Using LinkedIn for Business with Newsle!

Using LinkedIn For Business With Newsle

newslelogoWhen I was working as a sales person in the broadcast and media industry I had a folder which I had alphabetized called “That’s interesting!” Although in hindsight maybe the name of the folder wasn’t!

It contained press cuttings, news articles, all manner of useful information relating to my clients and their businesses. Why? Well simply because it gave me a great insight into what was happening and was also a conversation starter. Whether it may of been an award they have won, contract secured or even an event they were hosting, it gave me the opportunity to pick up the phone, visit them or send them an email to simply say congratulations.

LinkedIn is fantastic for keeping up to date with what your network are doing, I will always visit a profile before I a take a meeting or make a call and see what their activity has been, so I relate to my client better, but with so much noise out there it is easy to miss those snippets of information which would be really useful to you.

http://www.newsle.com is a fantastic addition to the LinkedIn family. Quite simply, Newsle will integrate with your LinkedIn account so that when your friends and colleagues make the news, it will inform you. Now you will never miss an article about someone who matters to you in business.

Screen Shot From newlse.com

Screen Shot From newlse.com

In this instance I found one of my connections had been quoted in a BBC News article.

Why I feel this could be useful when using LinkedIn for Business

I have always believed that a “sale” always begins with a relationship, if someone doesn’t like you they will never trust you, if they don’t trust you they will never buy from you. I enjoy taking a genuine interest in my clients, because, I want to know how I can help them, maybe by making an introduction, a recommendation or even a potential business opportunity. I feel The integration of www.newsle.com with my LinkedIn network will be a terrific addition to my “That’s Intersting!” digital folder.

What are your thoughts on LinkedIn acquiring Newsle? Will it be useful to you? Have you got a similar folder and have a better name for it?

I run complimentary remote LinkedIn assessment sessions where you can ask me questions. Schedule yours by clicking the link below.

Schedule Your Complimentary LinkedIn Assessment

I hope this article was of some interest to you and that you enjoyed reading it. If you found it of value please share it with others who you feel could genuinely benefit.

If you would like a question answered, or an assessment of your LinkedIn strategy and how to use LinkedIn for business, why not schedule some time with me or please drop me a line through my Contact Page or a message below.

Have a very successful Q3! – Stuart Carpenter

View Stuart Carpenter's profile on LinkedIn

How to use LinkedIn For Business

How to use LinkedIn For Business – Headline Tip

In this video on how to use LinkedIn for business I show you how to customise your LinkedIn headline on your profile and explain why you should look at customising it.

 

Why should you customise it?
1. Gold Real Estate Opportunity
2. Follows you around on LinkedIn
3. LinkedIn is great for S.E.O. and headline appears in searches

My advice is to always look at doing this in word or similar programs. You only have 120 characters available and I find it easier to spill my ideas on a page and edit it down to fit. You also can have the opportunity to add symbols to break up the statement and stand out on LinkedIn search pages.

I run a regular LinkedIn surgery or complimentary LinkedIn assessment every Monday and Tuesday and you can schedule a no obligation http://www.webex.co.uk conference call with me by clicking here

Schedule Your Complimentary LinkedIn Assessment

I hope this video was of some help to you and that you enjoyed watching it. If you found it of value please share it with others who you feel could genuinely benefit.

If you would like a question answered, or an assessment of your LinkedIn strategy and how to use LinkedIn for business, why not schedule some time with me or please drop me a line through my Contact Page or a message below.

Have a very successful Q3! – Stuart Carpenter

View Stuart Carpenter's profile on LinkedIn

LinkedIn For Business – Profile Tip

I am surprised how many users of LinkedIn do not take advantage of customising their LinkedIn Public Profile URL.

In this video on how to really use LinkedIn for business I show you how to customise your LinkedIn public profile URL.

Why should you customise it?
1. It looks messy, screams novice user and is hard to remember
2. A customised URL can be used on Business Cards, email signatures and sales/promotional marketing material – Make it easy for your customers to find you.
3. LinkedIn is great for S.E.O. and will make you easier to find on Google.

I run a regular LinkedIn surgery or complimentary LinkedIn assessment every Monday and Tuesday and you can schedule a no obligation http://www.webex.co.uk conference call with me by clicking here

Schedule Your Complimentary LinkedIn Assessment

I hope this video was of some help to you and that you enjoyed watching it. If you found it of value please share it with others who you feel could genuinely benefit.

If you would like a question answered, or an assessment of your LinkedIn strategy and how to use LinkedIn for business, why not schedule some time with me or please drop me a line through my Contact Page or a message below.

Have a very successful Q3! – Stuart Carpenter

View Stuart Carpenter's profile on LinkedIn

Warning! Are you at risk of losing your LinkedIn account?

How to protect yourself from LinkedIn closing your account

It does appear from time to time that LinkedIn will look at profiles and either restrict or in LinkedInextreme circumstances close accounts. This has happened to two people I have spoken to in the last week.

I get so much value out of using LinkedIn for business, it helps me form new relationships with potential clients or form strong strategic alliances, enables me to reduce any need to cold call and allows me to book appointments and meetings with new clients. I couldn’t do what I do without LinkedIn!

Take a few minutes to review your profile and strategy on LinkedIn and make sure you are not making one of these common mistakes which may lead to LinkedIn closing your account.

LinkedIn Profile Picture

According to 10.2.6 of the LinkedIn User Agreement

Mr/Mrs Anonymous

Upload a profile image that is not your likeness or a head-shot photo;

Select a professional headshot for your LinkedIn profile picture, LinkedIn as a default has the “Mr/Mrs Anonymous” image but I would always advise you choose an image you would be happy to attach to a C.V. This is not the place to be posting an image of your company logo or brand. For further information you can read my guide on the 3 mistakes to avoid with your LinkedIn profile picture

Creating a profile for your company

According to 10.2.3 of the LinkedIn User Agreement

Create a Member profile for anyone other than a natural person

Company Profile

I appreciate that as a small business you are looking to get exposure for your company and you are proud of your brand. However, LinkedIn is about people, which is great because people buy from people. If you feel you need to have a company presence why not create a company page? The other advantage to this is that users of LinkedIn can follow your company without necessarily needing to connect with you and your company updates will still appear in their timeline.

Including information that doesn’t belong

According to 10.2.2 of the LinkedIn User Agreement

Publish inaccurate information in the designated fields on the profile form (e.g., do not include a link or an email address in the name field). Please also protect sensitive personal information such as your email address, phone number, street address, or other information that is confidential in nature;

including www

If like me, you are an active user of LinkedIn you will be aware that there are better ways to make yourself more available and open to connection invites. However, more recently, a lot of profiles are including telephone numbers or email addresses in the “Name” and “Headline” fields of profiles. If someone is genuinely interested in what you have to offer there are more than enough opportunities to provide details such as email address, phone number, skype and other IM services in your “contact info” of your profile. This information will be available to your first line connections. Where as your twitter handle and your website links will be available to your 2nd line connections, so it may be worthwhile spending some time to customise those website links on your profile.

And there is more…

In all there are about 31 “Don’t undertake the following” in the LinkedIn user agreement. In the case of the two people that contacted me in the last week, it was an innocent mistake, they were just not aware they were breaking the rules. The most common that I am aware of is getting too many IDK’s (I don’t know this person) when inviting them to connect.  If you are using LinkedIn to actively help you get more business can you afford to lose your LinkedIn profile?

I run a regular LinkedIn surgery or complimentary LinkedIn assessment every Monday and Tuesday and you can schedule a no obligation http://www.webex.co.uk conference call with me by clicking here

Schedule Your Complimentary LinkedIn Assessment

I hope this article was of interest to you and that you enjoyed reading it. If you found it of value please share it with others who you feel could genuinely benefit. I can’t thank people enough for their input, questions and feedback. More importantly thank you to those who share and engage, as you are the ones who are inspiring me to continue to write these articles.

If you would like a question answered, or an assessment of your LinkedIn strategy and how to use LinkedIn for business, why not schedule some time with me or please drop me a line through my Contact Page or a message below.

Have a very successful Q3! – Stuart Carpenter

View Stuart Carpenter's profile on LinkedIn

 

 

 

Should you become a LION on LinkedIn?

Should I be a LinkedIn Open Networker?

Hmmm…. Interesting question! I was posed this question at one of my workshops and if I was honest I do now have conflicting views.

A L.I.O.N on LinkedIn is simply a LinkedIn Open Networker, which essentially is someone who will not reply to your invitation with an IDK (I don’t know). Too many IDK’s when sending your invitations will result in you having your account restricted by LinkedIn. If you read the terms of service/user agreement of LinkedIn you will find this clause –

“Invite people you do not know to join your network;” (10.2.5 of the user agreement)

The restriction on your account will result in you having to enter the email address of anyone you try to connect with, although for first time offenders this isn’t permanent and can be lifted after serving some time of limitation, it is very frustrating. I know because I have been there in the past and made the mistake.

Is this clause appropriate for a social networking site?

Well in my opinion I don’t think so. I wouldn’t dream of going to a face to face networking event and not introduce myself to other participants just because I don’t know them. I love meeting new people and learning about the value they add to my business and existing network. LinkedIn offers a huge opportunity to extend your network and build business connections that at a local event you may never get to meet. I have a client who has an extraordinarily niche market place, he quickly gave up on real life networking to meet potential contacts and waited for the next exhibition or trade event to network with these like minded professionals. From a supply point of view, he often had to source from outside the UK and trying to build relationships with new suppliers was a challenge, LinkedIn changed all that for him as he had the opportunity to introduce himself to people he didn’t know…yet! I can appreciate why the clause is there, because people still use LinkedIn badly and will connect with me for no reason, without personalising their message and generally spam me there after, which will get you removed as quick as you got accepted.

Is there value in being a L.I.O.N?

On the one hand I do feel there is some value in allowing yourself to be open to invitations to connect on LinkedIn. It is a great way to build your own network, you will have the opportunity to build connections all over the world and network with some great people. This is probably where I see the value end. One of the great features about LinkedIn is knowing who is in your 2nd line network, the more connections you have the greater this list will become. From a prospecting point of view, your 2nd line network is potentially your next client, but how do you get in front of them and start to build that all important relationship. The beauty of LinkedIn is that it will tell you who can introduce you to them and then an approach via your 1st line network can be made. Unfortunately with LION’s, in my opinion, they would not have taken the time to understand the value that connection adds to their network or found out what introductions they are open to, if any. I love the fact that when I get asked for an introduction I can genuinely say that I have spoken to that person or that I understand the value they can add to your business. I have put several people in contact with each other and I like to think I have been a facilitator of some great business relationships.

Your Network And Objectives

A properly managed network is of huge value in business and although LinkedIn Open Networkers are unlikely to ever spam you, who may have to question the motives of those connecting with LION’s. Obviously, when connecting to someone who has 1,000’s of connections your 2nd line will increase dramatically, but is it just numbers to spam that you are after or do you want to build relationships and create opportunities?

The first question I ask every client is “What do you hope to achieve from using LinkedIn?” For some it is because they want to be a great social networker, because like me they enjoy helping others in business. For others it maybe to build their list of pre-qualified leads, or opportunity to reduce the need to cold call but still make appointments with prospective clients. Ask yourself, what is my objective, why am I on LinkedIn and how should I be using it.

Should I be a LinkedIn Open Networker

In answer to the original question, I don’t know, it is up to you. Personally, I like the fact that my network has grown organically and I have connected with people who I share a common interest with, or because I have a respect for their work, even selfishly, because I believe they could be a potential client of mine in the future. However, I think we should all be open to receiving invitations from people on LinkedIn we don’t know, you do have the option of not accepting. However, you never know where that next connection is going to take you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope you found it of some interest. I would be really interested to read other people’s thoughts on this.

 

3 Step Strategy For Using LinkedIn For Business

Using LinkedIn For Business

You don’t have to be a technical whiz kid or social media guru to use LinkedIn for business. If you follow these 3 simple steps you will soon be generating more leads, booking more appointments and creating exciting opportunities. Until I discovered the power of using LinkedIn, I was spending thousands of pounds on print advertising, cold call lists and attending exhibitions and my marketing activities (according to my accountant) was “unsustainable”.

LinkedIn Is A Tool

LinkedIn is not like many other social media sites, it is a real-time up to date sales database with over 300 million people, over 15 million in the UK alone. LinkedIn can be a great time waster by, getting sidetracked, reading articles and getting involved in group discussions. Although I seriously recommend some of these activities, I would always advise that they are scheduled, for example I will schedule 30 minutes each day to participate in group discussions where I can add value. Always have a goal in mind of what you would like to achieve when you log in to LinkedIn to ensure you are managing your time effectively.

LinkedIn 3 Step Strategy

  • Profile
  • Network
  • Great Actions

The LinkedIn Profile

There are thousands of articles already written on this subject, I have published a few myself on this blog. The days of cut and pasting your CV are long gone as LinkedIn has evolved into a B2B networking solution. In my opinion LinkedIn is the closest thing to real life networking I am aware of and favours the saying “People buy from people”. Have a look at your own profile, is your photo engaging? Is it something you would attach to your CV? If not, check out 3 Mistakes To Avoid With Your LinkedIn Profile Picture

We have all seen and read a profile summary which is full of “How Great I Am”, usually including phrases such as “Motivated professional” or “Ambitious and results driven” but what does that mean for me as a potential purchaser of your products/services? Write a summary which will resonate with your target market.

LinkedIn is great for providing evidence that will support your “value” statements in your summary through endorsements, but more importantly client recommendations. Someone else supporting your value statements is such a powerful message, more powerful than anything you can ever say about yourself.

Network

The numbers are staggering on LinkedIn. As your connections grow so does your reach to potential new clients.

Thenumbers473

LinkedIn – The Numbers!

 

 

 

 

 

However, it is important to not get carried away by the numbers, but instead find the people you can help in business or who can help you in business. I always refer to LinkedIn as “the sniper rifle approach”, be knowledgeable about your target market. Ask yourself this, “who are the people in business I want to be having conversations with?”

Look at your 2nd line network, these are the people who are just one step away from you in business, as you can see I can get introduced to just over 346,000 people.

2ndconnections346K

Your 2nd line network – Your next prospective client!

Of these 346,000 people who are in my target market?

How much would a list like this cost?

 

One of the frustrations of researching a new company to find out who was the marketing manager, or facility manager, sales director, etc. the list goes on was the response “we operate a no name policy” or “send an email to info@….com”. Your growing network can give you a direct line to your next prospective client.

Great Actions

There are some great actions you can take by using LinkedIn to engage with your prospective clients, but the biggest mistake you can make is not taking any action at all. Don’t connect and forget and then wait for the phone to ring!

How many times I have heard sales people say “If I could just get an appointment with the client I will be able to make the sale!” There are a few of things wrong with this statement,

  1. Have you identified the clients wants or needs?
  2. Have you got the right solution for your client?
  3. Have you asked for the appointment?

LinkedIn is a great resource for pre qualify potential needs, but one of the areas I coach on looks at how you can use LinkedIn to answer all of these questions. It is not sending a cut and paste sales message into groups or once someone has accepted your invite to connect. In fact, that is the worst thing you can do on LinkedIn. As I mentioned before this amazing platform is as close to face to face B2B networking you can get. What response would you give to someone you just met if they proceeded immediately with a sales pitch.

One of the great actions you can take on LinkedIn is building relationships and engaging your network.

I hope this article was of interest to you and that you enjoyed reading it. If you found it of value please share it with others who you feel could genuinely benefit. I can’t thank people enough for their input, questions and feedback. More importantly thank you to those who share and engage, as you are the ones who are inspiring me to continue to write these articles.

Is there a question you would like to ask on how to use LinkedIn for business?

I also offer anyone connected with me on LinkedIn a complimentary assessment on using LinkedIn, please drop me a line through my Contact Page or a message below.

Have a very successful Q2! – Stuart Carpenter

View Stuart Carpenter's profile on LinkedIn

 

 

7 Etiquette Tips When Using LinkedIn For Business

7 Etiquette Tips When Using LinkedIn For Business

I was recently asking for FAQ’s on hidden settings on LinkedIn you wished you knew about, however the common question I was asked last week was “What is the etiquette on using LinkedIn?”

I have been asked to produce a quick guide of what I consider to be “best practice” when using LinkedIn for Business. This guide is by no means exhaustive and I would welcome hearing from you about your top do’s and don’t s.

In no particular order

1. Not Personalising A LinkedIn Connection Request

I am often involved in a debate whether or not it matters whether to personalise a connection request when LinkedIn provides an automated message. Well, in short, I wish LinkedIn didn’t and users were forced to write something. I will concede to agree that if you were connecting with a friend or even connecting with someone where it has been agreed to send a invite to connect, maybe a personal message isn’t necessary.By sending the default message you are saying, I am lazy, I don’t really care about the value you can add to my network or I don’t care if you accept or not. Make the right first impression and give the recipient a reason to want to connect with you.

2. Too many updates on LinkedIn

The quickest way to get muted in my activity feed is to continuously post updates that

  • Are the same update (Spamming)
  • Are of no value to me or my network
  • Are just Self promotion (Exercise the 80/20 rule)

Spamming

Unlike Twitter where it is acceptable to have the same update being fed to your audience several times throughout the day, (due to the nature of how quick timelines are updated and times relevant to your target market), on LinkedIn it is just annoying.

Just 5 of the 10 consecutive posts.

Just 5 of the 10 consecutive posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Value

Come on guys and girls, this is not Facebook. What might be acceptable on FB, i.e. what you or your kids got up to at the weekend, pointless word/maths games which serve no purpose. However I am not totally against the odd “funny” image, especially if it has relevance. Although I personally like inspirational quotes/images.

Self Promotion

If every update you post is all about you it is very easy to alienate your intended market. I would normally recommend that you exercise the 80/20 rule. 80% of your updates should be relevant and of interest to your target audience and 20% can be self promotion. So in every 5 updates, more than enough for LinkedIn, 4 should be for your target market and 1 can be about yourself/business.

3. Be a giver and don’t just take

When using LinkedIn for Business remember that “Givers Gain” Look at adding value by contributing to group discussions and commenting on other peoples updates (where relevant). Share your expertise and help answer your network/group questions where you can. Simply I will remind you of this quote from the late great Zig Ziglar,

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Be a good networker

When I am using LinkedIn for Business I am often asked by my network if I can introduce someone to someone else. As I make it a point to try and engage with all my connections I have a good understanding of what my network do in business and where they can help.

LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site with over 280+ Million users and just like in real life face to face networking if someone you trust asks you for an introduction to someone else you would do your best to facilitate it.

If you are asked by someone to introduce you to someone you don’t know that well, I always see this as an opportunity to get to know that contact better. I would often reply to the contact who made the initial request and say that I don’t know that person that well but I will contact them to see if they are open to receive an introduction. To the contact I don’t know particularly well I would send a message similar to this,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a word of caution, I only make introductions for and to connections I trust. The last thing you would want to do is to make an introduction for someone, only for them to damage your own reputation.

5. Sell to me on LinkedIn

I am always open to receiving invitations to connect and as long as you have personalised your connection request I am likely to accept the invite. As a matter of course I would normally send a message once we have connected and invite my new connection to have a telephone conversation to learn more about what they do in business. If they have not personalised the message I would normally ask the question, “What was it about my profile that prompted you to connect?” However, if you remember nothing else on LinkedIn, please, please don’t sell. It is a real turn off and will see you instantly removed from my connections. As an example, I was invited to connect and I responded in my usual manner only to receive an obvious cut and paste sales message as a reply.

Sellingonconnecting

You can only sell when you know your potential client has a need. You will only be able to identify that need when you have asked a few questions, ideally in conversation on the phone. If there is a need, look to make an appointment to meet, (online isn’t unusual these days with the likes of Skype and other similar software), then use the meeting as an opportunity to demonstrate why you should be doing business together.

6. Credit where credit is due

If you are sharing content or updates from your network credit the author or connection on the find. LinkedIn is a social network and quite often the keyword “social” is often forgotten. In real life if you was handed a written copy of some useful information and then used it as part of your presentation, would you or would you not credit the source?

Giving credit to someone’s authored work is also a great way to build relationships with that person and start conversations. Explain why you liked the article, add a comment to it and credit the source. I often find an update from within my network which I feel I would like to share and I would always let my network know where that source has come from.

7. Include information where it doesn’t belong

I am beginning to see this more and more on LinkedIn as users are recognising the importance of being on LinkedIn to generate more leads, more sales and create exciting business opportunities. In an attempt to “be contacted” or creating opportunities for themselves, the likes of telephone numbers and email addresses etc. are appearing in the name or headline field of profiles. This is actually against LinkedIn’s user agreement, section 10.2.2 –

“Publish inaccurate information in the designated fields on the profile form (e.g., do not include a link or an email address in the name field). Please also protect sensitive personal information such as your email address, phone number, street address, or other information that is confidential in nature;”  – LinkedIn User Agreement

Likewise using the “Profile Image” to upload a business logo, also against the user agreement 10.2.6. For more info see my 3 mistakes to avoid with your profile picture.

I can assure you there are far better ways to use LinkedIn to help you generate more business.

I hope this article was of interest to you and that you enjoyed reading it. If you found it of value please share it with others who you feel could genuinely benefit. I can’t thank people enough for their input, questions and feedback. More importantly thank you to those who share and engage, as you are the ones who are inspiring me to continue to write these articles.

If you would like a question answered, or a complimentary assessment on using LinkedIn, please drop me a line through my Contact Page or a message below.

Have a very successful Q2! – Stuart Carpenter

View Stuart Carpenter's profile on LinkedIn