If you have made networking a habit, good for you! However, you not only need to network in person to build those “Know, Like, Trust” relationships, but you also have to make connections online. What better platform than on LinkedIn, the largest professional network in the world with over 610 million members. In fact, you should strive to have a minimum of 500 LinkedIn connections (just Google that and you will learn why!). Many networking…
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On LinkedIn, you can make a personal introduction to other people in your network. A warm introduction is certainly better than someone reaching out on their own with a “cold call” approach.
As for networking online, LinkedIn might be considered networking on steroids so embrace this feature as part of the largest professional network in the world!
Introductions could happen for several reasons:
- To set up an informational interview to learn more about their company, industry, or career progression. This could be for someone who is in college seeking ideas on where they should start their career, those seeking to change industries or considering a reinvention, or for many other reasons. P.S. Don’t forget that thank you note after that informational interview!
- To learn more about the culture of a company when applying to a job posting (as you NEVER want to straight up ask for a job on an initial contact). It might cause for your resume to be asked to be sent or read or walked down the hall to the hiring manager.
- For B2B sales prospecting for an introduction and referral as a potential vendor (as you NEVER want to ask for an order on the “first date”). According to Harvard Business Review, 90% or more of C-level executives don’t respond to a cold outreach or email blast. Rather than make this introduction out of the blue, you could warm up the outreach by sharing an article of interest with them or like or share their recent post, for example.
First, you need to build the KNOW, LIKE, TRUST with people. I would guess that it’s a rarity that two people meet and get married right after the first date. There is usually a courtship that happens over time, so networking in person and online is the same thing – you need to build a rapport and that takes time.
Here are a couple examples:
I would like to introduce you to the Executive Director, Lynne Williams, of the the group where I volunteer. She is exploring what the requirements are to enter career services in higher ed and would love to learn more about how you started in your position in the career services department. She wants to know if her skills and experiences alone would be considered for a position or if she needs to have a Master’s in Counseling. Would you be open to having a conversation with her? She will reach out and connect directly with you, but I wanted to make a warm introduction to you as my cousin. If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know. Thanks!
As you know, I am an avid networker and have someone in my organization who saw the job posting of xxx. She would like to know more about the culture of your company before she applies. Would you be open to having a conversation with (Judy Jobseeker)? Her email is email@example.com and phone number is 610-123-4567. She will reach out to connect directly with you. If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know. Thanks!
As you may know, I am an avid networker and would like to introduce you to (Victor Vendor) who I met through my membership at the XYZ Chamber of Commerce. I believe you two would benefit from knowing each other. (Victor Vendor’s) company has just come out with an amazing new employee benefits feature and I thought you should be made aware of this. It might save your company an incredible amount of money with this AI breakthrough. Would you be open to having a short conversation? He will reach out to connect directly with you, but I wanted to make a warm introduction. If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.
Whenever you ask someone to make an introduction, don’t make them take their time on YOUR behalf. YOU create the draft for them as if they were writing it so they can do the 5 second tap-copy-tap-paste-post method and they would have the option to tweak it. It should be ready to go from the salutation to the closing as if you were in their body writing it. Remember – KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET!
STEP BY STEP ON THE SENDING END
- Pull up someone’s profile that you are a first level connect with and click the blue message button
- Click to the right of their name and start typing the other person’s name and when their profile comes up, click on it so it adds this second person (or you could add a group of people)
- Type your message
- Click send
ON THE RECEIVING END
Look for the messaging tab in the middle of the dark bar at the top of LinkedIn and click on it. On the left, you will see that unread messages will be bold until you open them and read them. You will see the names of the people in the message at the top of the message and when you reply, it goes to both of them.
Happy networking … online!
Jobseeker? Starting a business? Self-Employed? Employed? Networking? or LinkedIn or ther career education Workshops?
Come learn and network with the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group and organizations that partner with us! There is something of interest for any working adult (or about to be working if you are graduating soon!)