As speakers, besides seeking direct or indirect compensation for speaking, we’re generally looking for two results from our presentations and networking.
1) To share our expertise by providing information, new knowledge, data, motivation, inspiration, etc. with both live and virtual audiences.
2) To encourage and inspire people to want to know more about us and how we might be able to help them, which leads to a next conversation.
What do I mean by a next conversation?
You’ve just given a presentation, and now audience members want to converse with you about your topic, or to talk more about possibly purchasing time with you. Those are both scenarios that will benefit from a next conversation.
You meet someone interesting at a networking event, but networking events don’t always provide enough time to discuss anything in length. So, you need a next conversation.
You’re speaking to a colleague about a project you’re working on, explaining that you need help with some aspect of it. Your colleague listens and tells you they know someone who might be the perfect person to help you solve your problem. You hear the person’s skills and it sounds like they fit your needs to a “T”. The obvious next step is a conversation with that person.
There’s one easy solution for each of these scenarios… LinkedIn!
LinkedIn is like a business gift to the world for anyone seeking that next conversation. It has grown to be such a valuable resource for me that I call it my “people dictionary.” Whenever I meet someone new and want to find out more about them, LinkedIn is my first stop. Used properly, LinkedIn provides valuable information we can use to prepare for the next step in that relationship building process.
A brief listing of their titles and/or skills right under their name.
An “About” section that provides a more detailed description of what they do, and/or what they’re passionate about.
The articles, blog posts, videos, reposts, shares, etc. that they’re posting provide us with insights into what they’re currently interested in.
The groups they subscribe to can help us identify interests we may have in common.
Using LinkedIn’s messaging option also provides a “safe” way to initially connect with people you don’t know. Because let’s be honest, you may go to someone’s LinkedIn profile and realize that this person might not be as good of a fit as you originally thought. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean you can’t have another conversation. It just means you’ll be glad you did your homework before encouraging it.
In a more positive direction, when you take the time to learn about someone, it’s going to make it easier to compose a short and sweet message asking for that next conversation. Using LinkedIn’s messaging also means it’s less likely that someone’s regular email service will consider your email spam and block it.
Lastly, let me respond to what you might be thinking: “But I never know what to say!” I’ve provided a couple of examples here, but there are a ton of examples on the internet, such as the one’s listed in the Speaker Tip article included below.
Hey (Potential Client’s Name),
I enjoyed meeting you at the ABC Conference. From your profile, I see that you also enjoy (whatever). I’d love to grab coffee, in person or virtually, and learn more about what you do. Let’s connect on LinkedIn in the meantime.
Thanks for attending my talk last week. I’d love to follow up with you to learn more about how you used the tips I shared. Let’s connect on LinkedIn in the meantime.
LinkedIn really does provide the perfect platform for lining up that next conversation. And now that you know how easy it is to connect on and use LinkedIn, you have every reason to start using it to begin building relationships. In fact, feel free to practice by connecting with me!
‘Til we speak again….