This is our final day of exploring LinkedIn in this 30 day series on social media and marketing.  I see  several mistakes people make when they start using LinkedIn or any social networking platform.  I want to address those now so you can avoid being just another statistic.

Mistake #1:  Never Completing the Profile

Mario Sundar - ProfileBy know you probably know that you need to get three recommendations to complete your profile.  What is stopping you?  There is no harm in asking for a recommendation.  So let me tell you a little secret on how to get recommendations…..”Give and you shall receive.”  Remember, networking is largely a give/get process.  Be proactive and give recommendations to some of your contacts before they ask.  A simple one or two paragraph recommendation is all that is needed.  Give it a try.  It feels good to praise others, and it will come back to you to fill you with more joy than you can imagine.  REMEMBER:  When someone gives you a recommendation, return the favor! 

Mistake #2:  Giving up

Any social networking site takes time.  There is no magic to making LinkedIn work other than this:  Offer small pieces of value frequently to your connections.  This one task will plant the seeds for a great harvest when it is time.

5 Ways to Creating Lasting Results

  1. Be active.  Spend 15 minutes a day on Linkedin.  I have this scheduled on my calendar.  Throughout the week I want to accomplish three things on LinkedIn – help someone, post one question to get help, connect two people together.  That is my weekly goal.  And it only takes 15 minutes a day – 1.5 hours a week.
  2. Give a recommendation.  Don’t just recommend anyone.  Start with the people you really care about.  Write one or two paragraphs from the heart.  If you think too much about it, you will never get it done.  If it is not a recommendation the person likes, they will tell you.  But they will always appreciate it.
  3. Answer questions in a LinkedIn group.  Groups are magical in LinkedIn.  They connect you with people you do not know, but have a common need.  Be active in groups and become a subject matter expert.  (Did you know LinkedIn offers an EXPERT status?  They do.)
  4. Change your status.  This is the simplest of all.  Change your status daily.  It lets people know what you are thinking.

Let’s end with a story

I got connected with an intern on LinkedIn back in December.  She was a recent graduate from college and was hired to be a social media intern.  Her first day on LinkedIn started with her joining a few groups and asking a few questions.  That is how I found her.  I answered a question that she posted.  After seeing her in similar LinkedIn groups, I thought that her and I should become connected.  At that same moment, I received a connection request from her.  It said something like:  “Steve, I have appreciated the help you have offered me.  I hope I can bring you some value also.  Would you mind if we became connections on LinkedIn?”  I agreed.  This last month, she has sent out questions to her 350 connections, received feedback, and gives the data away: something highly valued for which Forester Research would pay thousands of dollars.  The best thing about her is this:  She gives back to her connections.  She asks the right questions, and always give a summary back to her connections with what she learned.  Brilliant.  I love it.  I am glad she is a connection of mine.

ONE ACTION ITEM:  Go recommend someone today.  Don’t wait.  Do it now.  Write the first thing that comes to mind.  Don’t over think it.  Write it, send it, feel the joy.

Would you like a LinkedIn Checklist to ensure you complete your profile accurately? Just send me an email at “steve at vimm dot com” or subscribe to the blog updates via email and I will include the cheklist at the end of this 30 day series.  This is only the beginning! Take a sneak peak at what is coming up!

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