After networking with several great people over the last several days, which have in essence been conversations that seem more like a veritable cross-breeding of ideas, I believe that more and more people are starting to see the potential value of meeting new people on LinkedIn. Now, just because you are open to doing this does not mean that you necessarily need to become a LinkedIn Open Networker, or LinkedIn LION.
There are many methods to the madness of connecting with new people. My method for connecting with new people is using the vehicle of the LION brand. You can find out more about my thought process concerning this in my recent blog post of why I am a LinkedIn Lion.
OK. As I mention to almost everyone I meet, if you are on LinkedIn and not meeting new people, stay off it and delete your account. If you just want to find old friends, find them, put their contact details in your personal address book, and you’re done! No need to login anymore.
LinkedIn is a Social Networking site…it is there for you to be Social and Network!
If you feel a little bit intimidated by connecting with new people on LI, here’s some networking advice: My three favorite ways to help you find that perfect person to connect with, regardless of your objective.
- Join a Group and Participate. Come on, there are more than 300,000 LinkedIn Groups out there. You put a keyword in the Search box for Groups and voila! you shall find a Group that interests you. Join it. You can join up to 50 LinkedIn Groups. And after joining, check out the Discussions boards. Yes, there is a lot of spam out there. People selling their wares. Job posts. Skip over those and look for interesting discussions. Participate. And when you run across someone you respect or a “virtual” soulmate, ask them if they would be cool if you sent them an invite. Can’t find an interesting discussion? Start one! Participate. And if what you are discussing is on target for the Group mission but no one responds, try a different Group. You are bound to find one that “fits” you.
- Ask a Question. Answer a Question. LinkedIn Answers is awesome. Have you ever browsed around the different categories of questions they have there? You can do this by selecting Answers from the top of your Home Page and checking them out. I am sure there is a category that corresponds with your interests and/or objectives. Something that you’re curious about that you couldn’t find in the Answers database? Ask it! You will be pleasantly surprised by the quality and quantity of people that will answer it, and there will be more virtual “soulmates” that you will find to connect with. Better yet, Pay It Forward and Answer a Question.
- Search for and Attend a Networking Event. Have you checked out the Events database recently? Do a search for actual networking events or “meetups” nearby you. I live in L.A. I did a search and found a great networking event. There are almost 200 people attending this event. Plus, you can actually see the people (including myself) who have RSVPed for this event. I am sure that there is bound to be someone out of 200 people that you would like to connect to. Attend the event and physically meet them. If you mutually agree, connect with each other on LinkedIn.
There are many other ways to connect with people on this website, but hopefully this will get you out there connecting with and ideally meeting new people.
LinkedIn is the means, not the end.
Your objective with LinkedIn, like with any other Social Networking site, should be in connecting with and meeting new people.
Any other networking advice to share? Please comment!