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9 principles to becoming an expert Networker on LinkedIn

Do you want me to surprise you with some teachings that are proven to work? Only a handful of my contacts do this on LinkedIn. I joined LinkedIn in April to prove to another company that I could learn social media platforms as well. Although I still have lots to learn, I want to further your relationships with the skills that have brought me so much success in generating business. I will apply the classic teachings of Dale Carnegie in “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and parallel those teachings to social media and specifically networking on the LinkedIn platform.

To add more value to this post, I asked Jen Radke an Instructor at the National Institute of Social Media (who I met on LinkedIn and later met at a coffee shop) to add some of her expertise.

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. Although social media can be gathering wisdom that is pure and good, you also leave a “forever footprint”. Respond in kind, positive ways. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. No one ever built a statue of a critic.

2. Give honest, sincere appreciation. Social media is meant to engage others. I bet you hope people appreciate the advice and encouragement you share. Before you can expect people to appreciate your contribution, you have to notice your contacts reaching out to you. Are you appreciating them trying to share and brighten your day? You need to thank and comment!

3. Arouse in the other person an eager want. Instead of going at your social media marketing plan with how much more traffic can I get to my website? Go at social media with your arms wide open, embracing opportunity, but not expecting it to be immediate. It takes time to build relationships and inspire others to respond with eager want. Meanwhile, make a goal to learn something new every day.

4. Become genuinely interested in other people. Jen has created many successful partnerships on LinkedIn, here is how she explains it: “When I connect with someone on LinkedIn I have two very specific goals: 1). to learn more about that person, what they do and why they do it and 2). To understand how I may be able to help them with their future goals. Therefore, I send a customized invitation to connect…. ALWAYS! I also follow up with that connection by thanking them and setting up a time to meet in person or over the phone, Skype or Google Hangouts. Seeing the whites of someone’s eyes helps you to gauge their sincerity and to me, that is where the relationship begins.”

5. Smile. Stats say you should have a profile picture. You need to smile in it. Go ahead, give your smile away, we all appreciate a smile more than a serious scowl.

6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. When we socialize with our network, we should try to use our contacts’ first name, but even better use their full name. Try it, use their name, it will brighten their day!

7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. Do you like it when a restaurant emails you every day to encourage you to come eat there? Too much pitch will make your contacts ditch. You should be reading, liking, sharing, and engaging with others more than you are hoping everyone notices your great content! Post less and engage twice as much. You will build more relationships this way.

8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. At the top of this post I mentioned only 1% of my contacts do these tips. Jen is part of my 1% and she explained to me that, “Social Media is all about building relationships. Be social. Start a conversation, respond, care. All very consistent with the Dale Carnegie approach.” It’s the being interested in what others are sharing that matters most. Believe me, there is good content all over, so grow today and read someone else’s!

9. Make the other person feel important-and do it sincerely. We need to build each other up. Making someone feel significant makes them feel grand in your presence, even if it is the virtual world. Jen and I have met the most amazing, giving, encouraging business leader’s right here on LinkedIn. Try these principles to enhance your relationships.

Thank you for reading our post!

If you’d like to learn more about certification at the National Institute for Social Media (NISM) contact Jennifer Radke at 651-344-7293 or

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