My Linked in JourneyThis is a history of my Journey through the Jungle of Linkedin. Like all Networking activities utilisingthe Power of Linked in doesn’t just happen. I am like most people out there. I joined Linked in quite a while ago and created a profile andliterally forgot about it. Of course NOTHING HAPPENED!!!.Well that was a waste of time was my first thought. I had have had great succsess in the past usingface to face networking and built a whole business using BNI so I fully understood the concepts ofNetworking – but Linkedin, I just didn’t get it.Then one day a business contact that I hadn’t heard from for a long time sent me an invitation toconnect via Linkedin. I clicked on his invite and checked out his profile. Wow was I surprised. He hadover 500 Connections and when I looked at some of these connections I found he was connected tosome serious people. This got me very curious. I got on the phone and picked his brains on Lnkedin.He told me that he had been having some great success with Linkedin and told me to get off thefence and start using it. So here I am on the beginning of my Linked in journey. I will share with youwhat I did, how I did it and what were the results. Now don’t get me wrong I am not any kind ofGuru of Linked in, I am just an average Joe soap business person who wanted to improve mybusiness, but by sharing this journey with you I hope you too can get some meaningful results fromLinkedin.Overview of my Linkedin Strategy 1) Create a Linkedin Snap shot. (Now for some of you this may be of little use if you have never used Linked in before. If this is the case use the Linkedin help section to get the basics done. This is very helpful as it will show you how to create your profile and get going) This is to give you an overall view of where you are and sets your starting benchmark so you monitor your actions and progress against your Goal Plan later on. Without doing this you cant accurately quantify your time and efforts and your results. 2) Create a Goal Plan. This will be setting the Goals of what you want to achieve. Be realistic with you self as achieving these Goals will take time and effort. Make sure you can commit yourself to the time involved. Regularly monitor your Goals and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve them. If needs be re set your Goals to be more realistic depending on the time you need to achieve them. 3) Create an Action Plan. This is a detailed plan of what you are actually going to do to achieve your Goals. These actions could be, how many connection requests you send a week or how many comments on discussions you make. In this section you will determine these actions and monitor what you actually do every week. Remember Linkedin is just like any Networking activity. Regular consistent action will bring results rather than massive action in irregular spurts. As an example someone might all of a sudden have run out of business for
whatever reason. Suddenly they need to get out and Network like a banshee to try and pull in some business. This generally doesn’t work as Networking is all about building Trust Like and Relationships. Its much better to Network on a sustainable and consistent basis. Doing this should build a pipeline of business over the long term and if there is a dip in business your relationships are strong enough to actually ask your contacts for help. Linkedin is no different. Building relationships is key. You can’t just go on Linkedin and sell, it won’t work!Once you have done the 3 steps above you are well on your way to getting the best out of Linkedin.Spend some quality time on these steps as they will be your bedrock of your success. Don’t skimp onany aspect of the process and most of all be Honest with yourself and keep it all achievable withinyour time constraints. There are sample plans for each section so print them out and use them. REMEMBER NO ACTION = NO RESULTS
STEP 1 Linkedin Snap ShotIf you have just created your Linkedin account go and read the Helpsection on Linkedin and create your profile and you can skip this bit asyou will have nothing to Benchmark yet. 1) Go to your profile and use Edit profile. This will show you all the information about your profile and what stats you have. 2) Use a spreadsheet and record the following:- a. Number of Connections b. Number of Recommendations you have c. How many websites you have listed and their names d. The % of your Profile completness e. Record the data from the “Whos viewed my profile?”section i. Number of times your profile has been viewed in the last seven days ii. Number of times you have shown up in the search results. f. Record the number of activities you have in the activities section (click “See more activity” to get all your activity) g. Record how people you have recommended h. Record how people have recommended you. i. Number of Groups you are a member of 3) On your spread sheet set up some columns for Now, 1 month, 6 months and 1 year so you can record your progress. See an example table below. This is my exact numbers when I started this process. Metric Benchmark 1 Month 3 Months 6 months Connections 57 Recommendations 1 Websites 1 (No name) % Completeness 90% Profile views 7 (in 7days) Search Results 14 Recommendations made 2 No of Groups 13 Now we have some definitive numbers we can work with and monitor
STEP 2 Goal SettingBefore you launch into this you must be aware that this is a moveable feast. The first timeyou do this you are really flying blind because until you then set up your action plan andstart to actually carry out the actions you will not know what time it will take you to do theactions to achieve your goals. So your first pass is really a wish list. From there you can setthe actions carry them out and then revisit your Goals and tweak them accordingly either upor down depending on your results. Don’t try and rigidly stick to your first set of goals asthey may not be realistic. On the other hand if you don’t actually do anything with regardsto your actions I give you full liberty to beat yourself up with a big stick!! NO ACTIONS means NO RESULTSHere are my first pass at setting my Goals. 1) Increase my Connections to a. 1 Month 100 b. 3 Months 200 c. 6 Months 400 2) Increase my recommendations to a. 1 month 5 b. 3 Months 10 c. 6 Months 20 3) Sort out my website Display name and add more websites by creating a Blog 4) Increase my Profile views to; a. 1 Month 20 b. 3 Months 30 c. 6 months 40
5) Increase my search results to a. 1 Month 20 b. 3 Months 30 c. 6 months 506) Increase the number of recommendations I make to a. 1 Month 5 b. 3 Months 10 c. 6 Months 207) Groups. a. Look at the groups I am actually a member of and decide weather it is a suitable group for me b. If suitable post at least two comments a month ( Ask sensible questions and engage in discussions where I think I can add value and help people) c. If Unsuitable then leave the group. At this point I am thinking that this may be important as I don’t want my e mail in box clogged up with Group updates that are not relevant to me. I may be wrong so lets see how it goes.8) Profile a. Take a serious look at my profile and see what changes I can make to improve it. Your profile is extremely important as this is the first place people will look and you need to make a good impression. b. As above find at least 3 people who have excellent profiles and seem to be successful with linked in and ask for their opinions on my profile and what changes I can make.
STEP 3 Action Plan
This is the tricky bit to start with. First off you have our first pass wish list of Goals. So howdo you put this into action. Well what I have done is commit myself to 1 hour a day to dothe actions. Don’t forget that you can do these actions in Business hours or in your free timeas Linkedin is an online platform so you can do these actions from home. If you think aboutit how many hours do you actually spend Face to face Networking? If you go to a Networkmeeting that may last two hours on average then you will still have to prepare and travelthere and back . So a two hour meeting could actually be 3 -4 hours of your valuable time. 1) Increase my connections. For this I can use a quick method to get more connections. You can import your contacts from your online e mail accounts such a gmail or Yahoo mail or you can import contacts from your Outlook address book. Linked in will search these contacts and see if they are on Linkedin. If they are on linked in they can be connected. To import contacts from Outlook you will need to create a .csv file and import this. The Linkedin help section explains all this just search on “Importing Contacts” a. 1 Month to 100 i. I need to get another 43 connections in 1 month to achieve this. Now I think I can do this, so I will look to generate 2 connections a day on average. This is 60 connections in a month which gives me some lee way. Obviously this will not happen every day so some days I will have to do more and some days less. More importantly I think this is achievable. b. 3 Months to 200 i. This is doubling my connections in a 2 month period. Again using the approach as above I think this is achievable and I am sure that as my network grows I will get requests from people to connect through the other activities I will be doing. Lets see what happens c. 6 Months i. Just rinse and repeat. I believe that if I keep doing this I can achieve these numbers. 2) Recommendations. I have kept these numbers low as I want “True and Honest” recommendations from people I have done business with. i. 1 Month 5 1. I will actually contact 5 people who I know like me, trust me and would be willing to give me a recommendation. I thinks this should be easy.
ii. 3 Month and 6 Months 1. I will keep asking for recommendations and try to achive these Goals.3) Sort out my Websites. a. This one is easy. I will edit my profile and display the names of my website. b. The second part is a little harder. I will install a blog on the back of my website and start posting interesting articles. I plan to update this on a bi weekly basis so I don’t create too much work.4) Increase my profile views a. This is a consequence of the of all the actions. The more people I connect to the people will automatically look at my Profile. I will monitor this closely to see what actions improve this the most5) Increase my search results a. To do this I will improve my heading and incorporate my keywords in the most efficient and user friendly way. The way this works is when someone searches for a particular keyword phrase Linked looks at your header words and displays the most relevant results. (I may be wrong but this is what I understand from my research)6) Increase the number of recommendations I make a. I Month to 5 i. I will make a recommendation every time someone provides a good service to me or helps me out on Linked in. To get to my target I only have to this just over once per week. b. Again rinse and repeat this process every month7) Groups a. I am going to do some research on groups. From my research Groups are the best way of growing your network. To this end my actions are:- b. Rationalise my groups c. Engage in Groups by i. Posting 5 comments per week across my groups
ii. Starting at least 1 discussion per week iii. Engage with 1 group leader per weekOK so now I now have the framework of a plan. This is the first pass and I will updatein the next section what actually happens. I will create work plans for myself to keepme on track and monitor the results. I am fully aware that until I have completed theactions I do not know the amount of time each action takes so I will probably haveto re visit my Goals and therefore my Action Plan