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Everything you want to know about LinkedIn… at a glance! !
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18 April  2010 ~

Are you registered on LinkedIn?  The common problem for business people is that they’ve registered an account, spent some time tweaking it, accept and send invitations but beyond that, they are not really sure what else there is to do AND how it can benefit them.  

Therefore, I offer my list of 51 things to do with your LinkedIn Account.

1. Use your Profile to Exhibit your Expertise – in essence, have a platform to announce your achievements, expertise, etc to those looking at your Profile.

2. Brand at a Glance – back in the day, we were focused on having a “30 second elevator pitch” ready at all times.  Today, we literally have 3 seconds to hook someone.  The Professional Headline is the best way (but not the only way) to do this on LinkedIn. Review yours to make sure it is effective.

3. Download the Outlook Toolbar (and use it) – if you are a user of Outlook, this could be a great tool for you.  Every time you receive an email, if the sender is on LinkedIn, you can tell at a glance, how this person is connected to you, read their professional headline and learn about their current position.

4. Raise your LinkedIn Profile to 100% Complete– It will increase your standings in the LinkedIn search algorithm

5. Closing Pitch – At the end of your Profile, within your Contact Settings, edit them to spell out what you are interested in/available for/looking to connect with, etc.

6. Reconnect with Former Classmates – break down the traditional communication barriers to find those you’ve lost touch with. Try this, it’s fun!

7. Reconnect with Former Colleagues – rekindle business relationships from your past – as time goes by, many may have progressed into decision making leadership positions. Well worth your time on multiple levels to do this.

8. Use the Slideshare App – this allows you to share presentations you’ve loaded on Slideshare directly on your Profile.  Another great tool to demonstrate your expertise

9. Use the Google Presentations App – very similar to using the Slideshare app, this enables you to show your PowerPoints (you’ve loaded via Google Presentations) directly on your Profile.

10. Sort your Network – LinkedIn now allows you to “tag” your connections so that you can sort them into your own groupings

11. Talent Acquisition – clearly the most direct application of LinkedIn – pay for an ad, post for free in Groups or try your hand at recruiting talent

12. Monitor Twitter – use the Company Buzz application to filter and monitor key phrases for you as they appear across Twitter.  Provides insight to the “Twitterverse”.

13.  Use it for Tweeting – add your Twitter information and have the ability to post directly to Twitter every time you post to the “what are you working on now” function

14. Extend the Reach of your Relationship Building – meet new like-minded individuals and companies (both local and non local) that you can build relationships with – nurture those relationships.

15. Enhance In- person Relationship Building – met someone briefly? Check them out on LinkedIn, get a richer, more robust perspective on them and use that to more effectively relationship build.

16. Use to Generate Additional Targeted Traffic to your Web Site – LinkedIn enables you to use 3 redirecting links.  If people read your Profile and are interested in learning more, they may click on those links. Be descriptive in naming your redirected links.  Using “My Blog” or “My Website” will not be too effective in encouraging someone to spend time clicking on those links (remember you only have 3 seconds to hook someone)

17. Find “Hidden” Opportunities – this could be for jobs or projects, etc that are not advertised or solicited. Traditionally, these “hidden” opportunities would come through word of mouth, i.e. having personal relationships with various folks who had the decision making power.

18. Set up the LinkedIn iphone Application – free and powerful app that enables many of the LinkedIn functions for use to use on the go.  Definite time saver.

19. Review your Brand – make sure it is timely, can be understood at a glance and is deliverable in multiple formats – 140 characters, 10-12 words, 2 lines, etc.

20. Permission-based Communication – you now have a mechanism that allows you to communicate value to everyone in your network with the goal of staying at the forefront of their mind, without being intrusive, interruptive or creepy in the process. Think about how best to use this for your needs.

21. Use LinkedIn’s Job Search Function – find the jobs you are interested in and leverage your connections to get directly to the person posting that job (LinkedIn shows you how you are connected)

22. Tap into an “Informal Board of Advisors” – post to LinkedIn Answers and ask questions.  A question that is well written, provides value to the reader, and fits in a topic that people can easily add value without giving up proprietary information, will typically generate the best responses

23. Robust CRM Tool – this is a way to leverage a robust (time effective) tool that enables you to effectively communicate with those you are networking with. Review the information you have access to (and for you mobile users this is access literally on your hip)

24. Save Time. Prioritize & filter new in person relationships – ever been to a networking event and met a ton of people.  It’s all a blur and you possibly sort through it by meeting each for coffee or lunch. Check out their profiles instead. See if these are people that you are interested in investing time to relationship build with.

25. Research tool – use this to learn about; companies, people in a company, the type of projects they have going on, positions that are being hired or no longer exist, etc – a robust research tool to provide you insight into a company on a scale that has not been previously available

26. Plugged into Key Industries – you want to easily hear literally everything that’s being said online about specific brands, products, and industries in real time

27. A Web Presence – there are 1.76 billion people on the web.  Not everyone wants to manage a web site. For solo-preneurs or job seekers, they need a place to participate too but may not want to create & manage a web presence for them.  They can use LinkedIn to have a simple presence that enables them to effectively interact online.

28. Regenerate Business “Leverage” to the Job Seeker – when you are a leader at a company, you exert a certain amount of leverage with others who seek to relationship build with you. Unfortunately as a job seeker, you lose some of this leverage. LinkedIn can offer you the opportunity for spreading content and expertise that creates a new community and new “leverage” around you.

29. Drive Traffic through Groups – Don’t Abuse this!  There is a section in each group to post interesting news articles to the Group.  If you post links to your own information, try to do it in a value added way to the viewer. Remember you are looking to relationship build, not sell.

30. Customer Interaction – consider creating a customer-only Group to manage interaction for your product, brand or business. Before doing so, think about how to properly benefit from having your customers talk to each other – one way might be as a support forum.

31. Virtual Prospecting – use LinkedIn to find and relationship build with “early and mid stage prospects.  Avoid the “cold call” and the hard sell

32.  Mention what you are currently reading – turn on the LinkedIn Amazon app – what you are reading is something that can be a conversation starter 

33. Create More Exposure to your Brand – use LinkedIn’s tools like Answers or the Slideshare app or the blogging apps to be seen as the thought leader you are. 

34. Use the Search function to find 3-5 relevant LinkedIn Groups – Join them and try them out.  Goals for you are simple – groups should add value to you, and in turn you should return the value by participating and contributing your knowledge. Avoid groups that are clogged with spammers.

35. Drive traffic to your Profile – create a “vanity link” and put this LinkedIn URL on your marketing collateral and in your email signature

36. Update your Status – fill in the “What are you working on now” function with something that your network would find interesting – avoid spamming or updating this too often (use Twitter for volume updating).

37. Reputation Management – while there are better tools to do this, if you are monitoring it regularly,  you can use LinkedIn sort of as an early warning system to alert you to issues that may be arising in your industry or against your brand

38. Get Familiar with the LinkedIn Search function – find people by keywords, company, and location.

39. Get Prepared for an Upcoming Meeting – research people you are getting ready to meet with.  Find some points of common interest.

40.  Share Links of Value – check out AllTop.com to read the latest news and blogs. Find and share links worth posting  with the relevant groups you belong to – it begins to let you stand out in groups that share your interests.

41. Create a Company Profile – if you are a business leader, you may want to consider creating a LinkedIn Company Profile – doesn’t take long and can add to your branding.

42. Review your direct connection’s connections – this is a great way to get introduced to someone (you really want to meet) that is connected to a person you are directly connected to. Don’t use this frivolously.  

43. Support being found via Search Engines – your Profile gets picked up in the search engines and is considered a valuable link.  Use this to your advantage.

44. Offer Introductions to your Direction Connections – review your direct connections and see if there are seemingly natural synergies for two of your connections to get introduced (sort of like match making except on a professional level). Feel free to use traditional ways to introduce each.

45. Use to Create Additional Back links – not very significant but the three URL redirects should count as additional backlinks in the search ranking calculations

46. Recommendations – avoid the “tit for tat” – Provide recommendations to those that are meaningful to you.  Don’t expect anything in return.

47. Growing Connections – ONLY after you’ve maximized your Profile, import your contacts to find additional folks on LinkedIn – and do this judiciously.

48.  Attract/Find Guest Bloggers – find the experts in your field and invite them to guest post on your blog

49. Answer a Question – exhibit your expertise and potentially attract new connections, all without a hint of self-promotion. Note these are picked up by the search engines

50. Keep Abreast of your Connection’s Promotions, etc – review the status updates of your network and be sure to send notes of congratulations

51. Generate Ideas for Content Creation – review the LinkedIn Answers and use some of the responses as the genesis for your content creation.  I know someone who wrote a book using this as a “crowd sourcing” technique

Bonus – #52 (not so much a bonus as I forgot to add it) Reorder your Profile – you now have control over how you present your Profile.  You set the order on which each of the sections are displayed. 

Summary

I hope that you’ve been able to find some nuggets of value here!

Some of the key points include:

** LinkedIn can lead to opportunities, and it starts with understanding that LinkedIn is effectively a conversation.  This conversation can grow into relationships, which if nurtured, build trust, which can lead to your opportunities.

** There is not 1 benefit, there are many. It is up to each of us to define them for ourselves

In closing, some of these tips can be broadly interpreted.  Please “play by the rules”—don’t abuse, don’t circumvent, don’t spam, bother or annoy.  Contribute value and get ready to link to prosper.

I’m sure I missed some additional ones, so please feel free to add yours below.
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About the CFO Strategist
Chris is very proud to add Best Selling author to his resume.  The book he co-authored, 42 Rules for 24 Hour Success on LinkedIn reached best seller status on Amazon, hitting a high of #68 across all of Amazon! Recently the book was included in the “Top 100 Best Social Media Books, Ever” list at #77 http://blog.mellowbillow.com/2009/08/17/top-100-best-social-media-books-ever/.

To purchase the book, please go to www.LinkToProsper.com or to Amazon.

To learn more about how to effectively use LinkedIn – we offer a free eCourse at www.42for24.com

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2 Comments »

  1. This was VERY helpful. I’ve just re-entered the job market and really appreciate you sharing your knowledge here!
    Summer
    @summerjoy

    Comment by Summer Boone July 7, 2010 @ 4:38 pm
  2. […] There are so many things that can be done with LinkedIn but the basic challenge that prevents most from benefittting is simple – they are not sure where to begin and what to do.  These tips should help.  Start with them and if you want more tips, check out another post I’ve written – 51 Ways to Benefit From Linkedin.   […]

    Pingback by CFO Strategist February 8, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

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