Are you interested in building trust and creating strong relationships on LinkedIn?
Most people would probably answer yes to that question. But the real question is why?
Maybe you are looking to hire your first employee? Would creating a relationship with a strategic partner give you the ability to make a greater impact on your business? Are you trying to attract prospects to hire you or buy your product?
As you can see, there could be many drivers leading you to explore LinkedIn. Knowing why you want to build trust on LinkedIn will set the foundation for how to spend your time intentionally on the platform.
But, regardless of the goal, here are four purpose driven ways to build trust on LinkedIn.
1. Get the Lay of the Land
Now that you know why LinkedIn is an important part of growing or strengthening your network, you need to put a plan in place and understand the landscape. To do that means, creating a list. Outline the individuals you’d love to partner with, the companies you would love to work with one day and pinpoint the people you need to have a relationship with in order to get there.
If you’re a wedding photographer, perhaps building relationships with event planners and florists would be beneficial for your business.
Along with your list of people, when you’re visiting a company page, follow them so you can know when they post content.
Having a game plan of the who and the what on LinkedIn will save you time and get you that much closer to building the trust and relationships you are looking for.
2. Always Add Value
Now that you’ve gotten the lay of the land and know exactly who you want to chat with, you’re going to want to add value. No one would walk into a party, open the door and shout, “I’m here! Look at me!” right? That is unless they didn’t want to make any friends that night.
Approach LinkedIn the same way you would walking into a dinner party. Maybe you do have some friends around, colleagues and a couple of clients that you keep up with on occasion. But you are there to build relationships.
Being of service to others is a great way to get on someone’s radar. When you log in, pull out the list you created, the companies you highlighted and check them out to see what they are up to. Look for opportunities where you can provide value or insight.
Keep in mind, you aren’t pitching yourself here. You’re simply providing solutions, support or even celebration when needed. Did an event planner you would love to meet get featured in a local magazine? Congratulate them.
After a while of consistently adding value, sending a message to introduce yourself is much more likely to get a response.
Don’t be the person who cold messages and makes pitches. Most of the time, they are left unread. Instead, always look for opportunities where you can be of service to someone. No strings attached.
3. Show Up Consistently as YOU
Showing up in your own unique way on LinkedIn is one of the biggest ways for you to stand out. There’s a misconception that because LinkedIn is a professional network that you can only show that side of yourself.
The real you can hide behind titles, accomplishments or lofty business jargon while the people you are wanting to connect with are losing you in a sea of sameness.
To stand out on LinkedIn is to be exactly who you are and to showcase what makes you unique. Try sharing something vulnerable or something you’re learning. In addition to what you do for work, sharing the personal side of you can quickly make you relatable. Because people do business with and work for people they like.
Let your community get to know you outside of your power suit. When my clients share photos of their family vacation or sending their kid off to college, it’s more often than not these types of posts that create the most engagement.
You can be both a highly successful business owner and a champ on the ski slopes.
4. Contribute to the Conversation
What’s your niche? What do you want to be the go-to person for? There are hundreds of photographers, consultants, financial professionals, lawyers or executive coaches on LinkedIn. Showcasing your area of expertise and honing in on that will set you apart, and fast.
Maybe you’re an executive coach, but you really enjoy working one-on-one with emerging leaders. Highlight that and create content around what comes up for you regularly in that line of work. Commit to this for 6-12 months and you will have attracted exactly the type of people you want to be in front of.
Contributing in the form of articles and posts regularly will dramatically increase your impact and remind people of the type of work you do.
Utilize hashtags or groups to connect others in your line of work and generate conversation with them. Supporting others is essential.
LinkedIn is more than just a platform to share your personal accomplishments. It is a place full of rich opportunities for connection. Understanding why you’re there, adding value whenever you can, and contributing to the conversation in a unique way are great purpose-driven ways to build trust on LinkedIn.
Melissa Glaze is a creative marketing strategist who helps executive coaches and wellness professionals stand out as thought leaders on LinkedIn. She created LinkedIn Boost to serve humans who are doing exceptional work and looking for a way to leverage their network and create more opportunities for building genuine relationships. Melissa helps cultivate a content strategy that highlights the unique human behind the brand or company. In partnership with her clients, she develops a customized strategy for individuals to harness the power of LinkedIn in an authentic way that sounds and feels like them.