5 Things You're Not Doing on LinkedIn (And Should Be)

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5 Things You're Not Doing on LinkedIn (And Should Be)

 

linkedin on tabletAs we enter the final weeks of 2011, it's time to think about how to position yourself to leverage new business opportunities in the New Year.

Whether you're B2C or B2B, the first few weeks of the year hold tremendous potential for your organization: with the holidays over and the kids back in school, people are ready to get down to business. And a lot of them will be turning to LinkedIn for the vendors and partners they need to get things moving.

So to make sure you're well-positioned to be the first name that comes up when those opportunities arise, I suggest you spend some quality time with a few of the less-obvious capabilities of the social network that's all business, all the time.

1. Completing your Skills profile

The Skills section of your Profile is a treasure trove of search keyword placement opportunities. Many, many people use LinkedIn as a virtual Rolodex, and when they go searching for what they need, the contents of your Skills field can help direct those searches straight to you.

2. Searching for your keywords in Answers

LinkedIn Answers continues to be one of the network's best-kept secrets, and that's good news for you. Once a week, do a search to find out who's asking about topics related to your business, and when you find one, offer your expertise freely.

You'll not only establish yourself as a subject matter expert to the asker and other responders; you'll also build some trust and goodwill. (Just remember that this is a place to help others, not to market your business, so go easy on the promotional lingo.)

3. Posting updates on your Company page

While many people think of LinkedIn as static (post your profile and wait for something to happen), it's actually a vibrant hub of conversation, and just recently, LinkedIn enabled status updates on Company Pages. So, just like you post updates on your company's Facebook Page, you can also post on LinkedIn under your company name:

muppets linkedin post

It requires a bit of a setup (less than 2 minutes), and the updates work just like regular LinkedIn updates. Great way to engage your LinkedIn audience!

4. Adding volunteer work to your Profile

When it comes to networking, sometimes the work you don't get paid for is just as valuable as what you do for paying customers. LinkedIn acknowledged this fact a couple of months ago by adding a Volunteer field to personal profiles. Not only will you demonstrate your community-mindedness to anyone who sees your Profile, but you just might discover that you share common interests with a few of the VIPs on your prospecting list.

5. Paying attention to your Update emails

You know the emails I'm talking about, right? The ones announcing that Bob Smith updated his Experience, Susie Jones added new Skills, etc. Pay attention to these emails and you just might stumble upon a new opportunity.

True story: Once I received a LinkedIn Update that showed a freelancing friend of mine had moved into a full-time position. I dashed off a message (through LinkedIn) congratulating her on the new gig, and she quickly responded asking me if I'd be interested in adopting some of her freelance clients. Right place, right time—boom.

So, how are you using LinkedIn to position yourself for new opportunities in the New Year? Tell us about it in the comments—we'd love to hear from you!

Comments

Thank you for this update this morning. I have wondered what additional activities I should be focusing on for my LinkedIn profile. Going to try the keywords search this week. Have a good one. Karen
Posted @ Monday, December 05, 2011 10:24 AM by Karen
You too, Karen, and thanks for your comment!
Posted @ Tuesday, December 06, 2011 9:20 AM by Rachel Parker
Rachel, perfect timing for this post - I just posted a podcast interview on the subject! You offer great tips here; I especially appreciate your reminder to search for keywords in the Answers section. I had no idea that section even existed until a few weeks ago! There's so much to cultivate, I'm declaring 2012 "The Year of LinkedIn" for my biz. It's time to be intentional and strategic with LI... otherwise, as you make clear, lots of opportunities will be missed.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 06, 2011 11:36 AM by Beth Buelow
Hi Beth! Thanks for your comment, and I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I just saw your podcast on LinkedIn and can't wait to listen to it!
Posted @ Tuesday, December 06, 2011 11:59 AM by Rachel Parker
I'm the LinkedIn #3 Expert All Time and I would also recommend optimizing your profile ... especially your headline with the value your provide your clients. 
 
That's how I get more Social Media Marketing clients from being on LinkedIn. 
 
 
Best, 
Christine Hueber
Posted @ Tuesday, December 06, 2011 12:08 PM by Christine Hueber
Great tip -- thanks, Christine!
Posted @ Tuesday, December 06, 2011 2:15 PM by Rachel Parker
This is a wonderful post! I'll have to agree the most with the No.3 and No.1 "Completing your Skills profile" - not only your skills profile but your profile summary and professional headline.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 06, 2011 7:49 PM by Sophia
Glad you enjoyed the post, Sophia, and thanks for your comment!
Posted @ Tuesday, December 06, 2011 8:31 PM by Rachel Parker
I have yet to figure out which audience I have on linkedin and how to use it effectively. Its like that necessary evil that we must keep up to date. I dont see the ROI that I do with TWitter or FB (yet)... but I dont post to it or interact there either... so we'll see.
Posted @ Wednesday, December 07, 2011 1:33 PM by Cathy Tibbles
These are great tips. I run hands-on workshops on LinkedIn in Ireland and the participants and the response is usually "I didn't know I could do that on LinkedIn!".
Posted @ Friday, December 09, 2011 10:12 AM by Anne Kiely
Cathy, thanks for your comment. One idea you may want to consider is to start thinking of LinkedIn as a place to engage with referral sources -- other professionals who may be able to send business your way -- more than a place to attract customers.  
 
Best of luck and keep us posted!
Posted @ Friday, December 09, 2011 3:35 PM by Rachel Parker
Thanks for commenting, Anne! I'm sure your workshop attendees are loving all those "magic tricks" you showed them on LinkedIn :-)
Posted @ Friday, December 09, 2011 3:36 PM by Rachel Parker
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