There is an etiquette to everything. Whether in a business or personal setting, it is important making a good impression is often the foundation of ongoing relationships. Social networking has experienced exponential growth and we use online tools for almost everything. Just as in face-to-face interactions, there are expected behaviors online that aren’t published hard and fast rules. Here are a few tips to help you navigate Linked In’s unwritten etiquette rules:
- Don’t Be Self-Serving. It hurts, but it is true. People aren’t necessarily interested in what you have to say. However, they are looking for solutions to their business problems. Don’t sell yourself in a “me, me, me” kinda way. Instead, provide helpful information that directs people towards the solutions they crave.
- Don’t Post Constantly. If you are constantly showing up in someone’s feed, you could be sending a slew of wrong messages to those individuals (desperation, boredom and needy are just a few descriptors!). Helpful content is important, but pace yourself. Just 10 minutes a day on Linked In several days a week should do the trick.
- Don’t Connect to People You Have Never Met. This is counterproductive to building your network on Linked In. Too many random connections throw off Linked In’s algorithm for feeding you the “people you may know” feature, making it less productive for you over the long-run. However, if you find someone you do want to meet, have a good business reason and ask for an introduction from a mutual connection. If you don’t have a mutual connection, be very selective as to who you reach out to and don’t always expect a response.
- Don’t Criticize or Comment Negatively. It is ok to share your constructive opinion on something, but avoid negative or foul language at all times. These outbursts reflect poorly upon you within your network.
- Don’t Promote Your Facebook or Twitter Presence on Linked In. Social networking is built for relationship development purposes. Don’t ever blanket-announce your broader social presence. Get to know individuals before asking them to “like” your Facebook page. You really want someone to follow you on Twitter? Then find and follow them first. The same goes for all other social outlets.
- Don’t Send Messages With, “I see you viewed my profile…” Although you are able to find this information out, don’t use it against anyone! This sends a spooky vibe you just don’t want to be associated with! Build legitimate business reasons for connecting to others on Linked In.
- Don’t post the Mundane. Keep it relevant and informative. People really don’t care what you ate for lunch, that you are having a tough day or that you love your neighbor’s dog.
Linked In is a great tool for deepening relationships with individuals. Use it to its fullest potential by creating a full profile, joining and participating in groups and keeping up to date on business happenings. Steer clear of these unspoken etiquette guidelines and you should be good to roll!
I often speak with lawyers and business owners about cross selling their services. My message: cross selling is not really selling, but actually service. Think about it… no one wants to sell or be sold to. But everyone wants to be well-served. So where do you start? Let’s begin with one basic foundation. Show your team’s ability to get the job done.
Show to Tell (and then Sell)
Instead of using words to tell everyone how great your team is, show them you collectively have what it takes to make things happen. How? Content marketing.
- Create relevant content for your website, electronic marketing, social media and presentations. Deliver helpful information that shows them that your team has the skills, understanding and motivation to be on top of the issues they face.
- Connect with your clients through social media.
- Maintain visibility with your networks by posting a variety of material on a routine basis.
- Share all of the content your colleagues create with your clients, including leader text explaining how your team collaborates on the relevant topic.
Remember, content needn’t be long; nor your own. Write short commentaries on articles written by other leaders in the field, publish brief and informative blog posts or create advisories that cover relevant topics to your target audience. Just remember, you aren’t directly “selling” anything with this content, but rather building visibility and showing awareness so that when you do ask for the business, you have credibility, experience and knowledge about the topic at hand. By making your team a go-to resource, the team becomes the glue that holds the business strategy in place.
We are officially in the dog days of summer. Hopefully everyone can grab a few more days on the beach, enjoying backyard BBQs and take a few more dips in the pool. In between recharging your batteries, keep up on your relationship and business development so that September doesn’t find you in a scramble to catch up. Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself up to pace:
- Review your marketing plans and adjust actionable items for success in the last quarter of the year.
- Reducing clutter in your workspace, archive closed files and clean your desk.
- Reassess your website, including its content and images. Does it still reflect your business goals and speak to your desired visitors?
- Use social media to keep top of mind.
- Update your contacts and make sure they are in your database in useable form.
- Email your top prospects, clients and referral sources to check in before things get busy. Book lunches, coffees and other touch points.
- Write an article for publishing in a trade or business journal.
Regardless of how you choose to spend the last month of summer, use this beautiful time of year to rejuvenate your marketing plans. You will earn a successful fourth quarter by scheduling yourself to spend time marketing now. Don’t forget to take time to assess where you have been for the first 7 months of the year… mark your progress and note what you have left to do. Come September, you will be ready to hit the road running!