- Getting More Connections
- How to See More Contacts
- Finding Better Contacts
- Contacting People that Don’t Know You
Recommendations are a great way to get your profile noticed and serve as a very good reference of your work. The more recommendations you have on your profile the higher you will rank for the keywords you have placed in your profile.
There are two thoughts on how to achieve more recommendations. First, you can ask a boss or former colleague to give you a recommendation or secondly you can give one in hopes of the favor being returned.
When asking for a recommendation I suggest you ask people that you know will do it. Talk to them about it and tell them that you are going to send a recommendation request. When you send the recommendation request send them a draft of what you think they would say about you. Make it easy for them to copy and paste the draft and they will be more likely to do it.
In order to receive then one must give first so why don’t you recommend someone and their work. This is a great way to show your thought leadership and how much you respect someone. If you give a recommendation that is unsolicited then maybe they will return the favor. If they don’t recommend you in return never say anything about it. You don’t want to be perceived as doing it just to get something in return.
Everyone likes references so provide some to your network in order to remain a thought leader and all around good person. Your network and your contacts will thank you.
Groups Are Twice Valuable
A great way to see more contacts is Groups. LinkedIn Groups are a great way to network with like minded people. There are groups for almost anything and the group owners always want to grow the groups with people of similar interests. You want to become a member of groups since most people allow messages inside LinkedIn from one member to the other. I believe this is the default value so this allows you to contact people that you don’t actually know but that have similar interest.
I once did this with a contact in the United Kingdom. He looked to be an expert in a certain area and I asked him where I could find some data that I was looking for. The next day he sent me a spreadsheet with exactly what I wanted. This saved me weeks of research and data gathering and all from a guy that I don’t know.
Here is how to use groups:
1. Determine what type of data or contacts that you want to connect with
2. Search for that term or phrase (be sure that Groups is selected in the search drop down)
3. Request membership and decide whether or not you want this shown in your public profile
4. Wait for acceptance and then start searching for contacts
5. Do this up to 50 times (LinkedIn currently allows you to be a member of 50 Groups)
Once you have expanded your network with your 1st degree contacts and groups you will be able to see much more data in your free account. Once you can see more data then you can search around for more contacts. When using this method it is best to look around for the person that you want and then call them in order to start building a relationship.
Driving Traffic to Your Website
The most popular use of a LinkedIn profile is networking and search. Expanding your network is key so you can message with as many people as possible to drive traffic to your website. Increasing the traffic to your website increases the chances that your messaging will be read and that you can sell more items or services.
It is important to have your website listed on your profile. I am surprised that people forget to do this and that they miss out on a big opportunity. Go to the websites section of your profile and edit each of the areas it supplies for the links. Always choose the “Custom” option so that you can call your website what you want and place a call to action here. For instance, the first option says “Company Website”. Company Website will display where you place your hyperlink and you lose a branding opportunity. A better course of action is to customize this text using the “Custom” Option. Mine says “Check Out My Blog” and “Where I Work”.
As you place updates in your status or notes out to your network, always put a link to your website so that users will go there for more information. Placing a link is important because it drives the user to take action and do something other than just read your update.
Setting Up Your Profile
The first thing you need to do is spruce up your LinkedIn profile and online presence. LinkedIn has 90 million users and you have to stand out from the rest if you want people to find you. Here are some steps you need to take to make sure that you are standing above the rest and that your profile page has plenty of content.
Your Headline and Key Words
You will need to decide what you want your headline to be. This is the first thing that people will see other than your name. Your headline says a lot about you and what you want to be known for. If you are a CEO, put that in your headline. If you are a sales person or account manager then put that in your headline. This helps people that are searching in LinkedIn to correctly identify you.
The terms that you choose for your headline are also the keywords that you will place in several sections of your profile. Doing this strengthens your profile for those keywords and in essence is a beginner’s course in search engine optimization.
Place your keywords along with the descriptive text in your current job, your past jobs, your specialties and your summary. Work on this several times and refine it as you think of new items or areas that you would like to add to your profile. It is okay to change your profile often and strengthen your presence.
If you need help with keyword identification, then you can use the Google Insights service to help you find what people are searching for. http://www.google.com/insights/search/
Using Advanced Features and Applications
There are many advanced features in LinkedIn and several applications that you may port into your profile. Having a densely populated profile keeps people on your page and helps people understand what you are working on and potentially how you may increase the value of their network.
Applications keep content flowing into your profile. More content in your profile provides more updates to your network and the more valuable it becomes in LinkedIn searches. This potentially leads to that next big deal or contact via a referral or search.
Here are some of the most popular LinkedIn applications today. Take a look at the short descriptions and decide which ones will be right for you.
• WordPress –Connect your virtual lives with the WordPress LinkedIn Application. With the WordPress App, you can sync your WordPress blog posts with your LinkedIn profile, keeping everyone you know in the know.
• Tweets –Access the most important parts of the professional conversation with Tweets, a Twitter client you can use right on LinkedIn.
• Polls — The Polls application is a market research tool that allows you to collect actionable data from your connections and the professional audience on LinkedIn.
• Reading List by Amazon — Extend your professional profile by sharing the books you’re reading with other LinkedIn members. Find out what you should be reading by following updates from your connections, people in your field, or other LinkedIn members of professional interest to you.
• Google Presentation — Present yourself and your work. Upload a .PPT or use Google’s online application to embed a presentation on your profile.
• SlideShare Presentations — SlideShare is the best way to share presentations on LinkedIn! You can upload & display your own presentations, check out presentations from your colleagues, and find experts within your network.
• Blog Link — With Blog Link, you can get the most of your LinkedIn relationships by connecting your blog to your LinkedIn profile. Blog Link helps you, and your professional network, stay connected.
• Events — Find professional events, from conferences to local meet-ups, and discover what events your connections are attending.
• Company Buzz — Ever wonder what people are saying about your company? Company Buzz shows you the twitter activity associated with your company. View tweets, trends and top key words. Customize your topics and share with your coworkers.
- Determine what type of data or contacts that you want to connect with
- Search for that term or phrase (be sure that Groups is selected in the search drop down)
- Request membership and decide whether or not you want this shown in your public profile
- Wait for acceptance and then start searching for contacts
- Do this up to 50 times (LinkedIn currently allows you to be a member of 50 Groups)