It's important to offer value to your network but many professionals struggle with how to do that.
Sometimes, just asking someone flat out “How can I help you?" is like asking a 5-year-old what he wants to study in college. They just have no idea what's available to them or how they can use it to their advantage!
Give them something to work with by being specific about what you can realistically offer them. Make a note of what they are looking to do and ask yourself, “How can I help this person with their business initiatives? What support, resources, or connections can I offer them?" Once you figure all of that out, you can start being their new best career friend.
Here are three SUPER easy ways to offer value to your LinkedIn connections:
Share An Article
This is the easiest way to start a conversation and/or keep in touch with a contact by offering value. Consider this person's industry, interests, and special projects. What can you find on their LinkedIn profile? What have you learned about them in your conversations?
If you come across an article (or video) that you think they would find interesting or helpful, don't be afraid to share it with them You could say something like, "Saw this article and thought of you! Wanted to share. Enjoy!" That's it—easy. They will appreciate the gesture and will keep you in mind!
Posting content is also a good way to make use of your own profile and stay relevant,
Share Their Content With Your Network
Another easy way to offer value to your LinkedIn connections is to share their articles with your network.
If you really found a blog post from one of your connections interesting, share it with your network by publishing it to your LinkedIn feed with a brief blurb. (Don't forget to tag the author with the @ feature!)
Introduce A Connection
If you think someone in your network could benefit from connecting with someone else in your network, you could shoot them a quick message saying something like:
"I noticed you're looking to break into the entertainment industry. I'd love to introduce you to Jody Smith. She works as a talent agent out in L.A. and I'm sure she'd be a valuable addition to your network. Would you be interested in getting an introduction?"
Just make sure you ask your other connection if the introduction is appropriate before offering him/her up! (P.S. This is called super connecting, and it's super cool. Read this post to learn more about it!)
When it comes to networking on LinkedIn, or your overall networking efforts, it's important to always be mindful of your habits. Developing good networking habits is an ongoing process.
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