Advice to a New LinkedIn User (Lurking in Answers)

By: Viveka Monday July 5, 2010 comments Tags: LinkedIn Tips, LinkedIn Expert Tips, LinkedIn Answers

Advice to new users (sourced from LinkedIn’s Answers section)

I was lurking around LinkedIn “Answers” today looking to be inspired for this blog post.  The first question to pop up was, synchronistically, from my friend Michele Reynolds .  She asked: “What sage advice would you give someone just starting out on LinkedIn?

All the advice shared was dot on.  Some of the highlights were:

Nick Acott who said:  “Be friendly, offer advice where you can regardless of how trivial you may think it is and try to put up some engaging questions/posts on discussion boards.  And the occasional smiley face :) (You can find Nick at )

Sahar Adrade suggests (edited):

    • Be courteous,

    • Don’t push your services/ products,

    • Don’t self-advertise,

    • Don’t keep sending messages to all your connections and clutter their inbox

    • Be helpful as much as you can,

    • Pay it forward

Bryan Webb (LinkedIn Answers Master) says:

LinkedIn helps you build and maintain your network of professional relationships.  You will get out of LinkedIn what you put into it, thus:

    • Complete your profile so others can know you better.

    • Use the Outlook Toolbar to LinkIn your existing contacts to grow your network.

    • Play around with "Settings" to see what is best for you.

    • ALWAYS personalize an invitation to reflect where/when/how you met or the common ground or reason you wish to connect. Make it easy for the person to remember you and accept your invitation.

    • Get active in Q&A so that folks understand you better. This may lead to actual business if your expertise shines through.

    • Join relevant groups and get involved with people that you can connect with and get to know.

I loved this from Dan Sobel:  "Lurk before you leap".   Join a few groups and see what they are like. Watch answers, and decide what Linked-in means to you.

And Dave Maskin says:  Participate... If you don't show yourself here, nobody will know you exist...

I said:  I think it’s crucial to remember that even thought this is a business network, it is also a social network!

Now I am a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) because it gives me more access to the strategic people I want to connect with on LinkedIn.  It's only a numbers game because (what LinkedIn doesn't tell you is) you are only as visible as the size of your network.  Once you establish a healthy network (let's say 10 million) you need to establish strong connections.

I recommend reaching out to three people you know that you haven't connected to in awhile, and then three people you don't know  - do it every day.

    • Reach out to them by sending a message (1st level)

    • Forwarding a profile (1st level)

    • Sharing their updates (1st level)

    • Through groups (have to share a group, don't need to be connected)

    • Answers (anyone)

Start building those relationships - you never know where the gold mine lies!

Of course this is NOT about selling your wares - it is genuinely about what you can do for others, and what they can do for you!

If you have any tips for the new LinkedIn user, please share them here.


About the Author: Viveka

Viveka is author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and is known internationally as the “LinkedIn Expert”.
CEO of Linked Into Business, she also hosts the biggest LinkedIn chat on Twitter.  Forbes has listed her as a top social media influencer for three years running, and she has been cited in Ragan, CNN, Forbes, Mashable, Simple Living, Bloomberg, LinkedIn's Small Business Site and "The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to LinkedIn, The Miami Herald, Social Media Today and The Social Media Examiner!

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