Written by: Eric Z. Johnson
159 dollars. That’s all I had. After 4+ years in my service-based business, I was going to start the next month with only $159 in my bank account. There I was with an MBA, struggling to make ends meet. I still remember the disappointment. My business was not working. Bottom line: I had a severe problem with getting high-quality leads and creating powerful, authentic relationships online. Then, I plunged 100% into LinkedIn.
Within 8 months’ time of fully and authentically engaging on LinkedIn, I had…
- Several new clients!
- Been featured on a radio show.
- Been interviewed on a local TV show.
- Received backstage access at a conference and was introduced to multiple speakers.
- LinkedIn connections introducing me to other people on LinkedIn, as well as in person at local networking events.
The momentum continues. In the last few weeks, I was on two podcasts because of my LinkedIn connections, received new email subscribers, and received messages inquiring about my social media services and courses.
The lesson? Relationships are most powerful when they’re authentic. These are the types of relationships that can help you build other people while building your revenue, peace of mind, and dreams.
How Can You Build Authentic Relationships On Linkedin?
I’ll share some of what I’ve learned and give action steps. Ultimately, take what is here and make sure it works for you. It may be best for you to use, ignore, or adapt some of what you learn. I constantly tell students and clients this: Never sacrifice your flavor for a formula. Let’s dive in!
Foundations To Powerful Relationships On LinkedIn:
- Have commitment. Without it, it’s impossible to create lasting and powerful relationships on any channel. Commitment leaves evidence behind. Are you showing up, giving, and engaging on a regular basis? Are you starting conversations? How about writing comments on popular posts that interest your ideal clients? Commitment is everything.
- Focus on quality connections. Quality is more important than quantity on any channel. It’s about strategically connecting with real people, not mindlessly collecting profiles.
Sending Connection Requests:
- Use LinkedIn search to find 2nd (or 3rd) connections who fit your ideal client profile. Knowing how to use search is a best practice.
- When you send a connection request
- Always write a customized message.
- Use the person’s first name.
- Let the person know why you’d like to connect.
- Tell them why it can be beneficial for them.
- Do not use clichés or jargon.
- Do not write “I want to expand my network”. That’s me-me-me self-centered language.
- Do not write “We have several mutual connections in common” because that’s bland and overused.
Recently, I’ve been using this message: “Hi (first name). I noticed you’re a (job title). I’d be a great connection if you want to see content about using LinkedIn for lead generation in an authentic way, creating warm referrals, and starting sales conversations. If you think we’d be a good fit, let’s connect.” Is it perfect? No. Does it work well? Yes. The focus is what’s in it for them.
Foundational Steps: Have A Rockstar Profile
- Have an outstanding head shot, headline, and about section. Fill out your profile completely. Once you send a connection request, many people will click over to your profile to start reading it. Your profile must interest and/or intrigue them so they will accept your request.
- Use the “featured posts” option to showcase hot, relevant and/or evergreen posts. What’s your best content? Which content had a lot of interactions? Use that content as featured posts to draw in your LinkedIn profile visitors and help them get to know your better.
Use How You’re Wired To Create A Personal Touch
Build relationships in a way that works for you. Use a method that is in alignment with how you’re wired. While we can build new skills, ultimately, you’ll take action when the action comes more naturally and authentic to you.
For example, Business and Video Strategist Rachel Freemon Sowers loves video. When she receives a new connection, it’s common for her to send a short video greeting. I love writing so I usually send a written message. Make what you’re doing work for you.
Your Content Marketing And Communication:
- Share stories (written, video or both). Stories are very connective and impacting.
- Authentically and thoughtfully engage. Make strategic comments on LinkedIn connections’ content, especially ones who fit your ideal client profile. Nobody can build a thriving business using the “post and ghost” method. That’s where you mindlessly throw out content and then barely or never interact with people when they comment.
- Reply to all comments and DMs.
- Message new connections. Nurture and give value by sending a link to a meaningful and relevant resource, podcast episode, or something similar that will help them achieve their goals. Example: “I ran across this today and you came to mind.” (Never send a link to your lead magnet unless someone requests it.)
- Tag leads in meaningful posts from someone else or a company page that you believe they would like to see.
- Use video. Video is the next best thing to being in person. The viewer gets to see your eyes, hear your voice and get a feel for your energy and who you are.
- Consider offering a no-sales-pitch 20 minute “get to know you” video or audio call with new connections. These can open up several new opportunities.
- Use LinkedIn recommendations (testimonials) for social proof. When your leads read great testimonials on your profile, it builds trust and elevates you and your brand in their minds. Ideally, the reader can see him/herself in the testimonials and will want the results you’re helping clients achieve.
- Action: Set a recurring reminder to ask clients for LinkedIn recommendations every 1, 2 or 3 months depending on your client volume.
- Introduce people to each other. Never force this. Make sure that each one would be a great connection for the other. If they choose to pursue working together now or later, that’s on them and between them. Simply be the connecting point, the bridge. In other words, it’s great to be a matchmaker on LinkedIn.
Put these tips in action, authentically engage as yourself, and let us know how it goes.
If you do, I’m sure you’ll be starting your months with significantly more money than $159.