How do you tag your LinkedIn Connections? I was asked this question again just this week.
During one of our public LinkedIn classes, one of the challenges that was brought up was the issue of follow up with your LinkedIn connections. The student in the class said, “I only connect with the people that make sense for me to connect with, but how do I engage with so many people on a regular basis? I’m not sure where to even begin with my 500+ connections.”
This was not the first time this question was asked… and it will certainly not be the last time. You need a process. Let’s take the process from the beginning.
First of all, I whole-heartedly believe that your network is your net-worth… digital or not digital. Let’s start with etiquette. Always take the 30 seconds it takes to write 300 characters in a connection request. Generic connection requests tell me that I am not important enough for 30 seconds of your time. What does that tell me about our relationships going forward? Not much.
When I do receive a generic connection request, they go to the bottom of my list. But my intention on LinkedIn is to OPEN THE DIALOGUE. So I reply to the connection request without accepting it in order to investigate what prompted the request at that moment? OPEN THE DIALOGUE, folks. Be purposeful I your actions ;)
If everyone always made their intentions clear from the start (with the connection request), and then engaged in dialogue right off the bat… well, I guess you wouldn’t need these tips!
But now I’ve got you thinking…you haven’t been doing this all along so what happens now? Do you wipe the list clean and start over with more purpose and intention? Ha! Who has the time?!?!
No… just start tagging your network, then engage based on the tag. For example, you might want to tag your network by prospects, clients, referral partners, centers-of-influence, thought leaders, business partners, etc. Or maybe you might want to tag them by location, if you travel frequently, or by title if you need to engage based on level of decision making, or by networking association, or by however you feel you should silo your network in order to purposefully contact them.
Once tagged, sort by the tag, and engage by the type of dialogue you are intending to open. Yes, this takes work. Yes, you will be busy for quite some time. Yes, it will be worth the effort!
Check out this short instruction video on how to tag your connections:
Now get to work! I’d love to hear your success stories in implementation of this process. What worked? What didn’t?
Good luck and good networking! Remember… It’s All About Leverage.