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How to leverage LinkedIn for business and career networking

By October 22, 2008 No Comments

Hey – networking really works.

Earlier today I received an email from Avish Parashar suggesting that I answer a question posted in LinkedIn by a friend of his, Ashay Gharat. His question is the title of this blog entry. I decided to take his advice and respond to Ashay.

By the way, Avish teaches :”Improvisation for Business”. If you think that is an oxymoron you need to experience him. He is a very interesting and entertaining public speaker who does keynote speaking and can also be hired to speak at your organization.  His is one of the few newsletters I always make a point to read. You can view his blog here.

Here is what I wrote to Ashay. You can view his original question and all of the responses to it in LinkedIn.

“Your mantra should be Give First! In networking as in life. As someone already commented – LinkedIn is a framework to extend, not replace, your physical networking.

That said, there are a number of things which you can do to remain top of mind with your network, which presumably is made up of friends, business colleagues as well as vendors, partners, suppliers, etc. whom you know.

In no particular order, here are 7 things you can do to leverage LinkedIn for business and career networking,-
1. Update your network with a direct outreach via “forwarding your profile” periodically throughout the year (It’s not limited to actual updates, you write what you want in the note),
2. Update your “status widget” regularly so you appear on the ‘network update page’ of your 1st degree connections,
3. View your ‘network update page’ regularly so you see what your first degree connections are doing – who they are connecting to, what groups they have just joined, etc.
4. Join groups so that you extend your search-ability and view-ability without violating the “trusted” nature of your network (you do maintain a “trusted” network don’t you?)
5. Send your 1st degree connections a private message commenting on what’s happening in their lives as reflected in their updates.
6. Ask and Answer questions like we are doing,
7. Make virtual introductions among your 1st degree connections via the extension of the private messaging tool.

I used my own advice as in #1 last November and got 30 responses, including 5 business leads…..”

It doesn’t get better than that for a consultant or salesperson!

After I answered Ashay I decided the answer would be a great blog entry.

Consulting Tip: Anytime you invest your time in writing something, think about how many different ways you can repurpose it.

Go close some business,