Here are 5 steps to finding a person in a specified field who can become your trusted advisor with LinkedIn. For this example we are going to look for a social media marketing advisor:
1. In the top left box where it says "Search", type in "social media marketing Hit the little magnifying glass icon... A list pops up showing all the results. At the top, there are 3 tabs: 1st Connections, 2nd Connections, and Group Members
2. Click on 1st connections tab. These are people you are already connected to. Each person has their photo, business, location, and the number of connections you share listed.
3. Scroll down and click on the people who pique your interest. How do you know them? How well do you know any of the connections you share? Choose the top 5 that seem to resonate with you.
4. Read their profiles. Read the recommendations posted on their profile. Who shares common interests? Who has done work with companies similar to yours? Who seems to resonate with you the most?
5. Contact each one that you've chosen. Explain what you are looking for, why, and what's in it for them as well. Ask if they are interested in talking further. Specify the next step. Follow up.
I like to spend 15 minutes a day researching one person and then following up with any action that seems appropriate. It keeps me on track, focused, and avoids the distractions that being on a social media site can offer.
To to be sure we are all on the same page, "trusted advisor" does not mean they work for free. It means that you've found someone that you respect, has similar values, and has the experience and insights to ask the right questions and steer you in the right path when you need advice.
Developing relationships with trusted advisors helps us avoid those painful and expensive learning curves. LinkedIn is filled with professionals who are excellent at what they do. Reach out to them... and be sure that you are open when others reach out to you, too.
One problem. One solution. 15 minutes. Done.