How To Find Leads On Linkedin – Tutorial

Linkedin is a powerful B2B (business to business) network but how can you use it to meet new relevant people?

This weeks videocast shows you how to find leads on Linkedin. To be really effective you need to do more than connect with the people you find. If they accept your information you need to push the relationship further. Make sure you are interacting with the content they share and get involved in relevant conversation threads.

If you really want to warm up the relationship you can message them and ask them to meet some time for coffee and a chat to see how you might be able to help each other out.

Do you have a Linkedin strategy? How do you engage with those who you connect with. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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The Importance Of Conversation Part 2 – Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+
photo credit: Cia de Foto via photopin cc
photo credit: Cia de Foto via photopin cc

In part one of this blog post I discussed the different ways to build relationships via conversations on Facebook and on Blogs. Read more here.

Conversation is the best way to build business relationships. Have you ever been to a networking meeting?  If it’s a big one you probably come home with a pocket stuffed with business cards. Most  you will never look at again, many will end up in the bin.  It’s the people you meet over and over you remember.  You might meet them at networking meetings again or you may arrange to meet up for coffee and a chat.  Online we need to replicate this offline relationship building and that is where conversation really helps.

Here’s some ideas for getting those conversations:

Linkedin

Linkedin is the business network. It’s a fantastic place to connect with other businesses who may either require your services or recommend you to others.  The first step is to connect to the people you know. If you go to a networking event and get chatting to someone request to connect to them the next day, look up your current customers and connect with them also. Immediately you have built a network of people to get to know further.

  • Status updates – Now you are connected to people you will see updates from them appear on your Linkedin home page. Make a habit of scrolling through these on a daily basis and liking and commenting on things that you find interesting. If the post might be of interest to your other connections share it on as well.You should also make a point of updating your own status on a regular basis with professional news and links to content about your industry that will spark discussions with your connections.

    The Importance Of Conversation Part 2 – Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+

  • Groups – Groups are where all the magic happens on Linkedin.  Groups are essentially discussion forums on specific topics. Use the search function within Linkedin to find groups that may be industry specific or one of the excellent business forums that are out there. If you are stuck for one to join have a look at the profiles of some of your connections and see which groups they are a member of. The Importance Of Conversation Part 2 – Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+
  • EndorsementsI’ve written about endorsements before. I’m not a huge fan but they can be used well.  If you endorse someone make sure you are endorsing them for something that you know they are good at. They will get an email from Linkedin every time they are endorsed so it’s another good way to remind them you exist.
  • Private messages – Linkedin will send you updates when your connections change their profiles, when they endorse you and when they have business anniversaries. Use this as an opportunity to get in touch with them via private messages to congratulate or thank them, re-kindling your relationship with them.

Twitter

It’s easier on Twitter than any other network to get into conversations.  It’s part of what I love about Twitter, you can tweet anyone you want to whether it be Stephen Fry or the local shop.  Getting into conversations will improve your follower count and help you get to know people who can help spread your message.  Various social media practitioners have set different ratios that they believe you should use for promoting via conversing and sharing content from other users.  It tends to sit at about 30% promotion and 70% conversation.  It’s a hard ratio to reach so don’t worry if you aren’t there yet. The key is to make conversation an important part of your Tweeting.

  • Set targets – If you are not good at small talk or if you are shy you may need to set yourself goals for conversation. Start with something small, I often recommend new tweeters attempt to get into two conversations a day.  This could be as simple as saying good morning to someone or commenting on the weather.  Good relationships often start with small talk so it’s a good place to start your social media conversations too.
  • Twitter searchTwitter search and Twitter advanced search are fantastic tools for finding people and conversations. Advanced search allows you to search locally as well as for key words and phrases. Add a ‘?’ to your search and you will find people asking questions. The Importance Of Conversation Part 2 – Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+
  • Twitter chats – Twitter chats happen when a group of people go online at a specific time to discuss a specific topic. In order to join in you just need to follow the #tag and tweet using the tag.  They are a great way to meet new tweeters, get into conversations and build relationships.  If you want to give it a go tune into #blogchatie every second Thursday at 9pm (GMT – currently daylight saving at GMT+1), The next one is on 23rd May 2013.If Blogging isn’t your thing you might find one that you’d enjoy from this comprehensive list.
  • ReTweets – A good way to break the ice with a new contact could be to RT some of their content. Choose stuff that is relevant to your target market and use the ‘quote tweet‘ option if you are using mobile or the old fashioned RT method if you want to be sure they know you shared.
  • Lists – If you are following a lot of people on Twitter you may find it hard to keep up with tweets from the people you really want to see. If this is a problem for you it’s a good idea to set up a few lists. You could have one of your favorite tweeters, the people that you want to build relationships with. Once they are in a list you can choose to view just the tweets from those people. It’s a really good way to stay in touch with the people you really have to. twitterlists

Pinterest

Although Pinterest is a visual network it can still be a great place to find people and conversations.

  • Comments – I find that I rarely get a comment on Pinterest but when I do I really pay attention. Essentially Pinterest is a place to share images so conversation seems hard to slot in.  However if you find an image you like why not comment on it, you will usually get a response and that is the spark of a business relationship.
  • Likes & RePins – Although commenting isn’t huge on Pinterest, Likes and RePins happen a lot. Just like Twitter by RePinning and liking you will be alerting a user to your existence. Always remember to keep your RePinning relevant to your business and target market.

Google+

Are people using Google+? Yes they are but it’s still a lot less crowded a space than Facebook and Twitter. I don’t spend a lot of time there but whenever I do I find something of interest.  The lack of a crowd can be an advantage, it makes it easier to get involved in conversations.

  • Search – I really, really love the search on Google+, you can type anything into the search box, a sport, a book you are reading, a band or something obscure. Whatever it is you will find someone talking about it. Because updates aren’t limited to 140 characters like Twitter it’s easier to get into proper conversations. You can comment directly on a post giving you the opportunity to connect with more than just the original poster but also the other people in the comment thread. This is absolutely the best thing about Google+
  • Circles – Circles work in a similar way to Twitter lists and Facebook Interest Lists. You can group people together relating to specific topics or related to how you know them.  The obvious circles to create have always been friends, relatives etc but you should look at setting one up for experts in your industry, customers, competitors and people you would like to get to know. You can then filter your feed by circle to ensure you are talking to the people you really want to.
  • Communities – Communities are similar to Linkedin Groups, they are topic specific discussion groups. Their a great place to meet like minded people and get into discussion and conversation.  There are communities based on every topic available so take time to find a few that will be relevant to your business. The Importance Of Conversation Part 2 – Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+

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Linkedin Endorsements

LinkedIn has made a lot of changes recently, if you haven’t logged in for a while you will be pleasantly surprised by the more attractive interface.  The home page, profile page and business page have been overhauled and the whole experience is much nicer, if a bit Facebook like.

A new feature ‘Endorsements’ was introduced back in September.  At first I thought they had just re-named ‘recommendations’ – the testimonials or references that you can request from your connections – but soon I started receiving notifications that I had received endorsements for various skills and realised they were quite different.

Find out more about them on the LinkedIn blog.  There’s lots of conversation about them at the moment so I thought I’d weigh up some of the pros and cons.

It’s easy to get click happy

Endorse people on LinkedIn

When I log in to LinkedIn it prompts me to start endorsing people for skills, as soon as I endorse one person it offers another person and another skill.  It’s quite easy to get click happy, sometimes it offers me skills that I wouldn’t necessarily match to people and it would be all too easy to click those too.

Do LinkedIn endorsements change the way the network works?

In the early days of LinkedIn the key focus was on making genuine connections with people you know, LinkedIn promoted this idea strongly, one of the nicest features was the mechanism for asking for an introduction to someone via a trusted member of your network.  You would ask them to introduce you to one of their connections, this worked because as everyone was connected only to people they trusted, people were happy to introduce trusted connections to others.  I’m aware that I’m old-school on this but I still tend to use LinkedIn this way.  If I meet someone or have had a long conversation with them on social media I will connect with them but I rarely connect with someone I haven’t met or don’t know.

I am aware however that this is no longer the way that the majority of people use LinkeIn and with endorsements it looks like LinkedIn is encouraging us to make more connections.  When I look at the LinkedIn profiles of others I know I realise that even though I have lots of endorsements I don’t have as many as people with more connections.  This is making me feel competitive and is encouraging me to connect to more people so that I can match my colleagues and competitors.  I’ll loose my strong network but I’ll gain… some numbers next to my name.

You can be endorsed for anything

An online friend of mine Iestyn Lloyd has been endorsed for all sorts of skills that I’m pretty sure he isn’t skilled at…. or if he is they don’t really match his professional profile (see above).  This is a great example of how we can easily be endorsed for skills we don’t have.  Today I logged in and discovered I’d been endorsed for SEO an area I know a little about but not one I’m strong in.  Luckily LinkedIn gave me the option to delete it before adding other skills to my profile.

They are an opportunity to re-connect

I asked what people thought of endorsements on Facebook and Twitter and got some interesting replies.  One from Marie Ennis O’Connor said that she was seeing benefit from them.  When she got an email saying that someone had endorsed her she would reply with a thank you leading to her meeting up with people and re-initiating dormant relationships.  This is a great way to maximise benefit from endorsements.

They are a quick way for profile visitors to see your skills

Now when someone visits my profile they can instantly see my key skills.   I’m lucky that the skills I’m endorsed for the most are indeed the ones that I would like to appear at the top of the list.  However in some ways I feel I am loosing control of my profile.  If I had let that ‘SEO’ skill in earlier it’s possible that a large number of connections could get click happy and endorse me for that pushing it towards the top of my profile.  Luckily there is an option to delete skills that you don’t have even after you have let people endorse you for them.

Most of the feedback I got when I asked the question on Twitter and Facebook was negative, in fact some of it was angry.  What do you think of endorsements and the new LinkedIn, is there a benefit I am missing?

Have you noticed that some Linkedin profiles have edited their websites to describe what they are (see above)?  Changing your website titles like this makes your links more clickable as well as adding to the SEO value of the link.  If you are stuck with the default ‘company website’, ‘blog’ tags this tutorial is for you.

Log in to Linkedin

Click ‘Profile’ on the top menu bar and choose ‘Edit profile’ from the drop down menu.

Scroll down to the website section.

Click ‘Edit’ next to the website you want to change.

On the next screen choose ‘Other’ from the drop down menu on the left hand side of the website you want to edit

A new box will appear with ‘Website Title’ written inside.

Replace this text with a description of your website: e.g. Social Media for Business

Type in the url of your website (including http://) in the box next to your description

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘Save Changes’

Check your profile, your website description should now appear as a hot link on your profile page.

Thanks to Susanne McCabe from Totem.ie for suggesting this blog post.  If you have a burning question about linkedin leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer it.

Linkedin have recently released a share button, allowing people to easily share your content to their professional network on Linkedin.  As yet there isn’t an official WordPress plugin but you can manually add it to each of your blog posts.  This week we show you how.

Follow this link to choose your button style.

If you are more technically minded it is possible to automatically add this to each post click here to find out how.

One of the best ways to get value from Linkedin is to participate in a group. Even better if you can set up your own group aimed at your target market.  They are great for sharing knowledge and establishing yourself as an expert in your field.  One of the first blog posts I wrote for Spiderworking was about setting up a group but Linkedin has changed so much since then I thought you were due a refresher!

We have a pretty busy group on Linkedin called Facebook for Business Ireland, join the discussion here.

Linkedin has just introduced a new way to share links and interesting news stories using the status update function.  This allows you to share links in a similar way that they are shared on Facebook.  Links become far more clickable as you can add a picture.  It’s straightforward to do and should result in more click thrus to the links you post.  It is important to remember though that Linkedin is not Facebook, it is a professional network so be very aware of what you post!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Log in to Linkedin and scroll down to your status update box.

Linkedinshare

  • Click ‘link or news’

Linkedinshare1

  • Add your link
  • Type a comment in the box above
  • Click ‘Attach’.  Choose a picture from those on offer

Linkedinshare2

  • Choose who you would like to see your update ‘everyone’ or ‘connections’

Linkedinshare3

  • Click ‘Share’ and your update will appear.

Linkedinshare4

  • You will notice the ‘Share’ button appears underneath your post.  This means that you or others can easily share the content both with groups and with their connections.

Linkedinshare5

solecv

At Spiderworking.com we work closely with Partners in order to offer you the best skills from the best businesses in Ireland.  Although we manage all the Social Media work in house there are some jobs that our expert team of associates are better equipped to handle.  Last year we were delighted to welcome Sole CV on board offering clients the opportunity to ‘Pimp Their Profile’.

We asked Justine from Sole CV to tell us more:

‘’LinkedIn exists to help you make better use of your professional network and help the people you trust in return.’’

Likewise, we exist to help make sure you use your professional network optimally and therefore help the people you trust in return.

Sole CV provides a service to help maximise the power of your profile by pimping your digital CV on LinkedIn. Users on LinkedIn set up their profiles in stages to ultimately build a summary of your academic and work history to merit your professional credentials. Profiles consist of location, education, current and past work history, skills, website links, specialties, personal information and contacts to name a few.

Employers are using LinkedIn to help find suitable employees. Candidates are using LinkedIn to search for suitable jobs. Networking groups are growing on a daily basis so you can now find that contact, and rate their ability, by word of mouse.

If you are uncertain of how to complete this significant profile section, struggling to get content rich profile, want to know how to maximise the keywords in your profile for search engine optimisation or simply do not have the time, then please contact us at www.solecv.com. We’d be happy to pimp your profile!