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With everyone getting back into the Fall groove, I thought I would share an oldie but goodie focused on getting your LinkedIn house in order.

Welcome to our latest 12-Month LinkedIn Social Selling Plan update.

More than 11,000 people have viewed, downloaded and hopefully, read and implemented our original 12-Month Social Selling Plan post from January 2016 and our Q2 Update. This plan can be followed line by line, or in parts; it’s up to you. The important thing is that you begin and stay consistent. The updates we’re sharing here should help you go more in-depth and focus on a key activity.

I know how easy it is to fall off in the summer months, the busy months, the holiday months. But when you think about it, every month and every day are busy. So let’s re-align our priorities.

Anyone who is responsible for developing business needs to prospect continually, gather information and broaden their connections within a company will benefit from a consistent LinkedIn strategy. The person who is not prospecting every day, either in person or online, will find themselves less competitive and less valuable over time.

Most people ask me at some point to help them find more people to connect with on LinkedIn. I can make that happen.

When I ask the question, “What’s going on with your 1st level connections?” I usually get a few blank stares, a chuckle or a head shake. And, a “Not much.”

Do you connect quickly with no real intention and end up with a pile of people you don’t know? Then what? So what? Who cares? How is that any better than just looking at their profiles? Oh, you can see their 1st level connections? Right. Ahh, more people you don’t know. It’s not helpful or strategic.

Cultivate your 1st level Connections.

It’s easier than ever to prospect once you have learned some new skills and how to maximize LinkedIn artfully. Yes, there is an art to connecting with others well.

We all find ourselves in that position. Rather than add more people into the “not much” bucket, let’s be in touch, ask a question, be interested in them and see if something does materialize — a conversation, a meeting, an introduction, referral, etc.

Prepare people-focused messages around the following relationships:

  1. You know them well but have not talked to them in three months or more
    Hint: Say hello, ask how they are doing.
  2. You don’t know them well but want to get to know them
    Hint: Say hello, ask how they are doing.
  3. You don’t know well them but know someone who would be a great connection
    Hint: Say hello and offer your network or suggest an introduction.
  4. Your clients
    Hint: Say hello and thank them for their business.
  5. Your former clients
    Hint: Say hello and ask how they are doing, remind them of working together.
  6. Old schoolmates or alums
    Hint: Say hello and ask them how they are personally and professionally.
  7. People you know from a professional organization (trade or professional association)
    Hint: Say hello and suggest a conversation to learn more about each other’s work.
  8. Your Centers of Influence
    Hint: Say hello and thank them for being someone who takes the time to help you out. Ask how you might return the favor.
  9. Prospects
    Hint: Say hello and remind them you have built a strong network in the _____ industry and are happy to introduce them to others, share Group suggestions, share their content, etc.

Each message should also include a link to a favorite article, blog post, a book that you think will bring value to that individual. You may need several links, but it’s worth the time and energy.

One of my clients mentioned he focuses on four value-drivers. Perfect. I suggested finding a well-written article highlighting each value-driver and share one (with a brief introduction) with each message he sends. By doing this, he reaffirms:

  • a connection to the person
  • his business value
  • interest in sharing content that could help, inform, inspire or educate someone else.

Don’t forget to jump back over to your 12-Month Social Sales Plan where we talk about each of these areas in more depth.

Be intentional about this effort and you will build an engaged network of colleagues, business associates, referral sources, clients, prospects, and people. And, don’t forget:

  1. Review the 12-Month Social Selling Plan.
  2. Recheck your LinkedIn Social Sales Index.
  3. Schedule LinkedIn time in your calendar.
  4. Check out and Follow our Intero LinkedIn Company Page for updates.
  5. And, most importantly, be the kind of person that you would want to connect and network with.

Don’t forget to check out our other blog posts and Quick Tips at