In the first episode of Season 1 of Tower After Hours, our podcast team welcomes Brianna Titi, from the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County. As their first Business Development Specialist, she works with over 146 member companies to create lasting first impressions and provide support to these businesses.
Also known as someone very active on social media, she gave us great insight on how to network on LinkedIn and her tips to grow your connections.
Alright, let’s dive in!
The Economic Development Company of Lancaster County
[1:16] This not-for-profit organization works with a wide spectrum of Lancaster County businesses to provide leading insights on economic trends. They help build connections to business and community leaders while providing access to funding programs tailored to help businesses wanting to expand and grow.
As the Business Development Specialist, Brianna meets with all existing and potential members of the EDC to nurture relationships and understand the ins and outs of the Lancaster business community.
It Only Takes One Connection
[8:19] It’s rare to find someone who’s authentic both on and off social media. But Brianna emphasizes the fact that showing up as your authentic self will be what makes that great first impression. And who knows where that connection might lead you.
Brianna shouts out multiple mentors who have created a positive impact on her career journey, and she’s honored to be surrounded by so many innovative and supportive colleagues. As a young professional, she feels led to mentor others starting their professional careers.
[14:40] She also emphasizes the importance of not only creating opportunities for your mentee but also being relatable and a support system for them. A lot of times, the line between professional and personal is blurred, and hardships can be difficult to navigate in both settings.
Brianna has been involved in the NxtGen Mentoring Program with the Young Professionals Network at the Lancaster Chamber. She’s met several mentors and positively impacted mentees, and her best piece of advice is to be invested in the mentorship, no matter what side you’re on.
Networking on LinkedIn
[17:40] Alex and Lily deemed Brianna the Lancaster LinkedIn Queen, with over 10,000 connections. And although this is a perfect opportunity for her to brag about her accomplishments, she’s just happy to have a platform to continue to spread the greatness of Lancaster businesses and EDC members.
With such success, we asked her some of her best practices when it comes to posting on LinkedIn and networking in general.
- Do Your Research. Before any networking event, use LinkedIn as a tool to get to know the person you’re meeting with. (This piece of advice isn’t new to us, as we’ve discussed this concept on a previous episode of Tower After Hours!)
- Post at the Right Times. From her experience, posting in the mornings and earlier in the week shows the best engagement and interaction from her connections. She also recommends posting once a week as you’re starting to get comfortable with networking on LinkedIn.
- Follow Businesses You’re Interested In. Especially if you’re in the business development world, following businesses is a great way to keep up with their latest posts and events.
- Add Notes to Your Invitations. Have a quick introduction sent with every connection invitation. Brianna suggests adding your job title, a bit of background about yourself, and any “ask” you have for this connection. This could be following your business page, setting up a meeting, or just mentioning you’re interested in expanding your connections.
- Ask for Professional Recommendations. Add to your credibility by asking your connections to add recommendations to your profile. These blurbs don’t have to be extensive but will show up on your main profile for interested connections to view.
As you become more comfortable with networking on LinkedIn, feel free to post more often, interact with your connections, provide new perspectives, and expand your personal brand.