Linkedin is classified as social media, but it is probably the most ‘professional’ of all the social media. The purpose, and real power, of Linkedin is as a networking tool. Use it to connect to others in your market, both peers and potential customers.
I cover more details of why you should use Linkedin in other posts in this same blog, so for now I’m going to focus on simply how to get you started and using Linkedin quickly.
- Get a free account
Go to www.Linkedin.com (this link will open in a new browser)
Enter the minimum amount of information, just so you can get your account setup and active.
(use a valid email address – you will need to ‘confirm’ the email Linkedin sends you).
- Login to your account and complete your profile
Choose ‘edit profile’ on the left side of the home page
Add as much information as you can, quickly; you can always add and change later.Your profile is important – it is the first impression and the way that you start to attract connections with similar interests.
Over time you can update and beef-up your profile — make sure to add a picture!
- Invite friends, co-workers, etc.
There is an option during account creation to invite people from your address book.
Alternately, choose ‘Connections’ on left side of the home page
Add people from your email address book as a start
Use ‘people search’ to find others by areas of interest and invite them to joinIf you are a new to Linkedin, start by adding ONLY people you know, and add a personal note (even a short one) to remind them that they know you. This type of approach will help ensure that you get maximum connections and minimum ‘IDK’ (I Don’t Know) responses – IDKs are bad.
- Join groups of interest
Choose groups from the home page and search for ones that are interesting
Simply click ‘join’ to request membership.Join Attraction Marketers group if you are interested in online marketing; it is an open group
- Increase followers
To build your connections quickly, use Open Networker to connect with Open Networkers
Consider using ‘LION’ (an acronym that means Linked In Open Networker) in your ‘Professional Headline’, the top portion of your personal profileIf you characterize yourself as an ‘Open Networker’, either Accept or Archive all connection requests. Do NOT respond to connection requests with ‘IDK’, it is bad form and looks bad for the requester.
- Do NOT spam people with invitations, messages, etc.
Avoid spam invitations – start out inviting people you know or have a relationship with (work, etc.)
Avoid spam messages – it is a Social / Professional site, so don’t blast ads or opportunities to your connections without first trying to get to know them
Avoid spam posts – add value to groups and follow their stated rules
- Get involved – Contribute
Post questions in the general section, as appropriate for your interests and expertise
Answer questions when you have the expertise
Respond to direct mail, invitations, etc.
- Add to group discussions
Post new discussion topics – just make sure they are pertinent to the group
Add comments on existing posts
Share value with your comments and engage in the conversations
This barely scratches the surface of Linkedin, but it should get you up and running quickly.
There are over 40 million people using Linkedin and more than 20 million of them are in the United States. That is a huge number of people that can become your next customer, supplier, partner, or friend.
Don’t forget to send me a connection request once you get your account setup.