Think back to your first day at a new job, your first date with your significant other or your first day of a new class. You probably felt anxious. But after a few happy hours with your coworkers, some marathon phone calls with your new special someone, and several study-group sessions with classmates, you started to relax. This is the Law of Familiarity — people feel comfortable with people they know. The more comfortable people get with you, the more they will like and trust you and the easier it will be to build a relationship.
Now let’s apply this law to LinkedIn. Here are nine easy strategies you can use to stay in front of people on LinkedIn and increase your familiarity without being pushy or obnoxious.
1. Respond to status updates: Join conversations. If a connection shares a notice about an upcoming event, wish them luck or ask for more information about it. You can also share the announcement!
2. Update your own status: Updating your profile keeps your name in front of your connections. This activity will appear in the weekly updates they receive.
3. Research new connections: Check the new connections in your network to see if any of them is connected to someone you know. If you come across someone you have met but who is not yet a connection, send them a connection request. You can even ask how they know so-and-so. Also, email a response when someone connects to you — not just an acceptance.
4. Ask about groups: If a connection has joined a LinkedIn Group or an organization that sounds intriguing, email them and ask if they are finding the group useful. Another idea is to post a status update asking for feedback on people’s favorite groups.
5. Ask or answer a question: Contribute to the discussion forums when there is an existing conversation you want to weigh in on. You can also initiate a forum discussion with a question.
6. Acknowledge new jobs: When you see a connection has a new job title, congratulate them and ask about their new position.
And remember — LinkedIn is strictly for professional networking, which means you should look professional in your picture. Use a “head and shoulders” photo of yourself (alone) and wear professional-looking clothing, at least from the waist up.
Join Michelle Tillis Lederman at ALA’s Annual Conference & Expo for her session, “Relationship Networking: Building Personal Connections for Professional Results.” She’ll examine tips and tactics that will help you convert your conversations into stronger and longer connections.