linkedInContactsPageAs a professional platform on which to build relationships and grow your business, LinkedIn is loaded with great information. Because it is profession-oriented, rather than some of the more informal social networking sites, it’s the perfect place to look for people or businesses you’re interested in working with:

Here’s a simple, smart strategy if you’re ready to get started:

Make a list of 25 prospects (people or businesses) you would like to work with. If it’s a business, take a look at their company page, their business goals, and some examples of what they’ve been doing lately. Then find out who it is that you need to contact.

If it’s an individual, check out that person’s interests and past experiences to see if you have anything in common, then reach out and ask them to connect with you. If you realize that the two of you have a common connection (great!) be sure to ask your connection to introduce you.

Once you connected with those people, it’s important to send them some kind of personal message. Try something along these lines: “It’s so great to be connected, have heard great things about your business from our mutual contact, Susie!” Periodically like, share, and comment on their posts to show that you weren’t simply adding a new contact, but genuinely want to engage with them.

Look at the groups your new connections are a part of and join the ones that interest and/or are related to you, your industry or your prospects. Once you join those groups, be active in them! Comment on discussions started by your new connection, as well as other posts within the group. Contribute a post or a discussion thread if you have a background in the group’s theme.

By completing these steps, you not only gain valuable connections, but get to interact with them in a way that lets them know you’re serious about building a relationship with them social media. This can open into a real-life, personal business connection.

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