This post is from 2016.
When chatting with people at the usual networking event, I always hear people talk about their troubles connecting with other like-minded peers or the people that can really help them accelerate in their business or career goals. Almost always, the first question I ask in response is, “Are you on LinkedIn?” If they say “No” or “I am but I don’t really get on there”, my jaw literally drops.
When professionals, creatives, entrepreneurs, etc tell me they’re not on Linkedin, I’m shocked. LinkedIn boasts over 430 million professional users ready to network. The platform was created with an intent to help people NETWORK. So if you’re current networking strategy isn’t working out - pivot. You have to get on Linkedin. I’ve been able to connect with people across the country, producers and directors of my favorite television shows, designers at Adidas, curators of Wanderlust and producers at Black Girls Rock. And when I say connect, I mean, hop on the phone. have a genuine conversation and establish the foundation to the relationship.
Linkedin may very well be the door to your next job opportunity, your next client or the freedom to live out your dreams. Here are 3 ways you can immediately get started creating authentic relationships on Linkedin:
- Update your profile. One of my favorite features on Linkedin is their profile strength scale. On your dashboard, Linkedin will tell you what you need to do in order to upgrade your profile. It may tell you to add organizations you’ve worked with, add volunteer experience, upload a profile photo, etc. They want you to WIN, okay?
- Know who you want to connect with. See, you can’t just get on the platform and start adding Stacy and Brandon just because they’re the first people you see. (This step will help with step #3, so you can’t skip it!) Who are you hoping to meet? Where do you want to work? What companies do you want to work with? It’s like this, you can’t use Google Maps to get somewhere if you don’t know where you to go. Same situation here.
- Start adding with intention. You must must must complete step #1 and #2 in order to gain some traction here so don’t skip them. So if you now know who you want to connect with, you can start connecting! At the top of your Linkedin homepage, you’ll see a search bar, start typing in the companies you want to work with, the people you want to chat with or the organizations you want to get involved with. Then connect! Another fave feature of mine is the option to filter potential connections by location. So if you’re in Atlanta, but want to connect with more people in LA because you’re thinking about moving there, simply filter by location and check Greater Los Angeles Area. Easy!
Linkedin is clearly rooting for your professional success. The platform was created for you to WIN in your career, entrepreneurial pursuits and networking efforts. Imagine, executives from the highest net-worth companies to the most popular startups and technology companies are on Linkedin. Executives from Nike, Oprah Winfrey Network, ABC, BET, Procter & Gamble, Facebook, Vogue, Who What Wear, Facebook, Snapchat, Shark Tank are sitting on platform with a profile and a way to reach them.
Listen, if that doesn’t convince you, I really don’t know what will. But I’m telling you this because it’s helped me a lot. Linkedin has helped me create relationships with women around the country. A few of which will create for Blossom one day. Many of which already supporting Blossom’s journey. Honestly, I’ve had dreams of being a LinkedIn spokesperson. It’s just helped me THAT much. I know it will do the same for you. Let me know how it works out.