Networking Online Using LinkedIn
Presentation for http://www.camberwellbusinessclub.com.au 22 August 2011
Sue Ellson http://au.linkedin.com/in/sueellson (all connections welcome)
0402 243 271 email@example.com http://www.odonoghuesfn.com.au
According to Wikipedia LinkedIn is a business-related social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking.
LinkedIn currently has more than 120 million registered users (Facebook has more than 600 million), spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. The site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Russian and Turkish.
Quantcast reports Linkedin has 21.4 million monthly unique USA visitors and 47.6 million globally in June 2011, up 63 percent from a year earlier and surpassed MySpace. LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011 and traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, under the NYSE symbol "LNKD".
LinkedIn is a profitable business and has an office in Sydney. Tech Crunch posted in March 2011 that from 2009 to 2010, net revenue increased $123.0 million, or 102%, to $243 million. Net income increased $19.4 million, or 487%, to $15.4 million. The company took a $3.9 million loss in 2009 terms of net income, with 2010 as the first profitable year for the network. 42 percent of 2010 revenue came from hiring solutions ($101.8 million), 33 percent came from marketing ($79.3 million); and 25 percent came from premium subscriptions ($61.9 million).
In 2011. Market research firm Telsyte estimates around 40% of professionals in Australia use LinkedIn.
In April 2011, TechGuide stated that there are more than two million users in Australia and:
. Fastest growing industry sectors in Australia are Think Tanks, Higher Education and Hospital & Healthcare
. Most common last name of professionals are Smith, Jones, Brown and Lee
. There are 45.8 million connections between members
. 18 of the ASX-listed companies are using LinkedIn’s hiring solutions
. 1,276 professionals listed ‘guru’ in their profile
. 12,108 professionals listed ‘social media’ in their title description
. 10.7% of members in Australia are small business owners
It is NOT a replacement for face to face, telephone or email networking, it is a technological aid.
LinkedIn allows you to publish information instantly and it is NOT like your own website where you can remove any content you wish – so you do need to be careful about what you publish and what you post (do not be defamatory). Most young people are not concerned about having their personal information online – but you must decide for yourself what is the purpose of having your profile online. This resource is designed for the professional part of your career (not dating, talking about your social life or posting holiday photos). You may also need to make a decision as to who you will connect to. Some people prefer to only connect with people they know – others prefer to accept all invitations and only remove ‘nuisance’ contacts. Remember that it is always a good idea to back up any important content or connections just in case LinkedIn is no longer available or they impose a membership fee to access information you have already collected.
Personal Uses for LinkedIn
1. Create a Personal Brand
If someone hears about you nowadays, they usually ‘Google’ you to find out more information. Your personal LinkedIn profile is likely to appear on the first page of Google Search Results soon after its creation. You can therefore choose what to publish and provide a comprehensive summary that is available online at any time. This is one organic search result you can control (including the photo) and it is a way for people to find you (even people who are not on LinkedIn will be able to see a basic profile). Customers, clients, future employees and employers, head hunters, journalists, professional associates – even competitors!
2. Maintain Relationships
It is a simple way to remain connected to people throughout your entire career. If you are part of each other’s network, if their job changes and they update their profile, you will receive a message. You can see their current email address and contact details at any time. They can also be kept informed as to what you are doing too.
3. Manage your Career
It enables you to find experts, seek their advice and develop your career. It enables other people to find you (including head hunters). You can participate in various groups to expand your professional development opportunities and establish your profile in the industry. You can find a coach, mentor or peer either in your industry or a new industry. You can find information about new industries and businesses. You can find events, seminars and conferences to attend (or promote your own).
4. Seek advice
Targeted searches enable you to find people in Australia and overseas and to develop your profile around a specific industry or topic. People who are experts are usually connected to many other experts in the same field so by developing your own network and asking for new connections, you can improve the likelihood that you will appear in other people’s search results and be contacted for advice, business opportunities or consulting work. Many journalists also use LinkedIn to track down people for comments.
5. Find people
Track down people you have worked with in the past, studied with, need to find to collect money or business etc. Keyword searches can be very helpful at locating a specific type of person, perhaps someone from the same industry who has also worked in the same country as you have. Make connections with people overseas to learn more about the local markets from local people and find out which companies are the main players in those markets.
6. Find a job
Some jobs are advertised on LinkedIn (you can subscribe to alerts) and you may also contact either a recruiter or a human resources manager directly to find out if there are any jobs becoming available. It Is always a good idea to be well known in your industry so that if you need to change jobs, other people know about your abilities. As your contacts are connected to you personally, you not only offer your own skills but also the relationships you have with other members of your networks and this may be extremely valuable to a new employer (and help your chances of securing a new role).
7. Manage your online reputation
With various additional add-ons, you can easily provide status updates and send the same message out through your Twitter account at the same time. You can let people know what books you are reading, your travel plans and events you are attending. If you are active, your contacts will see that you are constantly connecting with new people and are making the most of opportunities. Increasing the number of connections shows that you are serious about expanding your network and sharing your knowledge with like minded individuals. Your business can develop its own profile and potential employees can learn more about your enterprise. By answering questions and sharing information, you can establish yourself as a thought leader and enhance your reputation further. Each time you make a post, the people in your network will receive an update on their profile.
8. Gain recommendations
You can offer to write recommendations for other people and invite them to write a recommendation for you. If necessary, you can politely request alterations (if the details are incorrect) and if you do not like the recommendation, you do not have to publish it on your profile. These recommendations and testimonials encourage other people to have faith and trust in your abilities and are constant written references as to your abilities. If they have been published for a long time, this looks even better.
9. Expand your own network
By connecting with other people, you may then be able to expand your network through their network. When you start more people searches, you will find that ‘second level’ connections will start appearing and as these people are connected to you through someone you already know, they may be willing to offer a more specific referral for you. You may be very surprised to find that people you know someone else you know! By keeping in touch with people you have known or worked with in the past, they may be able to represent you, provide referrals, make recommendations, introduce business connections or even return to the organisation.
10. Find specific people for a special purpose
Apart from normal business networking, there may be times when you would like to find a celebrity (yes, some very well known people are on LinkedIn – some refusing contacts). Sourcing new people to add to your network for a special event that you would like to invite them to or perhaps have as a guest speaker (no need to pay a speaker finder’s fee). You can pre-qualify people by reading through their profile and looking at the quality of their connections. If they have a comprehensive profile, you will also be able to prepare some questions before you talk to them.
Your Profile Suggestions
1. Custom URL
Make sure your URL is something like http://au.linkedin.com/in/sueellson so that you can easily add it to your email signature, website, resume, business card, proposals, etc
Make sure every section is complete, with accurate spelling and grammar, with a consistent format in every section (all past roles should be written in the past tense, all current roles in the present tense and your summary profiling you as you want to be viewed now). It is also nice to put in specific details (like a license number, year of first membership etc) – it shows that you are thorough and accurate.
3. Personal Details
Include a clear, sharp, professional, smiling photo looking at the camera wearing either professional clothing or work related garments. A colour will help it stand out (either as a background or as a tie or jacket etc). Include your mobile telephone number as +61402243271 for international callers and do not mention your birthday or marital status (irrelevant in relation to your professional ability).
4. Quality copy
Ensure that the text describing you is descriptive and interesting. Ensure that every possible key word is included – all computer programs you have used (even old ones), all acronyms written in full (with the letters written in brackets afterwards), all awards and honours catalogued and all organizations you have worked for listed. This is particularly important when recruiters are head hunting for people with particular skills or experience.
5. Accuracy and consistency
Enter your details accurately and consistently. Check your spelling and grammar, extra spaces, full stops, capital letters, brackets and abbreviations. Try and make each section follow the same format and for individual jobs, particularly ones where the company does not have a company listed on LinkedIn, include their website URL so that people can easily look at the company details.
6. Keep it up to date
When your details change, in particular your email address or mobile phone number and current job role, make sure you update LinkedIn so that your connections can always keep in touch. Review the updates that are automatically sent to you and send the odd comment through to someone when some news occurs. Keep your connections alive by corresponding at least three times per year.
Action Steps for you and your business
1. Establish your profiles
For yourself and for all of your employees. Any employee can leave at any time but whilst they are working with you, expanding their network helps expand your network and business opportunities.
If necessary, get some extra help writing a good quality summary so that you appear vibrant and fresh (rather than old and out of date – it is all in the wording). Create a Company (news and details) and also a Group (news, discussion and interaction) for your business.
2. Add people to your network regularly
Every time you meet someone new, invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn. Go through your records and add people that you already know (using their email address). Go searching for people that you may remember and see if you can reconnect. Find other people that work in your organization and previous organizations where you have worked. See the recommendations from LinkedIn of ‘people you might know’ and connect. Source people from close to home, in Australia and overseas.
3. Write and seek recommendations
So that your profile has some content from other people, offer to write a recommendation for someone you know and ask them if they would be happy to write a recommendation for you. Be as descriptive as possible about the specifics of that person’s skills and abilities, how you know them and how they may be able to assist others.
4. Utilise the other tools on LinkedIn
For instance, promote your events, find events to attend, add in your Twitter account, create an online poll, list your upcoming travel or books you are reading, all with the proviso that you only add on the features that suit your personal style (for instance, some people have security concerns about letting people know when they are travelling). Ensure that your own business has a Company Page (with all details completed) and a Group (so that people can connect and share).
5. Keep your profile interesting
By providing some sort of status update at least once a week (only needs to be brief). It is good if it is of general interest (rather than just selling what you do all the time) and if it includes a link to further information. You can add a hashtag # in front of a word if it is about a particular topic that you would like people to be able to search. For instance #dwts was used for ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ If you would like to have people connect with you personally, you can use the @ symbol – for instance @odonoghuesfn.
6. Add your personalized URL to your correspondence
It is very easy to include http://au.linkedin.com/in/sueellson in your email signature, at the bottom of your resume, on your business card, on your profile page on your website, on your written proposals and presentations, in fact anywhere you publish your name and contact details. This will instantly give people access to more information about you.
7. Share connections and referrals
If someone in your network would be a good fit for someone you know or have just met, try and introduce them to one another through LinkedIn so that everyone can gain advantage from being connected but also from sharing knowledge and information. Use it to source customers but also suppliers, service providers and consultants.
8. Share news
In your status updates, on your Company page (if appropriate) and your Group page, share items of interest. Try not to make all updates an exclusive promotion of your own business – share details of other relevant and useful information for people who are receiving updates. You can also sort your contacts into groups and then send an email via LinkedIn to a selected range. This is particularly helpful if you are planning to do something in another location and want to let everyone you are connected with there the details.
Examples of how LinkedIn can work for a local Camberwell business
1. You can make contact with people worldwide in your profession or industry and seek best practice ideas and suggestions by connecting on LinkedIn.
2. You can join the Camberwell Business Network Group online at http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Camberwell-Business-Network-4011759 and meet other local professionals
3. Once connected with your fellow professionals, you can keep up to date ‘virtually’ through the services of LinkedIn. When you see a comment, you can make a reply and strengthen your relationship. This is an ‘easy’ way to quietly remain in contact.
4. Once more people start using the Camberwell postcode as their current location, you will be able to find other business professionals working in Camberwell and invite them to join your network.
5. By including the word ‘Camberwell’ in your profile, other people completing a keyword search with ‘Camberwell’ will find you.
6. You will put your company brand on the international stage – free of charge (just the time it takes to create your profile).
7. Other members of the Camberwell Business Club can easily share your information with others by sending a copy of your LinkedIn profile link.
8. You do not need to purchase a new system, conduct lots of training or be worried about its validity. LinkedIn is well established, reputable, worldwide and most services can be accessed free of charge.
This information has been compiled by Sue Ellson http://au.linkedin.com/in/sueellson and is based on various research and lots of personal experience. 22 August 2011
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