LinkedIn is continuously changing and it is now far more of an interactive platform. We used to think about LinkedIn as the online resume, and while it remains an important tool for job seekers and recruiters, it is clearly here to stay as a solid business social network. LinkedIn’s has a profitable revenue model that does not rely entirely on advertising and this helps promote a more unified user experience then some of the other social networks.
At the same time, changes happen quickly and it can be hard to keep up. We often assist our clients in taking advantage of LinkedIn and enhancing the team’s professional profile and networking strategies. The following is a quick checklist of items to consider in setting up an effective LinkedIn profile and better leveraging the LinkedIn platform with advanced tools for automated prospecting.
Setting up an effective Profile
Before you begin all these changes, you may want to turn on/off your activity broadcasts temporarily
SEO your profile
Add keywords to your profile summary, header, and body. By using key terms with which you want to be associated, people searching LinkedIn are more likely to find you through related search.
Claim your URL
Instead of a URL with a numbers at the end, it will look nice and clean like this: www.linkedin.com/in/jrnielsen/
Add your Website
Be sure to add a link to your website or websites. Re-title the display words from “My Website” to something that will drive traffic.
Add your Email address
Add your email to your profile. This way, people can more easily find and contact you.
Update your Profile Image
Use a professional image: This should be a semi-formal image consistent with your professional reputation. No partying. No sunglasses. No bathing suits.
Skills and Endorsements
List your skills and expertise in the appropriate section. Studies show the best way to receive endorsements is to give them so be sure to go through your connections and check off a few skills.
Allow people to search for you. Allow full-profile views. View “Who’s Visited Your Profile” under your settings and click “See what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.”
Transfer your LinkedIn connections to Outlook. In LinkedIn, just click on “Contacts,” “My Connections,” and then scroll down to the bottom right corner and click “Export Connections.” You can also automatically connect your cloud-based email accounts to harvest contacts and connections.
Increase the size of your network
While you may not want to connect with ‘everyone’ – a bigger network means more reach and potential opportunity. Find LinkedIn connections by allowing LinkedIn to access your Outlook and other email accounts.
LinkedIn Companion for Firefox is a great plugin that helps you identify the LinkedIn profiles of people who are emailing you. It also enables you to easily access other LinkedIn features via your browser.
2. Using LinkedIn and Related Tools
Take advantage of advanced search options
LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature provides a much richer search experience. For example, say you want to find out if you’re connected to anyone that works at a specific company. Type the company name in the company field in Advanced Search, then sort the results by “Relationship” to see if you have any first or second degree connections to any employees.
This is a good way to find agents that specialize in key areas – like healthcare or WC…
Inmail is a very effective way to connect with someone outside of your network. It had very good results. Hint, if a recipient does not have a complete profile of a profile image, they are likely not active on LinkedIn and may not be worth connecting to or Inmailing.
Add this great new browser plugin
This plugin is a very helpful for prospecting. It is a Chrome extension to search for agents using keywords and then adding these to a call and prospecting list.
Install this plugin using the Chrome Browser
Join a few Groups
Join groups and in your free time, add to the discussion. Social networks are supposed to be social.
Fliptop for Salesforce
Using salesforce? Try integrating tools like Fliptop to integrated contextual social profile information in your leads and opportunity layouts.
Job Change Notifyer
Get email notifications when someone changes jobs. This is an easy ice breaker to get the conversation started again.
Use Cloze to begin to focus in on your top relationships and see their online activity on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can Retweet them or “like” their posts to increase your level of connection with them.