5 Ways to Communicate Your Message on LinkedIn (Part 8 of 10)

When I first joined LinkedIn my thought was that this would be a good place to network and connect to other business professionals.  What I’ve learned since is that LinkedIn is a great place to communicate your message to millions of business professionals.  Most often through indirect methods.

Most people think in term of communicating directly, but that’s a traditional perspective.  Social networking/media has its own rules in regards to sales related activites and most often using a direct sales pitch will fail and potentially cause damage to your brand.

There are a few ways to communicate directly on LinkedIn.  The most obvious is to send a direct message to your first degree connections.  Personally when I receive a direct sales message I immediately archive it.  Most often it’s from someone I’m connected to but do not personally know.  If I receive several I simply remove the connection.

If you want to sell to me you have to first introduce yourself and then start a conversation.  It all starts with the three requirements necessary for someone to choose to do business with you.  First they have to know you, second they need to like you, and finally they need to trust you.

Connecting or interacting within LinkedIn groups can accomplish the “getting to know you” requirement.  Moving to like and trust requires time and interaction.  You’re going to have to share value over time for this to occur.

Here are some of the ways that I communicate my message to tens of thousands of LinkedIn members each week. Continue reading 5 Ways to Communicate Your Message on LinkedIn (Part 8 of 10)

What is a Social Networking/Media Expert?

I recently was asked to speak at a workshop on LinkedIn by a connection of mine.  A week or so prior to the event I received an email from her to use to promote the event.  The description headline stopped me in my tracks…”Sean Nelson the King of LinkedIn”

It took me about two seconds to fire off an email telling her to ditch the royal reference ASAP.  A lot of people would call me an expert on LinkedIn, its their opinion so they can think or say what they like.  I have a different different way of describing what I am.  “I’m simply a small business owner that learned how to use LinkedIn and Social networking / media in order to network more efficiently and to drive new business.”

The word “expert” is thrown around way too often these days with little to back up the claim.  What does a LinkedIn expert look like?  How do you determine that they are an expert?  The same goes for “social networking/media expert”.

I was looking at my home page the other day and noticed an updated profile for a connection of mine and someone I’ve known for the last couple of years.  Curious about what changed I took a look at his profile and immediately noticed that after years in another field he was now a social media expert.

Now anyone can learn a lot about social media and be seen as an expert or extremely knowledgeable even if they’re not in the marketing or advertising field.  I’m a prime example of that.  I learned LinkedIn and social networking/media through trial and error trying to drive business for my insurance agency.

In this case the person had attended a couple of my LinkedIn workshops, a few other social media workshops, and was partnering with a company jumping from Google Adwords to social media.  It takes more than attending a couple of workshops and working in the industry to be an expert.

So what is an expert and how do you determine if you’re one?  Is it valid to claim that you are an expert or does that title have to be conferred upon you by another person?  I’m not certain what the official definition is but here are some thoughts about what I think it takes to potentially be considered an expert: Continue reading What is a Social Networking/Media Expert?

Why Are You On LinkedIn? (Part 2 of 10)

In Part 2 of the 10 Part Series “Can LinkedIn Work for You?” we start with a question…“Why are you on LinkedIn?” LinkedIn takes time and effort to produce results.  Without knowing the answer to this question how do you know what actions you should be taking?

Most people initially joined LinkedIn because either they stumbled across an article saying how great the site was or because someone told them they have to be on it.  There was probably some excitement about the possibilities that quickly faded once you realized you had no clue what to do now that you had an account.

By its navigation structure LinkedIn is telegraphing some of this potential:

  1. People:  Find people you know and build a trusted network.
  2. Jobs:  Find a new job or advance your career.
  3. Answers:  Share and discover information.
  4. Companies:  Be found  by others and have a way to promote your company.

All are great ways to use LinkedIn but what’s missing is the most important reason…to grow your business and make more money.

When I conduct LinkedIn workshops I always poll the audience to see why they are on LinkedIn.  Usually about 75% say they are on it to network, 20% say they are on it to find a job or advance their career, and 5%  or less say they are on it to grow their business and make more money.

If you think about it, networking and advancing your career are part of the process of growing your business and making money. Continue reading Why Are You On LinkedIn? (Part 2 of 10)

5 Simple LinkedIn Actions that Make a Difference

I’ve talked about some big things you can do in the past to more effectively utilize LinkedIn. Today we discuss 5 little things you can do that can make a difference.

1.  Making URL’s Hyperlinked

When people respond to questions in answers or posts in a group discussion board they often include a URL.  Many of these are done wrong so that if someone wants to visit the link they have to copy it and post it in the browser address bar.  These URLs usually look like www.linkedintuition.com.  If you want it to be hyperlinked simply add the http:// so that the format is http://www.linkedintuition.com.

Get this right and your click thru rates will increase.

2.  Properly Size Photo’s

LinkedIn photo’s are 80 x 80 in size.  Before posting your picture make sure it is a square picture so that when it is resized by LinkedIn it retains the proper proportion.  Add a rectangle picture and you’ll look like someone is squeezing your head.

Use a graphics editor to crop your picture to a square and resize to 80×80 or 160×60, etc.  It doesn’t matter as long as its square.

3.  Change Your Group digests to Weekly (instead of daily)

Let’s say you took my advice in previous posts to join 50 groups.  When you join a group you can tell the group how often you are open to receiving activity alerts.  The default setting is daily.  During the week you’ll get 250 digest alerts…one from each group each day.  Change it to weekly and it will be more manageable.  If you have groups that you don’t want a digest from you can choose to not receive updates.

You can also choose to not receive group announcements which the manager can send once every seven days.  I would recommend allowing the periodic announcements.

Reclaim your message Inbox.

4.  Send a Personal Message When Connecting

When you accept an invitation request it takes you to a subsequent page that allows you to type a message.  This is a great opportunity to thank the person for the connection invitation and to communicate a message.  It won’t make a difference in every case but it can have an impact.  I customize each so that my response is relevant.

Does it help?  Not with everyone but it certainly doesn’t do any harm.  Stand out by taking the 20 seconds it takes to send a follow up message.

5.  When You Ask a Question Choose a “Best Answer” or Multiple “Good Answers”

This is a common courtesy.  You’ve asked a question and others have taken their time to answer it.  You should make it a habit to read all answers provided and provide feedback on the quality.  Often a single answer will stand out in which case you designate the answer as the “Best Answer” provided.  Sometime one answer will not stand out but several will provide value.  Simply choose several as “Good Answers”.

Return the favor by answering other’s questions and by recognizing answers to your question that provided value.

Wrap Up

Compared to some of the tricks and tips in some recent posts these seem relatively modest.  They are important and can make a difference.  They’re all simple and require little extra effort to do.  These and others are included in the LinkedIn MBA available for $4.97 at http://www.linkedintuition.com/book.html.

What are some other simple things you can do that make a difference?

SONARconnects is a full service advertising and marketing agency.  We help our clients by showing them how to develop strategies and tactics to build communities of people, communicate their message, and monetize their social networking/media presence.  Our clients include Lenny’s Sub ShopCopeland’s New Orleans Style Restaurant (ATL), Action Business Coaching (ATL), Aussie Pet Mobile (ATL), The Frederick Group, and MyCustomDay.

If you’re struggling to understand how to use social networking/media to build brand awareness and drive new business call us for a Free consultation at (404) 663-3997 or visit our site:  http://www.sonarconnects.com.