Making the most of LinkedIn (part 1)

Written by Ed Beckmann Wednesday, 28 March 2012 03:26

linked in logo

Linked in is a very popular site with loads of uses, but you can waste a lot of time and project a poor impression if you do not use it skilfully.

In 3 articles I will summarise what is on offer, how to make a plan and how to make sure that you get value for the time you spend on the site.

First steps

This first article will give you some familiarity with it and suggest a plan of action. My suggestion is that you print this out and explore the linked-in site. There is plenty of online help so I won’t waste space here giving click-by-click instructions.

  1. make a plan – although it is not complicated, a plan will get you more success for less effort overall. So read the steps, make some notes, look around the site a bit and then make your entries
  2. go into the settings and read through them. Initially turn notifications of changes off, otherwise people will be bombarded by every entry you make when you set up – this will make them insensitive to things that you post once you get going
  3. decide what you want your ‘headline’ to be. The headline is the text that appears immediately after your name.
  4. prepare a good photo that portrays the image you want
  5. enter your past job roles in reverse order, so the most relevant is first in the list
  6. company pages need bona fide email address @companyname and not @btconnect, @hotmail etc.
  7. bear in mind your ‘keyword’ information that you worked out for your company website
  8. enter the links to your website(s) and make sure that you amend the titles of web links, especially if you are listing several
  9. set profile display as public when you are ready
  10. think about who you want as connections
  11. import contacts but be selective who you invite, or systematically find and invite people
  12. always invite with a personal message – it shows you have thought about them
  13. hide your connections to avoid contact-snoopers. If you do not hide contacts, then sales and recruitment agencies effectively have a free view of your address book just by visiting your page
  14. put your contacts into groups to that you can post messages to easily. Avoid overloading people with ‘noise’ from your social media, they get so bored with bland updates from you that they miss the valuable items
  15. set up company page
  16. set up your products and services before getting recommendations
  17. when asking for a recommendation, indicate what you are proud of or want to stress. This will reinforce your message rather than simply be a list of nice comments
  18. use Q & A areas to be seen as being helpful and constructive
  19. make comments weekly but not daily, to demonstrate that your aim is to make a comment when it has value
  20. if you set up a group, do something useful with it
  21. look at a group to get to know the tone before posting to it
  22. really challenge yourself whether a posting you plan to make is of real worth to readers. If it is blatant self-promotion, you will be joining about 75% of the noise that is flying around and you are less likely to be respected

Summary

This has been a very general whirlwind tour of linked-in, and hopefully you can appreciate the difference between being noticed and being respected on it. In the following articles I will progress with company pages and your products and services, but will not be covering the use of Linked in for harvesting leads.

Useful resources

LinkedIn for Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))
LinkedIn: A complete guide for Individuals, Self Employed and Businesses