Social Media Sonar blog Wins Blogoff II Contest

blogoff2Actually the blog wasn’t competing but I was using two posts that are currently listed here: “The 7 Worst LinkedIn Mistakes and Their Fixes” and “Are You a Lion, Turtle, HoundDog, or Alley Cat – What’s Your LinkedIn Connection Strategy”.

Here’s a press snippet:

Blog-Off II, a blogging contest offering social media enthusiasts and professionals the opportunity to be independently assessed by judges and statistics on their capability of implementing the fundamentals of social media marketing, came to a close with the announcement of the winner on December 24th.  This years winner, Sean Nelson author of the Social Media Sonar blog, was able to beat out an impressive collection of 28 bloggers representing 6 countries.  During the 12 day contest. Sean’s two posts generated over 8,000 visits and over 200 comments, with an impressive time spent on each post of 6:17 and 5:09 (that’s minutes:seconds).”

What’s not covered in the results above are the several hundred comments that were made in LinkedIn groups where I posted a link to the articles in a Discussion Post and as a News Article. Continue reading Social Media Sonar blog Wins Blogoff II Contest

Can LinkedIn Work for You? (part 1 of 10)

Almost one year ago I started a 10 part series on LinkedIn asking the question “Can LinkedIn work for you?”  LinkedIn has changed somewhat in the last year, so I think now is a good time to revisit the series.  Starting this week I’m going to take a look at each article and update them.   In some cases I’ll combine or delete those that are no longer relevant and add one or two new parts.

There are over 45 million people now on LinkedIn but only about 25% are active users.  I don’t really know why some people sign up but do no participate and others hit the ground running from day one.  What I do know is that once you find some success you’re likely to become a regular user.
For the first two years that I was on LinkedIn I was simply a member.  It wasn’t until I actually developed new clients from being on LinkedIn that I became a regular user.  At that point I decided if LinkedIn can help me grow my business than I better know as much as possible about it.
You can grow your business and make money by being an active participant.  I know this for a fact and can point to clients that I have that I would not have if it were not for LinkedIn.  I know that as I grow my network I find more opportunities.  I know that the more I learn and participate the more I encounter new opportunities.
One of the first things that I realized about LinkedIn was that it was simply a tool, much like my chamber of commerce, that could help me connect to others.  For some people membership in a chamber is economically beneficial.  For other it’s a waste of time and money.
It’s how you use the tool that determines the winners and losers.

There are over 45 million people now on LinkedIn but only about 25% are active users.  I don’t really know why some people sign up but do no participate and others hit the ground running from day one.  What I do know is that once you find some success you’re likely to become a regular user.

For the first two years that I was on LinkedIn I was simply a member.  It wasn’t until I actually developed new clients from being on LinkedIn that I became a regular user.  At that point I decided if LinkedIn could help me grow my business than I better know as much as possible about it.

You can grow your business and make money by being an active participant.  I know this for a fact and can point to clients that I have that I would not have if it were not for LinkedIn.  I know that as I grow my network I find more opportunities.  I know that the more I learn and participate the more I encounter new opportunities.

One of the first things that I realized about LinkedIn was that it was simply a tool, much like my chamber of commerce, that could help me connect to others.  For some people membership in a chamber is economically beneficial.  For other it’s a waste of time and money.

It’s how you use the tool that determines the winners and losers. Continue reading Can LinkedIn Work for You? (part 1 of 10)

The 4 Pillars of Monetizing LinkedIn

One of the interesting things about my time on LinkedIn has been how my thoughts and strategies have changed over time.  Its no different from life in that as you learn more you think of new ways to do things.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked “is that it?”, only to discover that there’s more to do.

Sometimes it has been that I came up with a new angle and sometimes its been because LinkedIn made some upgrades.  Either way the only way to get more out of LinkedIn is to learn more, participate more, and to constantly rethink how to use it.  The minute you stop learning you define the limits of what LinkedIn will provide…a sure fire way to ensure that you get less out of it than is intended.

Over the last year I’ve poked and prodded LinkedIn seeking to find some universal truths that would guide me in how I used LinkedIn.  As I learn more there will be others, but for now here are the four things I know in regards to monetizing my time and effort on LinkedIn.

1.  The Right Perspective = The Right Activities

I have to have a strategy.  I have to have goals.  These two form my perspective about what I expect to get out of LinkedIn.  Knowing this allows me to determine the actions I need to take.  At some point I know I need to measure my results but that will come in time.  For now I’m simply tracking what’s happening so that I can create a benchmark.

I also have to own why I am on LinkedIn by stating it clearly.  It doesn’t get any simpler than “I’m on LinkedIn to make money”.  Connecting, helping others, etc. are all part of the requirement’s to make money.

2.  More Connections = More Opportunity

This one continues to pop up and I’ve heard all of the reasons why you should or should not connect to those you don’t know.  You’ll have to make your own determination but for me I have seen the difference in results having gone from a Hound Dog to a Open Networker (I’m not an official LION so I don’t call myself one).  My offline networking in the Chamber and at events produces results with people I know or have met.  I don’t need LinkedIn for that, I need LinkedIn to expand my “Unexpected Opportunities” from people I have yet to personally meet.  Its done that and more.

3.  Know, Like, & Trust = Success

This one should be in bold letters.  Its that important.  Two out of three doesn’t cut it.  If you want to find success on LinkedIn you need to expand your reach (Know – connecting and groups), you need to provide value to others (Like – Answers, interacting, sharing, etc.), and you need to be found credible (Trust – quality profile, recommendations, sharing information).  Achieving these three components has lead to between 1 and 5 people per week calling me to help them with their health insurance needs…most from people I do not personally know.

4.  More Activity = More Success

The more you participate on LinkedIn the more your name is in front of other members.  Eyeballs lead to traffic which lead to business.  You could simply put your profile up and some people would find you.  But you don’t need some people, you need a lot of people.  It’s a numbers game that takes time and activity to succeed.

Wrap Up

The question of “Why am I on LinkedIn” has led me to question my purpose, my activities, and my results.  The four items listed above are the high level concepts that provide the framework to build on.

The foundation of the four pillars is that More Knowledge = More Creativity.  The more I learn and experiment the more I open my mind to potential.  I read other LinkedIn blogs on a daily basis.  I periodically buy or trade my books for those written by others.  I understand that while I may know a lot it’s worth paying $30 to buy the experience and knowledge of others.  I may only learn one new piece of information but I also open my self up to another’s perspective, which in the end may challenge what I currently think.

Focus on these four (and learning something new each day or week) and your time will be well spent.  What do you think?

*Remember that there are 18 months of posts available at this blog to help you more effectively utilize LinkedIn.  In addition if you are still trying to figure out the ropes the LinkedIn MBA ($4.97) and LinkedIn MBA Workbook ($7.97) are affordable resources.  LinkedIn Marketing Secret Formula is available and a great resource for those looking to take LinkedIn to the next level…going from connecting to collecting.

Retweets, Diggs, etc. are much appreciated.

Warm Regards,

Sean Nelson –  http://twitter.com/SeanENelson