6 Lessons to Make the Most of LinkedIn

By Eric Holtzclaw

I consider myself savvy when it came to social media, and I thought I had relegated LinkedIn to its proper place: I viewed it only as a way to stay connected to individuals I had already met. In fact, until I started contributing to this column regularly, I had a rule that I wouldn’t connect with anyone that I didn’t “know.”

All of this changed for me after a very helpful session with LinkedIn Expert–Alex Pirouz of Linkfluencer–whom I ironically met over LinkedIn after he had read a couple of my columns.

I learned six important lessons from Alex on how to use LinkedIn more effectively:

4) Connect With Purpose

I am in the process of promoting my book and had never considered reaching out to people over LinkedIn for an opportunity to connect and speak. Pirouz led me to a fundamental shift in thinking about who I would connect with and when. Those that are using LinkedIn to make connections see it very much like a virtual conference they are attending–but instead of being restricted by their own local geography, they have access to people all over the world.

That said, building connections for the sake of having a large following is not a sound strategy if you want to effectively grow your business and profit using LinkedIn. Every connection needs to be linked to your goals and objectives in business both now and in the future.

6) Always Add Value First

Whether you are connecting with a potential partner or customer, you need to build value and rapport in order for them to have any interest in who you are and what you do.  Just because they accepted your connection invite doesn’t mean they are interested in what you have to say. Remember: to be interesting, you have to be interested.

Building relationships through LinkedIn is no different than dealing with people in a network function, through a friend or colleague, it’s all about adding value first. To be successful on LinkedIn and in business overall you have to first think about WIIFT (What’s In It For Them) rather then WIIFU (What’s In It For You).

See all 6 lessons and the complete Inc. article

How To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile With 10 Tips From Expert Headhunters

Creating a better LinkedIn profile, and optimising it for searches, is the best thing you can do for your recruitment prospects. Surveys regularly report that over 90% of recruiters now use the platform to find new candidates and fill the most sought-after roles. Like all social media, LinkedIn is social and searchable: the way to improve your chances of success is to make your profile relevant for the jobs you want. Here’s how you do it.

4. Tweak your job title
Don’t think that a complicated or highly specific job title is going to make employers fall over themselves. “Use a fairly generic current or past job title, like Software Developer, Marketing Manager, Director of Communications, as these are the types of keywords that recruiters will be using,” says  Andrew Macarthy, author of How To Build the Ultimate LinkedIn Profile In Under An Hour. “If your job title is a little out of the ordinary, try to adapt it to fit as best you can. You can also improve your returns in LinkedIn search by tweaking your location: make sure it’s set to the nearest large city, even if you’re out in the suburbs.”

6. Keywords, not buzzwords
Fill your profile with the language of your dream job. Research the profiles of people whose jobs you want. Read their blogs, their company newsletters, and the publications they appear in. Take keywords from all these sources where they apply to you as well, especially when you describe your job title and roles. These are what they will search for when looking for a new employee. Avoid the following buzzwords: motivated; passionate; creative; driven; extensive experience; responsible; strategic; track record; organisational; expert. No one wants to hire a cliché.

See all 10 profile tips and the complete article

7 LinkedIn Tools for Recruiting New Employees

In his book Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business, search engine optimization and online marketing expert consultant Ted Prodromou explains how you can use LinkedIn to quickly engage with ideal customers, partners, and employees, showcase your company and attract new opportunities. In this edited excerpt, the author briefly describes the seven different ways you can use LinkedIn to attract new job applicants.

LinkedIn offers a number of paid solutions for companies who do a lot of recruiting. Let’s explore these options in more detail, so you can see how they can help you build a premier organization with the very best employees.

1. LinkedIn Recruiter.

This premium subscription is designed for large companies that are constantly searching for the best talent. Some of the benefits of the LinkedIn Recruiter Corporate Edition subscription include:

  • Unlimited access to names and full profiles of potential candidates. When you search for talent using your free LinkedIn account, you won’t see the full profile of many members, and the number of search results is limited. With this subscription, you’ll see the complete profile of every LinkedIn member and up to 1,000 search results.
  • Advanced Search Features that aren’t included in the free version of Advanced Search. With the LinkedIn Recruiter Corporate Edition subscription, you can filter your searches by Industry, Company Size, Education, Company, Years in Position, and Years of Experience. This lets you find the ideal candidates for your open positions.
  • Contact candidates directly using InMail. You receive 50 InMails per month per seat to contact any candidate you like on LinkedIn. InMails have proven to have very high response rates so being able to contact up to 50 prospective candidates per month is a tremendous boost to your recruiting efforts.
  • Up to 50 search alerts per day when targeting candidates for an open position. This means you can queue up searches for specific jobs and you’ll be automatically alerted when a prospective candidate is found. You can quickly reach out to this candidate before your competition, giving you a huge advantage. You can also send one-to-many InMails using saved InMail templates, enabling you to contact more candidates faster.

6. Work With Us.

This is not only one of the simplest LinkedIn recruiting and advertising solutions, it’s also one of the most effective. How do you feel when you are looking at the LinkedIn profile of one of your colleagues and you see a huge ad from one of your competitors in the sidebar? Doesn’t it drive you crazy when you see your competitors invading your company’s space?

In the past no one had any control over this, but now we do. The LinkedIn Work with Us ads let you display your advertising on your employees’ profile pages and your company pages. To run Work with Us ads, just contact LinkedIn, provide them your creative material, and they will automatically place your ads on all of your employee profile pages and your company pages. If you are going to run only one marketing campaign on LinkedIn, this is the one you need to do to protect your brand.

See all 7 tools and the complete Entrepreneur article

Top 10 Most Overlooked LinkedIn Profile Tips

While the fundamentals for creating a LinkedIn profile are not difficult, I am going to explain what I know as the top ten most overlooked LinkedIn tips for businesses and individuals.

Right now, 44.6% of new business is generated through B2B leads powered by LinkedIn, according to the recent State of Digital Marketing Report. In a few short years, LinkedIn has become the largest professional social network in the world, and is an invaluable resource for any business, or business-minded individual. It allows you to connect with colleagues and discover potential partnerships in ways never before possible, and can even be used to provide you with news and updates from your biggest competitors.

Anyone doing business in any industry today needs to use LinkedIn – and use it well.

But the only way LinkedIn helps you at all is if you utilize it effectively. After several years of revising, revamping, and optimizing LinkedIn profiles for businesses and business professionals of all backgrounds and levels, I began to notice the same mistakes my clients made prior to my hiring my services.

LinkedIn is simple enough to use, but it is such a powerful and thorough tool that there are many points which can be easily overlooked. These incredibly useful tips are not only going to make your LinkedIn profile the strongest it can possibly be, they are also going to change the way you use your LinkedIn for business.

2) Use Buttons Everywhere

If you have your own personal website or blog (or you have one for your business), you can add a Profile Badge that links to your public LinkedIn profile. This will grow your professional network. LinkedIn has multiple badge designs to select from, and you can configure your own here.

If you have a company, then add the Company Follow button to your business’s website to promote the company’s LinkedIn presence and increase your website’s social proof. You can also implement a LinkedIn Share button on blog posts, emails, and other assets, so viewers can automatically share your company’s content and extend your reach on the web.

Below is an example of how I have implemented this in the footer of Resumetointerviews.com:

buttons-everywhere

 

6) Check Out Who’s Checking You Out

Using the “Who Viewed Your Profile” feature, you can see exactly that, and look at which users have been looking at your profile. This makes connections easier and faster, giving you an automatic in every time someone you’re interested in looks at your profile.

As a note, you need to have the “Let Yourself Be Seen” option from above active in order to use this feature.

See all 10 overlooked tips and the complete article

10 Action Steps to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn [Beyond the Basics]

LinkedIn is a great tool for growing your professional network, communicating your personal brand and connecting to opportunities to help you grow your career and your business. But are you going beyond the basics in how you utilize LinkedIn?

Beyond creating a Profile, connecting with your co-workers and joining a few Groups, here are 10 solid steps you should take to get the most out of the opportunities that being a part of the LinkedIn network presents:

1. Post relevant and helpful information in the “Share an Update” box on a regular basis.

Want to build your personal brand and professional reputation? Then become known as a resource or “go to” person in your field or industry. Read a great article? Share it with a comment. Aware of an interesting networking or professional development event? Share it and let your network know you’re going. I share a ton of links and resources with my network via TwitterFacebook, and Linked In and in my experience the engagement is often higher and of better quality (i.e. informative threaded discussions, new connections made, etc.) when shared via my status update on LinkedIn.

Action Step: Share a LinkedIn Status Update with your network at least 3 times per week. Add this activity to your calendar or To Do list to ensure it gets done.

5. Participate in Discussions/post relevant items in LinkedIn Groups related to your profession.

LinkedIn Groups are a great opportunity to get connected to like-minded people, information and resources to help you grow as a professional. Unfortunately, they’re often a missed opportunity because members miss the point of relationship building and a forum for actual discussion. In other words – lay off the self-promotion people! The most effective way to gain credibility and get recognized as an expert isn’t to share your blog posts and automatically share unrelated links in every group you’re a member of. Be helpful. Ask good questions to generate meaningful discussions. Answer other’s questions. People will naturally click on the link to view your Profile (and likely connect) if you’re contributing good stuff.

Action Step: Choose 1 – 3 Groups that you’re a member of to actively participate in by reviewing the Discussion content each week to determine if you can add anything to the conversation. At least once per month, ask a question in those 1 – 3 Groups, with the purpose of obtaining an answer you didn’t already know or for generating good discussion.

9. Prune your Endorsements to ensure that they represent you well.

Introduced in September 2012, LinkedIn Endorsements have become the McDonald’s hamburgers of LinkedIn – over 2 billion served. And by now, you’ve probably gotten several Endorsements from well-meaning connections who can’t resist the whack-a-mole nature of that big blue box at the top of their Profiles. Which is great – unless you don’t actually have some of those Skills that you’ve been endorsed for, or your friends have added a few for fun that don’t do you any favors. Remember, your LinkedIn Profile is your online marketing brochure (see #3) and every part of it is valuable real estate. Make it count!

Action Step: Review the Skills that you’ve been endorsed for on your Profile and remove those that aren’t relevant or meaningful. You can have up to 50 Skills on your Profile, but remember – quality over quantity – and you have control over what is included.

See all 10 action steps and the complete article

Top 10 Reasons Your LinkedIn Messages Are Being Ignored

The first step to correcting a problem is identifying why it’s happening.

Once you know why you’re getting a negative result, you can try something new.

You can implement a better strategy.

If that strategy fails too…

Keep testing.

Test and tweak until your messages are being opened every time.

Here are 10 reasons why your messages are being ignored…

1. You don’t know anyone. 

Blindly reaching out to people who you’ve never met is a waste of time.

They don’t know you.

They don’t care about you.

But…

They might care about someone else.

Dig in and see if the people you want to connect with know someone you know.

Don’t just stare at those little 2nd and 3rd LinkedIn connection icons that appear next to people’s names when you’re searching and do nothing.

Wake up.

Click the “shared connection” link.

See who you and your desired connection both know.

Then…

Ask your shared connection for an introduction.

Or, ask to use their name as a connection request reference.

Once you get the okay, reach out to your desired connection using the name of your shared connection in the subject line of your message.

2. You don’t say why you’re connecting. 

Never send a message without using the word “because.”

When it comes to connecting with someone new, intent is not enough.

What doesn’t matter.

Why does.

Why are you reaching out?

Why do you want to connect?

The reason you’re connecting should be explained in the very first sentence of your message.

Most importantly…

This reason needs to be to the other person’s benefit, not yours.

3. You don’t care about them.

LinkedIn is a crowded place.

The world is a crowded place.

Everyone is fighting for attention.

As a result…

People are on defense now.

More than ever before, people are actively protecting their attention.

This means that when you send a message to someone, they are looking for reasons to ignore it.

They are looking for reasons to delete it without reading it.

You have to give them a reason not to delete it.

News flash…

You are not a good reason.

Remember, they want to delete you.

The best way to get people to open and respond to your messages is to make the message all about them.

People don’t want to delete themselves.

They want to read about themselves.

Give them something to read.

Do your research.

Find out what they like. What they’ve written about. What their hobbies are.

Stalk them…

In a good way.

Read everything you can about them. Comment on their articles. Find out who else their connected to on LinkedIn. Find out who their colleagues are on LinkedIn.

Get to know them.

Make an effort.

Care.

Then use what you know to make an emotional connection.

Bring up something they’ve written, achieved, accomplished, completed…

As long as it’s about them.

See all 10 reasons and the complete article