Unlocking LinkedIn’s Treasures

August 6, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                            return to JayVee Media Link LLC

linkedin logoLinkedIn was the hot topic for one of my recent coaching sessions.  For all the people on that site, it is surprising that a considerably small percentage understand how to make optimal use of its rich offerings.

While many of the “rules” for proper use of the platform coincide with those of other social media sites, LinkedIn is a little more regimented in the way it presents its opportunities.  Considering that it is oriented more toward business to business interaction, the manner of contact and communication on the platform is understandably more formal.  People generally maintain profiles for job search or for business networking; hence, “best foot forward” etiquette applies. There is less latitude for informality.  Finesse is also a word that comes to mind when I think and talk about interaction on LinkedIn.

Let’s look at some of the basic procedures we can follow to increase our chances of successful interaction on LinkedIn:

–“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.”  Remember that sage old adage?  Our first impression on ANY social media site comes from our profiles.  It is essential to fill them out as completely as possible.  We need to be as descriptive as we can, in as succinct a manner as we can achieve. Not an easy feat!   We also need to keep an eye toward employing strong niche related keywords and phrases as we craft our passages.   Equally important is the inclusion of a profile picture, preferably of us instead of logos or products.  It really helps to facilitate communication when a person can see a picture of whom he/she is addressing!

–Make connections with people already known to us on LinkedIn.  If we know them well enough, we shouldn’t be shy about asking for recommendations.  The sight of positive reviews on our profiles builds our reputations as well as our brands.  BUT, remember that giving is even more important than receiving.  We must be willing to write recommendations for others too – even before we are asked to do so.

–Search for and join niche related groups.  We must prepare to be active participants in them, too.  That entails keeping our eyes on the discussion topics, and adding our input wherever we see an opportunity.  If possible, we should also initiate topics ourselves.  This consistent activity builds visibility on LinkedIn and elevates status in our fields.  In turn, it will also translate to more connections that hold good business potential for us.

–Another good feature for building our visibility, credibility, and ultimately connections is the “answers” section of LinkedIn.  We should remember to visit it often, perusing it for posted questions that hold an opportunity for us to demonstrate our expertise with our answers.  Of course, we can always post our own queries there if we need assistance!

–The more we interact via the above mentioned LinkedIn features, the more potential we will have for making good connections.  This is something for which we need to strive. And we must remember to nurture those new associations.  Direct selling, especially right away, is a sure way to find ourselves ostracized.  Even on a profile like LinkedIn, which is primarily for business interaction, relationships must be grown and trust must be built before selling can take place.  Ideally, once a comfort level is achieved with connections on site, an invitation can be offered to discuss business more in depth off the site; e.g., via email, chat, video conferencing, or even in person.  That is the arena in which concentration can be turned to how we and our LinkedIn acquaintances may be able to benefit each other with our businesses.

What other tips can you offer to help us achieve business success via our LinkedIn profiles?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

LinkedIn logo with a handshake above it

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