Tag: Building Customer Relationships

Building Connections on LinkedIn

When speaking to clients about building connections on LinkedIn, I encourage them to build their network with professionals they know, like and trust … in addition to building a network of connections that they may not have met yet, but might be good potential clients.

Sure, it makes sence to connect to people you know, but it is possible that those people may already be a good referral network for you. Connecting with people who may have similar interests, similar industries, similar groups, etc will enhance your network and launch the potential for more relationships in your extended network.

Being a user of LinkedIn, you are familiar with the tiers … 1st, 2nd, 3rd-degree connections and so forth. 1st-degree connections are directly connected to you. 2nd-degree connections are directly connected to one of your contacts. 3rd-degree connections are connected to your 2nd-degree connections. Additionally you may run across profiles that say “Group” and are only a part of your LinkedIn network because of a mutual group. “Out of Network” simply means that you are not connected in any way.

So, how can you build your network?

(1) Synch your Email Contacts

In your LinkedIn profile, select Network, Add Connections. The system provides many options for connecting your emails. Additionally, by selecting Any Email, you can also Upload your contacts file or Invite contacts by individual email.

NOTE: The first screen is your list of contacts that have an email address in LinkedIn, the second screen shows the list of your contacts email addresses that are not setup on the LinkedIn network. You can simply select all or select contacts individually.

(2) Connect to members of Groups

In your LinkedIn profile, select Interests then Groups. Select the Group you would like to view. In the group, near the top right hand side of the page, you will see a box that says Member; next to this box you will see the quantity of members in the group. Click those words. You will see the full list of members with the people you have 1st-degree connections, then 2nd-degree and so forth. Simply click Connect for the individuals you would like to connect with. Some versions of LinkedIn still have Members listed in the navigation under the group name.

NOTE: You will need to be connected to a group before you can view Members.

(3) Search for people/jobs/companies of interest to you

Search is one of the best tools in LinkedIn. You can search for what ever you might need from People to Jobs to Companies, Groups, keywords, etc. The Search bar is found at the top of LinkedIn no matter what screen you are in. Simply type in your words and click the clue search button.

Build your contact lists, make an introduction and get to know your network of resources. LinkedIn can be one of the best tools for your business growth, communication and networking.

Remember, if it isn’t fun, you are doing it wrong. Happy Networking!

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 

Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a social media manager, trainer and author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+ , Pinterest and the tools to manage them. Click here for her Social Media Links

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Utilizing Social Media to enhance Face-to-Face Networking

If you are like me, you have met many people through face-to-face in networking meetings and events.  It is a wonderful resource to be able to meet someone, talk about mutual interests, exchange business cards and . . . then what?   

Do you intentionally connect again in person to dive deeper; talking about each others specialties?   

Do you load their contact information in your contact list or maybe send an email or two talking about the things you do in hopes there is some mutual benefit? 

If you have tried this in the past, chances are the relationship quickly ends after your first email or exchange of business cards.

How can you build on that initial meeting and maintain the business relationship?
First off, the initial meeting doesn’t provide enough time to really dive into all of the skills, services and specialties that your connection has to offer.  Even in 10 minutes, it is difficult to breakdown a list of the reasons why each of the service offerings can be of benefit to someone. Taking the time to really get to know this person and ideally the best way to refer business to them would require many meetings, discussions and examples of how they have helped other clients in the past.
One of the best ways to get familiar with the additional information that should be shared is a mutual exchange of relationship building through social media.  Here are some starter ideas of how to get that conversation in the right direction.
(1)    Connect with that person on LinkedIn
     a.       Connecting on LinkedIn shows your contact that you are interested in continued networking past the business card exchange
     b.      Depending on how they have their profiles configured, if they have their contact information loaded right into their LinkedIn profile, you export your connections into Outlook (for example) and it will populate there for you.  
(2)    Send a personal message thanking them for the connection
     a.       Messages in LinkedIn can be searchable in your Inbox, the same way names / titles / industries / specialties are searchable under People, Company and Group sections of the platform. 
     b.      Include questions they can respond to in your message; such as asking them more about their specialties or some other interest such as personal goals or their favorite book.
(3)    Ask if they connect in other social spaces and send them your social links as well.
     a.       If you are a Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or LinkedIn Company user, a great way to build followers and pages you are following is by connecting to those you are connected to in your network.  Due to space in most cases, the easiest way for those to be shared mutually is through a personal message.
     b.      Sharing of content in the social profiles provides a great means of communicating your services
Because social media is a great social medium for sharing business experiences, life events, service offerings, relatable story telling and promotions, your new connection will have the opportunity to not only share with you, but will also have the opportunity to learn from your sharing and contribute questions and reciprocal discussions in return.
By taking your business card exchange to a new level utilizing your social media resources, your relationships can continue to grow past the initial meeting and hopefully lead to another face-to-face discussion about other things you are mutually interested in.
It takes commitment, time and care; but then again, any good relationship takes work to maintain.  Give it a try and see if you set the trend in your network with relationship building.

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 

Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a social media manager, trainer and author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+ , Pinterest and the tools to manage them. Click here for her Social Media Links

Sign up for your Free Social Media Analysis 

Why choose Social Media?

To understand the question, “Why social media”?  You first have to understand America and how Americans decide where to spend their money.  The foundation of this country has always been about “the guy next door” or “the mom and pop” businesses.  Even if you don’t consider your business one of these, it’s not about your business but about your customer. 

Your customer wants to do business with someone they “know”.  It has always been that way.  Due to the big box stores and advertising prices through the roof, the “little guy” has gotten lost.  It’s not that customers prefer these shops, because of advertising; they just know them like they used to know Tim’s Hardware down the street.  Most people will tell you that there is something missing.  Shopping from Mrs. Large Hardware Chain or Mr. Just As Large Hardware Chain just isn’t the same as when they could walk into Tim’s, get greeted by name, and put their money into the pockets of someone they actually knew.

Even if your potential customers have never known anything other than the big box stores, there is still something buried deep within their DNA that makes them want to spend their money with someone they know.  Bottom line is that your customers are looking for you!  If they can’t get to know you, they will still spend their money, but it will be with whom ever the media has told them to do business with.

Most business owners will tell you that if they could just sit down with a potential customer and talk to them about their product or service, they would be closing deals hand over fist.  With social media you not only allow your potential customers to get to know you, but you get to know them as well.  No matter what “widget” you sell, you will sell much more if people have a chance to buy them from “Tom” or “Jill” instead of a website or cold store front.

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 

Jeremy Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a social media manager, trainer and consultant in  LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+ , Pinterest and the tools to manage them.  

Sign up for your Free Social Media Analysis 

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