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Don’t be a kid in a candy store.

LinkedIn gives you names and titles of over 100 million people. It’s a massive, constantly updated and free database of business contacts, but you have to be smart.

Lots of people do it wrong – for example they say “my target audience is the chief marketing officer, so what I’ll do is go into a chief marketing officer group and tell everyone I’m available and what I offer.”

I recommend a different and smarter approach.

In this scenario I’d go into the finance directors group and ask a question “Excuse me finance directors do you think you get good value from your blogs?”

Then to everyone that responded I’d say, “Thanks very much for the response it was really useful to get your perspective, perhaps we should connect so I can share the results of my poll or research and keep in touch in future.”

In a later status update I can say “I’m really happy to have written this kind of blog for this type of business and they realised a huge result”, and they will see it.

Passive marketing at its best … why ever would you want to tell your connections what you do? Remind them of the breadth of value you share and in what markets.

Show, don’t tell, as the old sales maxim goes.