Do you remember those fundamental social skills that we were taught as children back in kindergarten? Being told to "play nice" with the others on the playground or to use "please" and "thank you".
Who would have guessed that many of these vital skills could be directly applied to your LinkedIn activities and increase your success with engagement, relationship building and establishing your authority on your topic.
By consistently applying these seven primary social skills, you'll more quickly and easily develop relationships with potential clients as well as create a powerful and invested community of connections.
Skill 1: Uses words like please, thank you and excuse me
Never underestimate the power of good etiquette.
All too often I see people breaking the written and unwritten rules of LinkedIn etiquette - a.k.a. common sense and good manners.
While in some cases these can get you in trouble with LinkedIn, for the most part these simple etiquette rules simply aid you in better relationship building with your connections and keep you from making mistakes that can hurt your brand personally and professionally.
When in doubt always error on the side of good form - LinkedIn is a business platform full of your colleagues, peers and potential clients.
Skill 2: Adjusts to new situations
Speaking to new people can feel risky or uncomfortable, but communication is the key to relationship building on LinkedIn.
It's important that you're able to step out of your comfort zone to send that personalized connection request to a potential client whom you've never met, or initiate moving the conversation offline with a prospect with a phone call or in-person meeting.
Skill 3: Attempts new tasks knowing it's okay to make mistakes
Don't be one of those people whose LinkedIn profile sits dormant for years because you're afraid of making a mistake.
Everyone one makes mistakes.
If you make a mistake, apologize (if appropriate), learn the lesson and move on.
It can help to have a plan and know where to start.
If you follow your LinkedIn lead generation plan every day, not only will you become more comfortable using LinkedIn, but you'll also see results.
Skill 4: Asks for help
If you're new to LinkedIn or just haven't seen results you want from your activities, it might be time to look for help.
There are plenty of free resources available both on LinkedIn (and the web in general), providing up-to-date strategies that you can use to improve your results. In fact my blog is filled with them.
Skill 5: Respects the rights, property and feelings of others
Some would (and have) argued that you should be able to post whatever you want on any social media platform, that any topic should be fair game and that anything less is censorship or inhibiting the discussion of important topics.
I have to disagree. LinkedIn is not appropriate for any topic or discussion in my opinion.
LinkedIn is a business platform. It's a place of professionals.
Before you post something, consider if it's something that you would to say to the face of a potential client, because that's essentially what you are doing.
If you do get into a debate on a more sensitive topic, be professional, be polite and most importantly, be respectuful.
Skill 6: Works cooperatively
Collaboration is a powerful community and business building strategy.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform to find and build relationships with people that you can benefit from collaborating with.
As well as aiding your own community by introducing them to someone who can help them (in an area that you don't), there's also the chance to be introduced to the community of the person you are collaborating with. This is a fantastic way to expand your reach and gain credibility.
Examples of people you might look to work with would be referral partners, strategic alliances and joint venture partners (JVP's).
Skill 7: Offers to help peers
Nothing makes a stronger and more genuine impression on somebody then when you give selflessly, generously and (most importantly) without the expectation of receiving anything in return.
This can be as simple as sharing a great piece of content produced by someone in your network.
3 Steps for More Success On LinkedIn
While you might not know this, you learned a number of helpful skills as early as kindergarten that can help you take your LinkedIn efforts to the next level.
1. Ask questions and express curiosity
Be curious. Be interested.
Asking questions or commenting on the posts and comments of your connections is vital to starting a conversation.
This is where real relationship building begins.
2. Express ideas and content to help others learn and understand
LinkedIn Publisher is an amazing way to establish your authority and expand your reach on LinkedIn.
The ability to share information in a way that is easily understood or relatable is a key step when creating content on LinkedIn Publisher.
When you write, you need to make sure that you write it from the point of view and at the technical level of your audience (and potential customers).
3. Share stories and experiences
While it might not be appropriate to share a lot of personal information on LinkedIn, it is an excellent place to share professional or work related stories and experiences.
Engaging storytelling makes people more interested and emotionally invested in what you are sharing.
So draw your readers in (if and where appropriate) with a funny, poignant or thoughtful post that humanizes you and make you more relatable and likable.
Just as vital as the day you first started school, these skills can be applied to your daily LinkedIn activities to increase your success and effectiveness. Not only can they help you avoid a business faux pas, but they will also help your connections to know, like and trust you, which is vital when doing business.
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