Episode 158: Put LinkedIn to Work for Your In-Person Networking
In-person networking is back! If you want to brush up on your networking skills, this is the conversation you want to be listening to. Brynne Tillman, the LinkedIn Whisperer, and LinkedIn Sherpa Bob Woods focus on what to do before, during, and after an in-person networking event. Learn how to integrate LinkedIn into your strategy to develop relationships with potential clients and allied partners.
How many times have you heard someone promise to stay in touch but never follow through? Some people have the habit of putting in a lot of effort before and during an in-person networking event but then falling short on what to do afterward. To maintain momentum, listen in and put Brynne and Bob’s LinkedIn strategy into action.
Bob Woods 00:00
Hello, and welcome fellow humans to Making Sales Social Live, brought to you by Social Sales Link. I’m Bob Woods, the LinkedIn Sherpa, and I’m joined by a fellow LinkedIn and social selling professional a.k.a the LinkedIn whisperer, Brynne Tillman. How are you doing, Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 00:18
Hi, Bob, I’m good. How are you?
Bob Woods 00:20
I am doing great.
Welcome to Making Sales Social Live! As we share LinkedIn and social selling training strategies and tips that will have an immediate impact on your business. Join Brynne Tillman and me, Bob Woods, every week, Making Sales Social Live!
Bob Woods 00:42
I feel really good because last week, I went to my first networking event in, I’ve got down in my little script here, years and I don’t know how long it’s been, but it’s literally been years. And I’m going to one this week, too. And I know that you, Brynne have been going to them more and more lately, too, haven’t you?
Brynne Tillman 01:04
Absolutely! And I’m so happy to be back in person. When you suggested LinkedIn and in-person networking as a topic today. I was like, That’s brilliant because people are all –Many, many people are now reemerging in the in-person networking. So I’m excited about this topic.
Bob Woods 01:24
And it’s really funny too, because I can remember back to previous episodes where we’ve mentioned in-person networking, and like several episodes, but we’ve never taken the opportunity to just do one thing just on what to do and how to integrate LinkedIn for in-person networking. So you can definitely integrate LinkedIn into your in person networking and let’s start off with… So we’re going to split this into three sections: what you do before, what you do during, and what you do after. And you know, the before and during is important, obviously, so many people don’t do anything with the after and that’s one of the ways that you can stand out is by actually following up with people. Everybody says, “Oh, yeah, sure we’ll follow…” never happens, you can use LinkedIn to follow up.
Brynne Tillman 02:15
I love it! Okay, let’s start with what we could do before an event and I’ll throw out some ideas. And you could throw out some ideas but a few things. Occasionally, you can see the attendees of the event if there is a public like “I’m joining.” So like, there are apps that people use, like meetup apps, and things where you can see people that are going to be there. If you see someone that’s going to be there that you want to have a conversation with, reach out to them on LinkedIn, let them know that you’re attending. Some other things you can do and this is one of my favorites in preparation is use LinkedIn search to find people in your local area. So in the free search, you can put in just a few towns, you can really create a Focus List, maybe all the CEOs and your towns. And if it’s an event that’s open to everyone, not just a members event of a chamber or something, you can reach out to them and say, “Hey, I’m back in the networking world, I’m going to this event” (I’m going to refer to you, Bob, you tell me if I can do this? Or if it feels spammy) send a link to the event and say, “I’m going to be attending here. I don’t know if you’re back to networking but if you are, I thought it’d be great for us to catch up.” Is that too spammy to send the link? Or should I ask permission to send it?
Bob Woods 03:43
I think in this case, you’re probably okay, because you’re not asking for a direct thing from them. You’re not asking them to really, you know, participate in something that’s you’re offering genuine help and assistance in helping the other person build their network in general.
Brynne Tillman 04:02
I felt that way too, but I’m glad that you confirmed it.
Bob Woods 04:06
Yeah, I think that’s just fine.
Brynne Tillman 04:02
Yeah. So that’s preparation. I have some other ideas, but I’ll put it to –What are some ideas you have for preparation? Anything specific?
Bob Woods 04:14
Yeah. So just in preparation, I think that you always want to be in the mindset of you will, obviously through Brynne’s list building idea that almost went to lens brisk building idea. I don’t know why, but Brynne’s list building idea. Just realize that in general, I think you’re going to be speaking with three kinds of broad categories of people. And this is broad, obviously. So just kind of keep this in mind going through, you’re going to have potential prospects. So there might be people there who might be interested, obviously, don’t sell them there. You know, don’t do anything like that. We’re gonna help you with that throughout. The second one is allied partners. You may find some people who you want to partner with, and that’s great too and then the third group is just good people who you vibe with. And I actually think that following up with those people is important too because, you know, might you be able to do something with them? You might not but you know, something we’re all getting back out there. Just talking to people, especially the ones who you get along great with in general, I think is just good, especially nowadays.
Brynne Tillman 05:23
But you just inspired me with a thought. And this is like, just free flowing, right? But what if we use on the computer, getmagical.com for our templates, and we often teach that in your smartphone, you can have shortcode templates? What if we had three separate notes for connection requests, because we’ll get to what happens at the event but in preparation for the event? What if we have a pre written template for someone who’s the prospect, a pre written template for someone who is that allied partner, where you can exchange introductions, right, and then one for the general, so that we’re setting it up, that it feels very personal, but we’re prepared and it doesn’t take us a ton of time?
Bob Woods 06:14
Yeah, it’s great, especially because it works in really well with what happens during the event now, which is what we’re we’re going to get into and the big thing, if you have time, and it’s a great teaching opportunity for you to no matter what it is you’re doing, you can add value to that person’s life. If you use the LinkedIn app, in person to get that whole thing started with them. So you could show them how to connect in and things like that and I think that Brynne is getting out her phone, and I’m gonna get out my phone here too, because it is a little bit of a process but it’s not difficult. You just need to know how to do it the first time. So Brynne, do you want to take it? You want me to take it?
Brynne Tillman 06:59
Yeah, I mean, I’m fine taking it. So when you are on your LinkedIn app, and you click in the search bar, you are going to see I don’t know if it’s going to a little QR code.
Bob Woods 07:10
It’s at the very, very, very top right, very top right, it’s a very, very small icon too. It’s just above where it says clear, at least it is if you’re on iPhone, I mentioned the same thing on Android. Yeah, tap that. And then you get my code, and then scan. So depending on what you want to do. And I don’t know if you have any thoughts on this Brynne, because I never really thought about it till just now but they would need to fire up their app too and then you can show them the process as you’re going through this to get to this point and then they can either scan your code from your phone, or you could hit scan on your phone, have them hit my code, and then you scan their code and then what I had…
Brynne Tillman 07:57
I had and this is from a class, let me see if I can find this, I don’t know if I can. I had a printout, I can’t find it at the moment of the code and what that looks like, I should have done that but at this point, when you hit the scan, you hit the scan, you can scan the QR code, and that takes them to profile. The one thing I want to say if you’re not connected, sometimes you’re like, “Oh, we’re already connected. Who knew?” If you’re not connected, don’t hit the connect button on the phone, hit the more and personalize the invitation and then you can stick that code right into…
Bob Woods 08:36
Right in that connection request. (Brynne: Not the code, the message) Well, the quick code to the message.
Brynne Tillman 08:46
Well, let me start over because I confused myself. Okay. So you quick code, you click the More button you click Personalize message, the shortcode. That’s what I wanted, the shortcode of the template that you had. So type their name, put in the shortcode of the template. This will also help, which I’m jumping ahead. So I don’t want to do this completely but this will also help in the follow-up when you remember why you connected that you have that right template in there. If it’s the prospect, the referral partner, or just someone really nice, that would be great to network with.
Bob Woods 09:26
Yep, yep. So then by as I said before, excuse me by using the LinkedIn app, you’ve now taught them something that they can do themselves from here until you know whenever essentially. Now just really quick, just in case for whatever reason you don’t have time to do it. There’s like a tech reason why it won’t work, just grab their business card and then ask them to connect later but you can still use the templates that we had suggested before depending on if you think they’re a prospect or an allied partner or just that good person that you vibe with, you know, you don’t 100% need it. It’s just kind of, you know, everyone likes to see all the new techy things and things like that and while this has been around for years, most people still don’t know about it. So you’re teaching them valuable.
Brynne Tillman 10:15
And Bob and I have cards that have our QR code on the actual physical card, so they can scan it later. So that’s one of my favorites. Let’s see what our folks are saying. “Hype,” I love that. “You can also use the event hashtag to find others who are posting and attending the event.” That is Brilliant! The event has a hashtag that is unique. If you search for that,anyone that’s engaging using that hashtag, you will be able to see and you know, that works everywhere but primarily, if you’re doing an online networking event, you’re gonna get a lot more than a local event for that but I think it’s great. Oh, Tez. So oh, this is fun, “So as you know, I am now on the West Orange Chamber of Commerce. I am filling huge shoes as the membership chair” Tez, she’s moved to a vice president role, I think but “Getting your LinkedIn QR code ready is great for quickly adding connections versus worrying about getting names spelled correctly.” So I love this. And I tell you, I don’t know how many times that I’ve forgotten someone’s name and used this to remember it.
Bob Woods 11:28
These networking tactics are absolutely crucial in the job search as well, which I think is really, really important to point out because most of the time when we talk about social selling stuff, it really doesn’t translate over to job search very well. This is probably one of the areas that is just like perfect for job searches to.
Brynne Tillman 11:47
Now this we’ve done. I mean, we probably have not covered everything at the meeting but I think we got a lot done. So let’s go into your favorite subject, Bob Woods, which is the follow up.
Bob Woods 11:59
Follow up. Yeah, so this is where we get back into, into good old social selling types of activities. So, you know, first of all, I would suggest commenting and liking and or liking a piece of their recent content, if not the next day, then maybe have a couple of days afterwards, you know, you don’t want to like get on so fast that you feel overly clingy or creepy, or whatever you want to say. So then, depending on if there is conversation generated out of that, you know, maybe you do another one, you comment on that and then maybe you can proactively ask them permission to send a piece of your content that you think might help them in your area, and then Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 12:46
So I’m going to go back because you just now inspired something else but I’m just going to go back to during. When you connect with them, ring their bell, and then when they share content that’s going to come into your notifications. So if you even forget to go back, LinkedIn will remind you.
Bob Woods 13:06
That is excellent. Excellent. So absolutely ring their bell, we’ve got more stuff coming in about the North Jersey, Jersey, West Orange, New Jersey chamber, which is fantastic. We’re all getting out there, get out there. And then, you know, at some point, if you weren’t able to do the LinkedIn app thing, and you just grab a card, at some point, definitely ask to connect with them. Hopefully you were able to do the LinkedIn thing and you’re able to do that. And then at some point, connecting, you know, if you’re connected, or if you’re not, and you did connect, you know, then you go back to Okay, is this person a prospect? Is this person an ally? Is this just someone that you just liked when you met them? And then just kind of take things from there, Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 13:53
Yeah, so I’m just gonna piggyback on your thoughts. Their event people now, right? So you can follow up with, “Hey, great meeting you (if you don’t have anything specific, particularly for those really nice people in there.) You know, are you going to the next event?” and you can send them a link to the next event. “What other associations do you network with? Where else are you going? You know, I’d love to learn, share where else I go.” You know, the other places that I go, so you can continue to bring conversation through just the fact that you’re both in person networkers now. I am going to say from those allied partners, one of the greatest things you can do is reach out and say, “Hey, I’d love to meet for coffee, or for lunch. Let’s get to know each other and see if there’s some opportunity for us to refer to one another.” And then once you’ve built that rapport, and you trust them, and they trust you, you can open up your LinkedIn network to them and make some introductions for each other, as well as some other things. Am I missing anything?
Bob Woods 15:05
Yeah, I don’t think so, there is one important thing that I do want to bring up and that is the importance of the LinkedIn profile. So you’re going to be out there, you’re going to be talking yourself up. And they’re either going to link at some point, especially if you connect with them personally, they are going to look at your LinkedIn profile, you have to make sure that what you’re talking about in public matches up with your LinkedIn profile, which means that your LinkedIn profile needs to be updated and all of that messaging needs to match because if you’re going out talking about one thing, and they go to your LinkedIn profile, and they see something else that’s that is no bueno. Oh, man, no bueno.
Brynne Tillman 15:46
I love that. So Tessa, one of the templates that she uses, is, you know, “Hi, name, I enjoy talking with you at the event. I’d like to connect and explore how we can support each other’s work.” You know, I love that because it’s a two way street and it’s how we can be of value to each other. So that’s great. And to go back to, to Bob’s point about profile, hands down, that profile can make or break your connections, they have to know that you’re a valuable resource, not just a sales pitch person. So I love that, are we taking this in for a landing?
Bob Woods 16:25
We are bringing this home. So I really appreciate it. This one has been fun, like I said, we have always addressed like little bits and pieces of this and other sessions. I’m glad that we finally have something on record that talks specifically about in networking, especially that now that you know, either we’re doing it or we’re considering it or you may be thinking about doing it for the first time and you never did it before. So all of this should help you out tremendously when it comes to building relationships based on networking events and things like that.
So thank you again for joining us on Making Sales Social Live. If you’re with us live on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter right now. We do this every week. So keep an eye out for our live sessions. If you’re listening to us on our podcast, go ahead and hit the subscribe or follow button. So you get all of our previous shows and be alerted to when new ones drop. If you want more information, socialsaleslink.com/podcasts besides this show, we do our Making Sales Social interview series, where we talk with leaders and experts in sales, marketing, business and many more areas and we have got some great people coming up here in a little bit too. I mean, we’ve already talked to great people, that train is just continuing.
So when you’re out and about whether it’s at a sales meeting, in person networking events, whatever. Be sure to make your sales social.
Bob Woods 17:52
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