We have been doing lots of LinkedIn work this month, helping networking colleagues to make the most of their LinkedIn profiles and to really make their connections work for them and their business objectives.
Are you LinkedIn?
If not….why?!?! It’s SUCH a good social media tool for businesses and the free account is packed full of features and functions.
If you are….do you thin you are using it to it’s full advantage?
We’ve developed the following ‘top tips’ to get you started….happy networking!
Stating the obvious?! Perhaps but once you’ve signed up to LinkedIn you need to connect with people, businesses and groups.
After every networking meeting spend some time working through the business cards collected and search for the individuals on LinkedIn. If they’re on there, send a request to connect.
DON’T send LinkedIn’s generic “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn” request – be more personal. As an example a recent request I sent said….. “We met at the charity evening in Burnham last week, it was great to meet (and compare our love of all things Mint Velvet)…..it would be great to connect here on LinkedIn.”
Once you have connections – interact with them by perhaps commenting on their status updates.
LinkedIn will notify you of any job changes that your connections have – congratulate them, ask them about their new role. ENGAGE!!!!!!
Groups are a great part of LinkedIn and one of my top tips is to join groups relevant to your industry.
I am a member of the CIPR and social media marketing to name just 2 and I regularly join in discussions within these groups and have connected with other members and in fact have a meeting with another member in a couple of weeks to discuss a collaboration.
You can start a discussion chain – it needn’t be an in-depth analysis of your industry – I asked the question which e-newsletter provider do you prefer, a client asked me to do a quick poll…..had around 8 replies and some really useful feedback for the client
LinkedIn (like all social media) isn’t about selling. It’s about awareness and it’s about sharing. So share your knowledge, share your expertise. Try to post an update at least once a week – link back to your website or other sites that may be of interest to your connections. Make people want to look out for your updates because they are useful, insightful and helpful.
RECOMMEND and ENDORSE
If you work with someone and enjoy how they’ve helped you – write a short recommendation or endorse them!
Don’t be shy about asking for recommendations! No-one will mind being asked. The worse that can happen is they won’t reply! The best they’ll write a glowing paragraph about working with you!
If you are asked to recommend someone and are happy to – make the time to do it. It need only be a sentence or two but this is the life-blood of LinkedIn and if we all used it ‘properly’ it would be an even more powerful networking tool!
One tip – don’t be too ‘trigger happy’ with the endorsement button.
I’ve tried to save the most important ‘til last!
Complete your profile – get it to 100%
It is important for you to spend time building your profile.
This is going to be the first thing people see when they find you on LinkedIn so make the first impression the right impression!
– A well-written summary of who you are and what you do – you’ll only have around 150 words so get it right!
– A professional picture (not a blurry holiday snap) for your profile – and whatever you do don’t leave it blank or use a picture that is 10 years old!
– Fill in as many of the profile sections as possible and revisit to update when you
have taken on a new project or gained a new qualification