It’s a LinkedIn sort of week for me.
Tuesday I was at a luncheon that was inspired by one of my LinkedIn connections and Thursday, we are going to be talking in a staff meeting about effective ways to use LinkedIn in the sales world.
It seems like there is a new wave of interest, so it’s time to share 3 Reasons to Use LinkedIn:
LinkedIn is your online contact manager. I used to have books filled with business cards from people I knew. Some of you might have used a Rolodex. Some may have a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) system that your business uses. What if I told you there is one way to keep all your contacts current and be notified when those contacts have a change in their details? LinkedIn does that for you.
Of course the reliability of that information is dependent on each of your contacts keeping their LinkedIn profile current. So when you have a change or update in your life, be sure to update your profile.
When you create your LinkedIn profile, fill it out completely including an appropriate picture. Remember this is a professional social media network.
As you go through the steps of creating your profile, you will be invited to connect with people you already know by entering your email address. Go ahead and do this and you will start the process of creating your own LinkedIn online contact database.
LinkedIn is a way for others to find you and for you to find others. There are a number of search options. You can search through the contacts you already have. You can search for 2nd degree connections to see who you know that knows someone you want to know. You can also search for contacts in a certain industry or specific company. Explore the search features and you may find the name of an insider that can help you establish a worthwhile relationship connection.
If you have completed your profile and are keeping it up to date, you may find people will reach out to you, which usually is good. I have had people reach out to me when they wanted to spend money with me.
LinkedIn is a way to connect with others and stay up to date with things you care about, on a professional level. You will find 100’s of groups that you can join if you want. I just checked and I belong to 17 groups. You can subscribe to daily, weekly, or no email updates with each group. Mine vary. Because of my work in social media, several are social media related. But there are also a couple of local (Fort Wayne, Indiana) groups I belong to, along with a couple groups that are related to with what I do for a living, radio advertising.
Besides getting email updates from groups, I suggest you also subscribe to email updates from your contacts. This will notify you of changes, work anniversaries, and sometimes birthdays. These are great reasons to stay in touch with your contacts. LinkedIn also has its own internal message system. I use it every week.
One last thought, and this applies to not just LinkedIn but all of the social media networks I am on. I use my email as a notification alert tool. When someone contacts me on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, I also get an email which alerts me. My email is my communication hub.
I have a smartphone with all of the social media apps, but most of my communication is done on my laptop. Each morning I check my email for updates and alerts via my phone and continue to do so during the day. However I like the full keyboard that my laptop offers when using the web.
Feel free to add your LinkedIn thoughts in the comments. And if you want to find me on LinkedIn, here I am.