5 Minutes to Foolproofing Linkedin
Okay, your friends have been saying for months that you need to sign up for Linkedin, the social networking site built for business professionals like you. The day isn’t even over when you whip open your gmail (please don’t tell me you use Outlook…) to find a Linkedin join invitation from one of those pesky friends. To heck with it you take the plunge. Four weeks in you have connected with 10 old work buddies (man, you hated that job!) and 20 others you have no idea who they are. Crickets break the silence as you blankly stare at the monitor wondering, “now why am I doing this?” Read on…
Raymond “Chip” Lambert is a professional trainer, business coach and all around business development specialist that I met while following a group of Twitterers talking up a conference where Chip was presenting. The rain of positive comments about Chip’s expertise on creative ways for businesses to use the LinkedIn professional networking site led me to tap Chip to share his insights with our community. Get ready because you are sure to walk away with the answer to those crickets.
Give me a quick overview of your business
[Chip Lambert] I train successful professionals how to leverage their book of business and existing relationships to build their “Ideal” business. I do this through time-tested business development strategies and new social media. Knowing how to close a prospect is a critical skill - but so is acquiring that prospect in the first place. Most successful people are sitting on a gold-mine of potential referral business, but they are not mining it because they are caught between “selling” and “servicing”. I help people to break free of that trap and move to the next tier of success.
What are the mistakes most people make using LinedIn as a business development tool?
They think that because they are “there” something will happen. There is a parallel offline - networking events. People show up and assume that because they are “there” that something will happen. Nothing could be farther from the truth. LinkedIn is a technological infrastructure for what successful people have been doing for generations - building and WORKING their networks. It takes strategy and consistent action to really make LinkedIn - or any social media for that matter - work for you.
Say you have 100 direct LinkedIn connections and thousands more indirect…how does one effectively communicate with the network so that people understand what you do and what you are looking for?
[Chip Lambert] This is a several pronged asnwer: 1 - Write a stellar profile. People read them. And update it as you and your business change. LinkedIn notifies the people in your network when it changes - this drives them back to read your updates. Tell them who you are, why you are on LinkedIn, what you are looking for and what you have to offer. Then tell them what you want them to do next - provide them a next step - ie. follow the link to you blog - read it; sign-up for your newsletter - with a link to do so; etc. 2 - use the “What are you doing now” status update feature. It keeps you in front of your connections regularly. If you have multiple social media properties - link the status update features with http://hellotxt.com or http://ping.fm. That way all of your networks or properties are updated simultaneously. LinkedIn isn’t the only game in town - it has its place. Mass marketing strategies don’t work here. But driving them off linkedin can.
What are some third party tools that can add efficiency to managing your LinkedIn account?
What parting words do you have to help people better use LinkedIn?
[Chip Lambert] Get strategic - the tactics fall out of the right strategy. If you are looking for clients, get clear about who and search them out. If you are looking for JV or Channel Partners, take some time and set some parameters and get to work. To get the most from LinkedIn, get active - not passive.
Whew, I told you Chip knows his stuff but enough of our rambling. How do you make use of the LinkedIn community? Do you have questions about LinkedIn that we did not answer? Comment below and let us know.