In my last post, we talked about my new acronym LEADS: LinkedIn Engagement–Authentic, Diligent, Systematic. We covered Engagement and Authenticity in the last post so today we’re going to talk about being Diligent and Systematic. To maximize LinkedIn you need to be both diligent and systematic about how you use it. It needs to become a habit–just a few minutes a day will create the new opportunities you are looking for in 2013.
As with anything you want to become proficient with, you need to be diligent. Be attentive and persistent in LinkedIn. If you log in once a week or worse, once a month, every time you log in is like the first time. You won’t be comfortable. You need to be. Below is a short list to assist you with being diligent about using LinkedIn. Logging on regularly will maximize LinkedIn opportunities and will grow your network.
- Schedule LinkedIn time—add two or three 20-minute sessions to your calendar and don’t skip this appointment. Consider it a prospecting appointment.
- Pay attention to what your connections are doing, posting and who they are connecting to. Watch their activity and replicate what makes sense for you.
- Be attentive to what your competitors are doing and how they are using LinkedIn. Mastery is not quantity but quality, a key point on LinkedIn.
- Connect LinkedIn to Outlook to make it easier. Using Gmail? Try smartr or any other tools to connect LinkedIn to your inbox contacts. If you have an upgraded Premium account or a professional version of Salesforce, you can add LinkedIn Individual and Company Pages to your Contacts and Accounts.
Habit Former: Keep LinkedIn open all day. Add it to your toolbar so you have quick and easy access and keep your LinkedIn scheduled appointments. Can’t seem to keep the scheduled times? Get up a few minutes early every day or check in while you are watching TV in the evening. You can find 15 or 20 minutes a day. Have an iPad? Download the LinkedIn iPad app (or log in through Safari).
If you have an order to what you do, you will get comfortable faster. Determine your plan and stay with it. I do the same things over and over, and now things are quick and easy. It keeps me focused. There’s a hint below to help you get in the habit of logging into LinkedIn every day.
- Login or click from your tool bar
- Check your inbox for outstanding invitations—accept or ignore
- Once connected with a new connection, send them a message stating you are glad to be connected, how you use LinkedIn, letting them know they can take a look at your network
- Go to your Home Page—scroll down and click on who looked at your profile (remember you must be transparent meaning others can see you in order to see them, go to settings and click on Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile). Are there people you recognize or might like to reach out to? Send them a message saying something like: “I noticed you visited my LinkedIn profile, let me know if I can help you with something” or “I noticed you visited my LinkedIn profile, let me know if you would like to meet for coffee or have a call, I would like to hear more about what you do.”
- Go back to your Home Page—scroll down and see what activity is happening among your LinkedIn connections. Read what is going on. This is where you will begin to Engage (see my last post). I like to send three or four messages just saying: “Hi xxx, Hope you are well. Have a great day.” In seconds I have said hello and acknowledged others in a quick but hopefully meaningful way. It’s not slick, it’s just authentic and keeps me in touch with others.
- Go to your Groups and peruse the discussions, see what discussions make sense for you to join in. Engage.
- Search for any new people you have met in person that week and look them up in LinkedIn, follow up any meeting with a LinkedIn message and potentially (not always) an invitation.
Habit Former: Use the list above for one month, do it in the same order every time you log in. If you log in at other than your scheduled times, go crazy and go out of order but on your scheduled times, stay with the order. It will increase your comfort level.
We certainly did not cover everything but start here, do the same thing over and over, get comfortable with LEADS and you will naturally find you will have created more LinkedIn opportunities. These opportunities will help you build your business this year.
Remember to measure your progress by knowing how many connections and groups you have when you begin, set some goals and measure them every 30 days for three months.
Have questions? Let me know or just tell me how you’re doing.