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02/24/10
Building Stronger LinkedIn Connections
Filed under: General, Networking, Career
Posted by: John Hadley @ 9:42 pm

Did you spend time building up a good set of LinkedIn connections?

Have you spent an equal amount of effort keeping those as strong connections?

It’s easy to forget to build on the relationships we have, particularly when we are busy at work, and allow them to slowly wither on the vine. 

What do you think might happen if instead you implemented a regular keep-in-touch strategy with all of your contacts, to keep them fresh and vital?  Do you think that might occasionally mean that one of them would approach you about an interesting opportunity?

Here a thought for how you might approach that…

1. Decide how often you want to stay in touch.  If it were, say, once a quarter, then divide your 1st level contacts by 12 (3 months x 4 weeks), and that’s how many you need to reach out to per week to accomplish that.  Divide up the list into those 12 segments.  (OK, if you want to get technical, there are actually 13 weeks in a quarter.  I was just trying to keep the math simple for you.)

2. If your 1st level contacts are filled with lots of people you don’t know, who just happened to reach out to you or you to them without any relationship, then you might want to first pare down your list into the ones you at least know, before creating the 12 segments.

3. Mark an appointment in your calendar for a half hour each week.  Use that half hour to drop notes to each of the contacts in that week’s segment.

4. Make periodic updates to your Status that remind people you are out there in interesting ways. For example, you could post something about a new blog entry you put up, a new resource you stumbled across, an interesting article you read, …

5. Read the periodic LinkedIn update summaries you receive to see if there is a change, status or other update to someone’s profile that create a good excuse to write to them.

If you just do this much, you will continue to foster stronger LinkedIn connections within a manageable time commitment.

What other thoughts do you have?

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