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Is LinkedIn a replacement for face-to-face networking?

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Is LinkedIn a replacement for face-to-face networking?

I’m a LinkedIn coach, so of course, I am very keen on LinkedIn as an online networking tool.  But does it replace face-to-face networking?  Absolutely not!

 

 

Some people have the misconception that if you simply have a LinkedIn profile, the business should starting rolling in.  LinkedIn activities are most effective when they are used in conjunction with offline networking.  LinkedIn can help you raise awareness and interest in your offering, keep you ‘front of mind’ with current clients and reveal potential new clients.  The key is to take your online networking activities offline.

Use LinkedIn by all means, but always focus on how you can take your online relationships offline — and watch your business grow.

Here are some tips for integrating LinkedIn into your face-to-face networking activities when attending an event:

Before the event:

  1. Let your LinkedIn connections know you are attending by posting a ‘status update’ on your profile.
  2. Post the event in your LinkedIn Groups and ask if anyone is going and would like to meet up during the event.
  3. Let everyone on LinkedIn see that you are attending by searching LinkedIn Events (in the ‘More’ menu) for the event and clicking on the ‘I’m attending’ button.
  4. See if there is anyone you’d like to meet at the event by going to the event’s LinkedIn page and have a look at who is attending. You may want to connect before the event and suggest meeting up at the event.
  5. If the event is not listed on LinkedIn, you can create an event page and let your connections know you are attending.  Others can then go to the page you’ve created and register their attendance as well.

After the event:

  1. If you meet someone new at the event, send them a personalised LinkedIn invitation to join your network.
  2. Once you’ve connected, have a look at their connections, is there anyone there you’d like to be introduced to?  Ask for an introduction via LinkedIn or by picking up the phone and calling your 1st degree contact.
  3. Notice what groups your new LinkedIn connection has joined – would these be good groups for you?  Find out by going to the LinkedIn Group landing page and clicking on the ‘See group statistics’ black button.

Do you have any examples of how you have integrated LinkedIn into your offline networking?   I’d love to hear from you!

 

About Emily Miller

Marshall Walker | LinkedIn Tutors
www.LinkedInTutors.com
Twitter: @LinkedInTutors


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