B2B prospecting has been so much easier because of LinkedIn. As the largest professional network online (reached 300 million users last April), its potential reach is set to grow in the next few years amidst the mobile surge.
But that doesn’t mean you only need to log in to LinkedIn and wait for leads to pour in. In order for you to make the most out of this site, you need to calculate your steps and position yourself intelligently.
It’s not just about connecting with people (although it does look impressive if your page shows hundreds or thousands of connections), it’s about how these people can bring opportunities for your business. And the only way to ensure that is to carefully assess people and affiliations before hitting that Follow button.
Here are 3 easy steps you can take to make more relevant and productive connections on LinkedIn, as proposed in a post at DuctTapeMarketing.com:
Step 1: Make a wish list of companies you want to do business with
After making your list, use the search box to find their company page. After finding the company page, click on the yellow Follow button, to start receiving notification of their company posts. This will keep you connected and up to date on what is happening with their company.
Step 2: See how you’re connected
Next, look at “How You’re Connected” to see if you have any 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connections. If you do, take a look at these people to see if you know any of them personally.
If you don’t have any close connections to the company, click on the “Followers” link next to the yellow Follow button, and you’ll see everyone that is following company updates. Most likely, key company employees will be following their own company status updates.
Step 3: Look for common ground
Start looking at the profiles of key players in the company that you could potentially connect with. In the example below, I’ve found a company Vice-President, and see that he has advanced non-profit fund raising skills. If I were active in any local non-profit activities, I might keep this in mind if I’m in need of any advice regarding fund raising for that non-profit.