Everyone is encouraging you to get on LinkedIn (myself included).
Here’s a summary of what they say (myself included):
Create a profile!
Add a professional photo!
Update your bio regularly!
Connect with people!
That all sounds great, but it’s just telling you WHAT to do and not really explaining WHY or HOW. We’re going to review 3 ways you can connect with people that don’t feel weird, sale-sy, or creepy – that’s the HOW. But first, let’s briefly cover the WHY:
Not everyone is on FB or IG, but most professionals are on LinkedIn (and the pharmacy crowd is definitely growing on there). If you want to learn about the latest buzz, aka what’s on people’s hearts and minds, then connecting with more folks will increase the number of stories and shares in your feed. For example, it is fascinating to see what my journalist friend Alex is writing about vaccines. Even folks in our own beloved profession help us keep the pulse on what’s going on around the country and world. This is the main WHY because these are stories/ideas/people that keep you relevant, keep you engaged, and keep you hungry for more inspiration.
Let’s say you’re convinced. You want to connect with people, but you’re not sure how to start this e-conversation. Which brings us to…
Ways to Connect That Don’t Feel Weird
1. You want to connect with someone who posts A LOT: Click on the person’s name and review their recent activity, specifically their posts. No, this is not creepy. Find a post that resonates with you. Choose one that they have commented on; they’ve added a sentence or two about what they’re sharing. Read the comments to get an idea of the conversation. When you’ve found a post that speaks to you in some way, use this as a “connection bridge.” Go to the comment section and add a question (be sure to tag their name). More than likely, they will answer your question. At that point, an e-conversation has started and then you can then connect with them and thank them for their time. Maybe it will lead to a phone call or something else, but this is a solid start. Don’t do this for every one of their posts, but definitely for the topics that stand out to you.
2. You want to connect with someone who doesn’t seem to be active: If someone doesn’t have any recent posts or activity, you can review their profile. No, this is not creepy. Are there any “connection bridges” there? Did you go to the same college? Volunteer for the same org? Have any people connections in common? Usually you can find something; and then mention that in your connection request. Even if the only bridge is the profession you both have chosen, you can say, “Thank you for connecting! I’m hoping to expand my pharmacist network.”
3. You already are connected with someone but want to have a conversation IRL: Let’s say you’ve been following someone for a while. No, this is not creepy. Maybe you look up to them and enjoy the things that they post. Now you want to have a conversation, learn more about their career, or ask for some advice. You already have an idea of what topics they like to post about, so use this to your advantage. When you see something in the same realm, forward it to them. “I really enjoy your posts about XYZ and I saw this article and thought you may be interested.” They may never reply. But they likely will. It’s your connection bridge. This is best sent via messenger vs just tagging them in a post, but try both and see what feels better to you. Then this opens the door to asking your next question.
For any LinkedIn activity, talk to a mentor if you’re not sure about what to do or how to phrase things. It’s ok to not know. It’s ok to ask questions. It’s ok to want to meet new people. It’s actually really good you’re thinking about the best way to approach someone. Try one of these and comment below with what worked!
Until next week,