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500 LinkedIn contacts. Now what?

Recently a client mentioned that he had over 500 LinkedIn connections, but what the hell should he do with them now?

It’s a good question and it’s heartening to hear him ask. After all, how many folks enjoy collecting as many connections as possible, but then don’t do anything else at all on LinkedIn?So what good is a sizeable amount of LinkedIn contacts?  What does one do with them?Well, the simple answer is to become a useful and trusted contact to as many of these people as possible.

The ultimate objective is to position yourself (or your company) as being the trusted source to turn to when the need arises for your service, or your advice.Additionally you need to reach a point whereby your contacts are recommending you or introducing you to their contacts on a regular basis.At Fox we believe that the real value in LinkedIn materialises from regular use. By being open and creating value for your connections, you become trusted and sought after.

Here are some guidelines to help you think about your LinkedIn activity:

  • Make regular status updates (linking to valuable/engaging content) – these updates are displayed to all of your contacts and will help position you as an expert in your field.
  • Regularly check through your contacts list – to see who has been promoted, who has moved jobs, and who you haven’t spoken to in a while – give congratulations where appropriate, renew old acquaintances, etc. Don’t be afraid of chit chat, it’s not all serious.
  • Use the ‘Who’s viewed your profile’ feature to see who’s been checking you out – if appropriate contact them either via LinkedIn or email to see if you can be of assistance
  • Use LinkedIn to continue a relationship – e.g. if you meet a new contact in person, follow-up with a LinkedIn connection request to prompt them to ‘check you out’ properly
  • Consider if any of your existing contacts would benefit from being connected to each other – create trust and value by being an introducer
  • If recruiting, use LinkedIn to search for (and vet) potential candidates
  •  When targeting potential new clients use LinkedIn to source the appropriate contact and to ‘check them out’ before making contact

There are a large number of online resources detailing ‘How to make the best use of LinkedIn’. Have a Google and spend some time picking out the wisdom from some of the better ones. In the meantime here’s a good article for starters. Like all outlets LinkedIn is not a silver bullet on its own, but it can be a vital part of an integrated approach to business development. It is certainly true that the more you use LinkedIn the more useful it becomes.If you don’t have many LinkedIn contacts, why not connect with a few Fox team members now – here’s four more for your collection: