Out of the major social media channels, the one that people suck at the most is LinkedIn. It seems people just like to inflate their egos with fancy titles or moderating large groups with no real conversion back to their business. This entry will be short and sweet. This is how you jumpstart your email subscription strategy with LinkedIn.

First Things, First

Before we get started, I want to make it clear that you shouldn’t abuse what I’m about to show you; if you do, you’ll get blacklisted by these third-party services. With that out of the way, everything will be peach from here on! 🙂

Plant Seeds

If you’re still growing your LinkedIn connections, be sure to add a short comment that states to your potential connection that they will allow you to follow up with them in the near future if they accept your request to connect. This is a transparent and honest effort to make your connections aware of your intention to actually engage them in meaningful collaborations that are in the best interest of both parties. And you must absolutely intent to connect with professionals relevant to your niche. Don’t think of this as a shotgun approach and get as many people as possible; the higher-ups will take notice and your account may be in trouble.

In the same way you’re looking for relevant professionals to connect with, go through your current network and delete those that aren’t part of your audience, either as a B2B or B2C. Once you’re satisfied with your updated LinkedIn network, head on over to export your list as a .CSV file, it doesn’t matter which proprietary format you choose. After that, open that downloaded .CSV file and open your preferred spreadsheet editor (I prefer Google docs) and delete all column headers except “First Name”, “Last Name”, and “Email” and export that version.

Create a MailChimp Account

However, I won’t bore you with details on how to set up a MailChimp account. You can learn that from them by going to the MailChimp help page. Set up your theme template, your account information, and however you want to segment your lists and/or groups.

Import List

Now that you’ve those tedious details out of the way, click on Lists > Add Subscribers > Import Subscribers > Import contacts from .csv or .txt files > Next > Browse > [your exported .CSV] > Next. Remember that if your import list goes over 2K, at the writing of this entry, they will bump you to a paid account.

import mc list

Review the selection fields and finalize import. Huzzah! You should have at least 150+ new subscribers in your MailChimp List(s) from contacts you mentioned that they would be followed up with.

Set Up the Newsletter

With your updated imported list, we’re going to leverage MailChimp to set up an introductory email about who you are, what you do, and what you hope to engage them with. We’re not going for a sale of any sort, and make it clear that they can unsubscribe if they don’t wish to be contacted through that medium again. Respect their decision.

I typically plan my newsletters on a Tuesday or Thursday at 11am EST, as they’re reasonable beginner’s business hours on all three timezones in the US. You know your network better than I do, so season to taste.

Building an engaged audience from scratch is a difficult task where value and consistency are paramount ingredients to influence success. However, these tips should allow you a jumpstart to actually engage your LinkedIn audience that everybody else seems to just wonder what they can do with that potential or be connected with people from back home that neither you or I have any real interest in playing catch up with.

Thoughts? Let me know how it went for you in the comments below and remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Now go dominate!

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