LinkedIn At The Local Level

Written by Jennifer Naverrete

There is a tendency to think of LinkedIn strictly as an online tool. While the ability to network in a professional business environment knows no bounds, I urge you to consider networking a little closer to home.

In a typical Chamber of Commerce meeting or business mixer, you get to know folks on a one-to-one level with introductions and a swapping of cards. This is a tried and true method for meeting new prospects and keeping touch with your business community. However, the next time you are at an event, I encourage you to add this gem as a follow up to introductions:

“Are you on LinkedIn?”

You might be surprised at the response you get. What I have found is that folks who are on LinkedIn are more likely to become a deeper and more meaningful connection. Sure, they met you at an event and you shared niceties and exchanged cards, however folks who recognize the power of LinkedIn are more likely to take what would be considered a typical networking experience more seriously.

By connecting with folks at the local level via LinkedIn you are able to discover more about them and their business via group associations, interests, questions and daily updates. How much more powerful will it be to make those connections work because you have a solution to their question or are involved in similar groups?

Here is your homework:

  • For the next 30 days add the “Are you on LinkedIn?” question to your elevator speech.
  • Separate the business cards you receive into two stacks: ON LinkedIn and NOT on LinkedIn
  • Track the results

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