Are you actively using LinkedIn?
If not, LinkedIn can be one of your main sources of contact and research to find out who to connect with in partner/sponsor brand companies.
Just reviewing a brand LinkedIn company page and the profile of the person you are reaching out to (or having a discovery call with) before getting on the call can help prepare you with the right information to make an impactful impression.
The three LinkedIn strategies below, including a sample script you can use, will help pave the way to a YES with sponsorship and collaboration opportunities.
LinkedIn Strategies with HUGE Impact: #1 Optimize Your Profile
If you have a discovery call in the works, it is highly likely that the person you will be having the call with has looked at your profile on LinkedIn (as well as your social platforms and perhaps your website). This is one reason that LinkedIn is so important and why it’s essential that your profile be current, updated, and active.
Time spent to improve your LinkedIn profile so it becomes an even stronger support in your online networking, relationship building, and partner research is worth your effort.
LinkedIn Profile Essentials for Sponsorship and Collaboration:
Ensure your profile photo is professional and current.
Use a custom banner (replace the default LinkedIn blue banner).
In the media section, include any links to media you have been on, webinars or videos, and articles you or your organization has been featured in. You can also add PDFs.
Make sure your contact information is easy to find.
LinkedIn Strategies with HUGE Impact: #2 Value Others and Demonstrate Your Value Through Recommendations
It’s important to demonstrate your connections to the value you see in others and the value you have to offer.
With that in mind, reach out to people and ask them to write a written LinkedIn testimonial for you, your organization, and/or your services or events, etc. In fact, this is a great monthly task to set a reminder for so that you are always updating your profile.
How to Ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation (and Sample Email):
Before making your recommendation request, there are a number of tips to keep in mind:
We suggest sending the request by email (do NOT use the “Request a Recommendation” feature in LinkedIn as that is impersonal).
Also, we suggest that once a week you offer a recommendation for an entrepreneur you appreciate, an author whose book you loved, an event organizer or service club whose event you spoke at, or for someone whose services you have used. Often when you do a recommendation for someone, they reciprocate. The benefit of doing a few emails every week is that the recommendations will be posted in a staggered time frame instead of a flurry of recommendations at once then nothing for months.
Remember, you can then also use these recommendations on your website and in your marketing copy.
Below is one version of a sample email that Raise a Dream uses to request LinkedIn recommendations. (It works! Charmaine now has more than 100 recommendations.) You can utilize this script and modify so it reflects your language and brand.
Hi there [NAME],
Hope you are having an awesome [spring/summer/fall/winter]. One of my [spring/summer/fall/winter] projects is enhancing my LinkedIn profile. If it resonates, would you be willing to write a short recommendation for me on my LinkedIn profile? Thanks so much!
To do this, simply go to my LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charmainehammond/
Under my photo and bio, you will see a box that says “MESSAGE” and another that says “MORE”. Click the “MORE” button. Within the list of options, you will see “RECOMMEND”. When you click “RECOMMEND”, you will then be able to follow the instructions to complete.
I so appreciate your support. How may I be a champion and offer support for you?
LinkedIn Strategies with HUGE Impact: #3 Do Your Research
Another incredible benefit of using LinkedIn is its research potential. When you are researching partner brands and the person you will be having contact or a discovery call with, you can use the tips below.
LinkedIn Discovery Call Research Essentials:
Review their profile. Pay attention to anything you share in common (lived in same place, attended same school, similar interest, a common connection/mutual connection), as this becomes an ice breaker in a conversation (or a conversation starter), and such a shared point of interest is great to include in a LinkedIn Connection Request if you are not yet a first degree connection with that person.
Pay close attention to the person’s language and the way the person communicates.
Look at their current role (this helps you ask a question on a discovery call such as:
“I see your role with [BRAND/ORGANIZATION] is [XXXX]. I’d love to learn a little more about your role and the projects you work on). It shows you have done some research and took the time to learn about them
When you have the conversation, showing you’ve done some research and taken the time to learn about the person you’re talking to will help make a great first impression.
Need Some Ideas for Your LinkedIn Profile?
Check out Charmaine profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charmainehammond/
And be sure you follow Raise a Dream on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/raise-a-dream/
Also, if you are not yet connected to Charmaine on LinkedIn, maybe test out a personalized LinkedIn connection request to her. 😘