We all know that networking is a necessary part of growing a business. This is not new. What is new is the increasing amount of networking that occurs online. LinkedIn is a great online platform when it comes to building a referral network. You can connect with people and businesses in adjacent industries who may refer customers to you for services beyond their scope. For example, an interior designer may connect with local architects and builders on LinkedIn who then refer them to their clientele.
LinkedIn is a social media network designed for business professionals. There are a half a million active monthly users who you can search by area and job description. Because LinkedIn is specifically marketed for businesses and professionals, you know others are also looking for networking opportunities. Once you connect with users, you can strike up conversations through direct message and invite them to join your Newsletter or participate in your special events. These new connections are now following your LinkedIn feed, so be sure to post regular, quality content that is useful to your audience. That way you become a familiar brand that stays top of mind.
How to Network via LinkedIn
You want to invite the right people to connect on LinkedIn. It’s also important to develop those connections into lasting, professional relationships. Creating name recognition with others professionals in your field leads to referrals to grow your client base. Networking helps build your reputation online and off.
So, how do you build a referral network on LinkedIn? Here is your step-by-step guide.
- Decide what professionals are your best referral sources. Narrow down a list of professions in your field. For example, an interior designer may network with others in the home-services industry like real estate agents, builders, and architects.
- Search for those professions in your local region. Local businesses can refer local clients. Also, choosing people in your area creates an opportunity for your network to attend events and meet in real life.
- Create a friendly message letting them know you’d like to connect because you work in the same industry. Customize the message to reflect your personal voice and style.
- Check back daily. People like quick response times. When you get a new connection, strike up a conversation right away.
- Host a special event and invite your LinkedIn network to attend. Meeting people in real life helps strengthen online connections, builds relationships, and gets your brand out there.
Don’t have time to build and maintain your connections on LinkedIn? The marketing experts at Inkyma can help develop and execute your custom connection strategy. Give us a call at (908) 963-1509 to schedule a time to talk.