Meet Selective Site Consultants…Our Latest LinkedIn And Website Success Story

Post author: Mic Johnson

“Jason and Mic really rolled up their sleeves and dove into updating our website. They literally sat in our office until the job was done. Our website is now simple, clean and interactive. Nice work Blue Gurus!”

Terry Super, Principal

“At first I was skeptical…a new website built and launched in 2 days? After holding us accountable for content, that is exactly how much time it took to get up and going. Blue Gurus cut through all of the runaround, delays and change orders. They got it done.”

David Saab, Vice President

“I didn’t expect to have a new site it 2 days and I really didn’t expect to know how to change anything when it was completed. I’m so glad Jason and Mic changed my expectations. Now my job is simplified because I can update, create, and change content on our website to make sure we are current, and I can do it from the convenience of my own desk! If you want above and beyond, call Blue Gurus.”

Abi Schwaller, Marketing and Communications Coordinator

“LinkedIn was one of those tools we all looked at like it was an afterthought. Since the training from Blue Gurus, we have expanded our contacts, client base and geographical reach. It’s not Facebook…it’s not a toy. Blue Gurus changed our LinkedIn perspective and now it’s part of our marketing and communications best practices.”

David Saab, Vice President

ssc Comments like these are what Jason and I live for. It’s what’s kept us waking up enthusiastically for almost 6 years to do great work…for great people….throughout Kansas City. We love helping people and we love exceeding expectations.

I want to tell you a little bit more about how the work we did with Selective Site Consultants (SSC) came to be. As is often the case, it’s all about relationships.

SSC offers site acquisition, entitlements, engineering, project management, construction management, and architectural services. They’re also developing leading edge solutions in renewable energy and infrastructure security.

I met David Saab years ago through our mutual friend Chuck Schimmel. At some point along the way, David and I connected on LinkedIn. We hadn’t seen or talked to each other in years, but he saw the blog posts I routinely publish through LinkedIn and decided to reach out. He wanted to know more about what it was Blue Gurus did and how we might be able to help SSC.

So we met one day for lunch at Bo Lings (yum!) in Overland Park and I proceeded to explain that Blue Gurus builds WordPress websites and how we’re typically done in 2-3 full business days. I went on to explain that we also do LinkedIn training for sales teams. And finally I told him how we were helping several companies execute their weekly blog strategy.

David liked what he heard and told me that the next step would be for me to meet with their Executive Team to educate them on what we do and to answer their questions about process, pricing, and the like. I went to that meeting and we had a great conversation.

It was clear to me that the team was unhappy with their existing website and they wanted to learn more about how LinkedIn and consistent blogging could help their business. It was also clear to me that very quickly we established a mutual trust and respect for one other. A few days later, David asked me to send a proposal for all 3 services we discussed.

One thing led to another and a few weeks later Jason and I did LinkedIn training for 10 people on their team. We had a couple of great sessions and the team did a nice job of updating their LinkedIn profiles and committing to the process of using LinkedIn more effectively ongoing.

A few weeks after that, we were back in the SSC offices working on the new website. We scheduled 2 full day sessions, got their web hosting account set up at Flywheel (who we LOVE, btw!), and worked closely with David and Abi to get the content and layout just the way they wanted it. It was a total collaborative team effort…and it was awesome!

The project, as is usually the case, was efficient and ran smoothly. We routinely tell people that if you come ready with your content (text, images, PDF’s, etc.) we will get the website built and launched in a way that no one else in Kansas City does.

And that’s exactly what we did….and we’re thrilled to call SSC a client and have another success story to share!

Thanks David, Abi, Terry and everyone else at SSC!

Massive Recycling and Shredding Event, October 18th, 2014 hosted by Black and Veatch!

Hi friends.  It’s Jason with “news you can use” this week!

If you’re like me, you have a couple of filing boxes full of stuff that needs to be shredded and a few old computers sitting around collecting dust.  The time for that’s over, and I’ve got a great event to tell you about!  There’s a big shredding and recycling event happening on October 18th, 2014 from 8am to 2pm that’s hosted by Black and Veatch (thanks to Kandy at Home Rental Services for letting me know!)  It’s probably the biggest event like this that’s ever happened in Kansas City, and a ton of not-for-profits will be there to take all kinds of things off your hands.  The list of what you can bring is below, as well as the organizations that will be there.

You may be wondering why I’m blogging about this today.  I can’t tell you how often I get asked how to get rid of used computers.  Nobody wants to dump a bunch of potentially hazardous material in the landfill, and many places won’t take computer donations.  They just aren’t set up for it.

Surplus Exchange LogoThat said, Surplus Exchange is all about taking care of that for you.  We have been recommending Surplus Exchange to businesses for years now and they do a great job.  If you have enough old equipment (at least ten items), they are willing to come to your office and pick it all up.  Of course, there is a small recycling fee for each item, but it is the right thing to do instead of putting one or two items out for big item pickup day each year!   And that is just one of the ten organizations that will be at the event.

I hope this is something you’ll be able to take advantage of and get your world a little more organized.  We will be dropping off a couple of boxes of paper to be shredded and some computer gear to be recycled!

Location for the Event

October 18th, 2014 from 8am – 2pm
Black & Veatch

11401 Lamar Ave.
Overland Park, KS  66211
Map and Directions

What You Can Bring

  • Confidential documents, which will be destroyed on site by ProShred Security, and you can watch. The suggested donation for this service is $5 for a standard file box and $10 for larger quantities.
  • Cell phones will be collected by Sprint. Your old cell phone has moved from your hip, pocket or purse into a drawer or cabinet and is ready for recycling. Sprint will be on hand to make certain your phone is properly recycled while benefiting great charities such as the Boys and Girls Club of America.
  • Usable building material will be collected by Heartland Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Donate your new and usable building materials, hardware, fixtures and appliances to ReStore. Your donations may be tax deductible, and will benefit Heartland Habitat for Humanity’s building projects.
  • Clothing will be collected by Goodwill Industries. Clothing, housewares, small appliances, toys and many other items will be accepted.
  • Electronics such as computers, monitors, printers, TVs, VCRs and stereos will be responsibly recycled by Surplus Exchange. While most items will be accepted at no charge, there will be a fee of $10 for monitors, and $10-$25 for TVs.
  • Bicycles will be collected by Revolve. Give your unwanted bike new life and bring a smile to another by donating it. Revolve will repair and reuse whatever is feasible on your old bike and recycle the rest.
  • Up to 10 fluorescent bulbs per vehicle will be collected by Overland Park’s building maintenance division.
  • Fabric and notions will be collected by Fabric Recycles.
  • Garden tools are being collected by Kansas City Community Gardens. Other acceptable items include shovels, spades, garden forks, cultivators, rakes (not leaf rakes), garden hand tools, wheel barrows, watering wands and water heads.
  • Gently used shoes are being collected including running shoes, work boots, dress shoes, sandals and cowboy boots. Shoe Kansas City ask for all sizes of shoes for both children and adults.
  • Durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, shower and bath chairs, crutches, hospital beds and more will be accepted by the Coalition for Independence to allow individuals to live as independently as possible.

Please Contact Jim Twigg with any Questions

Jim Twigg
(913) 895-6273

My Work Email Was Hacked. Here’s How We Handled It.

Post author: Mic Johnson

Thursday, September 11, 2014.

It’s a day I’ll remember for a very long time…for a couple of reasons. It’s always a day when people all across the world pause and remember those who lost their lives, and the families that were left behind, on September 11, 2001.

This year it was also a special day for my fellow Blue Guru Jason Terry. If you haven’t seen his blog post about it, it was truly an amazing story. I wish I would have seen it in person. (Remembering 9/11…Something Special Happened Today.)

My day started with sorrow in my heart because of the tragic events of 9/11 and then the morning picked up as I was excited to be playing in a golf tournament that day. The tournament was put on by the Urban Financial Services Coalition in Kansas City, whose mission is “To enhance the representation of minorities in professional positions in the financial services industry and promote better access to financial services for low-to-moderate income populations and communities.”

I was invited by my friend (and Financial Advisor) Archie Kangethe and also played with my good friends Jacob Wayman and Jamie Jones. The weather that day was supposed to be around 65 degrees and sunny. I was so excited to enjoy the gorgeous weather, a round of golf with friends, all the while supporting a great cause. We had a great time, but unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate. It stayed cloudy all day, misted on us at times, and the wind was cold and biting in spots throughout the day.

Little did I know that the cold and gray weather was foreshadowing for what would happen when I got back to my home office.

Hack emailAs I was catching up on emails and doing a few things for work, my phone rang. It was Jason, and he said:

“Hey, I just got a really weird email from you, asking me to click on a link. Your email account might have been hacked.”

I had no idea what he was talking about and hadn’t heard from anyone else.

And that’s when all hell broke loose.

1. As I was talking to Jason, my phone began vibrating like crazy with text message after text message and incoming calls.

2. At the same time, I started to get email after email, some from people I hadn’t communicated with in years, with messages saying:
“Did you mean to send this to me?”, “I think you got hacked”, “Is this real?”, “What is this? I wanted to make sure it was from you before I clicked on it”, and on and on.

3. In a panic as my phone and email kept blowing up, I called Joe Tierney at Umzuzu (they are the best Google Apps guys around and helped us get set it up for Blue Gurus). He helped me get my password reset on my Google Apps account and shared a post from their blog on what steps I should take: I Think My Gmail Was Hacked? At the same time, his fellow Umzuzu-ite Tony Sheets helped recover all of my contacts and handled some other technical items behind the scenes.

Mic FB Email Hack Update4. While I was doing all of that, Jason put together an email using MailChimp and sent it out to the 3,000 contacts/email addresses I exported from my Gmail account. We ended up getting several “THANK YOU” messages from people who appreciated the email explaining what happened and our response to it. Others told us how well written the email was. Jason gets all of the credit for that because I was too busy running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off!

5. Jason and I then both set up 2-factor authentication on our Gmail accounts so something like this would never happen again.

6. For the next couple of days, I replied back to around 150-200 people via email, text, etc. saying “Sorry for the inconvenience. My email was hacked. Don’t click the link and delete the email. Again, my apologies.” I also posted an update on my FaceBook page letting people know what happened.

Whew! What a day! It started out with sorrow in my heart, picked up as I played golf with friends, then went crazy when my email was hacked, and ended up with us handling the situation (THROUGH EXCELLENT TEAMWORK) about as well as we possibly could.

If you haven’t already, please take the necessary steps with your email program so something like this never happens to you. It was a lesson I had to learn…the hard way.

Blue Guru Email Hack Announcement

Remembering 9/11… Something Special Happened Today

Hi friends!  It’s Jason with the Blue Gurus blog post for this week.

Enterprise-UniversityI really enjoy meeting new people and training them on using LinkedIn and blogging to grow their businesses.  I got a good dose of that feeling today when I did a 3 hour, in-depth training session on LinkedIn for Enterprise University.  EU is a training program that Enterprise Bank offers to customers and prospects.  There were about 35 people in the class today and we met at the Hallbrook Country Club, a beautiful venue for sure.

As I was driving to the club at 7:30 am, I was thinking about the fact that today is 9/11.  It’s hard to believe that today is the 13th anniversary of the terrible events and thousands of lives lost on September 11th, 2001.  I remember exactly where I was at when it was happening.  I was with my family in Colorado.  We had rented a cabin in Colorado Springs as our staging point for Garden of the Gods, the Pike’s Peak cog railway, hiking up Seven Falls, and more.

On the morning of 9/11/01, we were going to take the cog railway up Pike’s Peak.  I went out to the car to wait for the rest of my family and turned on the radio.  The station it was on had some person talking, so I changed the channel.  The next station I found had another person talking, so I changed the channel again.  When I got to the third station and it was still someone talking, I started to listen and realized everyone was reporting that planes were crashing into the World Trade Center.  I couldn’t believe it.  I went back into the cabin, and we turned on the TV and watched the news unfold for the next two hours.  I was shocked, heart broken, and angry.  The emotions were raw and stayed with me for weeks.

And then a year went by.  I remembered the events like they were yesterday on the first anniversary.  And then a couple more years went by.  Lots of things happened in life and in business.  I got married.  Moved a couple of times.  Started my own business.  And thirteen years later  I found myself in the Enterprise University class at Hallbrook Country Club getting ready to teach people a lot of cool stuff about LinkedIn.  I wanted to recognize the day as a group, but I didn’t really know what to do.  A moment of silence?  A quick discussion?  I just didn’t know what to do.

9-11-EULuckily, I was saved by Britt.  Britt came to the class to learn about networking on LinkedIn.  She is a singer.  She sings at weddings, sports events, funerals and corporate events.  During one of the breaks, she came over to me and said, “You know, it’s 9/11.  Do you think it would be appropriate if I sang the national anthem?”  I was floored.  I mean it.  You know that I am rarely at a loss for words, but it took me a minute to respond to Britt.  I loved the idea and pulled up a picture of the American flag on the big screen I was using for my training.

When everyone got back from the break, I asked them to stand for the National Anthem in memory of 9/11.  It got really, really quiet.  Britt sang the anthem beautifully.  It was an amazing moment.  Here was a room full of business people that didn’t really know each other.  And we all took a minute to remember the events of 9/11 together.  Some people sang along quietly.  Others had their hands over their heart.  And it was one of those moving moments that doesn’t happen very often.  It was unexpected.  And powerful.  I was so thankful that Britt was brave enough to sing in front of the group.

For me, there really is no distinction between “business” and “personal”.  It’s just life.  I am the same person whether we are training your executive team on LinkedIn or having a beer together at a Royals baseball game.  Today was a reminder to me that we are in this together and there is always common ground.

So as you read this, I hope you will join me in remembering 9/11.  If you knew or were related to anyone at ground zero that lost their life, I am so sorry.  And my respect and thanks to the bravery of the police, firefighters and other services that responded so quickly trying to help.

You Don’t Lose Weight By Thinking About Going To The Gym

Post Author: Mic Johnson

I’ve been talking to Jason, people in my peer advisory group, and others about something that’s been bothering me for the better part of 2014.

I’m hoping anyone that reads this post will take a minute to try to help me out. Perhaps your experiences can give me some perspective I don’t currently have.

First, let me quickly provide a little background. Blue Gurus does three things for companies in Kansas City:

1. Content Marketing for companies that need an accountability partner to help them successfully execute a monthly blogging strategy.

2. On-site web development where most of our projects are done in 2-4 full day sessions at our clients’ offices. (Yes, we actually come TO your office and build it there!)

3. LinkedIn Training for companies that want to better utilize LinkedIn for sales and sharing content.

ThinkingAboutWorkingOutMost people would agree that all of those things are essential (dare I say…critical?) for companies in today’s business world.

You want to share the stories about your business, your products and services, your people, and more.

You want a professional, easy-to-navigate web site.

And you want a professional LinkedIn profile that accurately represents who you are, what you do, and what you’ve accomplished in your career.

Can we all agree on that?

Ok, Now On To What’s Been Bothering Me

Throughout the better part of 2014 both Jason and I have had countless conversations with decision makers in Kansas City who know they need a new web site, who know they need help with LinkedIn, and who know that their company should be blogging.

We tell them what we do, how we do it, and how quickly we can get it all done. In fact, we’ve partnered with several businesses who had poor web sites, poor LinkedIn profiles, and no blogging strategy and had them cranking on all three in just a couple of months.

We explain this to every single prospect we talk to. It all makes complete sense to them. They get excited about it. They know it’s absolutely the right thing to do.

And then they go back to their office, get busy, and end up doing… guessed it…..


You Don’t Lose Weight By Thinking About Going To The Gym

I’ve used this analogy a lot lately to describe this phenomenon we’ve seen in 2014. Even though we all know it would be totally awesome, you don’t lose weight by thinking about going to the gym.

You only lose weight when you make the effort consistently to get up each day, get some cardio and weights in, and stay committed to it (and eating healthier of course) over the long haul. And some people do this by hiring a personal trainer. That’s very similar to how we work.

So here’s the deal….

1. Very few people are going to learn about all of the cool things that you, your team, and your company do unless you start REGULARLY sharing your stories.

2. Your web site won’t ever look better and be easier to navigate if you keep ignoring it, wait for it to go down, or wait for a client or prospect to tell you how bad it is.

3. Your LinkedIn profile won’t get better until you spend some time getting trained on what makes a good profile and learn how to more effectively use LinkedIn.

We’ve had people that have gone through painful web site projects in the past that describe the experience with Blue Gurus as “FUN”, and “EASY”, and “SIMPLE”.



It’s not nearly as hard and painful as you think it is. And we’re here to help.

Email ( or call me (913-645-6650) today. Let’s work together to lose the dead business weight you’ve been carrying around for far too long.

The Top 5 Things Web Development Companies Don’t Want You To Know

Hi friends, it’s Jason.  This week, I’m going to share the 5 things that web development companies don’t want you to know.

1) Web Hosting Doesn’t Cost $250 Per Month

I’ve talked to a lot of companies over the years who are paying their web development company hundreds of dollars per month for hosting their website. For the majority of businesses, this just isn’t necessary. Don’t get me wrong, if you have an eCommerce website with a lot of traffic, you might have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month for secure hosting.

Flywheel LogoThat being said, most companies use their website to share information and have about 10-15 pages of content. About 23% of all websites are powered by WordPress. We choose to host all of our client websites at Flywheel for $30/month.

And we don’t mark it up… our clients pay Flywheel directly.

Other companies may try to justify a $250/month hosting fee by providing you monthly Google Analytics reports (which you can get for free) and the promise that they will update your content for you. But when you ask for updates to your website content, sometimes it may take several days for them to get it done.

Next time your business is wanting a new web site, consider WordPress to power it…and Flywheel to host it. The WordPress software is free and hosting at Flywheel is $30/month.

2) You Can Get A Good Logo For $300

If you go to a marketing company or professional graphics designer for a new logo, you will often see price tags in the $2,000 – $5,000 range for a small business with less than 100 employees. The most common complaint (besides price) that I hear about this is that you only get to see 2-3 logo concepts and then you get to choose one to modify enough until you like it. Ugh. LogoAnother alternative, for around $300, is doing a logo contest at LogoMyWay is a worldwide community of graphics designers that compete in logo contests. The winner of the contest gets the prize money established by the company running the contest.

Usually, the contest prize amount is around $300, and you can expect to get between 40-60 logo designs from which to choose a winner. Many of the designers are from other countries where $300 will go a long way in their local economy. I’ve helped about a dozen companies use LogoMyWay for their logo and people have been happy with the results every time. You can check out current logo contests here. Read more

Why Do I Care More About Your Personal Brand On LinkedIn Than You Do?

Post Author: Mic Johnson

I recently had breakfast with Sam Bowlby of the Cornerstone Insurance Group. We were introduced by a mutual acquaintance, and my awesome friend, Melissa Eggleston of Alterra Bank.

We spent a little bit of time talking about what we do for a living and about some of the people we have in common on LinkedIn. That led to a conversation where I explained to him that Blue Gurus trains sales teams how to best utilize LinkedIn.

As we were talking, I told Sam:

“I can’t believe how many people know that their LinkedIn profile is horrible…yet are completely content to do nothing about it. It drives me crazy. I mean, LinkedIn is THE business-to-business professional networking site, and people know that there are other people who look at their profile, but they don’t care.

A bad LinkedIn profile is a disservice to that person, to their company, and to everyone who looks at their profile. It’s almost like I care more about their personal brand than THEY do!”

And after I said that last sentence, I told Sam that it would be the title of my next blog post. So here we are.  Read more

I Have A Passion For People That Have Passion

Post Author: Mic Johnson

Have you ever had a situation where you learn something about yourself in the most unexpected way?

Maybe you were reading a book and had an “A-ha moment”.

Maybe you were talking to a friend and something just clicked in your head.

Maybe you knew it about yourself all along, but it rested in your subconscious, only to be suddenly awakened.

That’s happened to me a few times in my life and it’s always such an awesomely cool experience when it does. It happened to me early in my career with Blue Gurus and was the inspiration for me writing I’m Just Trying To Get Away From People That Suck. Read more

LinkedIn Networking Best Practices

Hi guys.  It’s Jason!

Thinking Bigger LogoI was recently asked by James Hart with Thinking Bigger Business Media to write an article on LinkedIn networking best practices for their annual Thinking Bigger Guide. He asked me to share my advice on how to use LinkedIn to make business connections without alienating potential partners. He also asked me to focus on the correct way to send invitations to connect, and whether or not people should connect with others they don’t actually know.

Before I share my thoughts about LinkedIn networking best practices, I wanted to share this link to all of the LinkedIn blog articles we have written over the past 5 years.  Most of the content is still relevant, useful, and even funny. Especially the article Mic wrote called 20 Reasons Your Business Should NOT Be On LinkedIn.

Okay, here we go.

LinkedInI just checked my LinkedIn profile and found that I signed up on August 25th, 2006.  It’s been 8 years and LinkedIn is by far my favorite tool for strengthening relationships through social media. I’ve helped a bunch of people and made a good living… and I’ve made LinkedIn an important part of my success.

I have strong opinions about how to use LinkedIn to network effectively. Keep in mind that my goal in networking has always been to connect and stay top of mind with the people that I admire, trust and respect in Kansas City. Sure, I’m connected to people in lots of places, but we live and work primarily in Kansas City, so my networking efforts are focused where they will have the most value for Blue Gurus.

I specifically want to know and connect to the owners and decision makers of the roughly 6,000 businesses that are potential clients in the KC metro area.

Decide How Open Or Closed Your Network Should Be

Totally AwesomeI believe that you should treat your LinkedIn network like a members only club full of awesome people, and you are the owner and president that decides who gets to be in your club.

You should know and trust the people that you invite to connect. Hopefully you’ve done business together and gotten to know each other socially outside of “work”.

By hand picking these kinds of relationships, you’re narrowing your focus to the people that like you, want to be around you and want to help you succeed.  They become your extended sales force and cheerleaders.

Your Connections Make An Impression

When people get referred to you or your business, they’re going to check you out on LinkedIn.  Their first impression is driven by your profile being complete, your picture, your summary and your shared connections.

How much more would you trust me before you even met me if we had 20 connections in common versus zero, especially if those 20 connections were some of your most trusted business friends and peers?

This happens to me regularly, and it feels great!  Just about every opportunity begins with a conversation about who referred us and the great people that we know in common.

Your Connections Can Hurt You

Let’s face it.  There are plenty of people in the business community that suck. You know who I’m talking about… The takers. The time wasters. The ones that don’t do what they say they’re going to do. The ones that think they are too important to return your calls.

I promise you that their reputation is well known by others. If you’re connected to anyone like this on LinkedIn, their bad reputation may hurt you because of the association.

Are you worried about hurting their feelings by not accepting their connection request?  DON’T.  It’s your personal club, remember?  Make the right call and ignore that request from someone you just don’t care for, whatever the reason.

So How Do You Make Connections On LinkedIn Without Alienating People?

Now that you understand how I feel about protecting your network, you will understand why I wouldn’t recommend you sending connection requests to people you don’t know on LinkedIn. There are exceptions of course, but generally you should meet and connect with new people through your existing relationships.

Leverage your LinkedIn network to get introduced to the people you want to meet.  (There are many ways to generate a list of prospects, but I will save that for another article.)

Once you know who you need to meet, search for their profile on LinkedIn.  Then see who you know in common with that person.  Pick up the phone and ask your best connection  for an introduction. (If at all possible, give them a good reason why you want them to introduce you to their connection so it isn’t an awkward request. Do your research before asking.)

What’s The Correct Way To Send Invitations To Connect?  Personalize.

Mic touched on this last week.  Begin by searching for the person you want to connect to. Once you have found their LinkedIn profile, look for the blue “Connect” button beneath their name. Clicking this button will give you a dialog like the one below.

Fill out the form and be sure to take a minute to personalize the invitation. Remember, you’re asking them to let you into THEIR personal club of awesome people.  Take the time to let them know how you met and maybe include the next steps for getting together and building on your new relationship.

Personalized LinkedIn Request

Final Thoughts

  • I encourage you to think about your network of connections on LinkedIn. Do you really know the majority of them?  If not, maybe it is time for a little house cleaning. You can remove connections on LinkedIn by clicking on Connections, selecting the contact you want to remove, selecting the “More” button, and then choosing Remove Connection. (NOTE: It doesn’t alert the person that you’ve removed them.)
  • Consider removing any connections that have bad reputations in the business community.
  • Are you personalizing your connection requests?  If not, please start today.  Your future connections will appreciate it.

I would love to hear your thoughts!  Drop a comment or email

5 Steps To Grow Your LinkedIn Network In Just 15 Minutes A Week

Post Author: Mic Johnson

If you’re like most people on LinkedIn, one area you can improve on is increasing the number of quality connections you have. The good news is that if you follow the 5 simple steps I’ve outlined below for just 15 minutes a week, you will quickly grow your LinkedIn connections and develop a robust network you can be proud of!

LinkedInThe benefits of developing and nurturing a quality network can’t be overstated. Your network may help you if you’re in sales and want to leverage trusted relationships to get a foot in the door. It may help you find your next career. It may help you find a vendor to help you or your company. If you or your company start blogging, it also provides an audience to share your content with.

Growing your LinkedIn network with quality connections can do nothing but help you and your career. Completing these simple steps will make that a reality sooner rather than later.

1. Add A Recurring, Weekly 15 Minute Appointment To Your Calendar.

Go to your Outlook, Google or other electronic calendar and create a recurring weekly, 15 minute calendar appointment that says “Add LinkedIn Connections”. Schedule it on a day and time you will commit to each week.  Calendar appt

2. Log in to LinkedIn and go to “People You May Know”.

“People You May Know” appears in the upper right hand side of your LinkedIn home page.

People You May Know

3. Click on “See More”.

Once you click on “See More”, LinkedIn will pull up a never-ending list of people that you may know.

IMPORTANT: You want to focus on connecting to people that you know, trust, respect, have worked with, can vouch for, etc. It isn’t a numbers game. You want your LinkedIn network to be comprised of trusted relationships…not just a bunch of people you don’t know.


 4. DON’T select the “Connect” button. DO select the button with a pencil inside of a square.

The reason for this is if you hit the “Connect” button, LinkedIn will automatically send the default (and highly impersonal) “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message. Instead, select the button that has a pencil inside of a square and personalize your connection request.

(NOTE: If you don’t know some of the people showing up in “People You May Know” simply hover over the rectangle and an “x” will appear in the upper right hand corner. Click the “x” to delete that connection request suggestion from LinkedIn.)

5. Personalize your connection requests.

Once you’ve clicked on the button with a pencil inside of a square, the image below will appear. Delete the default LinkedIn message and instead type in a personal message such as:

“Hi Tim. It’s good to see you on LinkedIn. I’m working on growing my network and was hoping we could connect. Let me know if I can ever help you in any way. I hope all is well with you and the family. Have a great day!”

Also get into the habit of removing your last name in the default message to make it less formal. Then hit “Send Invitation” and move on to the next one!

Do this for just 15 minutes a week and watch how quickly your LinkedIn network grows!