Over the years, I helped countless leaders and entrepreneurs make powerful connections with investors, decision makers, influencers and peers by using LinkedIn. It is a great tool.
However, there are several things that make it challenging to connect with “the right people” on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn seems to be all about “what people do”. That’s fine but I see a huge lack in expressing “who people are”. LinkedIn offers a very static profile with very little space to freely express what’s most important to people.
In this article, I want to talk about how to show up as the leader people want to connect to, as well as making “the right connections” on LinkedIn.
What “the Right Connections” Means
I wrote about what “the right connections” means recently in this article.
In short, the right connections are people who share your core values and have a similar vision for the future.
When these two pillars are in place, “doing business together” can successfully be built on top of them. However, without these pillars in place, it’s easy to end up with a bunch of empty connections.
Embracing Your Own Leader
One of my phenomenal coaches once said “In order to meet SuperPeople, you have to become SuperYou first”. I could not agree more with him.
Becoming SuperYou has nothing to do with your achievements or what you have done up until now. It has everything to do with making the decision to become SuperYou.
It may sound overly simplistic but let it settle for a moment.
One of my clients recently decided that she wants to create a large Summit with hundreds of people coming together to be energized and inspired to make their vision become a reality. In order for her to successfully create that Summit, she first has to make the decision to become the person who can successfully create that Summit.
Because becoming that person comes with great responsibilities. Just like Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker in the movie Spiderman “With great power comes great responsibility”.
So my question to you; Are you ready to embrace your own leader and all the responsibility that comes with it?
You have a vision for the future and are on a mission to make the change you want to see in the world.
Tell the world about it!
Your LinkedIn summary is a great place for that. Talk about your vision and mission and let people know what you are creating and why you are creating it.
Instead of waiting for people to connect with you, inspire people to connect with you.
Connecting on LinkedIn Through Curiosity and Generosity
When it comes to connecting on LinkedIn, most people completely screw it up. I stopped counting the connection requests I get with “I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network”.
So what? Why should I care?
Every great connection on LinkedIn I ever made started differently. My connection or I reached out and started the relationship through curiosity and generosity.
“I love what you are creating because I too believe that education desperately needs a revolution”.
“What inspired you to start something that impactful in the first place?”
“How can I help you bring this vision to life?”
These are all statements and questions that lead through curiosity and generosity.
Do you care enough to make the extra effort?
Most People Never Act: Just Send the Damn Message
I’m guilty of it myself. Sometimes, I see somebody I want to connect with, feel like I don’t know what to say in that moment and put if off. Then, I forget about it and never make that connection.
Fortunately, I know how important connections are in the puzzle to making my vision come true and make the connection happen more often than not.
Yes, there is always one more email to be responded to, one more tweet to check and one more thing to jump to but if you can make it a habit to just send that damn message, more and more SuperPeople will show up in your life and with them, opportunities.
It’s like in everything. Most people walk 99% of the way and if you can develop the habit to walk 100%, this 1% will make all the difference.
It’s Always Your Turn
People who make great connections don’t let these connections happen to them. They create them.
John P. Morgan once said “Purpose is not found, it’s created”. The same goes for connection.
Never wait for permission or authority to make something happen. It’s likely you will never get it. Ask for forgiveness later if necessary.
Here are a few example connection requests that you can modify to connect with investors, decision makers and influencers.
1. To the CEO of a World-Famous Business School
“Hi John, I’m fascinated by how much you focus on developing responsible leaders. I believe that’s what the world needs most. I’d love to learn more about your programs and plans for your business.”
2. To the CEO of a Startup in Education
“Hi Stefan, I read about your startup XY on your blog and on startupticker.ch. I also believe that children must have a better chance for education throughout the world. I’d love to learn more about your business.”
3. To the CEO of an International Technology Company
“Hi Maria, I learned about your company from your article in Business Week and am fascinated by how you leverage technology to make people’s lives easier. I’d love to connect and learn more about your plans for the future.”
4. To an Angel Impact Investor
“Hi José, I have seen your TEDx talk from last year and it inspired me because I too believe that we can tackle many global issues by leveraging our sustainable energy better. I’d love to learn more about how you intend to make that vision come true.”
5. To the CEO of a Sustainability Consulting Firm
“Hi Carla, thank you for making the world a better place by helping companies develop more sustainable business models. I believe we can solve many major issues by applying CSR in our business world. I’d love to learn more about your plans.”
Share this article with others to inspire them to connect in a more human way.