LinkedIn – Your “13 New Years Resolutions” for LinkedIn Success
The New Year kicked in last week, you enjoyed the party, made the resolutions and probably half of you have already broken them! Hence we thought we would give you some more.
New Year is a time of reflection for many on the past year. What went well? What didn’t? Thoughts of progress and new successes – so let’s make 2013 the year you are making the best use of LinkedIn for you and your business – forget the diet and see great results if you stick to these.
Standing on the outside waiting for the “magic to happen” is how I describe most people’s attempts at using LinkedIn. Go on admit it – you filled in your profile, accepted the invites from or found a few hundred business connections and then waited for something “magical” to happen…and it hasn’t yet … and it won’t if you don’t change how you use it.
- I will make time to refresh and review my profile – The new profile layout has made your summary even more important. Make sure you are you, you’re really good at it! Ensure your profile reflects you, your brand, your style and the reasons people engage with you.
- I will only join the right groups I should, comment and be myself – You should join groups not just full of peers, but those where clients go to. Comment and interact, be yourself, be professional and get involved. Demonstrate your expertise, your insights and demonstrate your value to others. If it is a dead group then leave.
- Look like you do in real life, get a decent head shot – You are seven times more likely to be looked at on LinkedIn with a photograph, but not just any photograph, look professional, up to date so you look like you, no holiday snaps, avatars or personal setting pictures. They don’t give you character or personalize you, they just make you look unapproachable and unprofessional, invest some money in a good picture, not just for LinkedIn either but for use across your media.
- Only endorse the skills of others only when you really mean it – You must resist the urge to tick every box in the Endorsements section when you want to endorse someone as it tells everyone you and they are connected to that you think their good at stuff, which they might not be, a good way to make your own credibility look questionable if you’re not careful. Endorsing one or two skills reflects better on both you and the person you’re endorsing.
- Include a phone number in the contact information – you don’t want a relationship with your connections on messages only do you? Talk to people, perish the thought meet them and share some time, some views and build the relationships in real life.
- I will identify easy to reach referrals – One of my frustrations with how others use LinkedIn is that they haven’t realised it is the best sales tool no one uses. Just imagine LinkedIn was to send you a list of potential clients that your closest connections already know and would happily introduce you to if you just asked them to. Well it does!
- I will do status messages – it would be great to think everyone remembers you, your value and all you do .. but they don’t. You need to remind people, tell them the latest positive news updates regarding you and your work, remind people you exist and your value, not in a salesy way, just share a bit like you would if you met people and they asked “what are you up to …” – simple. This appears in the “Activity” box on your profile page, reinforcing your brand, your expertise and enhancing your success.
- I will continue to get written recommendations – Skills endorsement does not carry the same weight as a written recommendation. Don’t forget a written recommendation makes you 3 times more likely to be viewed on LinkedIn and enables you to share the opinion of your happy clients of your work and provides yet more credibility to your brand, but there are good and bad recommendations.
- I will make time to check out the people looking at me – with your renewed activity you give people a reason to look at you and they will. So make sure you check out the people viewing your profile. For free you can see five people that check you out, so keep checking, I do every day. If they have looked at you on LinkedIn there will be a business reason, act on it.
- I will learn more about how LinkedIn really works – make time to learn how the platform works, LinkedIn provides some free low-level videos, there is the help centre, the blog here or you can learn more on a good course (and of course you can find a good one on LinkedIn! Look for providers with good company profiles, recommendations and more).
- I will ask for profile feedback from my boss, teammates, customers, and people I know – I know you think your profile is fabulous, but perhaps you ought to ask around, ask your boss, your clients, your friends, colleagues and those around you to be critical. Ask them to tell you what you missed and make suggestions to make it better. Listen and act on them! Frustratingly often they come up with great ideas. You can also always try our profile checker online.
- I will keep track of my connections – Track where they go, when they change roles, take it as an opportunity to refresh your relationship with them. After all they were a client or a connection and might be a client or influencer in their new role.
- I will review my connections – I dare you to review all of your connections and see how many of them you can recall, how many you can say categorically what they do, how you might help them and perhaps talk to the ones you cannot remember or even remove them. We have started a movement, Linkathon, where we are encouraging people to take part, put an hour in the diary a month and just review and introduce connections to other connections – check it out or join the group on LinkedIn.
If you can follow all these you are setup for great success in 2013. It is already shaping up into a bumper year for us with double figures of new large companies to help already, just got to keep doing the good “stuff” we do to help everyone along.
We wish you a fabulously successful 2013 and if you need any help then just ask.
Which of these are you going to do?