I love social networking – but the truth is, most of my business comes when I meet someone face-to-face (f2f) or they see me speak. Having just returned from a speaking tour – let me share some of these tips with you.
1. Use the location (postal code) search in the Advanced Search to find people in your network that you know (but might have forgotten you knew) in the cities you are traveling to. This is especially true of big networks like mine – but I also find this strategy useful for smaller strategic networks as well.
I don’t know about you, but I simply don’t have the brain capacity to remember my entire network, much less where they live.
I just want to kick myself in the butt when I get back from a business trip or vacation and realize I missed out on meeting one of my good social media buds IRL because I didn’t do a really quick advanced search on LinkedIn before planning – or even heading out on my trip!
2. Search your Connections by location and send a message to the folks in the city you are traveling to letting them know you’ll be in town.
Within your connections you can also search your contacts by location. I will click on the location of the city I am heading to and then everyone who I am directly connected to in that city will show up. I can write to one or a few of them just by using the message feature. It takes about 5 minutes and it means you might be able to write off your vacation! Or at least dinner.
3. Use the location search to find Subject Matter Experts you want to know in the cities you are traveling to – see if you can buy them a drink.
I will use a combination of the keyword field and the Postal Code field to find Influencers or Thought Leaders in the town I am heading to. Best-case scenario – they agree to let me buy them a drink (although NOT to pick their brain!) But even if they don’t have time, sometimes they will refer me to one of their friends who does have the time and is looking to expand their IRL network.
4. Use the location search to find vendors who can help you in the city you are traveling to for better service, and sometimes better pricing.
My girlfriend Laurie Macomber of Blue Skies Marketing taught me this one. She was setting up an event in another town she was not familiar with and needed beer from a rather obscure brewery. She used LinkedIn to connect with the president of the travel bureau who introduced her to the head of the brewery who ended up donating the beer!
5. Use the location search to find potential clients you know in the cities you are traveling to – and see if you can get that f2f meeting since you are in their city.
When I am traveling to a city (for a speaking gig or consult) I will also check if any of my potential clients are in the town I am going to. I find I have a higher closing ratio when I can meet with someone F2F. And they are impressed that I flew all that way to see them.
6. Join Jet: The Business Traveler Network, Powered By Capitol One. Amy Chen, Community Manager at LinkedIn will be your host here.
Here you have the opportunity to network and collaborate with other professional business travelers. If you need to quality inside information, learn it from the industry experts. Also get additional tips via #jetbiztravel on Twitter.
7. Check out location specific groups on LinkedIn and see if you can connect with some locals that way.
I got this idea from Stacy Zapar who will do this for her recruiting. Find a group in a town you are heading to – especially if it’s a town that you visit often (but is not your own.) Join a location specific LinkedIn group there and start making friends. (You can also do this using meetup.com)
8. Get the Most out of LinkedIn Company Page if you have any questions regarding lodging, travel or vendors for an event in the city you are traveling to.
According to LinkedIn there are more then 2.8 Million active LinkedIn Company Pages. Stay in the know, and learn more about which Companies your LinkedIn Network is following. Knowing more about your customer opens new Windows of opportunities.
Companies are show-casing their products and information. And many are also providing information about job opportunities.
9. Use LinkedIn Pulse to start a conversation with a local.
If you go to LinkedIn Pulse, you can search via location. See who posting updates and tweets in your network that is in the city you are traveling to. Make a new friend!
10. Use LinkedIn company search to see if you can get some insider information or contacts at a local company – especially if they might become a client or employer.
11. If they won’t or don’t respond to you on LinkedIn, send them an @message on Twitter using the Twitter address on their profile.
12. Use the Here on Biz iPhone app (Android coming soon). Don’t know Here on Biz? You should! See below – and join our #linkedinchat every Tuesday to learn more about LinkedIn and products that will add new value for your business! 5 PM PST
And now it is your turn, share your best LinkedIn Networking Tips with Viveka von Rosen.
Viveka von Rosen
Viveka von Rosen founder of LinkedIntoBusiness and;
★ Author of “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day” (J. Wiley & Sons)
★ Forbes Top Ten Most Influential Women in Social Media
★ Forbes Top Fifty Most Influential People in Social Media
★ LinkedIn Contributor to MarketingProfs.com
★ PRWeek “Master Class” with online marketing chiefs from Ford Motor Company and Dell Computers.
★ Creator and Moderator of #LinkedInChat on Tuesday Nights at 5 PM PST (Voted a Top 10 business chat by Mashable and PRDaily)
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