If you want to be successful in growing your business on social media, you will need to shift from selling to building relationships.

Yes, you want to make money, however, whether you are on Facebook or LinkedIn, the two major networking platforms, you will have greater success if you adopt a relationship-centric approach, rather than bombarding your connections with sales pitches. This will yield you more sustainable and mutually beneficial outcomes, especially on LinkedIn.

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, LinkedIn has emerged as the premier professional networking platform. I liken it to a virtual ‘chamber of commerce,’ which is open 24/7. If you are a professional businessperson looking to strengthen your professional relationships, LinkedIn is the best social platform for you to foster meaningful connections. The key to success is that as you strive to build your online presence, you must focus on forming friendships, this will help you to grow your business.

The secret to building stronger relationships is to shift your approach and be open to new opportunities that will expand your reach. Make a Friend. Grow Your Business.

Starting conversations that resonate with your connections requires skill and authenticity. Here are six effective actionable strategies you can take to start meaningful conversations that not only engage your connections but will also nurture the relationship:

Personalize your message

Instead of sending a generic message, take the time to tailor it to the person you’re reaching out to. Mention something specific from their profile or recent activity to show that you’ve done your research.

Ask open-ended questions

Starting a conversation with a question is a terrific way to elicit interest. Make sure the question is open-ended to encourage a more in-depth response.

Offer value

Share an interesting article or resource that you think your connection would find helpful. Your content should aim to educate, entertain, or inspire to foster
meaningful discussions. This shows that you’re invested in their success and not just interested in making a sale.

Comment thoughtfully

Engage with your connections’ posts by leaving insightful comments. This displays your engagement and encourages reciprocal interactions.

Offer help and support

Provide assistance or information without expecting anything in return. This expresses your willingness to contribute and strengthens your connection.

Acknowledge milestones

Celebrate your connections’ achievements, work anniversaries, and birthdays. This small gesture shows your genuine interest in their professional journey.

Networking on LinkedIn

Remember, building strong relationships takes time and effort.

By focusing on creating conversations that add value to your connections, you’ll be on your way to creating a strong network of professionals on LinkedIn. And as these conversations evolve, it’s essential to continue to nurture your connections to foster lasting relationships.

Consistency: Regular engagement keeps your presence in your connections’ minds.
Engage with their posts, share relevant content, and periodically check in via direct messages.

Providing value: Focus on how you can contribute to your connections’ success.
Share valuable resources, introduce them to relevant contacts, or offer insights that align with their goals.

Listening actively: Pay attention to your connections’ needs, challenges, and aspirations.
Tailor your interactions to address their concerns and demonstrate your understanding.

Offline interactions: Transition from online conversations to offline interactions when appropriate.
Virtual connections can become even more meaningful when you meet in person at events, conferences, or meetings.

LinkedIn is a powerful lead generating online platform, and by shifting your approach from hard selling to relationship building you position yourself as a trusted collaborator, an industry thought leader, and a valuable asset to your connections. Yes! Through personalized conversations that stem from authentic interest, you can cultivate relationships that result in a network that supports both your professional growth and theirs.

Happy Networking!

This article first appeared in my ‘Winning Social Strategies’ LinkedIn newsletter. Click to subscribe for monthly actionable tips to elevate your social media presence, maximize engagement, & achieve your social media goals.

Author: Cheri Martin, So Social Visionary
Your Guide to Simple Strategies that Grow Your Network and Your Business Using LinkedIn™️