The other morning I walked outside, the collection of shattered glass was the telltale sign that my son’s car had been broken in to. The opportune thief had passed by, looked in, smashed the window, rifled around and helped themselves to whatever they had seen on the back seat and probably in less than a couple of minutes they were gone.
Unfortunately, this happens. Someone for a variety of reasons looks to take advantage of someone else’s trusting nature to have a quick win and benefit themselves with little or no thought of the impact and trouble this might place others in. It is certainly not in the best interests of the car owner!
It’s similar to a lot of the activity on LinkedIn.
As the network gains more visibility and attraction, the contents that are readily on display and easily accessible become much more tempting to those looking to make a quick buck. The cost of entry is low, a little exertion and they are in, no cost. Everything is perfectly laid out before them to quickly select who interests them and take from them what they want – a person’s contact details, their network perhaps even their identity or as is often the case try to secure a sale or appointment.
And then they are gone.
No-one ever said there were rules to networking, however, human nature and some etiquette suggest that the old adage of building relationships with people you know, like and trust would be a wise approach.
So consider delaying the Smash and focus on the GRAB
G – Go and spend the time looking around the platform, seeing what others are doing, posting and contributing. Then start to find like-minded people you are interested in connecting with.
R – Request to connect with them, using a personalized invitation and commenting on something in their profile or that they have posted to show you are taking the time to find out more about them first.
A – Ask how you can best help them. What are their challenges? What makes a good referral for them? Who in your network can you introduce them to? What resources might you be able to share with them that they would find valuable?
B – Brand YOU. Take time to establish your brand on LinkedIn. Be sure your profile reflects who you are and what you want to be known for and ensure that content and all the touch points people have with you reinforce your personal brand promise.
This takes a little time, the effort and investment in time are worth it because then people will find you SMASHING for the right reasons and be ready to work with you, for you or hire you.