Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Flipboard 1 When it comes down to it, professional networking revolves around three things: credibility, the transfer of trust,and the ambition to get ahead in your career. In a recent webinar on LinkedIn psychology, the host, Asher Abraham, emphasized the age old adage that people do business with those who they like and trust. This holds true in reality, just as much as it does in the online world –particularly on professional social networks such as LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, likeability and trust are the fundamental building blocks of successful networking. Regardless of whether you’re an individual, a small business or a large enterprise, you need to be liked and trusted. During the Oktopost webinar, Asher often referred to the “transfer of trust.” What exactly does this mean? According to Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn, “Your network is the people who want to help you – and who you want to help.” This is what networking is all about: people helping one another. In today’s hyper-social online world, transfer of trust has gone so far as to transform our economy, given that people can now transfer trust virtually and systematically, without need for proximity. In other words, think of LinkedIn as a platform designed to build trust between you and the professional community at large – thus maximizing your networking opportunities. Our network is one of our greatest under-utilized assets. It might not be a tangible, physical asset, but nonetheless it’s still an asset – and LinkedIn is available to help you make the most of it. Your network has a lot of opportunities that you’re not even aware of, and using LinkedIn strategically can help increase your credibility and trust in the eyes of peers, customers and your entire network, – and do more with your business in the long run. Think of LinkedIn as the world’s largest tradeshow, which is open 365 days a year; it enables you to advance your career by networking with the specific people who are most relevant to what you’re offering. Despite its impressive growth over the past decade, most people still under use LinkedIn. Often, they are afraid to be caught in the cliché of becoming a “networker” who simply amasses tons of random contacts from around the world. Rather than adding anyone who sends you an invite, carefully consider the difference between regular networking and intentional networking. Asher defines the latter as “Leveraging existing relationships to develop new ones by transferring trust and credibility to relevant people who can help you accomplish something valuable.” In this sense, LinkedIn is a platform for trust-building, and can provide you with access not just to any contacts – but to the ones with whom you can build a relationship that matters, and can impacts your professional life. How do you use LinkedIn to achieve this? Firstly, be patient. Understand that proper networking takes time. People are often eager to quickly land a new client, or be hired by a new employer – but they have to realize that trust (just like Rome), isn’t built in a day. Instead of asking what these prospects can do for you, first determine how you can help them. This is how you demonstrate your value, skills and expertise to the professional community. Remember that your LinkedIn network comprises three levels: 1st degree – people you’re directly connected to, 2nddegree – people who are connected to your 1st degree connections -3nd degree people who are connected to your 2nd degree connections. If you are looking for a specific contact that is not in your network (meaning outside of the three levels) you will not be able to contact them. Intentional networking should be on your radar at all times, and the larger your network is, the more people you can potentially help, and vice versa. If a LinkedIn contact is not in your network, they are outside of your digital-professional world. LinkedIn is purposely set up this way, given that the whole network is based around the transfer of trust principle. International Networking on LinkedIn: 3 Thoughts to Keep in Mind Just to reinforce the networking potential of LinkedIn, in 2013, Bloomberg reported that 2 new users join the platform every second. Three things to consider when intentionally networking: 1. Have a Clear Objective in Mind First determine what it is that you’re actually going after. Are you looking for a customer, partner, investor, or a new job? Don’t try to send invites to random people, only seek out those with whom you can build a mutually beneficial relationship. 2. Look for the Right, Specific Person Beyond having an objective mind regarding the type of contact – realize that you’re not just looking for “a customer,” but rather – the best kind of customer. During the webinar, Asher remarked that given the millions of people on LinkedIn, there’s no reason to settle for a small client when you can go for a more major one. Don’t try to connect to a prospect that is already using a competitor’s service or product. Use the advanced search and Discussion Groups to seek out the ones that have a specific need for what you’re offering. 3. Leverage Your Network for Introductions LinkedIn offers an “introduction feature” which offers members the opportunity to contact members who are in their 2nd or 3rd degree networks. If a member is within your extended network, you can contact them through the connections you have in common. Just find the member’s profile, and click on “Get introduced through a connection” on the right hand-side. Twitter Tweet Facebook Share Email This article originally appeared on Oktopost and has been republished with permission.Find out how to syndicate your content with B2C Author: Kane Pepi Kane Pepi is an experienced financial and cryptocurrency writer with over 2,000+ published articles, guides, and market insights in the public domain. Expert niche subjects include asset valuation and analysis, portfolio management, and the prevention of financial crime. Kane is particularly skilled in explaining complex financial topics in a user-friendlyView full profile ›More by this author:VoIP Basics: Everything Beginners Should Know!Bitcoin Investment, Trading & Mining: The Ultimate Guide for BeginnersIs This a Better Way to Set Your 2020 Goals and Resolutions?