Growing Your Business with LinkedIn (part 9 of 10)

Two months ago I started this series asking the question “Can LinkedIn work for you?”. Today we come full circle and look at expanding on the four keys of success that I listed in the original article:

1.  The Right Purpose = The right Activities
2.  More Reach = More Opportunities
3.  Provide Value to Others = Know, Like, & Trust
4.  More Activity = More Success

Get these four right and LinkedIn will work for you. The components of each of these have been covered throughout the series so if you’ve followed along this should put the icing on the cake.

The Right Activities
There is the ideal and there is reality. Reality is that most of us first joined LinkedIn and begin to explore it over time. Most people get that LinkedIn is about connecting to other people so the first step is that people invite those that they know. After those first connections are made, though, is where most people hit the wall.

My kids love movies and there is a scene in “A Bugs Life” where the ants are carrying food in a neat and orderly line…one after another. Each one is simply following what the other is doing. Suddenly a leaf lands between two ants and the one in front keeps moving but the one behind has no clue what to do. The leaf is the ant’s wall.

After some coaching the ant simply changes directions to go around the leaf and the line continues moving.

On LinkedIn the ability to move around your walls is dramatically increased if you have taken the time to develop goals and a strategy for reaching the goals. Because if you don’t know what you hope to achieve (purpose) how do you know which actions you should be taking.

You need to think about why you are on LinkedIn and develop a strategy to make it work for you. My purpose for being on LinkedIn is to make money. Actions such as connecting, starting discussion posts, posting news articles, joining groups, asking and answering questions, posting status updates, etc. are all done with this purpose in mind. Continue reading Growing Your Business with LinkedIn (part 9 of 10)

The Insurance Brokers Guide to LinkedIn

insurance brokers guide to linkedin 200

Today I’m excited to announce the first industry specific guide that I have written about LinkedIn.  This guide was developed based on the 8 years of experience that I have as an insurance broker and the expertise I’ve developed since 2006, using LinkedIn to drive new business.

The Insurance Brokers Guide to LinkedIn uses Action Steps to walk you through the process of moving from a social networker to a social marketer.  You’ll learn how to identify why you are on LinkedIn, expand your network, build your credibility, leverage LinkedIn, and a Bonus Action Step on using LinkedIn to prospect.
As a Special Bonus you also get a free copy of my LinkedIn MBA, a $9.97 value, which uses exercises to walk you through creating a “Killer” profile.

The Insurance Brokers Guide to LinkedIn is relevant to any business person, but the examples and terminology are geared to insurance brokers.  Here is a list of the content:

Foreword by Jeremiah Desmarais, Vice President Marketing, Norvax
Authors Note
Introduction
Action Step 1:  Understanding Why You Are on LinkedIn
Action Step 2:  Extending Your Networks
Action Step 3:  Building Your Credibility
Action Step 4:  Leveraging LinkedIn
Bonus Action Step:  Prospecting with LinkedIn
Wrap Up
14 Quick Action Steps
6 Social Media Tools You Should Be Using
  • Foreword by Jeremiah Desmarais, Vice President Marketing, Norvax
  • Authors Note
  • Introduction
  • Action Step 1:  Understanding Why You Are on LinkedIn
  • Action Step 2:  Extending Your Networks
  • Action Step 3:  Building Your Credibility
  • Action Step 4:  Leveraging LinkedIn
  • Bonus Action Step:  Prospecting with LinkedIn
  • Wrap Up
  • 14 Quick Action Steps
  • 6 Social Media Tools You Should Be Using
For more information about this guide and to purchase your copy go to:  http://socialmediasonar.com/insurance_brokers_guide_to_lin.html

Social Media Process in a Picture

Yesterday I wrote about 6 tools that we use at SONARconnects to create and implement social media/networking strategies for ourselves and our client’s.  This got me to thinking about how to simplify things by laying out the process in a graphic.  Below is the result of that exercise.  I hope it helps you see the overall picture.

Social Media Process flow

Does this help you see things more clearly?

Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1.  The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3.  Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4.  Resource Center.  If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients.  Contact Us if we can help you.

Radio LinkedIn Interview with Gravity Free Radio

radiox graphic

This past week Erik Wolf and Stephanie Frost, hosts of the Gravity Free Radio show were desperate for a guest so they turned to Scott Dunn and myself.  I’m always happy to be filler for Erik and Stephanie.

In addition to the show Erik and Stephanie run Zero-G Creative, a killer web design, graphic design, and web tools company that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a unique website and online presence.

The show covers LinkedIn bouncing from building your network, optimizing your profile, and leveraging LinkedIn.  There’s a better explanation on the show at the Gravity Free Radio show

To listen to the show go to  http://gravityfreeradio.com/archives/187

Why the Change from Linked Intuition to Social Media Sonar

Welcome to the old Linked Intuition blog and the new Social Media Sonar blog.  First let’s address why the blog changed.

“Cease and Desist”!  That’s the headline in the email I received from LinkedIn on July 10th.  It seems that they are worried that some people might be confused about my blog and interpret it as a part of LinkedIn.  There’s also this thing called Trademark.

The blogs name was Linked Intuition which in itself is not an issue.  The problem is that when you combine the terms for a URL…LinkedIntuition… it includes the letters Linkedin which is where the trademark issues comes up.

When I received the email I forwarded a copy to Brad Crose, and attorney who works in the field of copy write and trademark (more out of curiosity since I had already decided to change the domain name).  Brad was a great help in understanding the various angles.  If you ever need help in these areas he’s a great resource.

LinkedIn owns the trademark to LinkedIn and they have every right to do what is in their power to protect their trademark.  I don’t disagree with that.  I don’t even disagree with their asking me to stop.  Once again it’s their right to take action that they feel they need to take to protect their trademark.

I do think they miss the point though.  LinkedIn is part of the Social Media landscape and a huge component of that is fostering community.  The blog was a part of that community and 50,000 visitors each month participated to some extent by visiting it.  From a social media perspective LinkedIn should be celebrating the fact that this large number of people are looking for more information about how to utilize LinkedIn more effectively.  Rather than take an adversarial position they should be trying to figure out how to engage the people advocating their service.

The Linked Intuition blog isn’t the only blog doing this, there are several sites that do a great job as well.  All provide free publicity to LinkedIn.  These sites are doing LinkedIn’s job for them by teaching people how to use it more effectively.  If LinkedIn was doing a great job of teaching it’s users how to use it effectively, would 50,000 people come to this blog each month to learn from me?  Or the other blogs for that matter.

For my part the change comes at a good time.  I’ve written about how I’ve been an insurance broker for the last 8 years and really learned LinkedIn in order to grow my business.  Writing the blog and the three LinkedIn books and Workbook have been a way to share what I’ve learned with others.  This activity has opened new doors.

New Opportunity
I’ve recently partnered with Sonarconnects, an advertising agency here in Atlanta, to help small businesses understand how to use social media to grow their business.  This includes Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, blogs, and LinkedIn.  As I start this new opportunity its a great time to expand the conversation.

I plan to continue providing the same great tips and strategies about LinkedIn that my readers have come to expect.  You’ll just start to see some pieces on the other components.  With the expansion I’ll also likely start bringing in guest authors from time to time.

Pardon the Mess
For a short period things may get a little confusing.  To help the readers make the transition the first thing I plan to do is to forward all of the Linked Intuition links to the corresponding pages of the new blog.  If you bookmarked the old site now would be a great time to update those bookmarks.  If you see a Linked Intuition link out there I would appreciate a heads up or a message to the site posting the link.  Some links will be lost but over time hopefully these will be less of an issue.

When I started the Linked Intuition blog it was no where on the radar…several million blogs had more traffic.  As the site disappears it had moved to one of the top 165,000 sites based on Alexa.com data (the new blog debuts at number 4.9+ million).  That’s a testament to the thousands of readers who took the time to read the blog , post comments, and link to it.

A Moment of Thanks
Thanks to LinkedIn for making a great service.  They have 41+ million different perspectives of what LinkedIn should be and for the most part get it right.

Thanks to Nate Kieveman of Linked Strategies for immediately wanting to jump to my defense.

Thanks to Ross Dodwell owner of the group Top Recommended People for constantly pushing the blog, the books, and just being of service.  Join his group if you have 10 recommendations.

Thanks to the sites that have linked back to the blog.

Thanks to those who have taken the time to retweet my posts.

And thank you for reading and participating in the conversation.

Warm Regards,

Sean Nelson