I'll gladly accept your LinkedIn requests even though I really have no idea what the "heck" LinkedIn is.
Tom (a guy I work with) walked in my office the other day, telling me that he doesn’t do much on LinkedIn. It just doesn’t get him much business.
After looking at his profile, I understand why.
- Tom has been with us for 3 months, and his Linkedin profile doesn’t reflect this. It still has his old job on there....One he hasn't had for a long time.
- Tom has very few contacts who he is connected to on LinkedIn. Tom knows a lot of people. If he would just connect with them on LinkedIn he could actually drum up business with people without doing a thing.
- Tom's profile on LinkedIn looks like he isn't open for business. LinkedIn has become a welcome sign on the internet.
- LinkedIn is not Facebook. Not even close. LinkedIn is the business classifieds.
I tell everyone this. LinkedIn is the most important place to be if you are a salesman. It is at the top of the list when someone Googles your first name. It is your business card on the web.
Your profile should:
- Have a Photo: Have a professional photo of you, taken wearing a suit. Pictures of you with your dog, wife, child, boat, motorcycle are not encouraged on LinkedIn. This isn’t Facebook. This is the biggest mistake that I see on LinkedIn. And ladies, no bikini shots, unless you sell bikinis. I shouldn’t have to type this.
- Job Title: Your job title should be all encompassing. It should include your title, as well as your profession. Add your phone number to the end, so that people can easily call you. Mine is
Senior Sales Director /// Solution Sales /// Author /// 248-233-0792
- Summary: Your summary is a summary about you. This should come from your resume. Years ago, I had my resume done by a professional, Deb James (email@example.com). I refer business to her all the time because she can sell me better than I can.
- Experience: I have every position listed here, including every promotion that I have had. I also put all the awards and honors that I have received.
- Education: Put all relevant degrees in LinkedIn. Refrain from including your high school diploma, as this isn’t really a draw. If this is your highest level, leave the education part blank. There is nothing wrong with not going to college. I know very successful people who didn’t go to college.
- Recommendations and Endorsements (R&Es): Give glowing recommendations to people that you do business with. I typically write specific, unique paragraphs detailing the person that I am writing about. When you do that, you get three benefits. You should also ask your close contacts to give you recommendations. In your request, you should ask them to make it unique to their experiences with you.
- You do something nice for someone who you like working with or do business with.
- Typically, 75% of the people that you R&E will return the favor. Their R&Es will build your profile up.
- Whenever you give an R&E, it actually makes you look good. People who aren’t connected with you will see that you said something nice about someone else. I have had a number of people click on my profile after reading one of my recommendations.
- Pay for the premium version of LinkedIn. The premium version allows you to see who looked at your profile.
- Join groups that relate to your business.
- Post articles of relevance on your news feed, but make sure to refrain from posting advertisements for your service as articles. You can even post this blog post on your LinkedIn...I won't complain.