How to stay in touch with your LinkedIn connections.
I connected with a childhood friend on LinkedIn about a month ago. It was like a reunion where we caught up on good times, exchanged professional information, and were happy to reconnect. For the last two weeks, though, I haven’t seen hide nor hair of him.
What’s funny is that his profile was respectable; nay strong. He even used the media feature in his Experience section. He put real work into it and wrote to me, “I don’t know why people think building a profile is so difficult. All you have to do is play with it.”
But this post isn’t about the best way to build a profile; there have been many posts on this topic. What I’m constantly wondering is where are the people? The people who seem to be going strong, like my childhood friend, but suddenly disappear as if they’ve gone on an extended vacation.
One of the most important aspects of networking—online or personal—is maintaining a presence. I tell my LinkedIn workshop attendees to update at least once a day. That’s correct, once a day. This is how you communicate with your connections and…stay on their minds.
Of course there have to be viable reasons for updating daily. It’s not like you can write, “I’m off to the beach; let’s meet up,” like you might on Twitter. No there must be intelligent and professional topics on which to update.
Let’s start with the most common:
- Sharing articles—One of my favorites, especially articles from which people will learn. A good source for articles is Pulse.
- Writing articles—I know, scary. But if you like writing, LinkedIn makes it possible to share your writing via Long Posts with your connections…and their connections.
- Posting quotes—Some enjoy doing this. I’m not a big fan.
- Writing about skills you’re developing—Great for jobseekers to show their value.
- Letting people know what classes or conferences you’re attending—Perhaps you can meet up with people while you’re in DC.
- Hosting an event—One of my connections hosts business networking events and uses LinkedIn to announce his events.
- Provide tips—This demonstrates your expertise.
- Ask questions—Ask illuminating questions that generate replies.
- Are you leading workshops—Updating is a great way to promote them, as well as strengthen your brand as a workshop facilitator.
- A great book you’re reading—Keep it professional. Because LinkedIn eliminated its Reading List feature, you might want to let people know you’re reading Twitter 2.0, for example.
Maybe updating on a regular basis is not your thing. You might simply want to:
- “Like” what others update.
- Write a short comment to someone’s post.
- Thank people for visiting your profile.
The point is to be active and maintain your presence. It’s really not that hard, my valued connections.
I guess what I’m saying is I miss you. You are part of my network, so don’t disappear like a poof of dirt. Are you getting tired of LinkedIn? Are you spreading yourself too thin? Did you feel forced to join? Be persistent because, as you know, success only comes to those who work hard.
Photo: Danielle Nelson, Flickr