You know how you sign up for newsletters because you want to follow what someone is doing or you downloaded something from them online?
You get a few emails from them, but you quickly lose interest and your eyes glaze over every time you see their name in your inbox.
You immediately hit delete.
Well, you know how there are also those handful of email newsletters that you open every time?
As soon as you see the name, you open it and read it, or at the very least, save it for later.
Well that is exactly what your prospects are going through on LinkedIn.
You know as well as I do that there is a lot of junk out there on LinkedIn. We get connection requests and messages every day from people clearly trying to sell us something.
So how can we stand out in the same way those handful of newsletters stand out that you take the time to read?
In short, how can you be welcomed into their inbox?
The key here is your profile and your opening message.
Your picture should be professional.
Your headline should clearly describe your value proposition from the point of view of your prospect. How can you help them?
And your message should expand on this value, but not ask for too much commitment. Think “are you open to connecting?”, rather than “would you like to jump on a call?”.
That should be enough if there is a fit, but your prospect may click through to your profile, in which case you should have a great banner image that showcases your company or your region if you work locally.
You should also write a solid About section in the first person. This is your chance to show some personality and give your prospect some idea of what it would be like working with you. What are you passionate about? How do you operate? Who have you helped before? And don’t be scared to share interests outside of work – this can be a great way to bond.
There is more to building a strong profile, but the areas above are the most important to pay attention to.
Here is the key.
It doesn’t take much to accept a connection request.
But your follow-up message is going to ask a lot more of your prospect’s time. So make sure you use it wisely.
The NUMBER ONE WAY to do this is to provide value.
Adam Grant wrote an excellent book called Give and Take. In it he presents heaps of data to show that today, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others.
It turns out that people fall into one of three categories – takers, matchers, or givers.
Takers strive to get as much as possible from others.
Matchers aim to trade evenly, quid pro quo.
Givers, though, are those rare people among us who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.
This attribute, Grant shows, is what leads to surprising impacts on success and failure, for everyone from tv show creators, to basketball execs, to sales professionals.
So ask yourself, how can you give to your prospects?
How can you provide value without expecting anything in return?
With this kind of attitude, and a LinkedIn system to back you up, you can sit back and wait as your prospects look forward to seeing your name pop up in their inbox.
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