Have you ever gone to a conference or networking event and you were an absolute wallflower? All you did was watch everyone else connect and making deals?
All the other people seemed to manage to take it to the next level. They took it outside the event and generated business together. But you were standing on the side – all alone?
Maybe you managed to make some connections. You got some business cards but you already know you won’t really use those. All you made were loose, superficial connections.
So now, you spent all this time preparing and actually being away from your business. But you are not really taking anything away from the event.
Going out there and spending time away from your business is an investment, however. That’s why you want an ROI – Return on investment.
What if I told you, you can resolve all of this by leveraging LinkedIn? Most professionals don’t do this, because these strategies are a bit unknown. But really, there are millions of professionals on LinkedIn right now. They are waiting for you to connect with.
Let’s make sure the next event you attend will be worth your time. Let me share the 3 Unknown LinkedIn Strategies To Master Networking.
LinkedIn Strategy #1: Before The Event
The LinkedIn strategy number one is to put some time into research before the event even happens. Find out who is attending and connect with them beforehand.
On the event page, you can usually find and attendance list. Go through the list, take the names and put them in the search engine of LinkedIn.
Connect with them directly. Message them and let them know that you are going to the same exact event and why you are going to be there.
That way, you have the first touch point before the event actually happens.
At the event, you can go up to the individual and re-introduce yourself. They might recognize you because you have already made that connection beforehand.
But even if they don’t recognize you, you’ve done your research. You’ve looked at their LinkedIn profile, check the jobs they have done and the projects they were on.
Usually, you find all of those points in their LinkedIn description or in the experience part of their LinkedIn profile. Remember some interesting facts about them. Ask them about specific projects they worked on in the past.
They will likely be surprised that you remembered. That is a great way to build a good relationship early on. It shows, that you actually care about the individual and what they are doing.
On LinkedIn, you can also check other people they are connected to. Simply scroll down the page and look at the recommended section. You also want to connect with those individuals and check what projects they’ve been on.
LinkedIn Strategy #2: Follow Up Sequence After the Event
Use this second LinkedIn strategy after the event.
So, you had that touch point with the individuals before the event. During the event, you introduced yourself to them. Now afterward, you want to make sure you connect with them again.
After all, you want to take the connection to the next level. This is to make sure the connections you made have actual value for you and the other person.
The 7 Touch Point Theory
A touch point is whenever you interact with another human.
Have you heard about the 7 Touch Point Theory? This theory says that you have to interact with a person 7 times to build trust and rapport. By the seventh touch point, you are usually ready to deepen the relationship.
This theory is often used in sales. The idea is, that a lead has to interact with a brand seven times before they consider buying from them. But the principals are equally powerful for building business relationships.
Touch points can happen through direct interaction – for example, if you message the person directly. But, it also helps to have some indirect touch points. First, you connect with them on LinkedIn. Afterward, you post high-quality articles or other content on your profile.
Make sure others see your posts frequently to generate more interactions with them.
Ideally, the individual and you have different forms of touch points over time. Obviously, you don’t want to spam them with messages. That would more likely scare them away from you.
Some experts argue that the ideal number of touch points might actually be 13 and not seven.
Most people get a lot of messages and see ads all over different social media platforms. That’s why it might take more than seven interactions to build that trust and rapport.
Once the relationship has deepened, you are ready to take it to the next level. That can mean you get a sale or form a business partnership. Sometimes it means you get an official introduction with another person they know.
LinkedIn Strategy #3: Be a Super-Connector
LinkedIn strategy number three is being a super-connector.
What is a super-connector? It’s a person who might not have any direct value to give, but they have indirect value – which is their network.
Let’s say, for example, that you met John, who has a Facebook ad agency. John needs a copywriter. If you know someone who is an excellent copywriter, you may go ahead and introduce those two.
When you make that connection you aren’t directly adding value – as you are not the copywriter yourself. But, by making that connection you added value to both parties. In the future, they are more likely to trust you because you built that rapport.
You have given value to both individuals and you are now a super-connector that they both know and trust. They will think about you for any future business references.
What is Rapport?
Rapport is basically an emotional connection between people. Sometimes rapport happens naturally.
This happens when you get this feeling that you and the other person simply get along well. The conversation is in the flow and there are mutual trust and understanding.
If you meet a new person you can make sure to build rapport. Even if the other individual and you don’t have that much in common.
Usually, you would want to break the ice. Talking to a new person can be stressful to some, so pick an easy and safe topic for the first conversation.
If you’ve followed LinkedIn strategy number one and actually contacted them before the event, this will be even easier. Simply introduce yourself again and fall back on your research.
During the conversation, you want to be an active listener and show empathy. Keep eye contact for approximately 60% of the conversation.
An expert tip for rapport building is to mirror the other person’s body language subtlety. You can’t do this too obviously though as the other person might feel ridiculed.
So, make the best out of the touch points you have during events and follow up with your LinkedIn strategies.
How To Become A Super-Connector
Maybe these LinkedIn strategies sound valuable to you but you feel you aren’t a super-connector yet?
If you attend conferences or networking events regularly you will quite naturally become a person with a huge network.
As it grows you will get to know more and more people who are experts in their field. Those are valuable contacts you can refer to later.
Use LinkedIn to organize all your business contacts. That makes connecting others easier too.
The three top tips to becoming a super-connector fast:
- You want to attend events often and always show up when you said you will be there. Don’t reach out to people on LinkedIn and introduce yourself if you don’t plan to show up. It’s a waste of time.
- Always follow up and keep old contacts fresh. Individuals want to feel cared about. Show them that they are more than a number on your LinkedIn profile.
- When you connect two other individuals, always do so with a clear idea in mind. Make sure the connections you form are actually valuable for both parties. Never make a connection just for the sake of making a connection.
Become A World-Class Connector
Do you still struggle with confidently speaking to people, influencing them and persuading them? Is your fear of public speaking interfering with your ability to make a strong impression in networking events or prospecting calls? Do you want advanced ways to skyrocket your confidence so you can get more clients and retain them? There is a way, if you’re willing to put in the work.
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