I am betting not very often, and I hope that when you have read this, you start making use of them and help others use them too.
Suppose you want to organize a sponsor for an event, or need to find a publisher for your book or that you simply have an idea that you would like to work in partnership with a major corporation on, how do you get in touch with the correct people in order to move things forward?
You would most likely use the telephone and ask the switchboard operator to put you through and do a “cold call” to someone you know absolutely nothing about and you may get lucky with the right information. You also might not.
But there is another way. Use your LinkedIn connections.
When I wrote my book, I didn’t want to simply send my manuscript through to the email address posted on the Wiley website, risking it sitting in a pile with many others and possibly not getting read for a very long time, so I looked through my connections to see who I was connected to that could help me. Who did I know that knew someone at Wiley?
I composed my message to them explaining what I wanted and were they able to reach out to their connection at Wiley and ask who the person I needed would be so I could email them directly. Three people came back to me with a name and address, which I duly emailed my manuscript to. Success! I had achieved what I wanted and all thanks to my connections, and the rest as they say is history.
This story is not in isolation, I could share many more just like it, so don’t just be a connection collector. Do something with your connections and help others along the way that reach out to you in order to use theirs; you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.
Find out more about how to use LinkedIn on the upcoming online event “20 Great Online Sessions”