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8 January  2011 ~

The evolution of LinkedIn has been very interesting.  The growth rate has been very strong – over 90 million registered users but the question remains, how are business people using it for benefit? 

The “average” registered user signs up for an account, briefly works on their profile, connects to a bunch of people immediately but then does little more than connect or accept invitations haphazardly.  The real question I pose is how many, of the 90 million users, are “average” vs “above average” and generating benefits?  To help users achieve benefits, I offer 11 beneficial things to do with your LinkedIn account in the new year of 2011.  Take a look at the list below and see how these can help you.

  1. Review/Refine your Professional Headline – This is your “3 second pitch”.  Either you get someone interested in your LinkedIn Profile in 3 seconds or they’ve moved onto somewhere else.  Refine your headline.  Does it describe you? For example, is yours as descriptive as; “20 years of generating of $100,000,000 in high tech sales” or does it simply say, “Director of Sales”?  Take the time to refine your pitch so you can standout from the millions of others users.
  2. Raise your LinkedIn Profile to 100% Complete– It will increase your standings in the LinkedIn search algorithm
  3. Use the LinkedIn Smart Phone Apps – Nice time saver and Free – Powerful apps that enable many of the LinkedIn functions for you to use on the go. 
  4. Make it easy to be foundGenerate traffic to your Profile – Create a “vanity link” and then add it to your marketing collateral and in your email signature
  5. Set Up Outlook Tools –  Depending on the version of Outlook you are using, either download the Outlook Toolbar or setup the LinkedIn social connector.  The goal is to get information at a glance about each email address that enters your Outlook – i.e. things like photo and professional headline (see that 3 second pitch shows up in a bunch of places) can tell you a lot about an email user in no more than a couple of seconds
  6. Create a Closing Pitch – At the end of your Profile, find your Contact Settings.  Then edit them to spell out what you are interested in/available for/looking to connect with, etc. Gives the reading a way to generate “nest steps” with you.
  7. Reconnect with Former Classmates – Break down the traditional communication barriers to find those you’ve lost touch with. Try this, it’s fun!
  8. 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.
  9. Legal Professionals…   Just for you… there is a new application that showcases the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ and Client Review Ratings™ to further validate your stated credentials and help you make the right connections
  10. For everyone else… Demonstrate your Expertise There are various tools from the Slideshare app to Google Presentations to Portfolio Display – determine which of these best helps you increase the effectiveness of your Profile
  11. Sort your Network – LinkedIn now allows you to “tag” your connections so that you can sort them into your own groupings.  It is literally a graphical rolodex. 

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.  

Feel free to add you tips to this as well!

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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. Great list, Chris. I would add use the “status update bar.” An often-missed, little-used but amazing tool for staying top-of-mind to your network while positioning yourself as a subject matter expert.

    Comment by Cindy Kraft February 9, 2011 @ 11:16 am
  2. Absolutely Cindy! Let’s revise the list and call it “the Top 12”. Appreciate you noting this. Simple permission based updates for staying in front of your network and adding to your brand.

    Comment by Chris February 18, 2011 @ 10:49 am

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