Happy Holidays with Viveka’s Best 23 LinkedIn Tips
Yeah yeah – the 24th and the 25th days of December get all the hype! But what about the 23rd?
What’s with 23 you ask? Well on December 23rd I release my 23 LinkedIn Tips guaranteed to create a better new year for you! Guaranteed by who? Well by Santa and all the elves. Yes its true. And if you don’t believe me – take it up with the Grinch!
Anyway – here’s your Christmas present!!!! (Or Hanukah gift or…)
Gift One: Know your Skills and Strategies
Take a few minutes right now to write down the reasons you’re using LinkedIn. Are you using LinkedIn to:
1. Attract new clients and customers
2. Create new referral partner relationships
3. Attract affiliates
4. Position yourself as a thought leader or subject matter expert
5. Share information about your product or service
6. Enhance your customer service relationships
7. Attract donor and sponsors for your charity
8. Position your Internet marketing business
9. Sell your book
10. Share information about an event
11. Make more friends so you can get more gifts or
12. Something else
What are your goals for LinkedIn in 2013? Write them down. Now prioritize your goals. Although your priorities for using LinkedIn might shift (like you weight on the holidays), it’s always good to be clear on what they are right now.
Gift Two: Treat LinkedIn Like Your Website
Have you ever seen an advertisement for like the coolest toy ever? So you order it and when it arrives it prettymuch sucks? Don’t let that be your LinkedIn Profile. Make sure LinkedIn is better than the average profile: formatted, clean and free of spelling and grammatical errors.
It’s a good idea to create it first in a word document that will better show you if you have errors. You will also get a better idea of what your profile will look like on the LinkedIn website. In some sections of LinkedIn you can also pull in bullets and special characters. Another bonus, if you’ve already created your profile in a Word document, sections of it can easily be copied into other social media platforms to keep your branding unified.
Gift Three: Know your Keywords
Like any website, LinkedIn’s internal search engines weigh your keywords heavily in its searches. Make sure you place your most important search or keywords and keyword phrases strategically throughout your profile. Some places you might want to consider are your:
• Professional Headline (120 characters)
• Title Fields (100 characters)
• Specialties (500 characters – if available)
• Interests (1000 characters)
• Education (Activities and Societies)
You can use the “Skills and Expertise” link on LinkedIn to find keywords that are specifically relevant to LinkedIn. Simply click on the “Skills ” link under the “More” tab and type in any skill that is relevant to your position, your education, your skill set, or your industry.
As you begin to type, a drop-down menu should appear. Choose the skill closest to your keyword or search term. If the drop down doesn’t come up with the option you are looking for, choose a synonym for your skill set. Can’t find Reindeer Whisperer? Try Animal Psychologist.
Once you select a skill from the drop-down list, LinkedIn will take you to a new page. By clicking the blue “Add Skill” button, you will add that skill to your profile. (So it can be endorsed later by your connections!)
The section of this page relevant to finding keywords is on the left side under “Related skills”. Are there any of those related skills you might want to add to your profile as keywords?
When the list of related skills is in alignment with your skill set (meaning you could indeed offer many or all the skills or services in your business) you might want to copy and paste the entire list into Word document. Delete the irrelevant skills and voila – you have a great keyword list
Gift Four: Keep your Name Clean
Put only your first name in the first name field and your last name in the last name field. If someone is searching for you by name, LinkedIn will have a hard time finding you if your last name looks like this:
Claus, Santa (StNick@SantaCLause.com) LION 941-555-1555.
And besides, it goes against LinkedIn’s EUA (End User Agreement) to have anything other than your name in the name field. Having something other than my name in the name field cost me thousands of dollars if not more over the years. Talk about the Grinch who stole LinkedIn!
Gift Five: Keep your Photo Professional
Leave the Santa Ho at home! No one needs to see Mrs. Claus’ tatas. I recommend a close-up and a smile. A full body shot of you and your family, you and your car, you and that fish you caught last week is unclear and unprofessional.
Also, LinkedIn doesn’t like logos. In the end user agreement it states that if you are going to post a picture it MUST be your likeness.
Gift Six: Don’t Ignore the “Post an Update” Function
LinkedIn’s update function is much more robust than it used to be. People can now like, share and comment on your updates – which helps to build relationships within LinkedIn.
As well, LinkedIn’s new user interface highlights your activity on your home page. And with new LinkedIn notifications, it’s easier to keep track of updates, comments postings and what to get your boos for Christmas so that you can finally get your promotion.
Ninja Trick: It’s easy to post to LinkedIn (on your homepage, to groups, to Twitter and to individual members) using LinkedIn’s Sharing Bookmarklet (that you can find under the “tools” link at the bottom of any page on LinkedIn.) Just click on a page you want to share (say this post) and click on the “Share on LinkedIn” link.
Gift Seven: Use LinkedIn Signal to Monitor Your Brand, Your Clients, Your Prospects and Your Competitors
With the introduction of LinkedIn Signal, the update section can now be a functional part of your SME (Subject Matter Expertise) and content strategy. Make sure you take a little time each day to “like” and “comment” on the updates of your network as well.
Finally, make sure you use Signal to monitor your own brand, your clients and your competitors. You can probably also use it to track Santa as he makes his way form house to house delivering toys. Nah. Probably not.
Gift Eight: Personalize your Public Profile URL
Make sure your public profile reflects your name, your business, or your area of expertise: www.linkedin.com/in/SantaClause or www.linkedin.com/in/HappinessExpert or www.linkedin.com/in/NorthPoleHoncho
Nothing says, “I’m a LinkedIn neophyte” like a public profile that reads: http://linkedin.com/pub/firstname-lastname9890734-akjshfiho
Gift Nine: Personalize your Websites
When you edit your website, the drop down menu gives you the option of “other”. By clicking on that, a new field opens up that allows you to type in your business name, website name, call to action, or description of your website. So instead of “Company Website” or “Personal Website”, this section can read “”Click here if you were Naughty” and “Click Here if you were Nice” and “Click Here for Returns”
Gift Ten: Juice up your “Experience” Section
I was going to say eggnog up – but well – it just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? “Experience” is more than your resume.
- Make sure the jobs you choose to list support each other.
- Make sure you put all your keywords in the title section.
- Make sure you add all your experience: blogs you write, volunteer work you do, etc.
Use the 1000 characters in the Experience description section to tell people why they should hire you, your company or buy your products or services. Tell a “save the day” story. Put in a testimonial.
Gift Eleven: List your “Additional Education”
Make sure you list your certifications and licenses as well as traditional education. LinkedIn has now added new sections where you can list areas of expertise, publications, patents licenses and certifications. If you patented the calorie free eggnog cheesecake, shouldn’t people know that?
Gift Twelve: Get Recommendations
When asking for recommendations, provide a bulleted list of your skills, strengths and services so people will write a more complete recommendation and not: “She’s nice”. With the new user interface getting recommendations from key and influential people and industry thought leaders is even more important.
Gift Thirteen: Grow your Network to be More Visible
If you’re not having much luck on LinkedIn, it might be because your network is too small. In order to easily grow your network, without directly connecting too many people you don’t know, you might consider going to www.toplinked.com. The folks who pay to be a part of toplinked.com are willing to share their networks with you, because they want you to share your network with them.
By clicking on the “Top Supporters” link on the left-hand side of the Toplinked.com page, you will see a list of 50 to 60 individuals who should accept your invitation to connect. All of these individuals have very large networks. By connecting to just 10 to 15 of these individuals, you should be able to grow your network out past the 10 million mark. Which means you’ll be more visible on LinkedIn. It also means that you will be able to find and connect with more strategic members on LinkedIn. Which should increase your business.
Gift Fourteen: Join Groups for Strategic Connecting
You can find a LinkedIn member and send them a message or invite them to connect with you through groups. You can also follow a member. Following basically allows you to keep an eye on their activity but not communicate with them directly. And that will give you some great information for when you are ready to send a message or invite them to connect.
You want to keep an eye on Santa Claus and the Grinch – keep your options open!
What I like about groups is that you can search the membership by name or by keyword. To do this, go into a group that you think might have members would make good contacts for you. Then click the “Members” tab. On the left hand side you’ll see the “Search members” box. This is where you can look for members to connect with by name “Santa Claus” or keyword “Jolly Old Elf”
LinkedIn will show you the results for any group member who falls into your search criteria. If they are a first level connection, then you can just send them a message. Remember to take the time to view their profile so you can speak to common interests.
As well, you can search for second and third level connections. If you hover your cursor to the right of their name, you can see if you can send them a message. This is a great way to save money on LinkedIn, as you normally cannot send a message to the second level connection without paying for an InMail. ($10) Which means more money to buy gifts for ME!
Gift Fifteen: The Three and Three Technique
Go to your list of connections and reach out to three people you don’t know, and three people you do know (who you haven’t talk to in a while) and send them a simple message. If you do it just three times a week, you might be amazed at the responses.
I cannot tell you how many times of use this technique and immediately heard back from a person who said, “I was just thinking about you.” Of course they were. Its Christmas and they forgot to send you a card!
Create a checklist of daily actions, weekly actions, monthly actions and one-time actions. And then schedule the checklist to make sure you’re always on top of your LinkedIn strategies. How do you think Santa get’s everything done? He uses a lists and checks it twice (on Mondays and Fridays).
Gift Seventeen: Always be Courteous
LinkedIn is a business-networking site. Be courteous. Try to Answer Inmails, messages, and requests for introductions within 72 hours. Remember your “Please” and “Thank you”. Help someone out and “Give” more than you “Get”. This is true all the year round – not just on Christmas!
LinkedIn is a great place to get information, to get connections, to get clients, to get employees. But follow the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Don’t spam. Don’t infiltrate email boxes with constant sales messages. Instead share valuable information via your groups, updates and answers and let clients come to you.
Gifts from LinkedIn – the New UI
Gift Eighteen: Easy to Edit!
LinkedIn’s new user interface is easier to edit. There’s no longer an excuse to have an incomplete profile. Or to leave old and the irrelevant information on your profile. Take the time to get to know LinkedIn’s new user interface, and make a few changes that reflect where you are now and where you are going. LinkedIn is about moving forward, not falling back.
Gift Nineteen: Easier to Add Special Sections!
LinkedIn’s new user interface also makes it a lot easier to add those special sections that you might not even have seen before. While the “Add Sections” section has been there for the past few years, many people just skip over that link – even though its in bright orange – we still somehow manage to miss it!
But the new user interface encourages us to add things like:
• The languages we speak
• The volunteer work we do
• The licenses and certifications we’ve achieved
• The patents we have won
• And for students or jobseekers – the grades we’ve achieved, and the courses we taken
Not only is it important to add these items to your profile because they differentiate you from everybody else out there, but you can also add more keywords to these sections and that will make your profile more findable.
Gift Twenty: “In Common”
With the new user interface you have the ability to see shared groups, causes and interests with your network. Talk about an awesome tool! The days of cold calling are gone. With shared interests you can see just that – and have the tools on hand to open a conversation with someone. This is absolutely huge! Bigger than Santa’s belly!
Gift Twenty-One: Connection’s Search
Now you can search your connection’s network and choose the best gateway person to introduce you to exactly the person you need to meet. It doesn’t matter that you don’t know their name, you know what they do and you know who can introduce you to them. And then use the “In Common” feature mentioned above to start a conversation with them.
Gift Twenty-Two: Who’s Viewed my Profile? (With new graphs!)
One of the reasons I like the paid account is the ability to see who’s viewed my profile in full. As well I’ve always liked the ability to see how people found me, what keywords they were searching on, as well as the demographics of my network. This is still available in the new user interface, but with new shiny graphs!
Also – I can see how my connection’s network breaks down. Are they the people I should be interacting with? Are they active in the right industries for me; are they active in the right locations or companies? Now we can easily see these statistics on their home page.
Gift Twenty-Three: Steps to Adding Rich Media Content
• First of all, make sure that you are in edit profile mode.
• Scroll down to your Summary section, your Experience section, or your Education section.
• Click on the add media link that looks like the little square box between the pen and the positioning arrow.
• Add your link. (Your video, image, document or presentation must have a URL address)
• Once you’ve added the link, you can edit the title field and description.
Then all you have to do is hit save. And you’ve got your video your image your presentation smack dab in the middle of your LinkedIn profile.
Take the day off you silly goof! It’s the holidays. Why are you reading this? Go spend time with your family! Or your cat! Or your hamster!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all! Wishing you the best holiday and year yet!