Has LinkedIn become your major prospecting channel? Is it part of your growth strategy? If so, you need to focus serious attention instead of waiting for prompts or rarely checking. Here’s why:
1. Jumping on leads. Suppose someone said: “I have a friend. Their advisor retired. They are shopping around. I told them about you.” What would you do? Reach out immediately. Suppose a friend e-mailed: “How do IRA rollovers work?” You would answer immediately. LinkedIn needs the same attention.
Strategy: If someone messages you about anything, they’ve made the effort to reach out. They should get an immediate response. That’s what people expect today.
2. Clear out messages every day. Ever come back from vacation and get a stack of accumulated mail? You sit down and sort through it. It takes time. It’s easier if you can address the problem in bite sized chunks.
Strategy: Your LinkedIn message tab shows all messages, but you can filter for the unread ones. I get 20-30 a day. If I didn’t check every day, it’s easy to have 100 messages piled up. You don’t know where they will lead. I answer every one. Checking once a day is enough for me.
3. Notifications. You get prompted with lots of stuff. Much doesn’t get a second thought, like articles another 1st level connection liked. Buried in there are the birthday, work anniversary and job change notices.
Strategy: For some reason, birthday greetings get lots of replies back. If you have an opportunity to get a dialog going, don’t pass it up. Obviously sending birthday greetings is time sensitive.
4. Invitations sent and received. You don’t want them to get stale. If someone accepts your invitation, send them back a short personal message immediately. If you accepted someone’s invite, thank them for extending it.
Strategy: This is another way to get a dialog going. Everything is fresh and new.
5. Groups. (1) Here’s the logic I use: I assume if I post a message to the daily feed, it’s seen by my 1st level connections. That’s about 4,000 people. Followers probably see it too. Since the feed is continuously changing (and has sponsored content) you don’t know how many will see it. When I post to groups, there’s a universe of thousands that might see it. The vast majority aren’t connections, but they might be.
Strategy: If you post messages with content to groups, you might get the right person’s attention. If they send you an invite to connect, there’s some interest present.
6. Groups. (2) If Tuesday is my day to post to my different groups, Wednesday is my day to comment on other people’s posts. I try to find at least two in each group where I can add an intelligent comment. This helps make you a subject matter expert.
Strategy: By commenting, you get a dialog going with someone you don’t know. They might send an invite. If not, you can send one. I think the chances of them connecting are pretty high if you reference the conversation.
7. Fulfilling requests. From time to time, a message you receive will say “Lets chat.” They have an interest in talking. Unfortunately, LinkedIn isn’t a CRM system. You can’t put in prompts to followup. You need a system.
Strategy: I keep a handwritten list of people who want to talk. I send them a message immediately after reading theirs, indicating I’m interested. The list I built tells me who to reach out to if I haven’t heard back with more details.
8. Sharing content. You need a plan. I share article links, which makes sense because I’m a writer. You should do this on a regular basis. Share in groups and in the daily feed.
Strategy: This keeps your name in front of people, which raises your visibility. I think posts that ask a question do well. Sharing article links is good too. Others promoting a seminar or video seem like ads to me.
All this takes time. It needs the human touch. Here’s your advantage: Lots of your competitors think being active is a process that can be completely automated. You know better.