Earlier this week, I presented on “Harnessing the Power of LinkedIn” to the members and guests of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) NY Metro Chapter. I am grateful to the current STC NY Metro President Nitza Hauser for making me welcome and preparing everything in advance. Nitza works at Medidata Solutions, Inc. in Manhattan. Nitza organized a loaner laptop, and established all of the meeting connections before my early arrival. STC NY Metro First VP Julie Waxgizer had the entire meeting organized perfectly.
To my delight, we met in a training room with an incredible view. The new Medidata offices are swanky and extraordinarily well equipped. The training room was wired for sound, sported an outdoor balcony, and was down the hall from an impressive outdoor rooftop terrace. After working at home for more than seven years, this level of onsite support affirmed my faith in the “at the office” work benefits.
I enjoyed interacting with STC members from New York and New Jersey. My favorite new in-person acquaintances were two graduate students from New Jersey Institute of Technology NJIT Master of Science (MS), Professional and Technical Communication. A notable reaction to my presentation was Varoon’s personal invitation to connect on LinkedIn:
It was great hearing you speak yesterday on harnessing the power of LinkedIn. I learned a lot. I really appreciate the enthusiasm that you, Julie, and Nitza show towards students and the encouragement to get more involved in our field.
– Varoon Deo-Singh
Varoon provided context, relevance, and acknowledged how we met. Good job, Varoon!
To develop meaningful relationships on LinkedIn, extend a personal invitation to connect and respond to your connections with a personal note of thanks.
Extend a personal invitation to connect
The LinkedIn mobile app does not offer the personalized invitation experience, so use a computer and a web browser to extend the personal connection invitation. Use the member’s name, and write a personal note about why you want to connect your professional network with them. Remind them how you met and include relevant details.
Respond with a personal note of thanks
After you connect with another LinkedIn member, respond to the connection with a personal note of thanks and an offer of service. Make the connection about them… not about you. In most cases, it is appropriate to offer to help the connection and be of service to them.
Track your relationships
Now that you have added the new connection to your LinkedIn network, take a minute to tag their profile and add a note about how you met and what the mutual interests are. On the Relationships tab, you can add a note, a reminder, how you met, and tags. I use tags for all of my connections: STC, Toastmasters, in the biz, SFla, and so on.
LinkedIn is a good tool for building a network. Make your network more relevant and valuable by adding a personal touch.