As we head into the fall season, we’ll also be getting back into the business groove and attending many conferences.
Since LinkedIn is the world’s largest business network, it’s natural you’ll want to make sure you are aligning your professional relationships with this powerful platform.
Here are 4 easy steps to use LinkedIn to deepen relationships at conferences.
Step #1: Ensure you have an up-to-date profile with a professional image, a strong headline and a Summary that resonates with your target audience.
These are the three key areas on LinkedIn where people look at first. Make sure you make a great first impression. Be ready for those inbound connection requests, and let the reader see (by having a compelling Summary) why you’re the best in class with what you do, and how you help them.
Step #2: Do pre-event research.
If you know who some of the attendees will be before you attend, do your due diligence and take a look at their online profile. What can you learn about them before you meet face-to-face? Perhaps you have mutual connections in common or have worked with a former colleague!
You may even want to reach out and make a personalized connection request letting them know you’ll see them at the upcoming event.
Step #3: Let people know you’ll be attending the conference.
Update your status with “I’ll be attending _________ (insert name of event here) on _____ (date), see you there?”. Not only will your network think you are at the top of your game for being “in the know” as an expert, but the conference organizers will appreciate the exposure too!
You just never know, a prospect or client may be attending too and it’s another way to get face-to-face.
Step #4: Follow up after the conference and connect with everyone you’ve met.
You’ve exchanged a ton of business cards, and now it’s important that you stay in touch.
Reach out and send a personalized connection request to each person. A personalized connection request reminds them how you’ve met and they’ll be more likely to click the “accept” button. Besides, it’s a really nice touchpoint because very few people take the time to make personal connections.
Be careful! Don’t just click any regular “CONNECT” button. The only way you can personalize the connection request is if you actually click on their name or image and go to their professional page. (Clicking on other connect buttons will send a standardized template request. Personalizing the message is much more important).
Step #5: Wrap up the event with a LinkedIn blog post about what you learned about that event.
Again, you’ll be showcasing your thought leadership and letting your connections know you’re investing in your education to be at the top of your game.
Now it’s YOUR turn…..how have you used LinkedIn at conferences? Enter your thoughts and comments below.
Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Optimization Specialist, Professor of Social Media, Corporate Trainer and Principal of PUNCH!media
Leslie was called a “Social Media Guru” by CBC Radio and has been working in digital marketing since 1997 and founded PUNCH!media in 2009. PUNCH!media clients include The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and TVO.
PUNCH!media’s goal is to empower through education and help executives gain confidence in their online presence so you convert higher-paying clients.
Leslie provides LinkedIn corporate training and LinkedIn profile writing for executives and teams who need a strong, powerful presence online.