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Develop an outreach strategy

We know how hard you have worked to build your existing network. Which is why we aren’t going to predictably tell you to spam your entire LinkedIn contacts list. Every interaction you have with your connections can be positive or negative, and we want it to be the former. Have you ever noticed how much more warmly you feel towards people who are authentic with you in their interactions? The same goes for people on the other side of interactions with you. A little thoughtfulness can go a long way in generating mutual goodwill. 

In this playbook, we’re going to walk you through the steps of how to thoughtfully engage your LinkedIn connections to get new business.‍

So, what’s the first thing you’ll do?

Set your strategy

Setting your strategy means identifying the goal you’d like to achieve from the outreach you will be doing. We certainly don’t want you to bombard your network and then overload your calendar with meetings. You want to move the ball forward, not be coordinating calendar invites all day.‍

There are plenty of reasons why you would want to reach out to your connections. To maintain focus, we recommend taking it one at a time. Before you do any outreach, zero in on your goal. Use your workbook to narrow down your goal.‍

Answer these questions to identify your goal

  • Are you trying to pitch new business to potential clients?

  • Do you need introductions to people at certain businesses?

  • Are you trying to partner with another company or service provider?

  • Are you seeking advice on a specific area of expertise?

  • Are you trying to network with someone who could recommend your service?

  • Is it something else?

For example, imagine a new business owner who is looking to design a program tech companies can use to educate their employees on inclusion in the workplace. They might narrow down their first goal to pitch their new business to potential tech company clients. Or it could be informational interviews with content managers at potential companies to hear about what they are struggling with.

Then, narrow down who can help you reach your goal

Once you have your goal clear, you can better identify who is the ideal type of person to speak with to help you reach your goal. This will make your search more precise.

Here are some starting places to consider based on your goal:‍

  • To pitch a new business, you want to search for points of contact who fit your ideal client archetype.

  • If you want to network in the startup world, look for investors or founders with networks of potential clients.

  • If you need advice on a specific area of expertise, identify the title of the person who would be able to give you that advice.

  • If you are looking for someone to collaborate with, think of what their LinkedIn headline might say.‍

Don’t just read through these points and take mental notes — write some keywords down! Use the next step in your workbook to organize your search and help you begin to narrow down your potential contacts. Once you have written them down, you can move to the next step.

To continue our example of the new business owner, they might use keywords from their ideal client archetype (founder, industry disruptor) and the kinds of tech businesses they want to connect with (startup, innovation lab).‍

In this initial step, you’ve identified the goal you’d like to reach from the outreach you will be doing, as well as brainstorm some potential business targets and their related keywords. Taking the time to refine your goal, targets, and keywords will help steer you toward finding the right people to reach out to. In the next step, you will utilize your existing network to craft an outreach list.

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