There was an interesting addition to the site functionality that LinkedIn has just announced and which I spotted a couple of weeks ago in the Settings area. It’s all about the difference between “connecting” with and “following” someone – you see, you can do both (which is the norm) or either (‘follow but not connect’ or ‘connect but not follow’) or neither of course.
Confused? Well, let me help. (more…)
In all the LinkedIn training sessions I run, whether they are sales, marketing or recruitment focused, we always spend a good amount of time looking at different ways to identify potential prospects or introducers on the site, as well as the differing ways to introduce yourself to them.
However, before tapping into the opportunities on offer from LinkedIn’s Advanced search, I always encourage people to first consider developing their networks further than they have already, in order to facilitate the process. As a first step, logically we start by checking who in our “real life” networks are currently on LinkedIn and also identifying what it really is that they are looking for from their network. This helps to give clarity to where our focus should be.
One area that I encourage then to look at are what I tend to call Centres of Influence – these are people who have networks which are highly focused around their area of expertise, an area which, most critically, coincides with your target audience. (more…)
Your connections are key to everything that you do on LinkedIn – they really are the start point for all of your activity, either directly or as advocates for what you do. They form the core of your network and your 2nd level, 3rd level connections etc. all radiate out from them, so without them, you have no network! Fairly key, I think you’d agree!
One of our first steps therefore needs to be that we ensure that we connect up with our ‘real world’ network on LinkedIn, to gather the people that we have worked with, customers, suppliers and partners around you – this in turn will hopefully allow us to then work with them and tap into opportunities that will be jointly beneficial. These are after all the people who are best placed to recommend you, your expertise and the services or products that you offer or represent.
To help this ongoing process to happen most effectively, it’s important to be able to divide our connections up and be able to sort, categorise and filter them – that way, if you are looking to reach out and communicate to particular groups of people you will be able to do so as effectively as possible. Working with LinkedIn’s system to achieve this and then using that categorisation in a way which will benefit both you and them is consequently going to be very important. (more…)
Whatever our endgame is when it comes to LinkedIn – developing new business, finding a job, creating a community etc. – extending our network and creating new contacts is a key part of that. In most cases, this usually means us focussing on increasing our own connections – however, there’s more to it than that.
There’s also a huge amount of value to be had from taking a more proactive approach to strengthening the network around us – in particular, being able to put two of our direct connections in touch with each other when we believe they would benefit from connecting.
LinkedIn gives us a few different ways to do just this and, in an ideal world, we should be looking carefully at doing this – some might even consider this to be the very essence of good (more…)
I’ve always been a fan of making sure that my information and files are safe and sound – I guess it comes from having lost data or information in the past (having of course vowed “that would never happen to me!”). At the same time, I’m also a great fan of using the information that we have to best effect – though only within both the letter and the spirit of the law!
Anyway, although you have your connections nicely stored away within your LinkedIn system, it may also make sense to ensure you keep a backup and perhaps that they are also kept in your own Contact Management or email system, whether you use Outlook for example or something more sophisticated.
Let’s be clear, this is not because I believe that you should (more…)