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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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?