I get asked a lot of questions about LinkedIn. One of the most common questions is, “What should I be doing to make LinkedIn more effective?” The following five things are a really good start. Put time on your calendar 2-3 times per week to do these activities on LinkedIn. Once you get into the habit, these should take you 5-10 minutes at most.
On your LinkedIn home page, look to the left under your profile picture. There is a line that says, “Who’s viewed your profile” with a number to the right. Click on that number.
It’s good to see who is reviewing your profile, and often you can figure out why. It could be people at the company you recently sent a proposal or terms sheet to. An old college buddy you recently reconnected with. Someone that is a good friend of someone else you just connected to.
If you pay attention, you might learn something important. Also, don’t respond too quickly with, “I see you checked out my profile!” It seems a bit weird… give it a day or two before following up.
Review what your network is doing by focusing on the center column of updates on your LinkedIn home page. I call this the “real-time business journal” because it’s made up things going on with your connections. Again, if you pay attention, you can learn a lot.
Take the time to like and comment on the updates from your peers and friends. It’s an easy way to stay top of mind with your connections and potentially influence new relationships just for being part of the conversation. And it’s an easy way to give virtual high fives to the people you care about.
Share an article, photo, video or idea at least once a week. This is the most important way for you to stay top of mind with your connections… who are probably your best source for referrals and business opportunities.
For example, it made my day when a client commented on one of my LinkedIn updates pointing to a blog post about donating toilet paper for Hope House. The title of that post was, “Let’s Donate a Crapload of Toilet Paper to Hope House.” And his comment was “love this! ‘crapload’ hahaha.” I know it’s a bit juvenile… but that title made a lot of people laugh over the last three weeks. And there are 2,500 rolls of toilet paper sitting in my garage waiting to be delivered to Hope House.
This stuff matters. Status updates work.
If you haven’t focused on growing your network, click on My Network in the top navigation bar and review the people’s profiles that LinkedIn suggests you might want to connect with. These suggestions are based on your current connections, where you work, where you went to school and where you’re located.
The goal isn’t to get numbers… it’s not a popularity contest. You should know, trust, respect, be willing to vouch for, etc. the people you choose to connect with. Protect your network, it’s a valuable business asset.
Be sure to personalize every single invitation to connect. There are lots of “connect” buttons all over LinkedIn that will automatically send the canned message. So be sure to go to the person’s profile page and click the blue connect button. A dialog comes up with the option to add a personal note. Click that and add your note before sending! Note: on mobile, it’s different, but there is a way to personalize… you’ve got to click the MORE button and choose Personalize Invite (on an iPhone or iPad)
If you do these 5 things every week… something good will happen. I could spend the next few months writing blog posts about amazing things that have happened on LinkedIn. Things that have helped me grow my business and my network of relationships. My hope is that will happen for you as well.
Shameless plug: If your company could use LinkedIn training, you know who to call.