Relationship Building 101: The LinkedIn Way

Aug 05 2012

Relationship Building 101: The LinkedIn Way

by crd_admin in Blog

 

Create meaningful relationships or die.

Bold statement isn’t it?

Think about it, the lifeblood of any entrepreneur, CEO, or person is the ability to create meaningful long lasting relationships.

There’s an emphasis on long lasting relationships for this reason. If you’re in it for short term gain, you’ll fall flat on your face.

Don’t believe that? You’re not ready to succeed.

If you read the “Why Social Media is the Ultimate Icebreaker” post, I talked about how effective social is at creating those meaningful relationships.

In this post I’ll be focusing on the power of LinkedIn and how you can leverage it to create a powerful network no matter what your niche is.

After that I’ll give you a step-by-step guide that will show you how to find new relationships using LinkedIn’s useful groups feature.

But first…

LinkedIn relationship building

Building relationships takes work.

If you’re not willing to put in the work close this post. Seriously, I mean it.

Are you still with me? Excellent.

If you’re still here, you realize the power of relationships and you want to build them using the awesome tools that are available.

Tools like LinkedIn.

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this post, allow me to put this common thought to rest…

LinkedIn isn’t just a job board

Ask anyone who isn’t engaged with LinkedIn and they’ll tell you it’s just a job board.

Wrong!

What they don’t realize is that it’s the largest professional network on the internet.

What does that mean for you? A huge opportunity to create relationships with people who are in your industry or share your interests.

I call it, ultra targeting.

With that being said, let’s take a look at the secret sauce of network building, LinkedIn groups.

Using LinkedIn groups step-by-step

Here are the steps you should use to start the relationship building process using LinkedIn groups:

Step 1 – Decide the best topic that aligns with your interests

Think about what people you want to connect with. If you have a business in the video game industry you probably want to connect with industry professionals and gamers.

Step 2 – Locating groups

Locate those professionals using the LinkedIn group search.

There’s two ways to search for groups:

  • The first way is to hover over the groups tab (green arrow) and then click on groups directory. From there you can type in keywords that will point you to the appropriate groups.
  • The second way is to click on the drop down menu on the search bar (red arrow) and then click groups. Make sure you have your keyword typed into the search field.

For example: social media or entrepreneurship.

Step 3 – Picking the right group

Once you’ve chosen a keyword or phrase to search within the directory, you’ll see the results.

This is what you’d get for the keyphrase video games.

Take a look at the blue arrow. You have 349 groups on LinkedIn that are about video games. That’s a ton of potential relationships!

Now take a look at the purple arrow. It points to the number of members in that particular group. If I join that group, I can potentially connect with over 4,000 people.

That’s just one group.

Notice that it tells you if a group is active. In this case, the first option is “very active”. That’s the type of group you want to be part of.

The more active a group is, the more engagements you’ll get.

Step 4 – The active win

Now that you have a few active groups you’re apart of, now it’s time to start finding people that you want to connect with.

First and foremost, you want to find active group members. The best way to find out how active they are is by how often they post or comment in the group.

That’s obvious though right? Here’s a better way.

A good way to get a quick overview of who has been active in a group is by looking at the “Top Influencer This Week”  box on the right hand side of all group pages.

Here’s what it looks like:

The more active a person is, the quicker you can build up a digital relationship.

Which leads me to this…

For the love of all things social, if you’re going to be using LinkedIn…use it on a regular basis.

Don’t be like the millions of other people who create a LinkedIn profile and then never use it. If you don’t use it you lose it.

Now it’s time to reach out.

Step 5 – Reaching out

When you become part of a group, you have access to every single person who’s in that group. Which means it’s easier to connect with them even though you don’t know them.

This leads me to the very important “invite to connect”  message.

LinkedIn gives you a very generic message when connecting with someone new. Don’t use that! It makes you look lazy and in it for the numbers.

And your awesome personality can’t shine through.

Create a very personalized message. For example:

Notice that I made it personal to Naseem rather than using the generic message.

Do the little things. They go a long way.

Go a step further. If your new connection is in the same industry as you ask what they do. Create a conversation.

That’s what humans do.

Show that you’re interested in them.

Bringing it all together

There you have it.

Connecting with new people on LinkedIn isn’t a hard thing. If you put in the work and use it regularly no telling where you’ll go.

Who knows, you might become friends with someone and together you change the world. It can happen.

As the old saying goes, “sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”

Your actionable task

Your task today is to select one LinkedIn group you’re interested in.

Spend time:

  • sharing your opinions
  • sharing content
  • answering/asking questions

From there, start building your network by asking people to connect with personalized messages to each.

This will literally take you 30 minutes or less if you do it right.

Try it out and let me know how it goes in the comments below!

Jeremy Brown is a self proclaimed social media dissector. He’s the creator of the Varoonix Game Engine and the Creator of Social2Cents where he builds social savvy entrepreneurs who get results.