There are many entrepreneurs who use social media to promote their product and/or services. In fact, any entrepreneur who isn’t using social media in one way, shape, or form is missing out on a fortune. The days of tradition advertising is losing its focus.
As an entrepreneur, I love meeting people, whether it’s in person or via social media. Because I have a vision for what I want to accomplish, I’m very serious about connecting with the right people. In addition to that, I don’t mind helping people and pointing them to the proper resources. Let’s face it – every contact is not a client. Just helping people reach their goals gives me true satisfaction.
Those who dare to become an entrepreneur should have a clear idea of what they want. Unfortunately, many have not thought out this process carefully when it comes to connecting with people. In a real sense, too many assume that the more people that are connected with on social media, the more important they are. To be blunt – it’s about numbers, not substance.
Because I use LinkedIn on a regular basis I’m shocked at the people who ask to connect with me. Given that LinkedIn is more professional that other sites such as Facebook and Twitter, I like to inquire why people want to connect and what I can do to help them. To my dismay, very few ever respond to the question of ‘how can I help you in your business?’
When I tell my colleagues I like to inquire about people’s interest in connecting with me on LinkedIn, they tell me they rarely question potential contacts. They simply click to connect or dismiss the individual. I choose to connect and then I raise the question. Would you believe more than half of the people don’t respond? Others give an answer like, ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’m not sure at the moment.’ Like I said, when you’re an entrepreneur, you have to be intentional in what you do. Social media isn’t about the number of people you have in your contacts, it’s about the quality of people you have.
Here are a few tips for you to consider when sending out a request to people on LinkedIn:
- Know why you want to connect with someone. If you don’t have a plan, then your intentions will not be taken seriously
- Don’t try to sell the person on the other end
- Make sure you have a professional picture of yourself. No images. No logo. People want to connect with a face
- Respond within 24 hours. If someone asks why you want to connect, the quicker you respond with a logical answer, you’re more likely to be taken seriously
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, author of The ABC’s of Making Business Networking Work For You and success coach. Contact him at www.sinclairgrey.org, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @drsinclairgrey