If you think LinkedIn is boring, think again. The truth is, your LinkedIn profile is so powerful it could help you get people to say 'yes' to your requests.
One of the most effective ways to get people to reach out to you is for them to ‘like’ you. By using Dr. Robert Cialdini’s principles of liking, you can attract the right people to your profile and get them to reach out to you. Here are some ways to apply these rules to your LinkedIn profile:
"To influence people, they have to like you"
"As a rule, we most prefer to say yes to the requests of someone we know and like."
According to Dr. Cialdini, compliance professionals use these four factors to make people say yes - here's how to use them to boost your LinkedIn presence.
1. Physical Attractiveness
Dr. Cialdini says that in most situations - including hiring, judicial process or election - people tend to equate good looks with talent, kindness, honesty and intelligence.
Based on this, on LinkedIn, the first thing that'll make other users 'like' you is your professional photo. Yes, your LinkedIn headshot matters - it may sound obvious, but a lot of profiles on LinkedIn have no photos.
According to LinkedIn, profiles with a professional photo are 9x more likely to receive a connection request, and 21x more likely to be viewed.
You should also make your professional photo visible to all LinkedIn members, not only to your connections or network.
Dr. Cialdini explains that:
"We like people who are similar to us. This fact seems to hold true whether the similarity is in the area of opinions, personality traits, background or lifestyle."
Similarities in location, favorite sports, movies watched, books read or other trivial matters can make a big difference in starting a conversation. No matter how minor they may seem, you can leverage similarities as a 'weapon of influence.'
So if you want Joe in your professional network, you'll need to customize your message. But do your 'homework' first. You can do this without leaving LinkedIn.
Here's how to leverage similarities to come up with a connection request that's hard to ignore:
Visit his LinkedIn profile and read the summary. This will help you find any similarities that can help you start a meaningful conversation.
Read his articles and check out his LinkedIn activities. By reading the articles or posts that he's shared, liked or commented on, you can assess if there's anything similar to your interest.
So, for example, if you're into content creation, management and distribution, Joe's articles, including the one published on MarketingProfs, 'How to Turn One Long-Form Article into Nine Pieces of Content,' will likely resonate with you.
You could also check out the influencers and companies Joe follows, as well as his LinkedIn groups. Is there anything common between you?
Another effective approach is to look for "uncommon commonalities," which Adam Grant suggests in his article, 6 Ways to Get Me to Email You Back.
What can you do with such details? When you send Joe a connection request, mention (briefly) any similarities that might catch his attention.
If your connection request is accepted, you can follow up with a thank you, and again use those similarity prompts to start a conversation. These little details can help you nurture your relationship with him as your connection.
Dr. Cialdini's years of research confirmed that:
"The information that someone fancies us can be a bewitchingly effective device for producing return liking and willing compliance. . . We are phenomenal suckers of flattery."
You can naturally compliment a person on LinkedIn without any agenda in mind. Here's how you can use LinkedIn to give compliments:
Liking a person's article or status updates - Doing this sends the message that the article or status update makes sense to you, and/or is helpful to your connections.
Commenting on a person's post or article - Many LinkedIn users prefer commenting to 'liking' because commenting enables them to add value to the conversations. On LinkedIn, engagement is a form of compliment.
Sending a customized connection request - Sending a customized, thoughtful connection request could also be seen a form of compliment, simply because most LinkedIn users don't do this. A customized request shows your initiative to learn more about the person before reaching out.
On LinkedIn, if you want to get people to say 'yes' to your request, you have to build relationships, and it starts with making a good impression.
Appreciation can go a long way. Dr. Cialdini found out in his research that:
"Positive comments produced just as much liking for the flatterer when they were untrue as when they were true."
Of course, you shouldn't give compliments that are untrue. If you want your professional relationships to grow, you should also be authentic and sincere.
4. Contact and Cooperation
Familiarity breeds liking.
You've heard it before: You have to stay top of mind to get those leads that you want.
Dr. Cialdini says:
"For the most part, we like things that are familiar to us… familiarity plays a role in decisions about all sorts of things…"
So how do you use LinkedIn to stay top of mind?
Engage with other users' posts.
Publish and share your original content on LinkedIn Publisher.
Curate content relevant to your connections.
Every action you take on LinkedIn is potentially shared with your connections. They can see your comments, likes, status updates and original content on their news feeds. Every engagement is another chance to appear on top of each of your connections' news feeds.
Sounds good, right? Yes, but that also means you have to be strategic in every move you take on LinkedIn.
Don't share too many updates at a time to avoid flooding your connections' news feeds with your updates. Don't share irrelevant content. Don’t tag irrelevant people to your posts. Never do too much self-promotion.
And don’t sell - I repeat - don’t sell in your posts.
If you 'abuse' your chance of being 'top of mind,' your connections will simply 'hide' your posts or 'unfollow' you, an option available within the click of a button:
Again, familiarity breeds liking, so you want to stay top of mind in a positive way. After all, "the greater the liking, the greater the influence."
Your LinkedIn profile is a powerful tool that can help you achieve your personal and business goals. Remember that people want to do business with those they know, like and trust. Knowing you is not enough, and they won’t trust enough unless they like you.
Apply the rules of liking on your LinkedIn profile and watch your influence grow.