11 May 2012 By Northern Lights
I was delighted to be asked to speak at an evening event for York Professionals this week. There were five of us each giving short sharp 15 minute talks – and mine was on LinkedIn.
Before the event I researched the 39 members and speakers attending to see who was already on LinkedIn and how they were using it. I think I was surprised by the findings
• 6 members were not on LinkedIn at all (though I think they all vowed to be by the end!)
• Only 10 members had 100% complete profiles
• 23 members had got fewer than three recommendations – needed to complete their profile
• 8 members did not have a photo
In this short time, I focused on giving everyone just four tips to help their business, shared with you here.
1. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete
Our free ebook on social media for business covers this in more detail.
First, why is it important to have 100% complete LinkedIn profile? Because you are more likely to be found on Google and LinkedIn searches for your name, company name and keywords in your profile.
How do you get to a complete profile? Most people had their name, company name and education. These are then the other key elements to complete your profile
– Photo (it is also so helpful if you have meet someone who has been introduced to you through LinkedIn – you can spot them in that hotel lobby!)
– At least three recommendations. I think there is a tendency to be embarrassed on this – don’t be. There are millions of people on LinkedIn who understand you need a recommendation for your profile – ask those who have got a number themselves
– Summary and specialties – you’d have thought this was a basic so people know something about your company and what you do? However, a third haven’t got this filled in
2. Use LinkedIn as a search engine
Do you want to find a graphic designer? Looking to recruit someone? Know anyone who could give you quick advice on a technical subject?
LinkedIn is a great search engine, checking out your network at speed for people who can help you. To do this, go to your home page and look at that top right button where it says ‘Advanced’. Click on it and just see the power of this search engine.
And remember – others may be searching for advice, and that’s why you need 100% complete profile so they find you when doing their search.
3. Join relevant LinkedIn groups
There are a lot of rubbish discussions on LinkedIn – but there are also a number of groups and places where people are genuinely helping businesses. Yorkshire Mafia is a LinkedIn group where members ask questions such as ‘can anyone recommend a good press photographer?’ or ‘Can anyone introduce me to a manufacturer of branded hoodies?’. These sorts of questions generate anything between two and 20 quality answers.
This is an opportunity for your business to look out for these conversations and offer help when relevant – and to pose questions and ask for help in turn.
4. Use LinkedIn strategically
Have you got a target list for new business? Are you using LinkedIn to see how you can research these companies or individuals? Or more to the point, set up meetings with the key people.
Again, go to the Advanced search on LinkedIn. Type in the name of the company you are targeting. LinkedIn will probably give you a dozen names of people you know either directly or in a 2nd degree contact. Occasionally you may find someone you were at school or university with is now working at your target company – how helpful!
If you have second degree connections, look at who is connected directly – and ask them to introduce you.
This is what we did when I went out to Dubai earlier this year. The first meeting I had turned into a year’s contract – and I met the chief exec through a LinkedIn introduction. It does work.
Thanks to York Professionals for inviting me to speak – and to Nick Eggleton for the tip I took away. I need to remember to use more hashtags when I tweet!
And if you want help with getting going on LinkedIn we can come to your office and run tailored workshops for one or ten people, getting your profiles to 100% and showing you how to target and win business through it.