Making LinkedIn work for you locally

October 2nd, 2007 | by Jason Alba |

There was an intriguing question/answer on the Yahoo Group formerly known as MyLinkedInPowerForum (more on the name change later). In my book I talk about the differences between LinkedIn groups and the complementary Yahoo or Google e-mail list, which can also be called a “group.” Check out this question/answer to see how you can get local value out of these tools.

Brock Henderson, marketing and business consultant asks:

Brock Henderson - marketing and business consultantI want to connect with individuals who work/live in the Louisville, KY metro area. A search of LinkedIn yields hundreds of potential contacts, which is wonderful.

The problem is actually getting hold of them. As an individual who takes advantage of LI’s free service I can only request a handful of introductions, and as you know not all introductions are successful.

The option I am seemingly left with is to go to each individuals web site and hope I can contact them through the company URL. This is most effective when dealing with small businesses, and becomes increasingly difficult as the size of the organization increases. When you get to a company the size of Humana, or Yum Brands, or Ford, or GE, then you can pretty much forget trying to contact the individual with any ease.

Oh, and twice I have attempted to use the Answers section to make contact with individuals in Louisville with dismal results.

So . . . what are your suggestions?

Vincent Wright, one of the world authorities on LinkedIn, and one to whom thousands of people credit their involvement in social networking, responds brilliantly:

Vincent Wright, the Wright Hand BloggerI’ll tell you how I would approach the scenario you lay out:

  1. I’d consistently recycle my use of my allotment of 5 Linkedin invitations
  2. I’d start a group such as Linkedin Louisville:
  3. I’d tell all my friends about Linkedin Louisville
  4. I’d ask my friends to share Linkedin Louisville with appropriate business associates
  5. I’d put Linkedin Louisville in my signature file
  6. I’d let the Louisville Chamber of Commerce know about Linkedin Louisville
  7. I’d let my Linkedin network know about Linkedin Louisville
  8. I’d let me Alma Mater know about Linkedin Louisville
  9. I’d share Linkedin Louisville with groups such as My Linkedin Power Forum, Linkedin Lions, Linkedin Innovators, etc. HOWEVER, I WOULD NOT BLAST MESSAGES!!! Rather, I’d ad links.
  10. Finally, I’d give either virtual or local presentations on Linkedin using Linkedin Louisville as my model or starting point.

Those are just the first few ideas…

Yet again, LinkedIn is a tool … a powerful tool that will do nothing for you until you understand what it is and what it isn’t. Vincent presents a terrific strategy for using it, and complementing it.

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