The LinkedIn Tutors

Build your business with LinkedIn


LinkedIn connections are human beings too!

It’s always worth reminding ourselves that LinkedIn is a way to foster your relationships with other living, breathing human beings – with all their uniqueness, their sensitivities and their social expectations. If you want to relate well with valuable contacts and clients, you need to treat them with the kind of respect, consideration and social grace that you yourself would expect as a client or potential client.

Earlier this month Liz Ryan wrote an excellent piece about the ” several jarring ways in which LinkedIn makes clear that its product folks don’t understand how real people operate.” She picks out five particular examples of how this otherwise excellent online business networking tool doesn’t quite grasp what Ryan calls “the soft and squishy side of online networking and collaboration.”

It’s worth being careful, therefore, about how you use the many tools and functions that LinkedIn provides. Before you press that invitation button, request that recommendation, or publish that comment, think to yourself:

  • Would I say it, or do it, like this if I were talking with someone in person, or on the phone?
  • How would I feel if someone spoke to me or treated me this way?
  • Is there a better way of doing this that this particular person would prefer?

Along these lines, for example, it’s worth thinking about who you accept as connections if you haven’t met them, and how you ask for a connection with people you haven’t met. Kristen Burnham has written about when to accept or reject connections, and offers some tips on which connections to accept and what to do when you yourself approach someone you don’t know.

For professionals, LinkedIn is a great technical aid for growing your business, but at the end of the day that business growth will depend on having solid, long-lasting relationships with flesh-and-blood human beings.

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Secret of social media – amplify the voices of others

There is a thoughtful blog on making the best use of social media for marketing on LinkedIn’s new ‘thought leaders’ pages from Tim O’Reilly, founder of the publishing and event company O’Reilly. The key nugget, I think, is his belief in the value of amplifying the voices of others, particularly in a community where you share common interests, rather than simply shouting about yourself or trying to get others to tout your services:

In short, the secret of promotion in the age of social media isn’t to promote yourself.  It’s to promote others.  Success comes when your success depends on the success of your customers, your suppliers, your end-users, and when you spend more of your time thinking about them than about yourself.

It’s an inspiring perspective, and it fits well with age-old practices of successful human networking through helping others to make connections. How could you make use of this principle in the way you use LinkedIn (for example how you take part in LinkedIn Groups) and your other social media activities?


4 Steps to Finding the Right LinkedIn Groups for You

Many of my LinkedIn coaching clients  want to build new relationships with prospective clients.  LinkedIn groups can help you do this.  However, before you join any groups, you need to answer the following question – who is your customer? What is their industry, title or function, and where are they located?

For example, I recently searched LinkedIn groups to help me find marketing directors who work within the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector and live in London.  I’ll use this target group as an example of how you can find the right groups for you.

1.     Go to the Groups directory on LinkedIn field:  “UK AND Marketing”. In  the search results, tick the “Open groups” box.  This means you will find groups that are open to all.  If you see the lock icon on a group’s landing page, this means that you must ask to join the group and may not be allowed to join if you don’t meet their member criteria.

2.    You will see a list of possible groups to join.  Click on a group’s name and you will be taken to its landing page.  You will see your photo and the “Start a Discussion” text box – don’t worry – you haven’t joined yet. 🙂

3.  Have a look at the group’s statistics before joining.  There is no point in joining a group that doesn’t include your target market. To view group statistics, scroll down the right column of the Group page, and click on the black “View Group Statistics” button. The group statistics will give you an idea of how active the group is, who is in it, and where they are based.  Make sure you look at the demographics of the group in order to confirm that there are members at the right experience level and in the right industry, in  my case, director level members within the FMCG sector who work in London.

4.    If you find that the group is full of your target audience, join the group! If your target market is not in the group, then move on to the next group found in your search results until you find the right group for you.  If you don’t find it, start a LinkedIn group yourself!

How do you find the right LinkedIn groups for you? I’m interested in hearing your own tips and suggestions.


Tips for getting the most out of attending events by using LinkedIn

Use LinkedIn to get more value out of every event you attend.

Here are some tips for integrating LinkedIn into your face-to-face networking activities when attending an event:

Before the event:

  1. Let your LinkedIn connections know you are attending by posting a ‘status update’ on your profile.
  2. Post the event in your LinkedIn Groups and ask if anyone is going and would like to meet up during the event.
  3. Let everyone on LinkedIn see that you are attending by searching LinkedIn Events (in the ‘More’ menu) for the event and clicking on the ‘I’m attending’ button.
  4. See if there is anyone you’d like to meet at the event by going to the event’s LinkedIn page and having a look at who is attending. You may want to connect before the event and suggest meeting up at the event.
  5. If the event is not listed on LinkedIn, you can create an event page and let your connections know you are attending.  Others can then go to the page you’ve created and register their attendance as well.

After the event:

  1. If you meet someone new at the event, send them a personalised LinkedIn invitation to join your network.
  2. Once you’ve connected, have a look at their connections, is there anyone there you’d like to be introduced to?  Ask for an introduction via LinkedIn or by picking up the phone and calling your 1st degree contact.
  3. Notice what groups your new LinkedIn connection has joined – would these be good groups for you to join?  Find out by going to the LinkedIn Group landing page and clicking on the ‘See group statistics’ black button.

How do you use LinkedIn to build on the face-to-face networking you do?


Is LinkedIn a replacement for face-to-face networking ?

I’m a LinkedIn coach, so of course, I am very keen on LinkedIn as a marketing and business development tool.  But does it replace face-to-face networking?  Absolutely not!

Some people have the misconception that if you simply have a LinkedIn profile, the business should starting rolling in.  LinkedIn activities are most effective when they are used in conjunction with offline networking.  LinkedIn can help you raise awareness and interest in your offering, keep you ‘front of mind’ with current clients and reveal potential new clients.  The key is to take your online networking activities offline.

If you are in the professional services sector (lawyers, accountants, architects, designers, etc), you will rarely gain a new client through purely online activity.  Usually a phone call or face-to-face meeting needs to take place before the prospect knows you well enough and trusts you to give you their business.

Use LinkedIn by all means, but always focus on how you can take your online relationships offline — and watch your business grow.

Do you have any examples of how your LinkedIn activities have resulted in new business?   I’d love to hear from you!


Does your Twitter feed add value to your LinkedIn profile?

Personally, I don’t like to see someone’s entire twitter feed on their LinkedIn profile – especially if they use twitter as a business channel AND a personal one.  I am interested in any business-related conversations or information they can provide via twitter but I am decidedly not interested in where they are going for dinner or how nice it is for them to walk their dog!

I decided to find out what others thought and created a poll on LinkedIn.

Does seeing a person’s complete twitter feed on their LinkedIn profile annoy you?

Yes:                  96%

No:                     4%

Don’t care:           0%

For details of the poll, click on the link below:

http://linkd.in/szJMLl

Based on the results of this poll, I took my twitter feed off of my LinkedIn profile and now post twitter jargon free status updates — there’s no point in annoying people when you don’t have to!

What’s your view?


No more hit and miss when joining LinkedIn Groups

Until recently, if you wanted to join a closed LinkedIn Group, you could only see which of your connections were group members before joining.  You may have joined groups based on this information and then found, once you were a member, that the group wasn’t what you thought it was and you had little in common with the other group members.

That’s all changed now.

If you want to learn more about a LinkedIn Group (closed or open) before joining, you can look at the group’s statistics (found on the right hand side of a group’s landing page) before clicking on the ‘join’ button.

This handy statistical infographic provides the titles of the group members,  where they are based, the group’s discussion activity level and much more.  You now don’t have to join a LinkedIn Group blindfolded only to find out it’s not for you.

Which new LinkedIn tools have you found helpful?