Archive for LinkedIn

Why and How to Clean Your LinkedIn Connections

If you’re like most early adopters of LinkedIn, you may have utilized the platform for your job search, recruiting or connecting with old coworkers. Over the years, the platform has changed quite a bit, evolving into a robust professional networking and social selling machine. You may find yourself connected to people that no longer serve you and your objectives. Examples include:

  • People you’ve worked with in the past that aren’t relevant to your current situation
  • Other people in the same industry that could be viewed as your competitors
  • Recruiters for an industry which you are no longer a part of
  • Colleagues, suppliers, partners or competitors from an industry that you are no longer a part of

Whatever the case is for you, in order for LinkedIn to be a valuable networking and selling tool for you, you’ll want your first level connections to be high quality and relevant to your objectives.

Here’s how to evaluate a connection to see if you should remain connected at the first level. Ask yourself:

  • Can I be of service to this individual from a professional networking standpoint which will benefit both parties?
  • Can he/she be of service to ME from a professional networking standpoint?
  • Do I compete with this person for business?
  • Does this person want to sell me something that I’m not interested in?
  • Do I want this person to see what I’m doing to market myself or my business on LinkedIn?
  • Can I learn from this connection and if so, what?
  • Can they introduce me to someone of value to my network and business?
  • Is there a personal reason why I want to stay connected to this person?

Answers to these questions will be the determining factor for your decision to remain connected or not. I suggest removing connections that are not serving your higher purpose. This is NOT personal. You can always connect with them on any of other social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Always keep in mind that LinkedIn is for business networking, not socially hanging out.

Once you’ve cleaned your LinkedIn connection list, you can now build it with the type of network that WILL serve your higher purpose and help you grow your business.

To learn how to remove unwanted connections, watch this two minute video I made for you, and be sure to check out our LinkedIn Lead Generation services to help you generate more business! (link to LinkedIn services)

How to Export Your LinkedIn Connections

Each month when we send our clients’ newsletters (and ours!) we export and sort their LinkedIn list of connections and add them to their email list. It can be laborious, but it’s worth it.

Why bother with LinkedIn Connections?

If you’re actively networking on LinkedIn and growing your list of connections, that is like going to a networking or chamber meeting online! Think about it – if you go to a networking meeting in person, you exchange business cards, don’t you? Then what do you do as a next step?

If you’re good at marketing and networking, the next step you would do, would be to add them to your CRM, your email list and/or your phone contacts for future follow up.

What many people don’t realize, is that each time you connect with another professional on LinkedIn, you are getting their “virtual” business card and an opportunity to follow up. If you’re business is not limited geographically, this gives you the huge advantage of increasing your reach through the Internet.

How to use your LinkedIn Connections?

As mentioned above, you now have a lot of ways to maximize this new networking asset. Here are some ideas that might help:

  • Put them in your CRM (Customer Relationship Management tool)
  • Once in your CRM, prioritize the high value connections and schedule a date to reach out to them via phone or email
  • Add them to your eNewsletter list. This is very easy to do if you use MailChimp, Constant Contact or most of the email management programs for your newsletters
  • Add them to your physical mailing list, if you have one
  • Invite them to an event either in-person or via a webinar
  • Put them in your SMS manager (for texting/messaging on their mobile devices)
  • What’s your idea?

Exporting LinkedIn Connections

Now that you see the value in exporting your connections, watch the video to see how you can do it. It’s less than four minutes long and it can save you from spending a lot of time hunting around your LinkedIn account to find it!

Mind the CAN SPAM laws

CAN SPAM laws were created to protect us from getting unwanted and unsolicited emails. Nowadays, the law doesn’t seem to help, but you should be mindful of what is ok and what is not. You can view details of the law here: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

If you choose to add your connections to your email list, be aware that if you get a lot of bounces and “unsubscribes” from your list, it could appear to be SPAM and could harm your email credibility, or reduce your ability to add future contacts. Here are some tips to avoid this:

  • You could ask permission from your connections before you put them on your list. Most people will say “no” to additional email, but it would be a safe way to make sure you’re not breaking any etiquette protocols for your industry
  • Send an introduction email telling them why you’ve added them to your list and what they can expect to receive from you, with the option to unsubscribe
  • Do NOT under any circumstances SPAM them! You hear that word a lot these days, with a lot of implied or real definition. Some of the following items, we consider to be SPAM:
    • Blatant selling – you should be building relationships, not shoving your product or service down their throat
    • Email that contains mysterious links with little or no explanation
    • Emailing too frequently
    • Sharing political, religious or highly opinionated topics with them via email
  • You could also set up an opt-in page whereby in exchange for their email, you give them something of interest to them (see my example at socialforrealestate.com). This ensures they are “opting in” to your list and that they want to hear from you. Plus, if you give them something interesting and relevant, you are showcasing yourself as an authority in your industry.
  • Message them through LinkedIn and thank them for being a valued connection. Then, let them know what you’re doing. Sometimes, people start getting emails from a new contact and they don’t know how they know them. This leads to more unsubscribed connections.

How you decide to utilize this great networking tool is up to you. We see great success with email newsletters that help grow business for our clients. If you do it right, people will look forward to hearing from you and you will gradually become a trusted connection!

Here is the video to quickly show you how to export your LinkedIn connections. Check back on our blog to see how you can increase your LinkedIn with highly targeted connections. Enjoy!

How to Publish on LinkedIn Pulse

What is LinkedIn Pulse?

Do you see the email & SMS notifications that refer to activity on LinkedIn Pulse and wonder how YOU can be featured? It’s actually quite easy.

First of all, LinkedIn Pulse is simply LinkedIn’s blogging platform. You can create and publish original articles right on LinkedIn and receive the following benefits:

  • More direct views than the blog on your website
  • More interaction with your articles (likes, comments & shares)
  • Articles added to your profile to help you create authority and trust
  • A means to get traffic to your website for increased SEO
  • LinkedIn rewards you with higher ranking

Secondly, there are two ways to publish on LinkedIn:

  1. Share an Update – these are similar to posts on Facebook. They appear on the LinkedIn stream, but not on Pulse. They are important, but not as juicy as posting an article.
  2. Publish a Post – these are the articles that appear on Pulse. You can add images and text, as well as, link back to your website.
linkedin pulse image - How to Publish on LinkedIn Pulse

How to Get Started on LinkedIn Pulse

Getting started is easy.

  • Decide on a Topic – this should be similar to what you might publish on your blog, or it may be a summarization of an article on your blog, with a link to it.
  • Pick an image that represents the topic and that you want to be visible to anyone who sees the Pulse announcement.
  • Write your article and double-check it for spelling and grammar (I prefer to write all articles on a Word doc first, then copy/paste it.)
  • Keep track of the activity by watching the statistics on your LinkedIn homepage (see below).
linkedin pulse views - How to Publish on LinkedIn Pulse

Publishing an article on LinkedIn should be a part of every business marketing strategy. If you need help with this, contact us!

Your LinkedIn Homework Assignments

Fun Social LinkedIn - Your LinkedIn Homework Assignments

Your LinkedIn Homework

A client of mine is struggling with her social media. We talked about which networks would be best for her to grow and I thought, based upon her industry that LinkedIn would be a good one with which to start. I told her that I would give her some homework to help her get started and thought that perhaps this is something that others could use as well. Therefore, I am making it a blog post.

If you are interested in growing YOUR LinkedIn Network, then here is your homework too.

  1. Gather all the business cards from other people that you’ve while networking at conferences, meetings and in general.
  2. Look them up on LinkedIn and if you’re not already connected, send them an invitation to connect. Be sure to remind them from where you met, if you can remember.
  3. Look up and join LinkedIn Groups where you can find people in your target market. For my client, she should look up women’s groups, inspirational and coaching groups, author groups and speaking groups.
  4. Go to the LinkedIn Group discussions and participate. You don’t have to start a discussion to participate. But you can “Like” and “Comment” on various discussions. This will get you noticed.
  5. If you see someone in particular that you feel is a good match and you like their discussions and comments, invite them to connect. TELL them you like their discussions and comments – it will ensure they won’t IDK (I Don’t Know) you.
  6. You can also introduce yourself in the group and ask others to connect with you for networking. An example could be “Hi I’m Claudia Loens. I’m a Writer, Social Media Consultant and WordPress designer. Let’s get connected! My email is Claudia@thewordflirt.com.” Post it as a new discussion.
  7. You can do an advanced search to determine which individuals you wish to have in your network. Use the search tool to search for people based upon a lot of different criteria, including location, title, level of connection or other things. Pick what is important to you and search on it.
  8. When the “People You May Know” list comes up, scroll through it and connect with people that look like a good connection for you. You’d be surprised at how many you will recognize.

If you do these things on a weekly basis, your network will grow quickly. And overall, that should help your business grow too!