Calling all immigration professionals! The old days of LinkedIn as an exclusive hub for job seekers and recruiters are gone! This is what using LinkedIn for immigration and broadly the global mobility industry should look like.
While LinkedIn can still be a useful resource for seeking employment, it’s also the best place online for professional networking. This is true for immigration lawyers and other global mobility service providers working across the industry.
It took me a while to shift my mind away from thinking about LinkedIn as just a place to have an online “resume” and look for a job, so hopefully this article helps you to start thinking about LinkedIn as a place to network, build your personal and professional brand, and build your business!
Think of LinkedIn as a 24/7 virtual conference and networking event
Whereas LinkedIn used to just be where professionals would go to update their online “resumes,” it’s become a place where people share news, discuss policy updates, provide valuable and insightful tips, and more. It’s basically an industry conference, across every industry in the world!
Frankly, you can use LinkedIn to get as many if not more connections as you would get by attending a legal conference or networking event. When you start to think about LinkedIn this way, it will become much easier to spend more time on it. When you go to a conference, the small talk, the hand-shaking, the business card exchanging… it’s work, but you know it may lead to something, right?
Well LinkedIn is the same. Yes it takes some effort to create content, engage with others, make new connections. But the business results can be the same as, if not more powerful than, an in-person conference.
And certainly way cheaper!
Use LinkedIn for immigration conversations (and connects) with peers, prospective clients, and other industry contacts.
Yes LinkedIn is like a conference, but just the fun part – the cocktail hour, the lunch break, the post-panel-walk-and-talk. The things that lead to more meaningful connections.
In a LinkedIn post I once asked a very simple question that got me more connections than I make during a legal conference. I simply asked: “Do you want to expand your immigration/global mobility/legal network?” Then at the bottom of the post, I instructed folks to comment with the phrase “let’s connect!” to indicate they’re open to new connections. If you commented on the post then anyone who came across that post (mostly lawyers and immigration folks) could reach out and connect!
This yielded hundreds of comments, and many of those people reach out to one another, which set off a chain reaction of new connections within the industry that didn’t exist before. It was an awesome experience, and one that allowed me to connect with new people AND helped others meet one another as well. I’ve done it again since that first time.
Try this too!
Commenting on LinkedIn posts is better than conferences, and here’s why.
First, unlike a conference where you end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars to attend, LinkedIn comments and connections are free. Instead of spending your whole workday (or two workdays or your weekend) at a conference, all it takes is 5 minutes to start a LinkedIn conversation and make your own online “conference.”
But the beauty of commenting on LinkedIn is that you can “join” conversations by commenting on someone else’s post where you don’t know anyone (which is harder in real life), or on a post from months ago (which is impossible in real life since once the discussion is over, you can’t join in), or even just by saying “that’s interesting, I’d love to learn more!” and not feeling awkward about it.
Then, if you’d like to connect with the person who created the post, you can send them a connection request (I highly suggest adding a custom note telling them why you’re connecting so that they don’t think it’s spam), which is much easier than trying to get a hold of someone to get their business card or give them yours.
Plus, you can see who else commented (chimed in on the conversation), check out their profiles and send them a connection request too.
I mean really – how is that any different than handing out your business card at a conference and worse, hoping for an email or a follow-up later on? Not only does using LinkedIn for immigration industry chit chat give you more control over that correspondence, people who reply on LinkedIn are also signaling that they’re looking for others in their industry to engage with, which makes making new connections even easier.
That’s why it’s so powerful to use LinkedIn for immigration and global mobility networking and biz dev
Once you make the mindset switch, your LinkedIn should look like all the best parts of a conference, and with that, you’ll see how many opportunities come with very little effort on your part. If you can make 19 connections from a single post, think about what’s possible if you are using LinkedIn every week let alone every day. Also, have I mentioned that it’s free?
How do you use LinkedIn for immigration / global mobility networking or, do you use it at all? Do you think immigration and legal professionals should use LinkedIn more? I’d love to hear your opinion! Leave your comments below or join the free GMI Rocket Slack community to discuss further with hundreds of like-minded immigration and global mobility professional