Monday July 5, 2010
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 http://www.Fireflylondon.co.uk )
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.