I network on behalf of professionals who want or need help with networking, so I have a pretty large and diverse contact base on Linkedin. I call it my “people mine.” As you can imagine, relationship building is an important daily endeavor for me, and even though it is also a passion, I do employ some crazy easy ways to keep it fun, as well, as useful. Here’s a few…
- Alphabet Soup: Back to kindergarten on this one. When you manage a large network, it’s hard to keep up with names and companies, so to help me search and set up my “catch up” conversations, I often use letters of the alphabet as a quick start. I start with the letter “A” and randomly plug into the Linkedin search box names that start with that letter. Quite often, the names that will surface will be of people whom I haven’t come across in years and prompts reconnection.
- People Shopping: About once a week, I’ll select someone that interests me from the people Linkedin thinks I should know (upper right corner of your dash) and I click to connect. Acceptance of the invitation is an opportunity to mention what interests me about what they do and that I’d like to know more. I extend the opportunity for a networking call, or, if they are close enough, a coffee meeting. Recently, this resulted in a meet-up with a high viz local professional and what promises to be a mutually beneficial business relationship.
- The Company Store: In the search box for companies, type the industry or phrase that identifies the type of company that interests you. When the companies or organizations populate, select one that you like and check to see if you are connected to an employee that interests you. If you aren’t already connected, now is a good time to invite.
- Twitter Wit: When I’m mining my network for particular types of people, I take note of how many Linkedin contacts they have. If the number is low and the profile looks thin, I assume they really aren’t active on Linkedin. What a shame. However, if they are on Twitter, their account is usually found under their contact information (often accessible whether or not you are already connected to them). I’ll check their Twitter account and if they’ve posted fairly regularly, then I’ve found their haunt. (I’ve had regular success doing this, but most recently, found two CEOs-and one that is now a client.)
Mary Kurek is a Professional Networker who makes business introductions and develops relationships on a client’s behalf. Her specialty is in games and entertainment, but not limited to those industries. www.marykurek.com
Connect with her on Twitter: @gamemarketing Mary Kurek’s mission is to impact how people connect with one another to accomplish greater good.