How to Grow Your Influence With LinkedIn

Declaration of Independence2This week we celebrate the 237 anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. The contentious debate in the second Continental Congress over the wording of declaration was as hot as the scorching July1776 heat.  However, final agreement on the document that has become the standard for freedom around the world was achieved through the influence of the Founding Fathers including, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.

Your Influence

Influence – the power within you to affect other people’s thinking or actions by means of showcasing your expertise, being a hub for information, or as a consistent and effective networker is the key element in getting things done.

With the power to reach over 200 million people worldwide LinkedIn is the perfect platform to show and grow your influence.  In the spirit of July 4th  this blog will examine 4 simple strategies to grow your influence with LinkedIn and beyond.

Growing Your Influence

What are you trying to achieve? Is it:

–        Landing Employment

–        Finding or Sharing Information

–        Growing Your Network

–        Or some other endeavor

Whatever you are trying to achieve you will need influence to make it happen.   LinkedIn is the perfect platform for growing your influence however; it will take more than having a good profile.  Growing your influence is the result of executing a well thought out strategy. In honor of the influence that the 4th of July holds for our nation here are 4 strategies for growing your influence using LinkedIn.

1. Become a Thought Leader

A person who has expertise and fact based opinions that are shared freely; resulting in growing influence and the attraction of followers. 

The members of the Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia were some of the most learned people in the country.  Franklin, Madison, and Jefferson were Thought Leaders they grew in influence by freely sharing their thinking on the science, history and the issues of the day.

You can grow your influence by becoming a Thought Leader by employing these simple strategies:

–        Sharing content created by yourself or others

–        Leading and taking part in LinkedIn group discussions

–        Informational status updates

Key Point:  Frequent sharing of your knowledge on LinkedIn will make you a Thought Leader   growing your influence for the things you want to get done.

Related Content: Show & Tell

2.  An Intention Networker

A person committed to high quality interactions. Adeptness with these interactions creates a steady stream of people who want to be connected to them.

The 56 delegates to the Continental Congress were a diverse lot of very accomplished people.  Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, John Hancock of Massachusetts, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia.  With all of these luminaries in attendance who was elected to lead the congress? …. Peyton Randolph.  While Peyton Randolph is not as well known in the halls of history, he was well known in the halls of the congress because he was an intentional networker.  Randolph was a master at understanding the needs of his fellow delegates — and delivering on those needs.

Nothing will grow your influence better than networking with intention. Grow your influence with these LinkedIn intentional networking strategies:

–        Select The Right Strategy For Your Connections

Understand the 3 basic type of LinkedIn networkers

–        Discover What You Can Do To Help Your Connections

Use template notes to invite potential contacts, and respond to invites from potential contacts.

–         Daily Activities To Keep In Touch

6 Things LinkedIn Ninjas Should Do Every Day

Key Point: Networking is crucial to building our influence. The influence build through networking can help us find jobs, recruit new talent and build support of our ideas.

3. Connecting In-Person

Influence is not achieved behind a keyboard.  Our level of influence accelerates when we connect In-Person. 

The Second Continental Congress began meeting in May of 1776.  By the time the Declaration of Independence was approved in July, the delegates had spent countless hours in together in official sessions and many more hours in “unofficial sessions” in pubs and boarding houses. The influence of delegates like James Madison, who was generally unknown before the Congress, grew during these meetings. Madison put his influence to great use as a mediator between factions during the deliberations.

The great myth about LinkedIn or any social media site it that fantastic things can be done without ever meeting someone in person. Our online presence should be only the springboard to the true driver of our influence: The In-Person meeting.

Dale Carnegie classic 1936 book How to Win Friends and Influence People remains the gold standard for what to do when we meet people.  Written long before the age of the social media following these 5 principals will grow our influence when we meet people.

Smile

This is such a simple, basic rule, yet people just don’t think about it.  People are more likely to warm up to someone who says good morning with a broad smile than they are to someone with a dour countenance.

Ask Relevant Questions

Build your influence by engaging people by asking questions.  Getting the opinion of others shows your interest and is the perfect platform to form our own views or making your thoughts known.

Listen

People love to talk about themselves. If you can get people to discuss their experiences and opinions—and listen with sincere interest your influence will grow rapidly.

Exchange Business Cards

Always have your business cards ready for exchange.  Make a practice of sending your new found contact a LinkedIn invite within 24 hours.  Instead of using the default invite message; draft a quick 2-3 sentence invite referring your In- Person discussion.

Say The Person’s Name

Carnegie reveals that a person’s name is the sweetest sound to that person. So when you meet someone, use her name in conversation. Doing so makes the other person feel more comfortable with is one of the basic building blocks in establishing a great relationship.

Key Point:  As a driver of influence In-Person meetings in any phone beats online connections.  Watch your influence grow by striving to have In-Person meetings with all of your LinkedIn connections.

4. Constant Contact

Keep In Touch

Far from home and without 21st century communication advances; delegates to the Second Continental Congress relayed on the letter to connect with love ones back home. Often writing 2 or 3 letters per day the delegates practiced the hallmark of great communications and the bedrock of growing our influence: Constant Contact.

We grow our influence with the consistent uses of the methods discussed in this post: Thought Leadership, Intentional Networking, and In-Person connections.   Practiced sparingly we run the risk of being just another schmoozer without influence.

Key Point: Constant Contact is an apt name for the sponsor of the blog and for deploying the strategy to grow your influence.  Consistency is the key.

The Bottom Line: Influence Me

Humans are built to be influenced; we are influenced all the time by the media, political campaigns and the sales pitch.  The freedoms outlined in the Declaration of Independence recognizes our right to live in a nation where our influence is not controlled by the government. Your right to influence is God given and should be considered as simply a natural part of what is expected of us as humans – we want and need to be influenced …. So go ahead and influence me.

Marben Bland is a Writer, Speaker and Strategist focused on working with emerging biotech and high tech companies. He writes the weekly How to be a LinkedIn Ninja blog, in addition to the Weekly Job Report and the Friday Commentary blog.  A popular speaker at trade shows and seminars Marben is available for strategic consulting engagements or speaking at your next event; give him a call today at 608.358.1309

Comment on this post at marben@marbenband.com .

 

Leave a Reply