In this blog post I’m going to explain you in detail what you have to do to get successful introductions to hiring authorities and influencers on LinkedIn.
The introduction tool on LinkedIn is a great way to expand your network through your existing connections. It’s also highly underused and many people who use it, do so the wrong way.
I get requests almost every day, from people whom I don’t know and never talked to, for an introduction to somebody in my network. That’s completely the wrong way to start. How can I introduce you if I don’t know you?
I introduce people in my network to each other all the time, especially when I actively work with my coaching clients to build their network in Switzerland because I know how much value it creates.
I can do this because I know them and because I trust them to not mess up the relationship that I try to establish between these two people. I can also do it because I know what values they stand for and I can match them with others in my network based on those values.
To successfully get introductions, you should follow this step by step process and use your own judgement on which parts to pick out for you and which ones to leave out.
1. Access Your 1st Level Contacts’ Network
These are people you don’t know yet but share a mutual connection, some times called 2nd tier network. You can see the count of these connections when you do a people search on LinkedIn. At this time I have a bit over 866’000 2nd tier connections, so quite a large network I can tap into.
The way I suggest you find these 2nd level connections is through your 1st level contacts. So go to the profile of somebody you know very well and click on the number of connections this person has to be able to search for people in their network.
Note that in some cases you cannot access all of the person’s contacts as the privacy settings may not allow this.
2. Find People Based on Something Your Share
Now you can search in the connections of your contact to find people who share something with you. If you are in the startup industry, type in “startup”, if you are in business development, try this keyword. You can search for backgrounds, experience, nationality, company names, schools, interests, anything that can help you get in contact with this person through your shared connection.
Before you decide on a person you want to get introduced to, make sure you do your research to know as much about the person as possible. This will make your attempt much easier, especially if you are genuinely interested in this person.
3. Ask Your 1st Level Contact Who You Should Meet
Another approach you can use is to ask your trusted 1st level contact who you could meet on a mutually beneficial basis. This is a great way if you are not sure whom to select from the contacts. If you know the person you are connected to well, he or she will probably be able to help you out there.
4. Find a Way to Provide Value
This is something that most people forget when they are building their network. It’s not about what they can do for you, it’s about what you can do for them. You need to find something that you can provide for them to make their life easier or help them to move closer to their goals.
Here are a few examples:
- Connections in your network
- Timely and relevant information
- Business or job leads
- Your knowledge and experience
- Your opinion and view of the industry
- Your insights
This is a major piece in the puzzle to a successful introduction as well as establishing a successful relationship. Think long and hard about this before you ask for an introduction.
5. Start Creating Your Message With Why
You need to have a very good explanation of why you want to get introduced to somebody. Use step 4 in this process to find a suitable reason and get a better idea about why your contact should introduce you to the person in their network.
Keep the message short overall and exclude everything that does not absolutely have to be in there. People already waste too much time reading unnecessary information.
6. Tell Your Contact Exactly How to Introduce You
It’s very important to give clear instructions how to introduce you to the other person. On LinkedIn the way to get introduced is clear, through the introduction tool. However, you sill want to tell your contact what to say in their message.
When your contact gets the introduction request, they can either forward it or decline it. If they forward it, your original message will be included. So an option would be to tell your contact to simply forward your message to the person you want to get introduced to.
You can also tell your contact to mention something specific in their introduction and not forward the initial message.
Start with joining the Career Network in Switzerland today and start a discussion around your intentions. Some amazing connections have been made there and people share job leads and help each other out with shared experience and advice.