In so many ways, the world revolves around relationships.
People make decisions based on trust – and that comes from personal knowledge and interaction (relationships).
LinkedIn is an INCREDIBLE tool to help you establish a personal brand and build relationships, but you’ve got to understand in most cases it is just a “door opener.” You’ve got to engage with people beyond the computer screen (or mobile device) to really get to know and trust them.
Don’t go straight to the hard “ask.”
The first time you meet someone, do you hand them a copy of your resume or ask them for a job?!
Many people forget there is an actual person on the other side of the screen. You are asking them to invest their time and effort into you – and that doesn’t resonate well without some kind of relationship.
So build one.
Take time to connect. Send a thank you message when they accept. Wait a day or two to ask for the informational interview. Engage their posts with comments (they’ll see your name and get used to it). Endorse them for a skill they likely have from their job.
Then build on the relationship with informational interviews, phone calls, meeting for coffee, attending networking events, thank you notes (on paper with a stamp – OMG) and more.
I would NEVER HAVE MET many of my mentors without LinkedIn. We just didn’t move in the same circles. LinkedIn opened so many doors for me it is ridiculous – but I needed to “walk through the door” and help the relationships grow.
It is also why the best time to build a network is when you don’t really NEED a network. These things take time.