If you are a B2B sales professional in the hospitality industry, there's no better social…
The meetings and events industry is hanging out on LinkedIn. As the world’s largest B2B platform, meeting planners and hospitality professionals are using LinkedIn to connect with clients, prospects, industry thought leaders, and advocates. While scrolling the home feed for interesting industry fodder is a great way to learn and grow, it’s by deepening our LinkedIn relationships where the magic of the platform really occurs. Our LinkedIn profile and LinkedIn content are only as good as the eyes that are on the content, so growing our networks will be key to our business success on the platform.
But before we all go hog-wild and send out hundreds of invitations (and LinkedIn will only let you send 100 maximum invitations per week as of May 2022), let’s ensure that once we connect with someone, we’re ready to take the LinkedIn journey with them! Here are some tips on how to best connect with your network and increase your LinkedIn engagement:
8 Tips for Engaging with Your LinkedIn Connections
Ensure your profile is complete
Trust and relationships can only be established if they can get a sense of who you are. Ensure your profile is complete from top to bottom, starting with the visual elements on your profile, all the way down to the Skills and Recommendations section. Not sure where to start? There’s a lot of time to tweak and edit your profile, but ensure these 5 elements are filled in:
- Ensure you have a professional-looking profile photo
- Upload a Banner or cover image – you can create one easily using the dimensions 1584×396 in Canva
- Create an audience-centered Headline
- Fill out your About section
- Keep your Experience section up to date
Extend invitations to people you’ve met, people in your industry/field of study, or people with a common connection!
The premise of LinkedIn is to connect with people, grow your personal brand, and create business opportunities. Connecting with like-minded individuals will help increase eyes on your own content, build your network, and start progressing business relationships. Be strategic about your connections and connect with those that you have some common interests! You may find these individuals inside of a LinkedIn group, or perhaps they have engaged on content that also interests you. Also, look beyond your own network and into the connections of your trusted colleagues and peers!
Connect with a personal message.
LinkedIn has a templated message that goes out to potential connections letting them know you want to connect. If you want your request to stand out from the rest, send a personalized note, perhaps including where you met, what project you are working on, or some other point of reference. Connecting with a personalized note will kickstart the relationship and dialogue!
- If you’re connecting with someone via your mobile phone, make sure you check out this video – connecting via mobile is a bit different than from your PC. We still want to send a personalized message!
Vet invitations with a message.
To vet potential connections further, you may want to send a message asking the sender why they want to connect with you. You may also want to send them some context of your work and provide a resource to help further the relationship (remember, resources should be gifts, without the expectation of anything in return.) End off your message with a question about their work or about their story; they may not reciprocate, but you’ve opened the door for conversation.
Post relevant content.
By creating relevant content, either for your own feed or in a group, you’ll be seen as an active contributor and thought leader in the industry. The more relevant your content, the more engagement you’ll receive, which then pushes your content out to more connections. By increasing the visibility of your content, new fresh eyes will see you, take notice of you and connect with you! You can also find additional potential connections through engagement on your posts.
Like, Comment, and Share others’ content.
By engaging in others’ content, you create more visibility for your profile and more potential connections through the quality of your comment. Liking and commenting will also create some reciprocity on your own content when the time comes.
Stay connected with contacts.
Every so often, go through your contacts and do a couple of things:
- Send Recommendations – Extending a recommendation can be one of the greatest gifts you can give a connection; take some time to thoughtfully write recommendations for those people that you enjoy doing business with. Check out this video on LinkedIn Recommendations for the Hospitality Industry.
- Make Introductions – Can you provide value by connecting colleagues with one another? It’s why LinkedIn exists, so let’s ensure we do it!
- Endorsements of Skills – Endorse your contacts for the skills and expertise they possess – you may see some endorsements in return. :)
- Message Them – If you are not already connected via email, messaging via LinkedIn serves as a great platform to send more detailed information. Remember, LinkedIn messaging is not the place for the hard sell and feature sheet (it’s best to leave this to email). Extending the free gift of another resource may help further the dialogue and relationship.
- Groups – Get involved in group discussions by offering your advice and expertise, or post a discussion on a hot topic to get others chatting. Be careful about posting your services or employer’s services on group discussion boards, that isn’t the place to do it and you may risk being removed from a group if you solicit business there.
Don’t sell during the courtship!
One of the biggest mistakes I see on the platform is those who immediately try to sell you something during the early days of your LinkedIn relationship. This is the time to nurture and create trust with your new contacts.
LinkedIn is by far my favourite social media tool for connecting with like-minded professionals and growing my brand – take a look at it today to grow your own brand in your respective industry!
Are you in a group sales role in the meetings, events, and hospitality space? LinkedIn Leads Maximizer Group Training is coming soon! Add your name to the waitlist here, and get ready to explore how LinkedIn can increase your revenues and your personal brand in the hospitality group space.