How to avoid the 7 Mistakes of LinkedIn and succeed with the world’s biggest online Business Community“The Most Cutting Edge Information Available on Using LinkedIn To Grow Your Business” A Free Report by The Biz Links
1. Ticking the boxThe number one mistake with LinkedIn is to create your profile, connect to a smallnumber of people you know and then do nothing else. In common with other socialnetworking sites, simply opening an account and ticking the boxes misses the reallypowerful business features. LinkedIn users need a clear objective and a planotherwise its enormous potential will be lost and it reverts to being a way of keepingbusiness contacts online.You cannot expect to grow your business by sitting in your office all day; you have toget out there and attend lots of events, build relationships and become involved. Thesame applies to LinkedIn. If you just set up a profile and wait for people to come toyou very little will happen. You need to reach out to the LinkedIn community andbecome actively involved.
2. No Goal or Clear Plan of ActionUnless you have a clear plan of action Linkedin will be very proficient at wasting yourtime! Write out exactly what you want to achieve on Linkedin, the messages you wantto deliver and the people you want to engage. Once you have done this you can thenfigure the best People searches, Groups to join and how to take part in the community.A specific plan of action may be:“I want to develop working relationships with 2 new Accountants in the Midlands areaevery month”After setting your goal develop a plan in writing that will get you there - like this: Dedicate 45mins per day for LinkedIn and mark it as a core networking activity Write a free guide that will help accountants in some way Create 3 advanced searches for accountants and work though the list each day Set up 4 phone conversations with new accountants each week
3. Not completing your ProfileMany profiles remain incomplete. Even on 95% your chances of rising to the top ofLinkedIn searches are diminished. Here is what you need to have a 100% completeprofile. A current position Two past positions Education Profile summary A profile photo Specialities At least three recommendationsYour Profile Picture Crucial – make sure you have a great professional looking picture of yourself. If you don’t have one invest a small amount in a professional photographer to take some for you. It will be worth it.We can certainly recommend the following photographers who will offer you a greatserviceMidlands Area James Crockford www.jamescrockford.com 0121 680 0110London Area Chris Holt www.christopherholt.com 07881 950 709
Your Professional HeadlineYour professional headline is what sits directly below your name on your profile. Itfollows you everywhere on LinkedIn and it is your first chance to get people to noticeyou, so make it compelling – remember that people only care about their ownproblems so ask yourself what problems do you solve?Example of headlineCreate some sentences that best describe what you do and how it helps others. This isyour professional headline – your one chance to make people want to connect withyou so make it compelling, inspiring and value driven. LinkedIn by default will add inyour most recent job title which looks unimaginative and gives very little informationabout what you do, so be more creative.When writing you headline make sure you cover the following 3 key areas: Description ► you job title Value ► what you actually offer Keywords► 1-3 descriptive keywords
SummaryRewrite your summary in a draft format, keep it to around 250-300 words. Yourheadline might bring people in but it will only take you so far. This section needs to berich and equally compelling, great summaries include: What you’re passionate about – people want to know what drives you Why you are doing what you are doing – again tell people who you really are The best examples of who you have helped this year – everyone helps people in some way or another You as a person – if you have children say you have and how great they areThe vast majority of the summaries on LinkedIn read like CVs with lots of factualinformation, which does little to inspire people, remember when you are out face toface networking it’s all about you and how you help people – treat your LinkedInsummary in a similar way.
Example:I am a highly passionate, creative & hardworking professional who loves to helppeople discover the huge potential of LinkedIn and overcome the frustrations ofmodern day technology……WebsitesAdding in your company website is essential and we assume that you have all donethis. Google rates very highly links from LinkedIn so this will increase you Googleranking and also give new connections a chance to view your website.What is often missed here is the opportunity to add in two more websites. If you havetwo other company websites then great if not then you still have a number of waysyou can add valueAdd in your Facebook or YouTube pages or any other social media that you may beusing to promote you and your business.
Pick out two useful free / factual websites that will provide good information aroundwhat you do and add them. This will give extra value to people who view your profileand also give you a reason to send people to your profile.When you add in your websites select the other “option” and add in a description ofthe site in the field.SpecialitiesThe section should contain a summary that covers all of your services and products,very much like a list of keywords for your website. Don’t leave anything out and be asdescriptive as possible. If you do Public Speaking then add it in here also as people willfind you when searching for speakers.Don’t reinvent the wheel!Use Google to find the top ranked websites of your competitors when you find the topsites do a “Right Click” on your mouse and select “view source” this will open up asecond window showing to code of the homepage – at the top you will see thereKeywords use this as a guide to create your keywords!
ApplicationsLinkedIn offer a number of applications to enhance your profile. Out of the 19 that arecurrently available the following add the most value:Events – great for marketing your own events, also finding ones in your market andchecking out who will be attendingSlideShare Presentations – great for displaying a quick summary of the value you canoffer and also recently you can now upload videos. The maximum upload limit is100MB so keep your video down to 60-90 secsBox.net Files – this is a really great application that is rarely used on LinkedIn profiles.If you have free material which you offer then use this application to get it up on yourprofile and add real value to those who connect with youReading List by Amazon – this is also very useful as it can help with your credibilitywith others, because they can see what you are interested it and that you are readinggood books.A true football legend!
RecommendationsThese are critical to the overall success of your LinkedIn strategy. In today’s businesseconomy it’s not enough to say you are a great accountant or sales trainer, you needto show evidence to support this. Social Media is one of the most powerful ways toprovide this and it has even been given its own term, known as “Social Proof”.Think about it when you view other profiles that have just a handful ofrecommendations, what is your impression of them? You might think OK – but OK isnot OK. Profiles with 35-40 detailed recommendations really stand out and that iswhat you need to aim for. Who would you rather do business with, someone with 1recommendation or someone with 38!Need more recommendations? Then make some yourself. The first rule of networkingin general is – give first, receive secondGiving a recommendation is one of the biggest compliments someone can receive. Donot wait for someone to ask you for a recommendation take the initiative and write acompelling recommendation for a fellow connection and watch them come backtenfold!
4. Using the Generic MessagesAs a general rule always personalise your messages when you connect with peopleand request recommendations. The Linkedin Coaches are not big fans of that standardmessage that LinkedIn provides, which gives no information at all“Id like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”You are much more likely to get a better response if you add in the reason why youwish to connect, for exampleNetworking Follow up messageAfternoon Bob,It was a pleasure to meet with you at the BNI Breakfast event yesterday morning, Iwould like to add you to my professional network and look forward to helping you withyour business over the next few monthsSpeak soon
Adding in a new contact message – may look like thisMorning Phil,I noticed that we are both members of the business marketing group and I also noticedon your profile that you work with Solicitors. I also work with them and wondered if wecould help each other by sharing our contacts as our businesses do not compete witheach other. I would like to add you to my network and contact you for an initialdiscussionSpeak soon,Think about how you can add value to the people you want to connect with.The same applies when you ask for recommendations. Be specific – by asking to berecommended for the work you did 6 months ago when you helped the company outof a difficult situation with their accounts will yield you a much richer and moredescriptive recommendation than just saying“Im sending this to ask you for a brief recommendation of my work that I can includein my LinkedIn profile. If you have any questions, let me know.
5. Small number of connectionsConnections lead to opportunities and opportunities lead to the need for moreconnections – in short the bigger your network the more people you can reach and thegreater the likelihood that it will create your next big opportunity.The ability to see and be seen though the LinkedIn network is directly proportional tothe number of connections you haveThe big mistake with LinkedIn is connecting with just the people you know – you needto expand your network of contacts, and here are some great ways
Following up from Network eventsGet into the habit of connecting with the people you meet when out networking faceto face and preferably very soon after the event, take their business card and sendthem a personal invite to connect message.Advanced SearchingThe advance searching feature can be used to target certain contacts and idealprospects
Target your ideal prospects with a combination of the following filters.Geographic (2 digit post codes)Specific Industry Codes (SIC)Size of Business, (By turnover, number of staff and fleet size)Key Decision Makers (CEO, Sales Director, Marketing Director, IT Director, SeniorManagement)LinkedIn then provides you with a list of the contacts that match the criteria; LinkedInis very clever in how it presents this list to you. The more relevant they are to thesearch and your profile the higher they appear on the list
Contacts with 2nd next to their name mean that a contact in your network is directlyconnected to them, the 3rd means that someone in your network in connected to themthough a member of their network.What this means is that you can look at their profiles, identify the best contacts foryour needs, then ask the contact in your network for an introduction – fantastic way toget to key decision makers in your market and grow your network of contacts.
Connecting DirectlyIf there is no one in your network that is connected to a potential contact then you cantry to connect with them directly. This can be a little risky as officially LinkedIn onlyallows you to connect with people you already know in some way.In our experience as long as you write a personal message with value and reason toconnect you will be ok. You may have come across the term (LION) next to the namesof certain contacts. (LION) means LinkedIn Open Networker – this is an openstatement declaring that they will happily connect with anyone.The value of connecting with anyone is open to discussion, our advice is toconcentrate on finding people that you can help and are of value. There are alsovarious websites where you can download huge lists of LinkedIn open contacts thatwill give you a huge network over night – again the value of doing this yet to be proven.
Using the Add Connections optionThe add connections option is a very useful way to increase your network. It allowsyou to import your Outlook contacts and Apple Mail. You can also upload a contactsfile from a spreadsheet, which gives lot more options to import contacts from varioussources.Once the contacts have been uploaded LinkedIn sends a generic invitation out which isnon invasive and accepted by most. There are also various other options to find peoplewithin the Add connections feature.The most important action when growing your network is consistency, by committingto spending 25mins per day looking for new contacts you will be past the 500 mark injust a few months.
6. Not doing anything with your ContactsNow you have committed to growing your network of contacts massively you need toactually do something with them otherwise it will be a waste of time and effort. Ouradvice is to give as much value to your network of contacts as you can, rememberingthe golden rule of networking, give first, Receive second. Ask yourself, “What ways canI be more giving on LinkedIn?”One very effective way to give value is to view all of your contacts and find the top 5that are or will be of most value to you. Use the information that LinkedIn gives you ontheir profiles, look to see who they are connected with etc. When you have your 5 keycontacts plan a strategy for developing your business relationships with them.One very successful method if you are a service based business is to offer 2 free hoursof your services as a thank you for all they have done for you. After you have giventhem your time don’t ask for anything back apart from a good LinkedInrecommendation.Provide them with quality introductions. Go out of your way to recommend that theyget in touch with key contacts that you have
Build the know, like and trust rule of networking in general by staying connected withthem. Send updates once a week, send them a personal message. Give them value -send them quality people you know in your network that will help them, post updatesthat promote their websites.Don’t SPAM them, not ever! Save that for your less important contacts (If I now getlots of SPAM, yes I will take it personally!)This may seem like a lot of work and giving, but what you are doing here is creating the“boomerang effect” most people have a hard time receiving and not giving back. It ishuman nature, they will feel they owe you in return and will soon realise you areworth helping more often.For the rest of your contacts similar rules apply. Try to add value to them as much asyou can but always give priority to your Key Contacts first, you can seldom do both.
7. Not Persisting“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people whohave kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all” Dale CarnegieOk I’m not going to lecture you here! Just remember that LinkedIn is no different fromface to face networking, which is about building life-long contacts that you can drawupon and contribute to for assistance. It’s all about building solid relationships, whichtakes time and cannot be rushed.It takes time to build your LinkedIn network. It is important to persist patiently and notbe concerned with what others are doing.To be a success on LinkedIn you need the ABBs of networking: Always Be Building yourNetwork and commit to doing so on a consistent basis.Final Tip!It is important that you make your actions and activities on LinkedIn consistent withwhat you practice, or should be practising when networking in the real world. Theyneed to work together to form an overall business networking planWe hope you found this introductory guide use and we would like to thank you fortaking the time to read it.
Martin Haworth Linkedin Training & SupportMartin Haworth is a business and management coachand trainer, with a strong interest in using socialmedia as a tool to develop value-creatingopportunities online.Following a successful corporate management career,since 2001, Martin has worked worldwide with awide range of organizations helping individuals andteams make the best of the opportunities they havebefore them.Over the past 3 years, he has built a sizeable Twitter following for himself, and anumber of businesses, managing over 38,000 followers on their behalf and creatingbusiness opportunities across the globe.At LinkedIn, Martin became aware of the opportunities during 2011 and took the timeto grow a personal contact list to over 400, leveraging a number of businessopportunities from there. The next obvious leap was to combine training, business andsocial media and he is proud to have been an associate with TheBizLinks since April2012."Martin provides Linkedin training to businesses and professions inGloucester and Surrounding Areas.To find out more about my training services please contact me on 0121 3719427 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org