VIEWS: 11 PAGES: 18 POSTED ON: 10/24/2011
Top 10 11 LinkedIn Tips 1) A picture paints a thousand words – Always include a picture of you smiling in your profile. It humanizes you and makes you seem more approachable. Not to mention, some times it helps to jog their memory (and yours!) 2) URL – Always customize the URL to be your name or something folks can remember. Mine is http://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainemdavis 3) URL – If you don‟t have your own blog or website, buy whateveryournameis.com and forward it to your LinkedIn profile. Don‟t forget to include the www in your profile or it won‟t work. 4) Name – Always include the way folks would know you so when they look for your name, they find you. Include your maiden name and/or nickname if applicable. 5) Requesting Connections – Always customize your invitation when you ask people to join your network. Include how they know you, how you can benefit them by being a part of their network, and even how you hope to work with them in the future. Leaving this as the default says “You‟re not important enough for me to customize this to you” or worse “You sent this to 200 people and are probably going to spam my network.” The default message of “„I‟d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” is NOT very compelling. 6) Email address – If you‟re going to use your work e- mail address, always put your personal e-mail address on there as backup just in case you leave a company and forget your password. 7) Export EVERYTHING – Monthly, export your entire profile and all your contacts so you have a hard copy backup. Email them to your Gmail account for double backup. Recommendations – Give folks you work with/for recommendations when they do great work. Be willing to revise them if folks find typos in your recommendation or if they want you to use different words to say the same thing. 9) Recommendations – Ask for recommendations after you do great work. Don‟t be afraid to offer a suggestion of what a good recommendation to you might look like. Make sure you ask the right people for the right thing. The last thing you want to do is put someone in a place to give you a recommendation on something they can‟t honestly say you did. 10) Answers – Answer questions in your area of expertise, or recommend the questions you find to experts you know can answer them. 11) Answers – Ask questions of your network when you need help (and for bonus points, publish the answer on your blog for all to read). Never ask folks to respond privately so everyone can learn from your questions. 10 Linkedin Tips for Professionals , here are my top 10 Linkedin tips for professionals: How to Become a Linkedin Expert 1. Make your profile client focused Resist the temptation to make your profile look like your resume. Resist that temptation. When you first meet potential clients you don’t rattle off a huge list of companies you’ve worked for and the responsibilities you’ve had – that would bore the pants off them. Most effective introductions focus on who you help, and what problems you help them solve or results you help them achieve. Then if asked more, you say a bit more about what you do – and give a little “backstory” as to why you are uniquely qualified to help. Linkedin is for making connections – and for the majority of professionals that means clients and business partners, not recruiters. You need to design your profile to have the impact you want on those connections. Treat it like your introduction at a networking meeting. Don’t take Linkedin’s category names too seriously either – use whatever space you have to give the impression you want to give. I use the “Specialities” section, for example, to include a list of my services (in client focused terms, of course). 2. Get connecting – but… Linkedin works on connections. The most powerful use of Linkedin is to find new clients and business partners through the search function or directly via your contacts connections. The more direct connections you have, the more opportunities you have to connect. I still see people who’ve made all the effort to set up their Linkedin profile – but who have so few connections that they don’t get any benefit. The Linkedin toolbar for Outlook provides an easy way of inviting the your Outlook contacts and people you email regularly to connect with you. However, there’s a catch… 3…Choose your connection strategy carefully There are two very different strategies to connecting on Linkedin: “Open Networking” and “Trusted Partner Networking”. In business networking generally, the value you get from your network is a product of the size of your network, and your ability to “convert” connections into productive business (work, a referral, etc.). You can grow the value of your network by getting more connections, or deepening the strength of each connection (getting to know people better, helping them out, etc.) On Linkedin, one strategy for getting value is to be an “Open Networker” or LION (LinkedIn Open Networker). Open Networkers focus on growing the size of their network by initiating and accepting connection requests from as many people as possible. Open Networkers typically have many thousands of connections. This means that when they search for useful relationships (potential clients or business partners), for example looking for contacts in specific companies, or geographies or with specific interests or job titles – they are much more likely to find them (exponentially more likely because of the way Linkedin connections work). The downside of this strategy is that with thousands of connections you don’t know each one very well, if at all. You’re essentially using Linkedin as a giant Rolodex or telephone directory rather than as a way of making deeper connections. That’s neither good nor bad – it just means that if you find someone you want to connect with through one of these “shallow” connections, you’re unlikely to get a strong referral to them. The other strategy is to have fewer but deeper connections – a “Trusted Partner” strategy. Here you only connect to people you already know and trust. Most likely from face-to- face interaction, but possibly from online interaction too. With this strategy you have less chance of finding someone via a search because you have less connections. But if you do find someone, it will be through someone who knows and trusts you – and they will be able to give a strong referral to you and put you in touch with the person you’re interested in connecting with. In my experience, this Trusted Partner strategy works best for most professionals. It mirrors the way we develop trusted relationships in the real world. And it reduces the risk that your trusted connections will be spammed from other connections you barely know. Both strategies can work, but you must be consistent. If you’re following a Trusted Partner strategy, you must only connect to people you really know & trust and turn down connections from people you don’t (Open Networkers for example). 4. Use Search to find potential clients and business partners Many people get going on Linkedin but fail to use it to help their business. One of the most effective ways to gain business value from Linkedin is to find potential clients and business partners.One of the things I do in my consulting practice is to help clients get more referrals for their business. And one of the key things I teach them is to be very specific in who they ask to be referred to. Linkedin allows the ultimate in specificity. You can search for exactly who you want to be referred to – by company, by geography, by name, by job title, etc. And you can search across your entire network at once. Or you can look at the contact list of an individual to see if there’s anyone you’d like to be connected to. Once you’ve identified people you’d like to be introduced or referred to, rather than try to connect them directly, give your mutual connection a call and ask them if they can connect you. That’s much more polite than going directly, and it’s much more likely to be successful. 5. Give testimonials to get them Testimonials are very helpful to have on your profile. They’re a clear indication of the quality of your work and the relationships you form. But begging for a testimonial isn’t a great strategy. If you want to get testimonials, use Linkedin to give them to people you’ve worked with and who have done a great job for you. Linkedin will show them the testimonial to approve, then ask them if they want to reciprocate. Most do. 6. Have a helpful headline When people find you in searches on Linkedin, or when you contribute to Group discussions or in the Linkedin Answers Q&A section; the initial thing they see is a little box with your name, photo, and your “headline”.What most people have in their headline is their job title. “Owner at XYZ Company” or “Principal consultant at ABC Ltd”. By default, unless you change it manually, Linkedin takes the headline from your last job title. Unfortunately, this doesn’t give people a clue as to whether you might be able to help them, or might be interesting to connect to. You should treat your headline like your introduction when networking. Focus on what you can do to help people. My headline, for example is “Helping Professional Services Firms Attract More Clients and Win More New Business”. It’s much more useful in telling people what I actually do than using an “offical” job title like Managing Director. That will get more people to click through to my profile and maybe begin to interact with me. You can edit your Headline via the Edit My Profile option. 7. Join Linkedin Groups to connect and interact Linkedin groups are essentially discussion forums for specific interest groups. They allow you to find out the lates news, and to join in debates on topics of interest. You should be joining groups both of interest to you professionally, and the groups where your potential clients “hang out”. I’m a fairly active poster on the Law Marketing group for example. I try to answer questions and be helpful. It’s all part of building my personal brand as someone who’s knowledgeable and experienced in the field of professional services marketing & business development. The same is also true of the Linkedin Q&A section. Post sensible answers or pose sensible questions and over time you’ll develop a reputation for knowing what you’re talking about. 8. Use Status Updates to subtly remind your contacts of what you do Linkedin status updates are a nice way of helping to stay top of mind with contacts. If you were to call or email all your contacts any time you did something small but interesting, it would quickly become seen as pushy or spammy. But updating your status is an non-intrusive way of getting a gentle reminder out. Depending on their settings, your contacts will get a regular email with a summary of the status updates of their contacts. And they will see the updates on their Linkedin homepage. Mostly it will just be “so and so updated their profile” type messages. So if your status update has something interesting in it (“Ian has just run a seminar on consultative selling skills”) it will remind them of the sort of thing you do and may even trigger them into action. Using the ping.fm service allows you to update the status of other social networks like Facebook and Twitter simultaneously. 9. Watch others’ status updates to initiate contact Keep an eye on status updates from others – it can be a good opportunity to get back in touch – especially if they’ve changed jobs or have set out on a new venture. Even small status changes can help give you something to start a conversation – the sort of smalltalk needed to keep dialogues and relationships going in between more meaty topics. 10. Proactively link others together who you think may benefit Don’t wait for others to initiate a request to be linked up to your other contacts. Review your contact list regularly looking for ways to add value to them. One good way is to offer to link them up with potential clients or partners for them.It’s not super easy to do this using Linkedin functionality – I find it’s easier just to email both and suggest they make the connection themselves. The tips I’ve outlined are for professionals who want to use Linkedin to help them grow their businesses and their careers through what is essentially the online equivalent of normal business networking. It’s not the only way to use Linkedin. For years I used it mainly to reconnect with old colleagues I’d lost touch with. But it’s certainly a good way to use Linkedin that can deliver real business results. Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn • The average number of LinkedIn connections for people who work at Google is forty-seven. • The average number for Harvard Business School grads is fifty- eight, so you could skip the MBA, work at Google, and probably get most of the connections you need. Later, you can hire Harvard MBAs to prepare your income taxes. • People with more than twenty connections are thirty-four times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five. • All 500 of the Fortune 500 are represented in LinkedIn. In fact, 499 of them are represented by director-level and above employees. Most people use LinkedIn to “get to someone” in order to make a sale, form a partnership, or get a job. It works well for this because it is an online network of more than 8.5 million experienced professionals from around the world representing 130 industries. However, it is a tool that is under-utilized, so I’ve compiled a top- ten list of ways to increase the value of LinkedIn. 1. Increase your visibility. By adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire or do business with. In addition to appearing at the top of search results (which is a major plus if you’re one of the 52,000 product managers on LinkedIn), people would much rather work with people who their friends know and trust. 2. Improve your connectability. Most new users put only their current company in their profile. By doing so, they severely limit their ability to connect with people. You should fill out your profile like it’s an executive bio, so include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities. You can also include a link to your profile as part of an email signature. The added benefit is that the link enables people to see all your credentials, which would be awkward if not downright strange, as an attachment. 3. Improve your Google PageRank. LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you. To do this, create a public profile and select “Full View.” Also, instead of using the default URL, customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name. To strengthen the visibility of this page in search engines, use this link in various places on the web> For example, when you comment in a blog, include a link to your profile in your signature. 4. Enhance your search engine results. In addition to your name, you can also promote your blog or website to search engines like Google and Yahoo! Your LinkedIn profile allows you to publicize websites. There are a few pre-selected categories like “My Website,” “My Company,” etc. If you select “Other” you can modify the name of the link. If you’re linking to your personal blog, include your name or descriptive terms in the link, and voila! instant search-engine optimization for your site. To make this work, be sure your public profile setting is set to “Full View.” 5. Perform blind, “reverse,” and company reference checks. LinkedIn’s reference check tool to input a company name and the years the person worked at the company to search for references. Your search will find the people who worked at the company during the same time period. Since references provided by a candidate will generally be glowing, this is a good way to get more balanced data. Companies will typically check your references before hiring you, but have you ever thought of checking your prospective manager’s references? Most interviewees don’t have the audacity to ask a potential boss for references, but with LinkedIn you have a way to scope her out. You can also check up on the company itself by finding the person who used to have the job that you’re interviewing for. Do this by searching for job title and company, but be sure to uncheck “Current titles only.” By contacting people who used to hold the position, you can get the inside scoop on the job, manager and growth potential. By the way, if using LinkedIn in these ways becomes a common practice, we’re apt to see more truthful resumes. There’s nothing more amusing than to find out that the candidate who claims to have caused some huge success was a total bozo who was just along for the ride. 6. Increase the relevancy of your job search. Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to find people with educational and work experience like yours to see where they work. For example, a programmer would use search keywords such as “Ruby on Rails,” “C++,” “Python,” “Java,” and “evangelist” to find out where other programmers with these skills work. 7. Make your interview go smoother. You can use LinkedIn to find the people that you’re meeting. Knowing that you went to the same school, plays hockey, or shares acquaintances is a lot better than an awkward silence after, “I’m doing fine, thank you.” 8. Gauge the health of a company. Perform an advanced search for company name and uncheck the “Current Companies Only” box. This will enable you to scrutinize the rate of turnover and whether key people are abandoning ship. Former employees usually give more candid opinions about a company’s prospects than someone who’s still on board. 9. Gauge the health of an industry. If you’re thinking of investing or working in a sector, use LinkedIn to find people who worked for competitors—or even better, companies who failed. For example, suppose you wanted to build a next generation online pet store, you’d probably learn a lot from speaking with former Pets.com or WebVan employees. 10. Track startups. You can see people in your network who are initiating new startups by doing an advanced search for a range of keywords such as “stealth” or “new startup.” Apply the “Sort By” filter to “Degrees away from you” in order to see the people closest to you first. 11. Ask for advice. LinkedIn’s newest product, LinkedIn Answers, aims to enable this online. The product allows you to broadcast your business-related questions to both your network and the greater LinkedIn network. The premise is that you will get more high-value responses from the people in your network than more open forums. For example, here are some questions a Learning & Development leader might ask ◦ ◦ What should we pay a vp of biz dev? ◦ 1. Integrate into a new job. When people start a new job, ordinarily their roots aren’t that deep in the new company. However, with Linkedin, new employees can study fellow employees’ profiles and therefore help them get to know more people faster in a new company 2. Scope out the competition, customers, partners, etc. This seems like it’s a no-brainer, but you can use LinkedIn to scope out the competition’s team as well as the team of customers and partners. For example, your competitor’s vp of marketing came from Oracle…she’ll probably believe that business is war. What recruiters look for in a LinkedIn profile: 8 tips If you are an active or passive job seeker, there is no better way to cut through the clutter and get yourself noticed than LinkedIn. Nowadays, most recruiters and companies are increasingly using sites like LinkedIn to identify talent. Given my experience looking for candidates, here are some key characteristics of a LinkedIn user that grab my attention when I make my daily picks: 1. Make your LinkedIn profile 100% complete • Include all companies, education, and awards. These are the key items on which we recruiters search. • References are very important. The more we know about you the better. • The more robust your profile, the higher you will be in the Google search rankings. • The more information a recruiter has upfront, the more efficient the search process. • Update your LinkedIn profile here 2. Use a profile picture that you use on multiple sites • A picture helps to create and reinforce your online brand • It will help a recruiter identify you on the interview day at “Starbucks” • Add a profile picture here 3. Use the “Specialties” box to fill in keywords • List as many keywords as possible that are relevant to your roles, capabilities, and interests that will help you turn up on LinkedIn Search • Update your profile summary and specialties here 4. Update your LinkedIn “Status” regularly • Link to articles you have written or in which you are quoted • Update status with your latest blog posts • Discuss business accomplishments • If you are actively looking for a job, tell people what you are looking for! • Update your status on other social networking sites such as Twitter. Try services like ping.fm that allow you to update your status across multiple sites. 5. Make changes to your profile after every job change or promotion • The recruiters you are linked to will notice these changes • It is harder to be found if people don’t know where you are • Update your LinkedIn profile as you would your change-of-address at the post office 6. Include your web site and blog links • Add suitable weblinks to the “Websites” section on your LinkedIn profile • This could range from your career blog to your Twitter profile. Alternatively, you can also link to a guest blog post you wrote recently. • Update your “Websites” section here 7. Do not block incoming emails • No matter how popular you think you are, you will not be overwhelmed. I promise! • The LinkedIn community is all about participation so feel free to accept incoming communication from fellow LinkedIn users. Update your contact settings here. • If a recruiter reaches out to you and you are not interested, let him or her know or better yet refer a friend • LinkedIn actually allows you to control how you receive emails and notifications. Update your settings here. 8. Increase your number of trusted connections! • Use webmail importer to bring your real world professional relationships online and to find your contacts who are already on LinkedIn. • Depending on whether you’re a browser person or an Outlook person, check out the respective toolbars that will help organize your professional relationship either while you browse or check out your Inbox. 1. Use LinkedIn Groups: Out of all the features on LinkedIn, I think the groups feature reigns supreme. It positions you as an expert and, just like people who start events; it makes you the center of information and the “connector.” I started the Personal Branding Network on LinkedIn about a month or so ago and have already built it up to 841 users! The value I’ve received out of this group is tremendous and now I spend less time updating the group because it’s generated a powerful community that 4. Applications: When applications first came out, I was praying that it wouldn’t be like how Facebook did it and I was right. I find great value in two of the applications LinkedIn currently supports: WordPress blog RSS and Slideshare.net. Having your blog syndicate through your profile is valuable to showing employers that you’re already writing about topics you’re interested in and a Slideshare presentation also makes you look like you’re contributing great value.
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