Category Archives: LinkedIn Training

5 Steps to Success on LinkedIn

Using LinkedIn: 5 steps to successThere has been much written about LinkedIn over the years and how it can work for you in business. Given that I have spent the last 10 years training companies and individuals on it, you are likely to expect that I’m going to be positive about what it offers. You’d be right, I’m a fan.

Having said that, I also recognise there is no single way to benefit from it – from job seeking to recruiting, networking to online training, business development to inbound marketing, the potential uses are many and very varied.

There are, however, some key underlying elements that we can all tap into – key steps to success if you like – and what we are going to look at below are some that will prove beneficial to using LinkedIn effectively, whatever your motives are for being on the site.

1. Decide what your current objectives are

LinkedIn is such a potentially wide-ranging tool, that you can use for a whole host of different reasons. Indeed, during your career as you enter different phases, your use will be radically different according to your current needs, situation and role.

Therefore, our first challenge is to be clear in our own mind what we want to achieve from our time spent on LinkedIn. Understanding your personal business objectives on LinkedIn will influence everything else that you do – who you want to talk to, how you present yourself, who you connect to and what you share with others. Having a clear focus will allow to present a strong and clear message too.

Conversely, the adage that, ‘if you don’t know where you are going then any path will do,’ is certainly true – on LinkedIn, to make it work effectively for you, you definitely need to know where you are going!

2. Create a focused Personal Profile

Your Personal Profile on LinkedIn is you and lies at the heart of all your activity. It creates the first impression people take away of you and needs to deliver a very clear message to the audience you outlined, in step 1.

If you are looking for a job, then it is likely to be a CV type of format talking to the people who might want to invite you in for interview – as a salesperson, business owner or consultant, you need to be talking to the potential buyers of your products or services and so your profile takes on more of the role of a sales and marketing brochure, highlighting opportunities and benefits for them.

In both cases, use the tools available to you – make sure LinkedIn’s Introduction Card (the top part of your profile) delivers a punch with a strong banner image and good professional photo, backed up with a Headline that is your statement of intent, rather than just your job title and company name. All these elements need to make you stand out and make people want to read more.

3. Get savvy about search

The search on LinkedIn is way more powerful than most people give it credit for. When you walk into a big networking event, imagine being able to pinpoint the people that you want to talk to, according to what they do, where they’re based, who they work for and whether you can be introduced by someone you both know. That’s what LinkedIn can offer you!

Understanding how to get to the Advanced Search (as it used to be called) allows you to be much more specific about the people you want to target. Don’t rely on simply typing your search in the top left-hand corner, that’s just a keyword search and not going to give you sufficient control or detail

Instead, get to the People search and then click on All filters – that will give you access to full set of elements you can search with and use to identify exactly the people you want to talk to. You’ll love the results!

4. Talk to people

LinkedIn revolves around people – you and I – talking to each other, engaging and discussing topics of mutual interest and ultimately, doing business.

We start the process by putting a personal message in our request to connect, by leaving a suitable comment on other people’s articles or updates, or perhaps by sending a message directly to people on LinkedIn. In each of these cases, the personal contact is hugely important and starts to define the business relationship that follows.

Using these aspects of LinkedIn is important – it is not just a big database. You wouldn’t want to be thought of as simply a piece of data or a cell in a spreadsheet, would you? Then don’t treat your connections and potential clients on LinkedIn like that!

Instead, talk to them – it is through conversation that we show our expertise, we get to know someone and ultimately gain their trust, ready to do business.

5. Keep visible by posting

There is a lot of information on LinkedIn and more and more is added daily. We need to be part of that, but the challenge we face is to make sure that we get seen and remain front of mind for our contacts and prospects.

Posting on LinkedIn is probably going to be our main distribution method – these posts are the news and information that appear in the newsfeed on our homepages. To work this effectively, we need to keep a consistent approach to what we are sharing, but we also need to mix up the type of content and the format we publish, just as we would in other marketing media.

Video, text and links to external content are all relevant and it’s really a case of ensuring that we deliver what will appeal to our target audience (back to the planning again!) as well as deliver, in terms of LinkedIn’s marketing algorithm too. Have a plan but mix it up – different content will appeal to different people, so let’s make sure that we cover all those key areas for you.

So, to sum up – are these 5 steps are going to guarantee your success on LinkedIn? No, sorry – it doesn’t work that way. These are, however, key tools that will put you on the right track, but it is YOU that ultimately makes the difference.

Use it in the right way, present yourself and communicate effectively and LinkedIn can quickly become a tool that allows you to identify and tap into your network, and the group of advocates you already have around you … but in a way that makes it so much more effective!

Article Categories: B2B Advice for LinkedIn, Business Development on LinkedIn, LinkedIn Strategy, LinkedIn Tips, LinkedIn Training
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Keeping secure on LinkedIn in 2018

LinkedIn Security & SafetyWith more and more activity happening online, in all of our interactions we have dual issues of both getting seen (and heard) while at the same time also staying safe – luckily there are some security aspects built into the LinkedIn system which may help.

I’m not talking about getting your homepage spam free – that’s a topic I’ve talked about elsewhere – but rather ensuring your access and activity on LinkedIn is as secure as possible. After all, it’s your own personal information, professional information and connections that are all built up in this site.

So, I’m going to encourage you to have a look at 6 areas that I’ve outlined below which will keep you – and your information – that little bit more secure on LinkedIn going forward.

1. Which services have access to your LinkedIn account

In a world where automation and streamlining seem to be pushing us to try to link everything together, we have no doubt allowed certain services to have access to our LinkedIn account to aid that process, Twitter being a prime example. (more…)

Article Categories: Advanced LinkedIn, LinkedIn Tips, LinkedIn Training, Security on LinkedIn, Using LinkedIn
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Social Selling mini series: What is social selling really?

socialsellingSocial Selling … hhhmmm, it seems that you can hardly open a business magazine at the moment without someone mentioning this current buzzword of the sales fraternity. The trouble is there seems to be a bit of a difference of opinion as to what it’s all about … or perhaps put a different way, everyone seems to have their own opinion of what Social Selling really is and what it can offer.

At one end of the scale, it is the “holy grail” of business development which means you never have to talk to a prospect or customer again … the sales just fall into your lap! At the other end, it’s “pie in the sky rubbish” which will never deliver any real opportunities let alone concrete sales. The truth, as you might imagine, falls somewhere between these two extremes … exactly where will depend on your own outlook on the sales process and your perception of where the application of LinkedIn can add most value as a sales and business development tool.

And don’t think it doesn’t apply to you because you don’t sell … yes, YOU, you know who you are, shaking your head there. Let’s face it, who amongst us doesn’t have at least one foot (or one toe maybe, if you prefer) in the sales arena?

We all do really, much as we might hate to admit it. As Daniel Pink states (more…)

Article Categories: LinkedIn Search, LinkedIn Training, Social Selling
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What is LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index & how to benefit from it

Social Selling Index SSIWe now have access to an online tool called the Social Selling Index which is designed to give a snapshot of where you are in using LinkedIn as part of your sales – your social sales – activities. The details are displayed on your own page with references to how you rank in comparison to others within the same industry and your perceived peer group.

It is also couched with a number of references to LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator account – this is one of the premium account levels and the stream which is designed to help the sales professional to prospect and develop more business using social channels, and LinkedIn in particular.

What is the Social Selling Index?

The Social Selling Index (SSI) was a metric that LinkedIn introduced for companies at the start of 2014 and then for individuals towards the end of last year, and was available just to those with the upgraded Sales Navigator account. As of this month, this has now been made available to all of LinkedIn’s members.

Your SSI is represented as a score out of 100 with 4 different key areas each marked out of a maximum of 25 – these areas represent and try to measure the four pillars of Social Selling according to LinkedIn (ones that I broadly agree with) which are: (more…)

Article Categories: Businesses using LinkedIn, LinkedIn Training, Social Selling
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Searching your Connections’ connections on LinkedIn
… with extra oomph!

Searching LinkedIn ConnectionsThere has been a merry old dance this past week with a lot of users who spend a good amount of time on LinkedIn getting rather upset, including myself, as we discovered that the ability to engage in true networking on LinkedIn had taken a bit of a dent.

Essentially, it seemed as though the ability to search through the connections of your 1st level connections had been removed – well, a week later and it’s back again after a bit of “not sure what’s going on” from LinkedIn’s Customer Experience Advocates (Customer Service Reps to you and I).

In case you are unsure what all the fuss is about, the culprit is the little magnifying glass shown below which gives us the opportunity to do a search through the profiles of the connections of an individual connection, perhaps to request a referral of them in the most targeted of ways:

Magnifying glass to search connections on LinkedIn

Anyway, in the interim, myself and a number of others took the time to look at other ways to access this functionality and I have seen posted in a number of places a second suggested route to find these details.

My issue was that it didn’t go far enough because it didn’t allow us to do a full advanced search through our connections’ connections … however, with a little bit of playing, I have found a way to get full advanced search of connections which I believe to be HUGELY beneficial! (more…)

Article Categories: Advanced LinkedIn, B2B Advice for LinkedIn, Businesses using LinkedIn, LinkedIn Training, LinkedIn Updates
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LinkedIn’s “Project Manchester” – matching people and required skills in Manchester

City of Manchester signI’m a great fan of LinkedIn … as you might imagine … although it’s true that we don’t always see eye to eye on things!

However, watching breakfast television this week I saw that they had launched an initiative in Manchester that is aimed at helping to get more people on to LinkedIn with a profile and skills that properly reflects their skillset – this might be people already with a LinkedIn profile that needs improving or people yet to join the site who will be helped to get started in the right way. The aim is to help them be more findable and hence hopefully be more findable by local companies in the area looking for people with the relevant skills they have.

This is something that they are accompanying with the hashtag #ProjectManchester and they are doing (more…)

Article Categories: Jobseekers using LinkedIn, LinkedIn News, LinkedIn Tips, LinkedIn Training
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