August 19, 2017
Pre-outreach in LinkedIn
The main tools I’ve been using in my research for credit union outreach are:
- Google search
- Google sheets
- iTunes/AppStore search
- LinkedIn search, etc
Of these, LinkedIn presents a bit of a dilemma. Unlike the other three, my search and browse actions are not anonymous and can potentially call me to the attention of folks I might reach out to in the future.
In a sense, my LinkedIn activities are like pre-outreach... I haven’t explicitly asked someone for a meeting, but I am potentially creeping into their radar merely by viewing their profile.
Because of this, I felt it was important to update my profile to be positioned as tightly as possible based on my current (albeit limited) knowledge of my ideal buyer.
Also, I started posting, commenting, and sharing more on LinkedIn so my activity stream would be interesting, relevant, and current. Doing this can send notifications to a variety of people associated with the thread.
Here’s one example:
- I’m planning to reach out to Ms. A (CEO of smallish CU). Based on outward appearances, I can do a lot of good for her organization.
- Ms. A is 1st level connection to Mr. B (COO of huge credit union where Ms. A worked for many years).
- Mr. B shared a link to an article that I found fairly interesting, but missed the mark somewhat.
- I left a comment on Mr. B’s share that pointed out a particular shortcoming and I suggested a solution. I tried to make it thoughtful, constructive, and relevant to my positioning.
- My face, name, and positioning statement (i.e. “I help credit unions increase mobile engagement”) are included prominently on my comment.
- Mr. B and everyone else (all people from the financial services industry) who commented on his share got notified of my comment.
- Everyone who sees Mr. B’s share in the future will see my (hopefully) valuable comment along with my face/name/positioning.
- I sent an InMail message to Mr. B applauding his organization’s success in mobile and asking if they had ever shared their approach publicly. It would likely be helpful to smaller CUs.
By all outward appearances, there’s very little assistance I can offer to Mr. B’s credit union because their mobile user experience is remarkably good.
My hope in contacting Mr. B is to strike up a “shop talk” conversation because:
- He appears to be a super interesting guy
- We could potentially learn a lot from each other
- I suspect that an intro from Mr. B would get me an instant meeting with Ms. A (or any one of a number of CEOs at smaller credit unions)
NOTE: I hope all this doesn’t come across as sneaky or deceptive. It’s not. I’m simply looking for people who stand to benefit from my expertise, in the most polite manner possible.
It’s sort of like easing my way into the conversation at a party where I’m an outsider: standing on the fringe, listening 95% of the time, and only chiming in when I’m confident that I’ve got something useful to contribute or a non-dumb question to ask.
More to come!