• Create a consistent profile that actively works for you. Most LinkedIn profiles fail to create business and networking opportunities. You want a strong profile that works to your benefit. A key to making this happen is consistency. Your LinkedIn details should mirror those of your other social media accounts and your marketing materials. For example, if your Facebook page says you’re a real estate investor but your LinkedIn profile says you’re looking for a job as an office manager, prospective employers and networking allies are likely to notice the discrepancy.
• Create a strong headline. People steer away from boastfulness and are attracted to those who can help them. Your headline should therefore emphasize your skills rather than your job title. For example, Dean is CEO of his company Forward Progress, but his headline simply says, “Author and Speaker.” As a result, Dean is frequently contacted about speaking and writing opportunities.
• Complete the entire LinkedIn profile. You don’t need to write a dissertation for each section, but do fill in all the blanks, ranging from work experience to personal details. This includes posting your photo. People want to work with someone they trust. Including a warm, inviting face enables visitors to connect your name to a real person. And while it may be cute to show how you looked when you were 10, it’s not a helpful representation of who you are now. Unlike Facebook and other social media sites, LinkedIn is a business network. Save the shtick for the other platforms.
• Create both a personal and business LinkedIn profile. Your personal profile should tell the story of who you are, what your interests are, and why others should connect with you. Your business profile should focus on your professional skills and/or the capabilities of your company. Keep these profiles distinct, and connect them with links to each other. This allows visitors to read about your business without being distracted by personal information, and vice versa, while giving them the option of learning more about you.
The 20-Minute Rule
Many people avoid LinkedIn because they can’t bear the thought of spending hours upon hours adding connections, sending emails, and updating profiles. Dean recommends investing just 20 minutes each workday to effectively cultivate meaningful relationships on LinkedIn. By limiting your participation to 20 minutes, you can set specific daily and weekly goals while avoiding social media overload.
After Meeting Someone, Connect Via LinkedIn Most people fail to do this. Whether it’s at a networking event, social gathering, or online forum, connections made should become connections kept. Ask for permission to connect via LinkedIn and then send an invitation. Most initial conversations simply scratch the surface as to what someone does or how you may be able to help one another. By connecting, you’ll gain immediate access to the person’s work and personal experience, allowing you to further develop the relationship as you learn more about the person’s capabilities and business. One of the best ads ever, stated, “The difference between a friend and a stranger is a conversation.” Begin enough conversations and you’ll end up with a lot of quality friends and referrals.
Ask For Introductions It’s often been said that you’re just six connections away from anyone in the world. On LinkedIn, this number is substantially reduced. One of the most powerful aspects of LinkedIn is the ability to easily connect with others. People you’d like to speak with are often no more than one or two connections away. Ask your connections for an introduction by choosing the “Get introduced through a connection” option when viewing the desired contact’s profile.
Always Look For Potential Interactions When you log into LinkedIn, scan your homepage, This provides instant updates on your network of connections. Post a substantive status update; or ‘Comment’ or ‘Share’ regarding what your connections are talking about. Your words will become visible to both your network and theirs. Add value to a conversation by posting interesting content from which you feel others would benefit. To be successful on LinkedIn, you must interact. Providing helpful tips or other valuable information can lead to several thousand people seeing your message. Even if just one person contacts you from your post and you’re able to convert that connection into a customer, you’ve come out ahead. What are the odds that one in several thousand people might need your expertise or product?
Join And/Or Form Groups Among LinkedIn’s most powerful networking opportunities are its groups. The service has over one million groups, and the most popular groups have hundreds of thousands of members. Groups can be private or public, and are moderated by the group’s owner. You must be a member of the group to post messages and interact. Groups run the gamut from Sewing to Technology to University Alumni, with the largest groups focusing on employment-related topics. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find a group that caters to your area of interest. Consider joining as many groups as possible (you can join up to 50), as long as they’re related to your business or personal interests.
In summary, these are the ways to achieve success on LinkedIn:
• Build and Consistently Monitor Your Profile: Your profile isn’t a “one-and-done” deal. It needs to be continually updated. When your business evolves, update your profile. Land a new job? Update your profile. Receive an award or close a huge deal? Update your profile. Keep your profile current to reflect your current skills and accomplishments.
• Keep Adding New and Meaningful Connections: Look for people who add value to your network and/or may become customers (e.g., who you may be able to help professionally). Always choose quality over quantity. Even if you just add one or two connections a week, this will keep your profile active and maintain position on the LinkedIn radar.
• Be Interactive: Regularly scan your homepage looking for interesting content. Comment on or Share what others are posting. And post your own content that adds value for others.
• Ask for Introductions: LinkedIn is designed to help you access the people you’d like to meet. Take advantage of its inherent structure to make powerful connections.
• Twenty Minutes a Day: That’s all it takes. Proactively use LinkedIn for just 20 minutes each workday. Your investment of time is likely to pay off.
Internet Prophets: The World's Leading Experts Reveal How to Profit Online by Steve Olsher