Tuesday October 23, 2012
Getting the Most out of LinkedIn
I was recently asked to write an article on my book, "LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day" so I decided to sharesome of my top tips from it, chapter by chapter.
You don't have to buy the book to benefit from it, although of course I recommend you do! Here is an Interview I did with Donna Gilliland about it: http://youtu.be/HZcOjQchXp8
My Top Ten LinkedIn Tips
Chapter 1: “Get LinkedIn”
What is LinkedIn and should you be on it?
If you don't have one yet, get a profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not just for jobseekers. It is for business people, sales people, marketing people, professionals service people, B2B companies, B2C companies, non profits, students, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms, and busy executives. If you do any business at all, you want to create an account on LinkedIn.
Chapter 2: “Get Started on LinkedIn”
What are your goals and what are your strategies?
Take a few minutes right now to write down the reasons you're using LinkedIn. Are you using LinkedIn to:
- attract new clients and customers
- create new referral partner relationships
- attract affiliates
- position yourself as a thought leader or subject matter expert
- share information about your product or service
- enhance your customer service relationships
- attract donor and sponsors for your charity
- position your Internet marketing business
- sell your book
- share information about an event or
- something else
What are your goals for being on LinkedIn that or not in the list above? Write them down. Now prioritize your goals. Although your priorities for using LinkedIn might shift, it's always good to be clear on what they are right now.
Chapter 3. “Ready, Set, Profile!”
Do you know your keywords?
You can use the “Skills and Expertise” link on LinkedIn to find keywords that are specifically relevant to LinkedIn. Simply click on the “Skills ” link under the “More” tab and type in any skill that is relevant to your position, your education, your skill set, or your industry. As you begin to type, a drop-down menu should appear. Choose the skill closest to your keyword or search term. If the drop down doesn't come up with the option you are looking for, choose a synonym for your skill set.
Once you select a skill from the drop-down list, LinkedIn will take you to a new page. By clicking the blue “Add Skill” button, you will add that skill to your profile. (So it can be endorsed later by your connections!)
The section of this page relevant to finding keywords is on the left side under “Related skills”. Are there any of those related skills you might want to add to your profile as keywords?
When the list of related skills is in alignment with your skill set (meaning you could indeed offer many or all the skills or services in your business) you might want to copy and paste the entire list into Word document. Delete the irrelevant skills and voila – you have a great keyword list to add to:
- your professional headline
- title fields
- summary section
and any other sections that are relevant in your LinkedIn profile.
Chapter 4: Using Your Company profile for Branding and Positioning
Do you have a Company Profile?
With the newest Company Profile release – you no longer have a reason not to have a Company profile! And if you have one, are you using it?
Did you know you could add video to your company profile? Once you add a product or service, you have the opportunity to add a YouTube link. This will show up as a video that plays when someone clicks on that skill or product. Consider the product demonstration, or a testimonial from a happy client or customer.
Chapter 5: “Creating and Managing a Network that Works.”
Grow your network to be more visible.
If you're not having much luck on LinkedIn, it might be because your network is too small. In order to easily grow your network, without directly connecting too many people you don't know, you might consider going to www.toplinked.com. The folks who pay to be a part of toplinked.com are willing to share their networks with you, because they want you to share your network with them.
By clicking on the “Top Supporters” link on the left-hand side of the Toplinked.com page, you will see a list of 50 to 60 individuals who should accept your invitation to connect. All of these individuals have very large networks. By connecting to just 10 to 15 of these individuals, you should be able to grow your network out past the 10 million mark. Which means you'll be more visible on LinkedIn. It also means that you will be able to find and connect with more strategic members on LinkedIn. Which should increase your business.
Chapter 6: “Getting Strategic with Groups”
Join groups for strategic connecting.
You can find a LinkedIn member and send them a message or invite them to connect with you through groups. You can also follow a member. Following basically allows you to keep an eye on their activity but not communicate with them directly. And that will give you some great information for when you are ready to send a message or invite them to connect.
What I like about groups is that you can search the membership by name or by keyword. To do this, go into a group that you think might have members would make good contacts for you. Then click the “Members” tab. On the left hand side you'll see the “Search members” box. This is where you can look for members to connect with by name or keyword.
LinkedIn will show you the results for any group member who falls into your search criteria. If they are a first level connection, then you can just send them a message. Remember to take the time to view their profile so you can speak to common interests.
As well, you can search for second and third level connections. If you hover your cursor to the right of their name, you can see if you can send them a message. This is a great way to save money on LinkedIn, as you normally cannot send a message to the second level connection without paying for an InMail. ($10)
Chapter 7: “Getting Strategic with LinkedIn’s Other Options”
LinkedIn answers as blog fodder.
Is it only me, or have you ever been stuck staring at that white screen with nothing to say? One of my favorite tools for sparking the creative writing genius within is taking a look at LinkedIn Answers to see what questions are being posted. The questions people are asking in Answers might be something you want to write about. Which means you already have an invested audience. Once you've written the article you can respond to the answer with your content and a link to your article. So it's a win-win.
Chapter 8: “Putting It All Together”
The three and three technique.
I can't remember where I heard about this technique, but it's a useful one for staying top of mind with your existing connections. I call it the three and three technique.
It involves going to your list of connections and reaching out to three people you don't know, and three people you do know (who you haven't talk to in a while) and sending them a simple message. If you do it just three times a week, you might be amazed at the responses.
I cannot tell you how many times of use this technique and immediately heard back from a person who said, “Iwas just thinking about you.” That's what I love. The synchronicity of social media. Even if we have to force it some times!
Chapter 9: “Optimize Your Time Using LinkedIn”
Create a schedule.
This is not only true for LinkedIn, but very useful for social media in general. Create a checklist. Create a checklist of daily actions, weekly actions, monthly actions and one time actions. And then scheduled the checklist to make sure you're always on top of your LinkedIn strategies.
Chapter nine has a link where you can download the checklists I use with my clients.
Chapter 10: “LinkedIn Ads, Labs, Apps and Tools”
If you want to stay in touch with the latest applications that might be rolling down the LinkedIn Lane, you probably want to check out www.LinkedInlabs.com.
LinkedIn's employees, programmers and partners are always working on new application. LinkedIn labs posts a small set of these projects and features, some of which make it to the LinkedIn application. So it's worth taking a look.
Bonus: Chapter 11: “LinkedIn and You: Getting Specific”
The expert advice you read here is worth the price of the book!
Depending on the kindness of strangers, I emplored some of my favorite LinkedIn experts to share their wealth of knowledge, tips, tricks, ideas and strategies. Chapter 11 has sections by folks like:
Stacy Zapar (Recruiter and “Most Connected Woman on LinkedIn”)
Jason Alba (Author of “I’m on LinkedIn, Now What?”)
Brett Fairall (Founder of Mobbios.com)
Kendra Brodin, JD (Co-Author of Linked Into Law with me)
Brad Hanks (LinkedIn for Real Estate professionals expert)
Beth Kanter (Social Media for Non-Profits Guru)
Geri Stengel (Founder of Ventureneer.com)
And that's it! 10 quick tips from my book, LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day.
To learn more, you can always visit our Amazon Page
And don’t forget the #LinkedInChat every Tuesday night at 8 PM ET. If you have a twitter account you can join us to chat about all thinks LinkedIn. I often have famous authors and influencers (like the folks above) as guests, as well as our regular chatters who are all experts! Come join us at www.tweetchat.com/room/linkedinchat
Follow me on Twitter @LinkedInExpert
Connect with me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/linkedinexpert