As a partnership marketer, LinkedIn is the absolute best tool for finding new partners. LinkedIn has made cold calling much warmer and allows you to find decision makers 20 times easier than ten years ago. Here is a check list for finding your next partner on LinkedIn.
1)Maximize your Personal Network- I’m not a big fan of randomly adding people you don’t know to your network (some LinkedIn pros are) but you should be reaching out to virtually everyone you’ve cultivated a business relationship with over the years. Friends and family? Add them too. Your personal network establishes the overall network you can tap into on LinkedIn by the power of three. 2)Be a Groupie- By joining groups you extend your searchable network by hundreds or even thousands of people at a time. LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups. That may seem like a lot when the average LinkedIn user has joined seven but you want to max this out. Certainly don’t join groups that aren’t relevant to your business but finding 50 groups that are won’t be difficult. Here's a link to a group I founded and the largest group of partnership marketers on LinkedIn. Partnership Marketing Alliance
3)Search- LinkedIn has a great search engine. If I have a list of prospects I can easily find contacts within my network from most companies on that list. Your search will vary depending upon the size of your own personal network. Include “marketing” and “partnership” in your query to narrow your search with larger corporations. 4)Initial Contact- When you are ready for that first contact you will likely want to move away from LinkedIn. LinkedIn won’t provide you with email addresses outside of your first connections and if you are able to send InMails they are rarely answered. Now that you have your contact, move away from LinkedIn to Data.com or another resource that offers up email and phone information. 5)Post- If you don’t need discretion, post an update on your home page regarding the partnership you have in mind. You will also want to post in the discussion or promotion area of relevant groups you have joined. General posts and discussions will keep your name circulating through LinkedIn. 6)Maximize your profile- Make sure you’ve completed all of the information on your profile.
Checklist for Building LinkedIn Marketing Partnerships