Nudge Neil: LinkedIn, What Am I Doing Wrong?

May 6, 2010

Dear Neil: I have been trying really hard to take advantage of all of these social networking sites. I like them, but I really am not making much more money from them. Am I doing something wrong?

First, since you are a recruiter, forget about everything else for now until you master LINKEDIN. Twittter, Facebook, and the other sites just do not come close. The more connections for recruiters, the better! The ROCK BOTTOM, bare-minimum to have as a SHORT-TERM goal is 500! The real goal should be 2,500+.

Yes, you need this many, and you need them soon. Just like there is a great synergy once an office reaches, say 30 temps, or you have several job orders in your office consistently, so too works LinkedIn. LinkedIn, being all about connections, requires a strategy, to, well, connect.

Remember, your GOAL is to GET THE CONNECTION!

It is not to sell them your service (yet) nor is it to recruit them (yet). It is ONLY to get them to say yes to your connection request. Once they connect, you can then sell to them or recruit them. BUT DON’T make the common mistake that MOST make, where you send them an email either selling/recruiting or asking them to connect so that you can sell to them!

SIMPLY ASK for the connection and give them a compelling reason why connecting with you is a GREAT idea: show how your network will help them; how you will forward any requests; how you are very connected in their space (or will be soon), etc.

Set up a form letter that you cut and paste for each invitation that you send. Then, take a second and tailor a bit of the message, mentioning something in their profile!

Did you know that if you blindly invite people, your account will get locked after only three “I don’t know Neil’s”? Did you also know that you only get 3,000 LIFETIME invitations?

You can add connections without sending an invitation. Be careful and make the connection request very, very compelling — since you can message almost ANYONE in ANY group that you share with them (very few people turn off the feature not allowing other group members to message them), simply create a similar form letter and cut and paste that and send this to ALL of them.

Hundreds, thousands, you name it!

In this case, you will ask them to send you an invitation. There is no risk here since they can’t click “I don’t know Neil.” A decent percentage will indeed send you an invitation. It’s that easy. Just make your message compelling and don’t sell to them.

Outsource this cutting/pasting (see my outsourcing e-book in my free course), hire an administrative person, or do it yourself; it will pay huge dividends. This alone will get you to your 500 short-term goal literally overnight. Message directly from the groups, or even better, do an advanced search and only select your groups. Then email all that you can: cut, paste, send!

Groups Are Key

Join all 50 groups and do it now! Join groups that hit all of the key blocks for your business (i.e., clients, candidates, peers, and industry experts). Join the groups with the MOST members, as the biggest benefit is going to be your ability to message ANY of them immediately and get them to connect with you (and even if they don’t, you can always find them in your searches and message them then).

The tricks and benefits derived from groups are far too numerous to get into here. Just do it!

Search LinkedIn Prospects OUTSIDE of LinkedIn

That’s right…why limit your search results to those who you have only connected with or are in your groups? If you use basic Google Boolean search parameters, you can search LinkedIn only and find any candidate you want!

Stop worrying about buying Inmails or using intro requests; instead, pick up the phone once your now-large network gets you to the right person.

LinkedIn is all about the network, and then it’s about you and your phone skills! That’s right, the phone!!

Don’t waste your time on many inmails or introductions; they make little sense. With the Internet, once you have a name and a company, you can get their phone number and call them. It’s so much better than an intro that may or may not go through. You also can then ask them to connect and give them the same compelling reason (no selling or recruiting YET). Sure, still use the person to refer you, but mention that in your call…. or DO BOTH (the online intro and the call). LinkedIn will find you the person you need to call and all you have to do is call (yes, winter, spring, summer, or fall).

To maximize your LinkedIn experience, take my online, recorded, 3.5-hour webinar or invest in any of the other products out there.

As always, Carpe Diem!

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