Get new referrals and business by using LinkedIn for free
Are you on LinkedIn, the social network for grownups? In today’s market environment, it’s more critical than ever to use every tool at your disposal to find new clients and referral partners. LinkedIn offers a low cost and highly effective way to do this.
Here’s how it works. You have a number of friends, associates, coworkers, former classmates and people with whom you have different business relationships. Let’s say for the sake of being able to do the math easily that you have 10 such contacts who have LinkedIn profiles.
Each of them probably has 10 contacts of their own. Each of those “secondhand” contacts probably has 10 contacts of their own.
When you create a profile on LinkedIn and ask to be added to your 10 contacts’ list of trusted co-workers, friends or business partners, you have an easy and effective way to introduce yourself to all 100 of your contacts’ contacts. And all 1,000 of their contacts.
Let’s drill down to the micro level – and stop using the word “contact” so much. Let’s say you create a free profile on LinkedIn. You’re going to use your real name – none of this MySpace/Facebook cutesy anonymity – and input your work and education history, link to your Mortgage XSite and summarize yourself and your experience.
Now let’s say that a Realtor who’s been a good referral source for you also has a profile on LinkedIn. Let’s call her Realtor A. You find Realtor A’s profile using LinkedIn’s easy, intuitive search function. You click a button asking to be added to her list of trusted associates. She clicks a button on her end, and you’re in.
Now – and only once you’ve been added to somebody’s trusted list – you can see the list of all of Realtor A’s trusted connections. Many are also real estate agents, maybe in the same office, maybe friends, maybe just professional acquaintances of hers.
With just a couple mouse clicks, you can “get introduced through a connection.” That is, you can send a message to Realtor B introducing yourself as a trusted associate of Realtor A. Now Realtor B knows you and, because Realtor A is your friend/partner/associate in common, you’re more likely to get referrals from Realtor B.
What a low cost, high reward way to “meet” new referral partners. And it all starts with a free registration. to get started. Once you’ve registered, you can see my complete profile . You won’t be able to see my “connections” unless I add you to the list – and you should only ask to be added by people you actually know. That helps keep LinkedIn a trusted source of introductions and information.
Using LinkedIn has other benefits besides gaining new referral partners as well. You improve the chances that someone looking for you (as in, your name) on the Internet will find you. You will boost the search engine rank of your XSite by linking to it on your LinkedIn profile. (, links to your XSite from other sites are good!) Get “recommended” by clients and referral partners to increase your credibility even more.
A feature called lets you broadcast your question to your trusted connections as well as the broader LinkedIn community. Is anyone having any luck with Google Adwords? Can anyone recommend Toshiba, Dell or HP for my next laptop?
Finally, when it’s time to move on, you substantially increase your chances of landing a great next job by building up a lot of connections who have a lot of connections. In that way, as with many others, LinkedIn is simply 21st century proof that it’s who you know.
We found a good introduction to the basic hows and whys of LinkedIn . Find 10 ways to use LinkedIn to boost your business and prospects .