Are you using Linkedin successfully?
So often people set up profiles on all the social networking tools and they then wonder now what. Well today I thought I would share a few of the problems many people have on Linkedin and hope you find some new tips to apply to your profile today.
- Set it and Forget it: how many people do you know that say, yes I have a linkedin profile, but can't remember the last time they logged in to linkedin? This happens all the time. In order to get leads and contacts from linkedin, you have to get active.
- Commit to doing something once a week: better yet, do something everyday. You'll be amazed at how quickly you'll stand out if regular users see you every week or every day on their "Home" wall. Why not try going to your home link and Share a Thought of the Day or what you are doing. This is an easy task to stay in front of people. Try not to be self serving here though post something of value to others not like this quick one I posted for an example.
- Get Connected: Link to your website, blog and/or twitter account. I'm amazed at how often I run across linkedin profiles that do not have their websites linked from their profile. The goal is to give your visitors everything they need in an easy way. Make sure you add you website URL. Also your blog if you have one (we'll get into this later) and don't forget to add your twitter account. Notice the post I did above because I have my twitter account connected to my linkedin profile I am able to not only post to my linkedin activity but also out to my twitter followers.
- Join a Group: You are able to join 50 groups on Linkedin don't overlook these powerful tools. If you have never joined a group start searching for a few to join try adding 4 or 5 groups and review the daily/weekly email posts they send out. When searching, look for active groups that post often try not to join dead groups that never post anything. You may also want to look by geography if you only service local clients. The size of the group (number of members) might be a good thing to look at as well.
- Pick the right Groups to join: So often people join their industry related groups that are filled with all their competitors. Having one or two groups about your industry is fine to stay up on what's going on in the industry, but it is more important to find groups where your clients and prospects hang out. If you go after vertical markets, join their industry groups. If you have a trusted advisor or successful mentor review their profiles and what groups they are members of then join the ones that might be a good fit.
- Ask Questions: It is funny how powerful this is and how often it isn't used. Ok so I moved into a new office and I needed a conference room table and some chairs. I put the question out on Linkedin in to both people I knew and others I didn't and I got answers. Not only that I found someone who was moving office and needed to get rid of some nice furniture and they gave me a deal. The point here is this… try using Linkedin for everyday questions. You got a business problem your trying to solve, but don't have a go to person in this area… then ask it on Linkedin you'll be amazed at how quickly you may get the answer or other ideas to solve your problem. Plus this help build connections to smart people. You can do this by asking directly to people or by using the "Answers" tool. See image.
- Give Answers: There are a few ways to do this. The most common is by using the Q&A tool within Linkedin. To find this tool click the "More" link in the navigation and choose "Answers." See image. Answering questions is one tool that allows you to connect with people and show your expertise. It will allow you to become a thought leader. Don't be cocky or over salesy, this is an area for offering help and solutions. You can get rated best answer which helps build your thought leadership.
- Participate in Group Discussions: Once you have a few groups under your belt and you are getting more active on linkedin, get more active in the groups. 10 years ago I joined chambers and business groups to network. Today I network and make connections through linkedin groups. Start out be listening to the conversations the group is having and when you find one where you have an expertise, share your thoughts, give tips and try to educate and help people. This is so rare that you will quickly become a valued member of the group.
- Promote OTHERS not Yourself: when giving answers why not share the people who are experts that you find as experts in other areas or even in your area of expertise. This helps build relationships and also sets you up as someone who is connected to quality people. You start to become a resource for people and someone people want to know and also want to become one of your resources to share with others.
- Continually Update Your Profile: Doesn't it drive you crazy when someone asks to connect with you and has a weak profile that doesn't really tell you anything about them? Always fill out your profile 100% and to the best of your ability. Always add new features or details as things change. Linkedin has been adding new tools over the last few years and you can tell the people who notice and start using the new tools are much more active and getting noticed. This also keeps you top of mind so when people have a problem, you have a better chance of being in front of them when they need help.
I hope you found some of these tips useful and if you are making any mistakes or not using any of these ideas… just start, they are easy to do. The problem is they are also easy not to do. This is why I see some many partially filled out profiles or people who do nothing in groups or profile updates. Do your best to apply these ideas and share others in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and happy Linking!