LinkedIn, the fastest growing professional network in the world has around 414 million members. For businesses, it is an ideal place to find their potential audience. It has everything that your business can ask for: from prospects to customers; industry experts to influencers. All you need to do is to plan before you just jump into the ocean. Your objective should be very clear. If not then you would simply be wasting your time, efforts and resources that will lead to nothing.
Expanding your network on LinkedIn can be extremely useful for many reasons. It can help you in job search, generate leads for business, increase reach, find a co-founder for your small business, scale your business and much more.
Today we are going to discuss, how to connect with experts on LinkedIn in order to take their feedback for your startup. Similar strategy can be applied for different cases. The idea is to avail this network in order to make the best decisions.
If you are planning to work on your startup and need to connect with people whose opinion matters then there is no better place to do so than LinkedIn. On LinkedIn you’ll find all the concerned people in the related industry that can give you a valuable feedback on your idea before you even start off.
Remember: We are looking for engagement. Do not send them a random connection message, hoping that they would connect and then you can start off with the conversation. Most of them will not accept your request.
Search through the LinkedIn profiles and shortlist the people with whom you want to engage. See if there is a common connection in between who can help you connect with the related person. If there is, then skip to point number three; if not then go with any one of the first two steps.
Once shortlisted, now you need to approach them. Send them a message to introduce yourself, your project and state clearly ‘What do you need from them’. If it’s just an idea, ask for their feedback; if you have a prototype, share the link that they can try out. Let’s discuss how to send them a message.
There are several ways to do so. Here we discuss three of them:
1. Send an Inmail
First, upgrade to a premium account to send inmail to any LinkedIn member. Inmail is a message that you send to a LinkedIn member with whom you are not connected. With the basic (free) account, you do not have the ability to send inmails. If you don’t have one yet, register free 30 days trial. Remember, you’ll need to enter your billing details to complete the process. During the trial period, make use of advanced features that will help you make a better decision. If you planning to use LinkedIn as link generator, then I’d highly recommend you to go with the paid account.
Since the objective is to connect with experts for feedback, opt for ‘Grow and Nurture your Network’ plan and complete the registration process.
Now you have the ability to send messages to 15 people. Use them wisely.
2. Send message via Group
The second approach to connect with people is via groups. The best part of this approach is that you don’t need to upgrade to the premium account to do so. It can be done with the basic account as well. Surf through the shortlisted profiles and list down the groups that they are a part of. Join those groups. Objective is to have at least one group in common. Once joined, go to the members section and search for your target profile, there you will find an option to send them a message right next to their name.
How to engage:
Always be very specific. Do your homework. Do not waste yours as well as their time. Here are a few examples of how of I went about it and obtained the feedback.
3. Connect via common connection
Another way of engaging with these people other than in-mails, is by asking those who already know these people in your network. For example, I knew a few friends of mine who could connect me to those who might be of help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. In the worst possible scenario, they won’t reply back.
If you wish to connect with people who can be on help on LinkedIn, then follow the same steps and you will get the desired results. Leave your comments to let me know how it went. Best of luck!
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