LinkedIn – Top 5 Tips – Participate

This is the last in the series of my Top 5 LinkedIn Tips.  Now that your profile is up to snuff, you need to Participate to keep your name in front of your connections.

Participate – There are so many ways to participate in LinkedIn.  Three of the most obvious are:

  • Updates
  • Groups
  • Answers

Updates – When you share a status update, your post goes into the stream of your connections.  This is the most regular type of activity that you want to pursue.  I recommend posting something in your status at least 3 times a week.  The other things that you do show up as status updates – connections you make, answers you provide, and updates that you make to your profile.  If you aren’t actually posting information, people may not realize you are engaged or active in updating your knowledge withing your industry.

Groups – When you engage in discussions within Groups you not only get your name out there, but you are able to share your expertise.  Have you written a blog article that may be of interest to the members of the groups to which you belong?  Here is a link to a previous blog article on how to share that in your groups. In the article I recommend posting it to your company page first to gain that mileage.

Answers – To provide your expertise, seek out open questions in Answers.  You will find the Answers section under the MORE tab in the LinkedIn toolbar.  If you are searching for an answer to something new, or even old, you can use the function as well.  The more “best” answers you receive, your expertise level rises. Unfortunately, there are people who do nothing but answer questions hoping to get that best answer.  Within the answer you are able to provide a link to information on the web from an industry expert.  If you have a website, insert the link.

Every time you participate or connect with someone new, a notification goes up in the update streams of the people to whom you are connected.  Marketing theory goes that it takes 5-7 touches before someone remembers your name and 21 touches for someone to take action.  The more frequently your connections see your name (touches), especially with useful information, the more likely they are to either a.) do business with you, or b.) tell one of their connections about you. Either way, this drives back to my mantra – It’s not who you know, but who they know.

If you would like to read the other articles in this series link to the following: Photos, Complete, Connections, Invitations

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LinkedIn – Top 5 Tips – Connections

Number 3 in the series of Top 5 LinkedIn Tips dealing with your personal profile is Connections

Connections – to be effective in LinkedIn you need a minimum of 150 connections 1st degree connections.  Briefly – if you are directly connected, they are 1st degree connections, those peoples connections are your 2nd degree connections (if you aren’t connected to them), and the 2nd degree person’s connections are your 3rd degree.  Sally Smith may be your next door neighbor but if she isn’t connected to someone in your sphere of connections, she could be Out of Network.

In the classes and one-on-one sessions I offer, my mantra is “It’s not about who you know, but about who they know.”  Social networking is all about growing your network of people you know, building relationships, and IMHO paying it forward (instead of working on the philosophy of what’s in it for me). While I always advocate face-to-face networking, developing relationships is important, and in some cases, getting to know someone on-line is just as valuable as meeting someone in person.

Once you are a 1st degree connection with someone, you have access to their list of connections.  This is useful if you are trying to reach someone specifically.  Connecting with people who are well connected broadens your reach and potential network connections.

Less than 10% of my connections are considered an “on-line only” connection. I know that because I have “tagged” all of my connections through a function in LinkedIn that allows me to categorize my connections for later reference. One of my other blog posts is about tagging connections with a link to a how-to video.  Tagging your connections makes your efforts to communicate with them “categorically” much easier down the road.

One more little tool related to connections can be found in LinkedIn Labs.  It is a visualization of how my network is a network.  You can check out the full size version here.  It is called an inmap.  I think it is pretty and truly reflects how your network is just that, interconnected and cloud-like.

You can read the other articles in the series by clicking on the links – Photos, Complete.  Coming up is: Invitations & Participate.

Let me know if I can help you build your LinkedIn profile.

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