You’ve probably heard the saying in marketing circles “the money’s in your list”. But the amount of money in your list depends on the quality of your list. How engaged is your list? Engaging with your e-mail list is both easy – you send them e-mails – and hard. However good your e-mails are it’s still not really 1:2:1 and most recipients don’t interact.
But if you are on LinkedIn, your connections are part of your list. A very special part of your list. Your connections have taken that extra step to connect with you. It’s more than any lead magnet sign up. And you have a huge range of ways to engage with them. Some are broadcast type engagements just like to your e-mail list. But the difference with LinkedIn is that messages tend to get read whereas open rates on e-mail broadcasts are sub-50% at best.
And a number of them are 1:2:1 and these are the best. Do these interactions work? My experience is definitely yes and here are three examples why:
- A broadcast message from a connection looking for consultants with certain skills led to my first consulting assignment in my current project management business
- An e-mail update of one of my blog posts to my connections prompted one of them to ask if I was interested in a consulting assignment in Oslo.
- A simple ‘happy birthday’ message to an old client connection, prompted by LinkedIn, lead to an assignment to upgrade a system I had built for them.
Three different engagement scenarios, three pieces of business.
So how could you trigger similar profitable engagements? Here are my 12 LinkedIn engagement ideas for you to use with your connections:
- Post a status update – what you are doing, what do you need help with. Or maybe do like I do an send a status update linked to your blog posts. That’s what prompted one of my connections to ask what I was up to and would I consider an assignment in Oslo.
- Post on Pulse, the LinkedIn publishing platform. Now you don’t need a website and a blog top publish articles. Anyone can publish using Pulse. Use to promote you views, ideas and experience.
- Update your profile. Providing you have notifications switched on any changes to your profile will cause LinkedIn to send a notification to your network.
- Respond to a LinkedIn prompt – birthday, new job, anniversary, profile change. It was a response to such a birthday notification from an old client that led to a new opportunity for me.
- Endorse someone. LinkedIn endorsements are where you can endorse a connection for one of up to 50 skills and they can do the same for you. In fact reciprocation is common place and LinkedIn will prompt you to endorse your connections. It’s a simple way to start an engagement sequence.
- Thank someone for endorsing you. As for 5, but this is where you respond to a connection’s endorsement of you.
- Ask for a recommendation. For any connection you have worked for or with, asking for a recommendation is a great way to get recognised for your capability. If you ask in the right way, most people will respond positively. Having recommendations on your profiler is hugely powerful in building your expert authority.
- Publish a new e-book, slide-share or video and add it to your profile. Demonstrate your knowledge, skills and capabilities by creating something to share. Adding it to your profile satisfies 3 above but you could send a draft to key connections you want to engage with and ask for their feedback before you publish.
- Comment on your connections’ status updates. Besides anniversaries, birthdays and changes top profiles, you will also get notified of any status updates posted by your connections. Commenting on or replying to a status update is a great way to engage and demonstrate your own knowledge and experience.
- Post in a group. Join a range of LinkedIn groups. Try to identify those where your target prospects hand out and then demonstrate your knowledge and experience by posting comments, questions and articles. It’s a great way of attracting potential clients.
- Comment on someone else’s post in a group. As in 9 your comments on the group posts of others is a great way to prompt engagement. Groups also provide potential future connections and a post you both comment on can be used as the catalyst for connecting.
- Start a group. You can even start a group of your own. I have known people to create a group focussed on their own specific area of expertise. It can create a captive audience if managed properly.
- Didn’t I say I had 12 tips for engagement? Well I always try to under-promise and over-deliver, so here is number 13. It’s the easiest one of all – just say hi to an old contact – ask how they are and tell them what you are up to. LinkedIn acts as a mini CRM system and records all your interactions so just page throw your connections and reach out to someone potentially useful that you haven’t contacted for a while.
My recommendation is that you use one or two of these ideas each day to engage with your connections.It will only take a few minutes and like the examples I gave at the start, it can really pay dividends. To make it easy for you I have created a pdf of these LinkedIn engagement ideas.
Download a copy, print it off and keep it by your PC to remind you. I’m also going to tweet two ideas at random, one at 8:00am and one at 8:01am so follow me on Twitter – @AllenRuddock – and get your daily reminder. Why not set a reminder on your phone too.