LinkedIn is a fabulous tool that all freelance trainers should be using to develop and grow their businesses. Out of all the social media platforms, it’s probably the one where your target market is likely to congregate, particularly if you are aiming to get corporate clients.

Building your LinkedIn network and collecting contacts is relatively simple, particularly as LinkedIn has the ‘People You May Know’ feature which suggests people you should connect with on a daily basis. I’m finding that I get around 20 requests a day and I do connect with all of them. You can also build your connections by linking in with people you know already, current and past clients, previous employers, people you meet at networking events and people you meet on other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

But that’s the easy part.

You now have to do is to DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR CONNECTIONS. You need to start managing and nurturing your network, building relationships with everyone on that list otherwise everything you have done to this point is, frankly, a complete waste of time

Here are my tips on how you can make your LinkedIn network blossom and grow:

  1. When you get a new Connection Request request always look at the profile. Click on their Contact Info, look at their website and connect with them via Twitter and Facebook too.  Once you’ve accepted the request don’t just forget about it, send them a message. I always say thanks for connecting and ask them where they found my profile and what prompted them to connect with me.
  2. When you ask someone to connect with you and they accept, always say Thankyou. Again, look at their profile and assess if there is any way you can help them. Send them a message and ask if you can be of help.
  3. Make it part of your daily routine to message 3 Linked In contacts a day, if only to say hi and see how they are!
  4. Even better – phone them!
  5. Introduce and connect to others. Go into your Contacts, click Location, send a message to all your Contacts in a particular area and get them to connect with each other if they want to.  It’s a great way to help other people build their network.
  6. Meet them. Again, go into Contacts, click Location and see who is in your local area. Organise a local meet up by naming a date, time and place. I did this only last week.  It wasn’t anything fancy, literally just a cup of tea in a hotel 5 mins from me, but it was very useful and great fun too!
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