How To Nurture your Connections to Build Real Relationships and Clients
So many people tell me that they don’t know what to do once they have connected with people here on LinkedIn. And I must admit, I used to think that all my connections had gone into a black hole when I first started connecting with people here!
What is the advantage of connecting with people and what do you do once you do!?
Let’s take it back to basics first….
One of the keys to success on LinkedIn is to have a network of quality connections. How do you achieve that?
This might seem counterintuitive but first have a look at your existing connections and disconnect with all the people who don’t serve you in any way. You can download your connections directly from LinkedIn.(https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/member-data)
Also, read my article here about paring down your connections and the reasons why. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-you-should-delete-your-linkedin-connections-tracey-burnett/
As you are going through the list of your connections, make a list of those people who you particularly want to stay on touch with and why you think they will be useful. This exercise will give you a good base to build on.
(By the way, if you disconnect with someone, they don’t get a notification!!)
Who is a quality connection?
A quality connection is a person who you want to stay in touch with because you can be of support to them or they can be for you. Most people are looking for connections to build their business, so they are interested in connecting with their ideal prospects. Be vigilant about who you connect with in the future. It’s so easy just to click ‘accept’ when someone asks to connect with you.
Hopefully you have a clear idea of who your ideal audience is so you can assess each connection request against that. Your criteria will also determine your search for new connections.
The common categories of quality connections are:
Prospects I always have a list of my ‘hot’ and ‘warm’ people on my desk. I use my Stealth Strategy here to build the relationship This is a number of steps I take over time to engender the ‘know, like and trust’ factor. These are the people who get extra special treatment because I really would like to work with them!
The rest of the connections are hopefully your ideal prospects but are pretty ‘cold’. Find out more about them to see if they are an ideal fit for you. Look at their profile, newsfeed posts and articles, their website, other social media platforms they use. It is surprising how much you can learn. Knowing more about them means that you can have more meaningful conversations via messaging or when you speak to them. You may find something e.g. an article that you know might interest them or a good person for them to connect with. You can do this with your hotter prospect too.
Clients Always have a plan to keep in touch with these valued people – even if it is just sending an email/message once a month with your latest article. Engage with their posts and articles. Give recommendations and endorsements. Once people have bought from you once it’s more likely they will buy again. Also, we all love referrals and these often come from happy clients!
Suppliers & partners These are the people who can, or do, provide services for you. Can you recommend them to people you know, endorse skills on their profile, leave them a recommendation on LinkedIn? You could send them regular updates about you and your business and also ask them what you can do for them and receive updates about their business.
Introducers Might be obvious but…. these are people who can introduce you to the people you want to speak to. Or they are people whose 1st connections on LinkedIn are your ideal audience (it’s easier to connect with 2nd connections than those outside of your network.)
I have 4500 connections but my reach with their first connections is over 2.3 million people!
Media These could be radio, press, TV people, podcast, blog or vlog owners. Develop relationships. Ask them how you can support them. Keep them in touch with what you are doing – make it interesting, unique. Make approaches to them about being a guest on their show, podcast etc…
Other ways to keep in touch
Use LinkedIn messages
• Move them off of LinkedIn onto your email list by offering them a lead magnet sending them to a opt in page to capture their email address
• Connect with people on other social media platforms
• Engage with their content on LinkedIn and other platforms
• Post content regularly so people are noticing you. You can also tag connections in posts they might find relevant
• Send them a voice mail (through the LinkedIn app) which will land in their LinkedIn Inbox
• Look at the Notifications daily and interact with people who have a birthday, work anniversary
• Tag them in your posts of articles
You could even pick up the phone and have a chat!
I hope that this has given you some insight into how you can nurture and manage your network.
What is your most successful way for nurturing our connections?
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