101 LinkedIn – Online Marketing
I have just reached 101 direct connections on LinkedIn. That means I am one removed from two thousand connections and three removed from 375,000.
LinkedIn is an online social community – a bit like Friends Reunited but for professionals. It is designed to be a tool that makes six degrees of separation work.
If you want to get started on LinkedIn, the first thing you ought do, after getting registered, is to complete your profile. As you do this LinkedIn will identify those ex colleagues who are registered that worked in the same companies as you, during the same period of time.
It is good to reconnect with those; as people do business with those they know, like and trust. These people already know you from your history together.
So send them an automatic invite. I have reconnected with the CEO of a company we both previously worked for, which in itself is quite wow. I nearly killed him on the M25 when I was driving him around my region and talking too much at the same time. Who says women can do two things at once?
It is easy to gain critical mass by engaging with those who are already registered on LinkedIn, as they already have accepted the value of connections. So have a look around to see who you might already know, and then who they have connected to them. If you know these people too and have their email addresses you can easily ask them to link up with you too.
When you have a critical mass, you can start to invite those who are not already on LinkedIn within your own network. This may require composing your own emails rather than using the box standard ones that LinkedIn provide. If your intended recognises that it is you (due to the way that you write or what you have written) then they will be more open to the suggestion that they link up with you.
Personally, I think it is also important to address the fact that in the most part belonging to LinkedIn is completely free. It only costs if you choose to upgrade.
Now, please don’t ask me what I am going to do with the potential 375K contacts that I have, because I have no idea. I just know that if I did need them that they are there in my current and up to date network of contacts, which would take months to build if I were starting from scratch. Not a bad contingency when you think about it!
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