Sunday, October 31, 2010

Using LinkedIn to Promote Yourself and Your Business

This is the title of a round table discussion I am leading for SDMPI on 11/19. The problem with social media sessions is that everyone is at different levels so it is hard to present information that is helpful for everyone. So, I am thinking about the basic steps to "using LinkedIn to promote yourself and your business."

1. Complete your profile. Your profile is your online resume which contains valuable information for either recruiters or potential clients. People do business with people they like! Make sure your expertise shines on their screens.

2. Build your network. The more people you are connected to, the larger your audience becomes. How I do it: every time I go to a networking event, I send connection invitations to everyone who gave me a business card. Note: many of you are afraid to connect to your competitors, but you never know when they might refer business to you that they can't acommodate.

3. Engage your network. Update your status with a current project or useful information, "like", comment, share updates from your connections. Join groups and interact with people in your industry that you have never met in person. Don't advertise your business, simply answer questions when you have insight. You can also do this on LinkedIn Answers.

Those are the three basic activities to promote yourself and your business on LinkedIn. See my previous post about the Service Provider Directory and future posts about other features and applications.
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Top 7 Social Media Services for Small Business [MASHABLE AWARDS]

Top 7 Social Media Services for Small Business [MASHABLE AWARDS]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

LinkedIn Tip of the Week

Are you using the Service Providers Directory? You can access it from the "More" tab on your LinkedIn toolbar, then click on Companies. The Service Providers Directory is near the top right hand corner of the Companies page.

This section is a great resource if you are looking for someone like a lawyer, marketing guru, or consultant. This means that you want to be listed here if you are such a person. This happens through recommendations. If someone recommends you and lists you as a service provider, you will show up when your connections search for someone that does what you do!

Notice the tabs near the top of the page: you, 1st, 2nd, world. Use these to narrow down your search criteria. People you have recommended, people your 1st connections have recommended, etc. You can also make a recommendation and request a recommendation from this page. Remember, it is good form to make a recommendation for someone who will be able to return the favor.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Social Media Bypassing the Gatekeeper

Here's an article to support my last post.

Social Media Bypassing the Gatekeeper

The Most Important Question is: Why?

Before you jump into the how of Social Media, think about why it might help you.

If you are finding yourself in the market for a new job, or think you might be in a few years, then your why is creating a professional image online. Many recruiters are looking for you online. If you are not there, or have an incomplete profile, that reflects your online competence.

Everyone is in sales. Social media can act as a powerful prospecting tool. Are you missing out on leads because you are not engaging your social network? You should continue, and possibly increase, your face-to-face networking. Following up and engaging people online after a face-to-face encounter is a great way to build those relationships.

You may have a large and impressive stack of business cards and personal connections. Social media applications make it quick and easy to connect your friends with each other. In this new era of collaboration and transparency, it is accepted and encouraged to show all of your cards. This is a foreign concept for many people, but it will be the way business is done in the future.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Between Gen X and Y

You will be able to determine my age when I tell you that I am Gen X, barely. I graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2001 and have been working and networking since then. Most of the men and women in my network are Gen X and Baby Boomers. I know what your world at work looks like and I imagine it is a bit scary to think about change. Well here's something to ponder: future generations will be changing jobs much more frequently than before. Are you equipped to stay in touch with the men and women in your network when they move onto a new professional position?
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