Taking Care Of Your LinkedIn Network

Today I want to talk about being responsive to the people in your network. You are going to get requests for assistance from people in your network, and from people outside it that could become people in your network.

Now I am not talking about the obnoxious sales pitches, you should ignore them or report them to LinkedIn if they are out of line (personally, I like toying with them, but that’s another newsletter for another day).

No, I am talking about the people who have come to you for help. I am pretty active on LinkedIn, with ten thousand connections/followers and twenty-five thousand LinkedIn newsletter subscribers, so I get more of these requests and messages than most people. I typically get two or three messages every day asking for help in using or understanding some aspect of LinkedIn or how LinkedIn works.

For example, looking at my Messaging tab I can see that the day I wrote this was pretty typical – one request on Premium vs Sales Navigator, one on publishing content, and one on an aspect of the Weekly Search appearances feature.

So how do I handle these requests? By answering them. All of them, as best I can. My self imposed rule is that if I can help someone in a few minutes, I do so. Question about the way something works? Sure, here’s how it does. Want an opinion as to an approach? Here’s an idea, you might want to try this.

Here are some of the reasons I do this:

I feel I have a responsibility to do so. I am in a position of having knowledge and experience using LinkedIn that most people don’t have. What is a mystery to them is second nature to me.

It helps keep me sharp. There are times it challenges me and the way I think about LinkedIn. This actually happened in one of those exchanges yesterday, the one on Your Weekly Search Appearances. The way the person worded their question made me look at my weekly results a bit differently and made me realize that this feature is even more useless than I thought it was.

I like doing it. It strikes me as impolite not to help someone (I’m Canadian. Got to keep that stereotype going).

But most of all, it plants seeds. If someone can come to me for help when they have a small problem, who will they call when they have a big one?

Helping people like this also comes back in odd and unexpected ways. The person I took five minutes to help two years ago comes to me saying they have changed jobs, the new company is looking for assistance and he told his VP of Sales about me, and can I speak with him? Or I get a message from someone who was referred to them by someone I helped.

Helping your network is just good business. It helps you build the type of reputation you want. So that’s my message for today: If someone asks for your help, do it if you can, demure graciously if you can’t. You have knowledge. Share it.

Obligatory boilerplate: I do not work for or have any association with LinkedIn, other than being a user who pays them for his Sales Navigator subscription every month. 

Want more like this? (the newsletter I mean, not the disclaimer) I publish a weekly email newsletter on using LinkedIn effectively for Sales and Marketing. Each newsletter typically contains two to four articles, it’s free, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Here’s a link to the sign up page: https://practicalsmm.com/contact/