Does LinkedIn Make Your Phone Ring?

by Jennifer Beever

LinkedIn Phone Calls 2…Or your inbox fill with inquiries? It does for me. So, if I’m getting results, why do many business people still say, “I’m on LinkedIn – now what?” (As a matter of fact, so many asked this question, Jason Alba wrote the book with the same name.)

So you’re on LinkedIn – now what?

I was the 102,794th person to create a LinkedIn profile on January 7, 2004. (To figure out what number you were – see Jason’s blog entry, What Number Are You On LinkedIn? You can see your LinkedIn start date by going to Settings and looking at the date in the upper right corner of the screen.)

I wish I could remember who first invited me to connect, because today, over seven years later, LinkedIn makes my phone ring and my inbox fill up with inquiries from prospective clients and recruiters looking for an outsource marketing help. I do remember thinking the words, “I’m on LinkedIn – now what?”

Why do I get results?

I made sure my profile is complete. I listed details about each job I had as well as board and committee positions in organizations and associations. I made sure all my education degrees and certificates are listed. Having a complete and accurate profile can help more people can find you.

I connect strategically to colleagues, customers, clients, classmates and others. For some reason, I was very “religious” about connecting with my people over the last seven years. I’m very active and have led several Los Angeles association chapters and I’ve served on some national boards and committees. Not only did I invite every client to connect with me but also every committee or board member with whom I served, association members that I met, and high school,college and graduate school classmates as well.

I began by strictly adhering to LinkedIn’s suggested connection strategy- connect only to those whom you know and whom you would refer to others. Over the years I’ve changed my strategy a little and do connect to people who are obviously potential strategic connections and colleagues.

I’m relatively active on LinkedIn. I am a moderator/manager of at least one group; and I answer questions and participate in discussions. I linked my blog, my book recommendations, my Tweets, my presentations and other content to my profile. I update my status several times a week.

For a while, I had my Tweets (140 character micro-blog messages) automatically going from Twitter to my LinkedIn status, but I discontinued that automatic connection. I took it down when I realized that I was not tweeting certain messages because 1.) they were not appropriate for LinkedIn in my opinion; and 2.) if I wanted to Tweet a lot, I did not want my LinkedIn connections to see a fire-hose-full of messages blasting all over their LinkedIn home pages.

I’ve invested in learning about LinkedIn. I attended Chris Rollyson‘s excellent workshop that he did for the Institute of Management Consultants’ Annual Confab Conference. Chris works with global companies and government agencies to use disruptive technology for innovation. In 2008 he launched the Social Network Roadmap and the Executive’s Guide to Web 2.0 to foster aggressive adoption of Web 2.0 while mitigating risk. When he came to a conference in Los Angeles in 2009, I organized a Social Media Workshop that Chris taught, sponsored by IMC USA Southern California and graciously hosted by the Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management. I also read blog entries and have participated in webinars on how to get results from LinkedIn.

As with all marketing, LinkedIn and other social media sites require discipline. Every year I set a goal for activity on LinkedIn and try to achieve it. It doesn’t matter if your goal is 1-5 status updates a day or 3 a week, answering 1-10 questions a week, or increasing your quality, strategic connections 10-100% in a year. The important thing is to plan incremental activity and measure your results.

Photo from Flickr Attribution Some rights reserved by nate steiner


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