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What is LinkedIn and Why Should You Care?
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What is LinkedIn and Why Should You Care?

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A simple, easy to follow guide to understanding the philosophy behind LinkedIn, as well as practical tips on setting up a LinkedIn profile and using the site's rich features.

A simple, easy to follow guide to understanding the philosophy behind LinkedIn, as well as practical tips on setting up a LinkedIn profile and using the site's rich features.

Published in: Self Improvement

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  • One of many social networks that are springing up like wildflowers all over the Internet these days.The difference between LinkedIn and other social networks, like FB or Twitter or Myspace, is that it was designed with business in mind.The media is in a bit of a frenzy these days about social media and how it’s changing the world. In many ways it is, but in many ways, it’s really just another tool like email or fax machines or the telephone or getting up from your desk and getting out in the world and meeting people in person.What social networking can do is allow you to widen your social network more easily – often from the comfort of your computer.
  • Before we get into the nitty gritty of what LinkedIn does and how you can use it, I want to step back for a minute and talk about the philosophy behind this kind of social networking tool.
  • Millions of business people use LinkedIn, and chances are a lot of your friends and former colleagues and clients are using it.Over the years, it’s easy to lose touch with people – LinkedIn gives you a way to reconnect with them.
  • When you first get started on LinkedIn, after creating your profile – the most important thing you’ll start doing is making connections.Later on in the presentation, you’ll see why this is so important.
  • The reason social networking is called “social” is because it’s interactive.
  • It’s a business-oriented water cooler, where you can share information about companies and topics, let people know what you or the firm is doing, and offer insight into what’s happening in your industry or the business world in general.By doing this, you are offering something of value to others, and also keeping yourself on the top of their minds.
  • LinkedIn, like Facebook and Twitter and other social networks is a two-way street.Whereas Web sites broadcast information and it’s all about me, me, me – LinkedIn and other social networking tools draw people together around common interests and ideas.
  • By engaging in social media conversations, you have an opportunity to give your contacts and others with like interests a greater insight into who you are.LinkedIn provides a number of ways to start conversations, from status updates, to participating in groups, to responding to questions posed by other LinkedIn users.
  • Another useful aspect of LinkedIn is that it’s a terrific research tools.It’s essentially a database, that is populated with incredibly useful business information by people just like you, who add detailed information about themselves, their companies, their education, etcetera.
  • You can find out where someone went to school, where they worked in 1992, who recommended them.
  • And more and more are using it every day. It’s become the de-facto online networking site for business people.
  • The first order of business when you join LinkedIn is to set up your profile. This is probably the single most important thing you’ll do on LinkedIn so do it with CARE!Ask for my help if you’re unsure of how to write it – and look at other profiles to see what you might want to borrow from them.- encapsulate your life here - what do you do that helps clients?What areas do you specialize in?If you were a White House intern, that’s interesting and relevant – even though it may have nothing to do with your current job. It sets you apart.
  • If you know someone on LinkedIn and connect with them, that’s considered a first degree relationship.All of your connections connections are considered your 2nd degree relationships. You can’t contact them directly, but can ask your contact to provide an introduction.A third degree connection is someone who is connected to one of your contacts’ contacts. Steve Schlacter story
  • Here’s where the rubber meets the road.Being involved in a social network takes some work – not too much, but it does require action on your part.
  • This is the CFO group that I joined. These are real financial executives asking real questions. If you can offer ideas or expertise, you can start developing a relationship with them. And you can also learn more about what controllers and CFOs are thinking and worrying about.Don’t just join groups to join them – get active on them and interact with people.
  • Where does Denise work?Do I have any contacts who know Denise? – Yes – 7 people! One used to work at JH Cohn so maybe this is a JH Cohn clientDennis Barkey – a former MWE audit manager also knows her. Maybe I should contact him and see if he can make an introduction.Why isn’t she asking her accountant these questions?
  • The more complete your profile, the more interesting you become to your contacts, and the easier it will be for others to find you.
  • You can see who’s been viewing your profile. I met the managing partner of a firm years ago and kept in touch with him on LinkedIn. He’s since moved on to Seward & Kissel. In a meeting with the hedge fund partners, they mentioned that they would like to get to know some attorneys at this firm, since it does a lot of work in the hedge fund space. I reached out to Jim, he viewed my profile, and then responded back to me that he’d love to help. That’s how LinkedIn can work for you!
  • There is an incredible amount of information available about companies on LinkedIn.Here’s where it gets interesting. Once you find someone at a company who is in your network, you have an “in” at that company to meet them. You can also find people who USED to work at that firm, and may be willing to give you good insight into its inner workings.You can also view new hires at this firm as well as alumni and where they are now.
  • The settings page gives you control over what people see when they search for you or view your profile.Spend some time adjusting this for your own use.I recommend allowing people to see your connections – because that is how the best networking is done on LinkedIn.If you don’t, your profile becomes a static Yellow Pages ad for you, and doesn’t help you get in touch with others.
  • I use this as my defacto Rolodex now, instead of Outlook.2. You can use LinkedIn as a database to do research on a person or company you’re about to meet, or have just met, or want to connect with.Research by company, industry, etc.3. Industry groups – you’ll find a lot of sales pitches here, but also CFOs seeking advice, business owners sharing valuable insights about their industries and companies. And you’ll have access to these groups and their members to help you find more people you should know.Branding yourself – Your profile is all about you. Make yourself stand out and project the image of yourself and MWE that will engage, enlighten and impress people you don’t know.Establish expertise – more for managers and partners, but you can showcase your knowledge by answering questions posed by other LinkedIn members, letting people know what awards you’ve received, what writing you’ve done, etc. Status updates will increase your visibility and may even bring in new business. But be careful not to divulge confidential or client info. For instance an update from a partner or manager might say “discussing the implications of the new Red Flags Rules deadline with clients” along with a link to the article we sent out on the topic.A lower-level staff member update might say “attending the NYSSCPA fraud seminar today in NYC.”If you find an interesting article on the Internet, or we’ve written an article on a timely topic, share it on your status update.As your network grows, you’ll know more and more people in many different areas. This makes you valuable to them. I helped 2 marketing directors get new jobs at a law firmI helped connect one of my contacts with another one of my contacts – he was applying for a job at her company.I got a speaking engagement from one of my contacts who saw my posts about social media, was impressed, and asked me to speak on the topic.
  • The biggest argument I hear against using social media like LinkedIn is that it’s a time suck – and takes you away from your real work.While there is an initial ramp-up period where you’ll need to play around to learn how to use it effectively, used correctly is should actually save you time –and make you better prepared for your meetings.
  • LinkedIn’s motto. At its best, social networks like LinkedIn help you to leverage the connections you already have to forge stronger relationships with them – and to meet their contacts to enlarge your own business network.
  • Transcript

    • 1. What is
      (And why should you care?)
    • 2. What you can expect
      Understand LinkedIn and its relevance to you
      How to set up your profile
      Who to connect with and how
      How to research people and companies
      What to do each day on the site
    • 3. LinkedIn is…
    • 4. …a way to connect
    • 5. College friends
      Former clients
      Referral sources
      Former colleagues
      Neighbors and friends
    • 6. …a place to share
    • 7. Interesting articles/links
      Updates about you/the firm
      Business ideas
    • 8. …a conversation
    • 9. Deepen relationships
      Respond to questions
      Participate in groups
    • 10. …a research tool
    • 11. Individuals
      Companies
      Industries
    • 12. Who uses LinkedIn?
    • 13. 75 Million business people
    • 14. Getting Started
    • 15. Creating a profile
      • Post a photo
      • 16. Add previous work experience
      • 17. Include education
      • 18. Seek recommendations
      • 19. Start making connections!
    • Profile tips
      Use your resume as a starting point – but don’t cut and paste
      Focus on the benefits you provide to clients
      Be sure to include specializations - they help you stand out
      Include most professional experience – even if it doesn’t relate to what you do now
    • 20. Get Connected!
      Strive for 50+ connections in first month
      Only connect with people you have met
      The more connections you make, the more value you will get out of it
    • 21. Six Degrees of Separation
      Uncover the hidden relationships in your network
    • 22. Do your homework
      Study your connections’ connections – ask for introductions
      Read their status updates
      Post your own status updates
      Join Groups
      Ask and Answer questions
      Spend 10 minutes per day on the site
    • 23. Status Updates
      Like Facebook updates – but must be business oriented
    • 24. Some recent updates
    • 25. Activity leads to interaction
    • 26. Groups
      This is a US company that has an office in the UK and a question about exchange rates.
      Your response??
    • 27. Next step…
      Where does she work?
      Who do you know that she knows?
    • 28. What a full profile looks like
      Your groups
      Easily add people to your network
      Let people know what you’re doing
      Shows your connections
    • 29. Who’s looking at you?
    • 30. Researching companies
      Steven Schlachter knows someone at this firm
    • 31. Settings
    • 32. What can LinkedIn Do for You?
      Open doors to new referral sources/connections
      Help you find potential clients
      Speed introductions to other professionals
      Gives others a way to find YOU for business
      Build your professional reputation
      Give you an edge over the competition
    • 33. Time Drain or Strategic Tool?
      How much time do you spend networking IRL?
      How do you keep track of your contacts now?
      How useful would it be to research a prospect or contact’s background before meeting them?
      How much time would you save if a LinkedIn contact connected you with the right partner at the right law firm without you having to leave your desk?
    • 34. Relationships Matter!
      “Your professional relationships are key to your professional success. Our mission is to help you be more effective in your daily work and open doors to opportunities using the professional relationships you already have.”
    • 35. Social networking etiquette
      Be professional
      Only connect with people you’d recommend
      Seek to give rather than to receive
      Engage – social networking involves give and take
      Don’t divulge client names
      When in doubt, don’t.
    • 36. Leveraging LinkedIn - Recap
      Connect
      Share
      Start a conversation
      Ask a question
      Do your homework
      Reap the rewards