A Simple Step to Start Receiving Business from LinkedIn!

When I ask a new contact if they are on LinkedIn the common response I hear is yes I am but I have no idea how to use itLinkedIn is a great Social Network for business but for many people they just don’t understand what it can do for them or have any plan in place to really engage the people they are connected to.  So today I decided to talk about how I handle new contacts on LinkedIn.

For me of course it all comes down to follow up!  Follow up is the key to really get things moving on LinkedIn!  So what do I mean my follow up?

This week I set aside some time to go through my LinkedIn invites.  In the end I accepted invitations from about 100 pending connections.  After viewing each connection request I sent a simple email to each new LinkedIn connection asking them for a 20 minute meeting with the goal of learning more about them and to explore how we might be able to help each other.

Here is the email I send out:
Hi Shane!
Thank you for connecting on LinkedIn! Let’s set up a 20 minute meeting to learn more about each other and our businesses.  The goal would be to explore how we might help each other.
How does your schedule look for next week?
Alan Underkofler

My expectation is to have about 20 people accept my offer to talk on the phone and explore how we might help each other.  Taking this one follow up step with each new LinkedIn connection allows you to start a relationship which leads to new business and referrals.

So there you have it, a very simple step to start the conversation with your LinkedIn connections.  So tell me…  What do you do to maximize your connections on LinkedIn?

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Follow Up: Lessons to Learn from Obama 08

In the past week there has been a lot of buzz on the presidential election.  Many reporters were trying to figure out when the country started turning to Obama.  Many times reporters would suggest different speeches, interviews, or statements by both Obama and McCain, stating one speech made the difference or this interview really changed things, or McCain’s comment during this interview is when things started shifting.

While some of this is true, I believe Obama became the President Elect for one main reason.  Obama created a tribe of followers and created many ways for his tribe to connect with their leader!  One extreme example of the connection difference between Obama and McCain is online.  Obama’s online presence can be clearly seen by looking at his website and more importantly his hub for Social Media can be found on his blog.  Below is a snapshot of how both Obama and McCain did in regards to a few of the Social Media sites:

Looking at Social Media Sites; According to Forrester Research, Inc.:


Obama: 2,379,102 supporters
McCain: 620,359 supporters
Obama has 380% more supports than McCain


Obama: Friends, 833,161
McCain: Friends, 217,811
Obama has 380% more supporters then McCain


Obama: 1792 videos uploaded since Nov 2006, Subscribers: 114,559 (uploads about 4 a day), Channel Views: 18,413,110
McCain 329 videos uploaded since Feb 2007 (uploads about 2 a day), Subscribers: 28,419, Channel Views 2,032,993
Obama has 403% more subscribers than McCain
Obama has 905% more viewers than McCain


Obama: @barackobama has 112,424 followers
McCain: @JohnMcCain (Not sure If this is real) 4,603 followers
Obama has 240 times more followers in Twitter than McCain

Obama’s activity in Social Media sites includes: Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, Twitter, Eventful, Linkedin, BlackPlanet, Faitbase, Eons, Glee, MiGente, MyBatanga, AsianAve, and DNC Partybuilder.  Obama created tribes within all of these social mediums.

You have to look at the last eight years to really see why this had such a huge impact.  According to Forrester Research, Inc., internet usage in the United States has grown 130.9% in the last eight years.  Of the 303,824,646 people in the United States the penetration rate for internet usage is 220,141,969 or 72.5%!

By using social media Obama created a way to communicate and follow up with his tribe.  Seth Godin’s new book Tribes talks a lot about how tribes work and the importance of a leader within the tribe.  Obama was the leader of a huge tribe of followers, fans, and most importantly voters.  Obama’s tribe showed up way before Election Day and when Election Day finally arrived it seemed the entire tribe made it to the polls!

So the question to ask yourself is: Are you doing everything you can to make it easy for your tribe to connect with you?

Tradeshows Like Blog World Expo Create Connection Explosions

I just attended The Blog World Expo in Las Vegas. My expectations were very mixed. I really had no idea what I was getting into. My goal was to meet new people, successful bloggers, and to learn how to make Follow Up Success the go-to resource for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and sales professionals.

The Expo far exceeded my expectations. I attended some amazing breakout sessions with all types of bloggers both on the panel and in the audience. I had great discussions with bloggers, companies that support bloggers, and people of all levels in the blogosphere. For example, I met people I never imagined would be there like:

A good friend of mine and fellow blogger asked me today how I was going to follow up with all the people I met. (Is she joking? Does she not read my blog?) So how am I going to follow up with all these new contacts? To start, I am going to do what I have talked about in this blog 7 Steps to Follow Up Success of course! Everyone will be getting an email from me today letting them know how much I appreciated meeting them. I will also add the social platforms I use to stay connected to people in my network; LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Over the next few weeks I will be calling these contacts to learn more about them and explore ways I might be able to help them.

I am still digesting all the great information from Blog World and already know this experience has made a huge impact on me. I’ll be writing about this more in the future but for now, here are just a few of the highlights that really stick out:

  • New Media – Now’s the time to ride the wave and implement new tools…you can be a pioneer, opportunities are endless.
  • Twitter – The powerful use of a new tool…ruling the top trended topics, what could this mean for your business?
  • How companies like Comcast are using social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to expand the customer experience and add a new layer to customer service.
  • CNN and Twitter – CNN is using Twitter to pull in live questions and engage their viewers. How can you use this strategy in your business to engage your customers?
  • Are bloggers just crazy people with too much time on their hands? I will admit this may have been somewhere in the back of my head before attending the expo. Now I realize they are a group of professionals, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and writers. With that in mind how can you use blogging to support your business and follow up activities?

The blog world has a space for you too!  Reading blogs, making comments on posts, or starting your own blog are great action steps to enhance your business success!   If you would like a taste of what it was like at Blog World Expo check out Ryan Hupfer’s great post and video, It’s All About The Connections: Thoughts, Highlights, And Lessons Learned From Blog World Expo 08.  Lastly, consider attending Blog World Expo 09 or BlogHer in San Francisco next year.  Both conferences get rave reviews.   They are well worth the reasonable registration fees…which by the way are discounted if you twitter.  The expo was a rich experience for me and I enjoyed it so much I might just offer to speak myself next year.  We’ll see.