Everyone I know wants to be a high contributor and respected among their peers. Are you a center of influence within your inner circle? Have you identified your LinkedIn inner circle?Consider how you can help others grow their business and become a trusted advisor and colleague. It will take less time than you think and has the potential to return significant dividends.

Draft a list of your LinkedIn connections that inspire you, are wicked smart, have great networks, use LinkedIn well, and are influential in their industry or community.

Over the next month or two in conversation or via LinkedIn or email, intentionally and graciously, take these five suggestions to heart and put them into action.

  1. Ask them who they are hoping to add to their network this year and see if you can help arrange an introduction.
  2. Look at your network and introduce people that you know who don’t know one another. Each introduction should be mutually beneficial and be clear to spell out why you are introducing these people to one another.
  3. Go deep and ask your inner circle what they hope to achieve in business this year. Are your inner circle folks looking to expand their business, merge, rebrand, etc.? Do they need to hire a new employee or find new service providers? Once you know more go to your network and find someone to recommend.
  4. If any of your inner circle write and share content within LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. give their content a boost by sharing it with your network.
  5. Go to LinkedIn and give them a hearty recommendation. Not an endorsement but a well-crafted, thoughtful recommendation and spell out why this person is important to you. Here are some suggestions: they are wicked smart, they continually give back to their community, they lead by example, they are fearless as a leader and care for their people, they are a gifted communicator, they care deeply about important issues.
  6. Write a public thank you to the folks who helped you out last year, month, or even, yesterday, you choose. One of our clients posted an article titled, Thanks Seattle Network, Vistage, Colleagues, CEOs, and LinkedIn and gave a heartfelt thank you to a variety of groups that helped him reach some significant milestones in 2016.

Once you’ve given a little love to your inner circle, highlight a new group of connections. These connections are people you don’t know well but should. Make the first move and begin over again with number one above.

At some point, as Kevin would say, when you’re making hay for others, they will make a little hay for you.

We’d love to hear how you tend to your LinkedIn inner circle. Let us know.

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