People often think that the power of your LinkedIn network is your direct connections. But actually, one of the most valuable assets on LinkedIn aren’t the people you know…it’s the people that they know.
By capturing these 2nd and 3rd level connections, LinkedIn provides you an amazing resource that you can use to gain new clients, new vendors, and new partners. These connections used to be “hidden” – you wouldn’t sit down at someone’s desk and flip through their rolodex. Now, however, that’s exactly what you can do. You can find the exact right people that you want to meet, and find out how you are connected to them. And even better, before you get recommended to them, you can research their profile to make sure that they are the right person to reach out to. You can also use the Search function and organize the results by relationship so that it shows you the LinkedIn users who are in your network first. Want to find all the CPAs who are your second level connections, it’s only a few clicks away.
Once you’ve decided that you’d like to get introduced, you have a few options. You can always reach out to your 1st-level contact by email or phone and ask if they would be OK with introducing you. But there’s an easier way that’s built right into the LinkedIn platform, but almost no one knows about it so it’s rarely used. You can use the introduction feature right on your 2nd and 3rd level connections Profile to create a quick introductrion.
You have to know where to look to find it, but it’s amazing. Here’s how you do it:
Click the button:
Choose the first level connection that you want to be introduced by (it will give you a choice if you have more than 1). I suggest using the connection that you have the strongest relationship with to give you the introduction.
Craft a quick message to your 1st level introduction and the message that you would like your connection to pass on to their connection.
A few things to keep in mind. Keep it short and sweet. Be straightforward and ask for what you want. Give an out. It could be something like this:
“Hi Bill, would you mind introducing me to your contact Sue. She works at Company XYZ and I’m looking to work with them. I was hoping she might be able to help me with some insights into their marketing needs. If you don’t have a strong relationship with her and don’t feel comfortable passing on the introduction, that’s totally OK. Thanks!”
This article originally ran at theDigitalFA. You can visit it here; and be sure to check out the site – it’s full of great ideas on building a digital presence for financial professionals (and the rest of us).