Tag Archives: LinkedIn

USING LINKEDIN TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS & KEEP IN TOUCH

There’s more to LinkedIn than a static database of job titles and historical information.  It’s also a resource to deepen new and existing relationships.

Tell Us About Yourself – Today

You can use LinkedIn to communicate “out” about yourself, not just about what happened in the past – but what is happening today: your interests, your activities and thoughts.

First of all, on your profile page, answer the question “what are you working on?” with any information you want – and keep it current. Tell us about important projects, travel, personal interests, or upcoming meetings.

You have up to 140 characters, and can change it as frequently as you want. This information will be available to your connections (and only your connections) via their LinkedIn update emails – or when they visit their Home Page.

If you have a blog (weblog) or Twitter account, you can add a link in the Applications area. You can tell us about books you are reading … upload a Powerpoint or SlideShare presentation about your business or area of expertise … and much more.

Go Home Regularly – Visit Your Home Page, That Is

The reason to familiarize yourself with your LinkedIn Home Page and visit it regularly is that this provides a window into your connections’ activities in real time, within (and sometimes beyond, depending on their application choices) LinkedIn.

As your connections update the same information on their Profile page we mentioned above – or when they ask or answer questions, or join new groups – you will see it reflected on your home page.

What can you learn besides the obvious?

Profile Updates:

When you see lots of changes, someone has decided to double down on LinkedIn. Something is up – it may be a promotion, preparing for a (possible) layoff, or a new job.

Added Connections:

In addition to the obvious, you can sometimes spot something interesting. Once I realized a contact was adding the person who would replace them in their current position, which tipped me off to their next career move.

See someone added you know? Send them an invitation.

Group Updates:

Keeping an eye on which groups your connections join is informative … and can tip you off on good possibilities for you.

Questions and Answers:

You can also see questions being asked and answered by your connections.

For all of this, you select what you want to see – and how you want it delivered – via the Manage your Network Update Settings towards the bottom of your home page.

You can opt for emailed updates instead of, or in addition to, visiting your Home Page.

What can you do with the information you glean?

You may simply use it to keep informed, or you may learn information that primes you to contact a prospect at the right moment. Or you may discover that you have information that can be of use to someone in your network.

In the end, online networking is no different than in-person networking. It’s largely a matter of being in the right place at the right time to perceive a need.

And it’s a whole lot of offering help – answering a question, recommending a resource … and maybe even, when you see they’re on a trip to your old home town, recommending a great restaurant for your contact to take their clients or family.

Share

LINKEDIN – A FUNDAMENTAL TOOL FOR BUSINESS NETWORKING

LinkedIn is arguably the one online “social networking” tool that all business professionals should include in their marketing/business development kit.

While not directly related to “on the floor exhibiting”, LinkedIn is a simple but sophisticated way to maintain ongoing relationships with clients, vendors, peers, and other trusted resources – as well as to nurture and deepen relationships with potential customers, networking associates and cross-referral partners, for whom you can be a resource as well.

To start, simply go in and add yourself, with as much information as you choose, and send invitations to people you respect to connect with you, and you’re on. You’re at the center of a network of people you know and trust.

Now you can also look for expertise by reaching out to the people in your network – or asking them to look in their further networks for you. You may find that someone you know “knows someone” who could be important for you and they can make an introduction to you or for you.

You can also participate in Question and Answer sessions and / or join Groups based on topic, industry, schools, etc. This way, you can read and learn – or establish your credibility as an expert by answering – or ask your own questions and get answers from peers and what are essentially ad hoc “focus groups” of people similar to or within your own prospect pool.

Groups that may be of interest: Trade Show Professionals, Sales & Marketing Community, MarketingProfs, Event Planning & Management … alumni groups … groups based in your city or state… It’s easy to do a keyword based search. And you can always leave a group if it turns out not to be a match.

On a really basic level, LinkedIn is a way to keep in touch as people move between positions. Recruiters use it regularly. And, outside of the realm of business, you may be able to find long lost friends, classmates or colleagues.

The executive summary of why to use LinkedIn as a tool:

* Develop deeper connections with contacts of all kinds
* Allow people who trust you to find resources among your connections
* Potentially get introductions to your connections’ connections
* Establish credibility and gain knowledge through participation
* Not lose contact when people switch positions or locations

To start, here’s the spot to go to:  LinkedIn: What Is LinkedIn? In addition to help, there is a Q&A section devoted to how to use the tool most effectively.

Share