How much do you love surprises?
Is it a 'yay' or a 'nay' for you?
I am still baffled by those who don't like surprises btw. I just can't wrap my head around someone who declines to be the object of someone's thoughts and actions leading to a surprise. Am I right to assume it is ALL about control? 😅
Back to surprises. I can tell you that the professional surprises I offer my peers and colleagues is always welcomed and appreciated! Say what??
I have a strategy in place to surprise and delight people on LinkedIn. Therefore, they are not random acts of kindness but deliberate acts of kindness.
Read on to find out what this strategy entails, what it offers the recipient, what it offers me as I spell out exactly how you can duplicate this process!
Ready? Let's celebrate this month of LOVE by spreading some love!
LinkedIn is a great place to network with people from all over the world. My friend Merv calls LinkedIn a "24/7 worldwide networking event"! While LinkedIn is a wonderful place to meet new people to connect with, it is also a great place to stay connected with those you already know.
Today, I'll be sharing a two-step strategy for networking on LinkedIn, using three LinkedIn features you have access to as well!
Part 1 - Deliberate Acts of Kindness to Strangers
Let's start with those people you still need to connect with.
How do you go about meeting new people on LinkedIn? How do you go about getting in front of those you want to network with? How do you go about showering strangers with deliberate acts of kindness on LinkedIn?
It all starts with a goal - and a spreadsheet.
Answer the following:
How many people per week do you want to connect with?
Who are the people you want to connect with?
Years of Experience
Once you have the answers to these questions, create a spreadsheet to start a list of people that match your answers.
Now, search for people on LinkedIn by using the search bar and your criteria!
First, find people and then add them to the spreadsheet by name.
Next, send them a personalized connection request. That means sending them a note with your request, adding a reason you want to connect. Make it unique, and try to find something you have in common and mention that too! (school, skills, location, friends, hobby, etc.)
Before you leave their profile, copy and paste their LinkedIn URL in the spreadsheet so it's easy to keep track of your progress in attaining your goal.
Now here's the cool part. As soon as someone has accepted your connection request, go back to their profile and ring the bell!
You are now not only connected to someone you want to get to know better, you now will see all of their POSTS each time you log on to LinkedIn.
Why is that important? To get to know someone, you need to see what they share and interact with their content by commenting and engaging with them on LinkedIn! Hitting the bell makes this an easy task.
If you do this for enough of your connections, you will create your own personal LinkedIn feed full of people's posts you actually want to see and interact with!
This is the first "Deliberate Acts of Kindness" in my 2-step strategy to grow your network, expand your reach and get noticed on LinkedIn.
Liking and commenting on social media is free! (besides your investment of time, of course) It's a great activity if you have a strategy in place and set a daily time limit for this activity.
Bonus tip 👍
Add this daily activity to your calendar. Spending as little as 5-10 minutes per day on commenting and liking other people's content will help you get better reach on your own content! (I do not recommend aimlessly scrolling and liking. I do not recommend scrolling and trolling random strangers.)
Whether you want to meet and connect with 5 or 50 new people per week, using this strategy will
Delight and surprise LinkedIn friends
Get you noticed
Expand your reach
Grow your network
Strengthen your personal connections
Increase your LinkedIn influence
Part 2 - Deliberate Acts of Kindness to your Connections
Time to move on to part two of the two-step strategy.
My questions for you ❓
How many LinkedIn recommendations are visible on your LinkedIn Profile?
How many LinkedIn recommendations have you given?
If you do not know the answers, simply go to the recommendation section on your LinkedIn profile to see your numbers. Here is an image of mine.
What's the first thing that catches your eye?
I hope it was the discrepancy between the recommendations given and received!
About two years ago I started to give 'unsolicited recommendations' to LinkedIn connections. I call it 'love-bombing my connections'.
These were people I'd worked with in some capacity, including
People I interviewed
Partners who worked with me on projects
Speakers I asked to speak at my summit
Client I met on Zoom for consults
This deliberate act of kindness - giving unsolicited LinkedIn recommendations to my connections has surprised - and delighted - recipients!
I ask nothing in return. I am not asking them for a recommendation on my performance.
Praise for a job well done
NOTE: Now that LinkedIn newsletters are a 'thing', you could add 'subscribing to a newsletter' as another way to connect on LinkedIn. I, for one, so appreciate the 1200+ subscribers who are reading this!
'Deliberate Acts of Kindness' Strategy Explained
You might be wondering what this two-step strategy can do for you, what it has done for me.
The 2-step Deliberate Acts of Kindness strategy has
Given me joy
Made me smile
Connected me with colleagues on a deeper level
Started personal conversations in LinkedIn messenger
Kept me 'top of mind' with decision-makers
Expanded my LinkedIn post reach
Helped me build a more robust network
Oh, yes! It got me new business, too
Empathic. Authentic. Compassionate.
None of this ⬆️ will work if you ask for anything in return.
It won't work if you expect anything in return.
While I call it a strategy - because you know... Strategy Talks - it really is a way to be.
Be empathic. Be authentic. Be compassionate.
There is joy in giving, in lifting others up. There is joy in surprising and delighting a friend, a connection, a colleague.
Small gestures go a long way!
What Deliberate Acts of Kindness Will You Implement?
The three LinkedIn features to use for deliberate acts of kindness are:
LinkedIn search to find and connect with your ideal audience
Ring the bell to see all posts by those you want to get to know best
Write recommendations for those you've worked with
I'd love to know what you are doing to surprise and delight your connections on LinkedIn (and beyond).
How are you nurturing your online community?
How are you bridging that gap from online connection to real friendship?
Lastly, I invite you to connect with me if we are not connected yet, and tell me in your connection request why I should ring the bell on your profile!