your network is posting on LinkedIn answers. This will allow you to engage with them regarding their questions. You will also have a portion of your own network that will read on what is answered by their networks.
With LinkedIn you will get exactly out of this social network what you put into it. It is a professional social network and it is the same as face to face networking, only on a digital manner.