Leveraging LinkedIn For Results

by sscheper on February 20, 2010

Why should you invest time in reading this chapter?

An overarching theme within this book centers on cutting out distraction, and using services and tools that actually have a purpose. Leveraging social tools in a focused matter, leads to one thing: results. There are certain fallacies and specific practices that you must employ to leverage LinekedIn in a focused, purposeful way. In this chapter we explore specifically how to leverage LinkedIn for results.

Think about the future

Think ten years back. Now imagine if you kept a tidy record of all the contacts you’ve helped out. Think of all the people that you’ve interacted with. You’ll find it’s hard to wrap your mind around. In fact, you can’t. We meet hundreds, if not thousands of people per year. It would be handy to leverage those relationships again, right? I mean, it couldn’t hurt.

Now imagine your LinkedIn account in 10 years. Are you actively building your contacts for the future? The value of LinkedIn doesn’t center on the now; it centers on the will be. It’s a tool that will tremendously rise in value over the course of the next decade. In fact, it’s probably the most focused social network out there on the web. And by focused, I mean results-oriented.

Why is this?

Because its purpose centers on one thing: cultivating professional relationships.

During transition, most career services tell you to get a LinkedIn profile; however, they don’t cover the most critical part in using LinkedIn. There’s a specific ways that you can leverage LinkedIn to help others out, stay in constant contact with your connections, and in turn, help yourself out–whether that be clients, a job, strategic partnerships or business partners. Below, we explore how.

8 Ways To Leverage LinkedIn for Results:

1. Turn off Email Notifications:

Out of the box, LinkedIn comes with constant notifications via email. These emails are not only a distraction; they’re downright annoying. In an otherwise sound service, this component of LinkedIn really is distracting, and doesn’t lend itself well to producing focused results. I recommend turning off all email notifications through LinkedIn. You can find “Email Notifications” within the “Settings” tab.

2. Turn On Nutshell Mail:

Nutshell Mail is an application that I’ve covered before, and one I definitely recommend. Nutshell Mail groups together the most important events, emails, followers, tweets and wall posts from three services (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin). You can have this social network digest delivered in one daily email.

3. Recruit your contacts:

Using LinkedIn’s email import tools, import all of your contacts. From this point forward, make it a point to add all of your daily contacts–whether casual contacts or business contacts–into your LinkedIn profile. Everyone is worth knowing. Everyone is an expert in something. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best, “Every person I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of them.”

4. Apps:

Your profile needs to stand out. For this reason, I recommend leveraging LinkedIn’s application features. You can link your blog, a Power Point presentation, Amazon book reading list and more.

5. Connect Twitter:

I recommend connecting your Twitter account to your LinkedIn account. This can be found in the “Settings” tab.

If you don’t have a Twitter account, I recommend picking one up. Immediately. I don’t want to hear a lame excuse that you don’t have time to “tweet.” A results-oriented strategy doesn’t center on needing any time. It centers on needing a good eye for great articles. It centers on sharing interesting links that help your contacts.

The LinkedIn/Twitter Strategy:

Use a service like ShareFeed to schedule your tweets. Throughout the day, if you find an article that you think people would like, you can schedule that article out. All you have to do is bookmark the article. If you have a good eye for fascinating articles and stories, your followers and contacts will love your updates. Like most things in life, it’s not about quantity, it’s quality.

6. Answers

Most people overlook the Answer section within LinkedIn. Within this section, people pose questions and others answer. There’s a massive amount of viable questions out there that you can answer.

So how can this help you?

As stated above, everyone specializes in something. Everyone’s passionate about something. The Answers section is your time to unleash knowledge about your passion. By helping enough people out, you’ll be recognized as an expert. Because the “Answers” section is so overlooked, you’ll be able to leverage and provide excellent answers with little competing answers.

7. Two critical details that everyone forgets

Make sure you fill out your Summary and Specialties section in a calculated fashion. These sections are critical for getting discovered. LinkedIn’s search engine pays specific attention to these two sections. If you’re familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you can liken this section to the meta description and meta keywords within your site. Make sure these two sections are keyword rich.

For your summary section, keep it short and sweet. I suggest setting a limit of 3 sentences. Have the summary contain specific keywords that you want to be found; however, make it colloquial and easy to read.

As an example, here’s mine:

My activities center on monetization, analytics, business development, product development and ping pong. In my off-time I write about social media and productivity.

Learn more at www.scottscheper.com

For your specialties section, list 7-10 keywords separated by comma that describe what you specialize in and what you want to be found for.

Here’s mine:

Search Engine Optimization, Blog Creation, Blog Design, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Web Monetization, Analytics, Social Media Strategy, Product Development, Ping Pong

Obviously, I’m kidding about ping pong; however, it makes people laugh.

8. Do this and LinkedIn will be worth your time: recommend

This is the most critical step for leveraging LinkedIn. In fact, the other steps are virtually worthless compared to this. All of the success books and relationship books all say the same thing: focus on others. Just because the internet presents a new conduit for connecting doesn’t mean basic relationship principles are obsolete. In fact, it’s the opposite.

In order to leverage LinkedIn, you need to recommend all contacts that you’ve had an appropriate amount of interaction with.

Two things stem from recommending contacts:

  1. First, your contacts appreciate it. Everyone loves a compliment, and everyone loves being recognized for their work. It’s critical, though, that your recommendation has merit. If you recommend someone that you barely even know, it will show. Make sure that your recommendation comes from the heart.
  2. Second, you’ll gain exposure. Think about it. Everyone’s profile features recommendations. Recommendations get very prominent real-estate on another’s profile. Every single day there’s at least one, if not more eyeballs, viewing someone’s profile. If you’ve recommended someone, you’ll be in front of that pair of eyeballs. Now multiply that by the network effect; you can experience a constant healthy flow of traffic by simply recommending your contacts.

Summary

In closing, leveraging LinkedIn is a game. And in this game, there’s only one way to score: help others. This is done through recommendations, answering questions or posting exceptional articles through Twitter. In the end, make sure that you are helping others, and actually adding value. Upon doing this, you’ll experience results that cannot be measured by merely glancing at your website analytics. Your connections will increase, introductions will increase, followers will increase and your bottom line will increase.

Further Readings and Resources:


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bernard Barcenilla September 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm

LinkedIn is a two-way street, which means that recruiters and companies have to be just as sharp and savvy as job seekers!

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