LinkedIn may have all the ever changing tools, buttons and features, however if you stripped all of that away, the underlying mindset of using LinkedIn will always be the same. Get this right and you’ll get ‘Linked-In’, here are 10 rules you have to know to succeed in LinkedIn.
The 10 Parmamount Rules
1. Start with the end in mind
Why are you here? What do you want to get out of LinkedIn or this LinkedIn group or your LinkedIn efforts? How do you want people to perceive you? Why are you sharing that update? Why are you connecting with that particular person? Who should you be talking to? What will your actions help you to achieve?.. Instead of fluttering about and spending your time aimlessly, log into LinkedIn with a purpose to ensure that you’re going to get what you planned to get out of it.
2. Share valuable information that will benefit others in their career/business
The information should also be relevant to your area of expertise (not a sales pitch, not spam or a product promo/demo). Everyone logs into LinkedIn thinking ‘what’s in it for me’ – if you can show how you can add value to them or their business (instead of being a sleazy salesperson), they’ll start listening.
3. Watch where you’re sending that resume
Don’t shoot out your resume at people expecting them to drop everything they’re doing to help you find a job. If they specifically asked you to send in an application or resume, then do so in the method they asked for – other than that, you’re not doing yourself any favours by jumping in cold and throwing it at anyone that you think would listen; instead try
4. Focus on relationships first
Most jobs or business opportunities are never advertised and yet opportunities are awarded to people who are known, liked and trusted. If you’re going to connect with people on LinkedIn, then focus on connecting with them on a human level. Build and nurture those professional relationships and the business/career opportunities will come. P.S. How about all of these existing connections of yours? When was the last time you actually reached out to them – without an agenda of wanting something first?
5. Make your communications relevant
Take the time to read (or skim) someone’s profile to learn what they are about before sending them some message that may have no interest in whatsoever. Try creating a dialogue with the other person instead of sending an essay or cold pitch without learning whether they’d be interested in listening in the first place.
6. Attend events, network, invite your connections for a coffee and meet them offline
Nothing strengthens an online connection better than an offline face-to-face meeting or handshake. If that’s not possible, then Skype. More conversations = more opportunities. (If you want to learn powerful face-to-face networking strategies, I suggest you get in touch with – or follow – Ron Gibson).
7. Be personal
No one likes blanket emails/connection requests – if you’re going to connect with people you don’t know, take the time to write them a personal note and tell them why you want to connect, that way you’ll have a better chance of them responding (+ you’ll have less people complaining or marking you as ‘spam’).
8. Be consistent
If you’re looking to build your personal brand and build authority in your area of expertise then consistency is the key. People need 5, 6 7, 8.. touch points to start feeling familiar with you and your brand before they tune in and listen. If you’re going post in groups, write articles or update your status, doing it once is not going to cut it – keep going one update at a time and keep moving forwards.
9. Enhance your LinkedIn profile
Whatever actions you take on LinkedIn, you can be safe to assume that people will click on your profile to check you out. Does your profile jump out at people and make them want to connect with you and speak to you further? If not, spend some time to get this right before you start getting active on LinkedIn – first impressions count – not to mention all the algorithms working in your favor behind the scenes.
10. There’s no such thing as a free meal
Lastly, if you want that job or XX of sales or XX new JV’s or partnerships or referrals.. this year, you’ve got to work for it (surprise!). LinkedIn is a powerful tool that helps you to reach out and network with people from around the globe and (if used properly) be more productive at what you do – but it’s not a magic bullet where magical fairy dust will drop down and all your dreams will come true simply because you’ve joined or logged in. You need to put in the time and effort to build your personal brand, build those networks, enhance those relationships and nurture them towards your end goal.
“You need to earn the right to ask for that referral, introduction, to have that coffee meeting.”
Simply put, seek to connect with the humans behind LinkedIn. Remember each person behind that profile is busy, they have their own lives, goals, agendas, challenges and motivations – if you can add value to their business, organisation or lives, or solve their problems, they’d be open and receptive to speaking with you further.
Happy getting Linked-In!
This article is contributed by Linda Le, the go-to person when it comes to winning more business on social media, especially LinkedIn.