LinkedIn is by far the best social network for business networking. LinkedIn has a network of millions of other professionals who’re actively looking to network. The etiquette on LinkedIn is strongly skewed towards B2B networking.
So how do you maximize LinkedIn’s potential for B2B networking?
==> Get a Ton of Great Recommendations
Start by getting a ton of great recommendations. Ask former employers; ask clients; ask investors; ask partners. Ask everyone who’s worked with you in a professional capacity to give you a recommendation.
Ask them to get as specific as possible. Talking about real results and real ways you had an impact on them or their company will help lend weight to their recommendation.
==> Introduce Yourself to New Connections
Whenever someone connects with you on LinkedIn, drop them a quick note introducing yourself. This helps you stand out in their minds, because so few people take the time to introduce themselves to new connections.
==> Add a Profile Video
A lot of people who are competing for the same job position, the same client order or the same investment dollars could all have fantastic text profiles. But still relatively few people take the effort to add a video to their profile. Add a video to your profile to really make it stand out.
==> Do Favors for Other People
If someone contacts you asking to be connected to someone else, go out of your way to do so. If you know two people who would benefit from knowing one another, be the one to help them meet. Give recommendations generously. Help others in whatever way you can.
When you need their help – it could be a couple months or a couple years from today – they won’t forget that you helped them when they needed it.
==> Answer Questions on LinkedIn Answers
Spend any down time you have in your day answering questions on LinkedIn Answers. LinkedIn Answers is LinkedIn’s platform for people to ask business-related questions. It’s a great place for you to demonstrate your expertise, as well as for you to build your network.
==> Asking for Introductions
First of all, try to only do first degree and second degree introductions. Third degree introductions might work, but should only be used if you have no other alternatives. Keep in mind that you don’t need an introduction if you’re in the same group as someone else.
When you’re requesting an introduction from someone, drop them a note first telling them why you want the introduction. Don’t just send an introduction request.
In summary, start by making your profile as credible and as memorable as possible using recommendations, a great profile and a profile video. Build goodwill with others by helping them, by personalizing your connections and by answering questions. Then reach out for introductions when you need them. People will be more than happy to help.