Wednesday, 15 January 2014

LinkedIn, the dinosaur of the social networking world is anything but archaic

Embrace LinkedinFive smart and simple to implement ways to maximize Linkedin are sometimes overlooked. Check the list below to be sure you haven’t missed out on the opportunity Linkedin offers.
I was first introduced to LinkedIn in 2007. By an 82-year old woman who was making a fortune in direct sales. Like many entrepreneurs, I was attending a networking meeting, trying to drum up business for one of my start-ups; a home tutoring business. I was a tutor broker who woke up one day and realized if I didn’t get involved in social media, my business would cease to exist.
I sat there, dumbfounded, that this senior citizen was aghast when I told her I thought LinkedIn was for corporations and job seekers. Oh, how naive the younger set (me) was back in the early days of social media! My 20 plus years in corporate America were behind me. All I knew about LinkedIn (little to nothing) was that it was the blue-suit of the online networking world. And, I had given my blue, gray, brown, and black suits to a consignment store.
The direct sales wonder woman, however, insisted I go home and sign up for an account. So, I did. She was kind of intimidating and I felt somehow accountable to her, as I knew she would check up on me. So, off I went and filled in my profile and started connecting with everyone and anyone. Turned out I also knew absolutely nothing about target markets and ideal clients. Before long, I had over 300 connections and was having a ball. Unfortunately, none of them needed or wanted tutoring for their kids. My efforts and race to 500 connections so I could be a LION were in vain.
Fast forward to 2010. My entrepreneurial gene blossomed and lo and behold, after taking a social media class, I discovered my inner online networking mojo. Luckily, I was a quick learner and the potential and promise of social media became very clear. So clear, that I ended up coaching and teaching others about the world of social networking. Tutoring business be damned! I found my passion and never looked over my shoulder when I sold my business and reinvented myself. I went back and disconnected from about 389 people (Ok, exactly 389 people) and figured out LinkedIn was going to be one of the best ways to attract business, share my story, and establish myself in my new career.
Five reasons for my love of LinkedIn that I teach my social media clients follow:
  1. LinkedIn is not just for finding a job. What began as a recruiter’s best tool is now a networking paradise for over 259 million users. Your ideal client is on LinkedIn – go forth and wow them.
  2. NOT being on LinkedIn is one of the biggest professional mistakes one can make, regardless if you are selling widgets or are the CEO of a major corporation. They don’t call in LINKED “in” for nothing. It’s not who you know, it’s about who you know who knows someone else who knows someone else who needs and wants to link up with you. A potential customer is thinking of doing business with you? You can bet they will check your LinkedIn profile first.
  3. Ignoring your profile and summary can be detrimental to your career. Fill in every single section, thoroughly. And write it in first person. Tell your story, give people a glimpse of what makes you tick and how and what you’ve accomplished to arrive where you are today. Share why you are doing what you do. Leave nothing out and begin your summary with how people can get in touch with you. LinkedIn users actually read the summaries and profiles, so give it some thought.
  4. If your target market is local, don’t run away. LinkedIn has a strong enough membership that even the 82 year old granny that I met who would only travel 10 miles from her home – during daylight hours – made a great living and had a Mercedes paid for by her direct sales company to prove it.
  5. Linkedin groups rock – big-time. And don’t even think there are no groups that would interest you.  There are over 1.2  million groups from which to choose. After joining, participate; share  your information, knowledge, and educational based marketing tips.
LinkedIn is not about numbers, photo contests, or stupid pet videos. It’s all business, all the time. You don’t need a suit and tie. You do need to set aside some time to look at what others see (your profile and posts) and present yourself to the millions with class and poise. If the octogenarian could do it, you can.
What is your favorite feature on LinkedIn? What have you tried that worked out well? Please share your successes!


Post a Comment