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How to Manage an Out-of-Control Account “It is just bringing me more work, work I don’t have time for.” We recently worked with a client who was a human resources manager. During the consultation, we talked about LinkedIn and he revealed that he didn’t even log in to his LinkedIn account as “it is just bringing me more work, work I don’t have time for.” He talked about how his inbox was being flooded with requests to connect and suppliers wanting his company’s business. He saw LinkedIn as a medium that brought him more work and people wanting things from him. He didn’t know how to control his account so he could use it to his benefit.

This client is not alone. A recent article on infoworld.com quoted professional developer Peter Wayner as saying this about LinkedIn: “It’s sure cool and it’s fun to look at hierarchies, but I’ve never had much luck with using it for more than idle curiosity.” David Linthicum, consultant and chief technology officer at Blue Mountain Labs, has a much more positive spin. He uses LinkedIn several times a day. He says: “I use LinkedIn to get the information on people I may want to work with, may want to hire, may want to network with. Most people in IT have LinkedIn profiles, and you can understand a lot about them from their profile.” He has a problem with the site, though: “I get many people asking me to join their network who turn out to be spammers. You have to be careful who you accept.” 14 | CONNECT: Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead Generation

Some ways to take control of your LinkedIn account and have it work for you include:

1. Control your settings. By controlling your settings, you can take control of incoming communication notifications and emails. To do this: Under the Privacy and Settings option, you will see you have five main areas you can manage. These include: Profile; Communications; Group, Companies and Applications; and Account.

2. Manage your current connections. You can keep your connections private.

The default LinkedIn setting is that your first-degree connections can see who your other first-degree connections are. By making your connections private, you protect yourself and your connections. You can also block a connection’s status updates if you still want to be connected, but don’t want to see all their updates.

3. Curb your connection requests. Carefully review any requests to connect.

Inadvertently connecting with a spammer can compromise your account. You can also control who can connect with you by stipulating that they need to have your email address to submit a connection request. When someone requests a connection, you will receive an email as well as a notification in your profile. If you click on the tick, the request will be accepted. If you would like to find out more about the person, click on their name.

Google Search If you do a search for your profile in LinkedIn using keywords, you will turn up in the search result as the top-ranked profile, as LinkedIn search results are based on first, second and third-level connections. To get a real indication of where you’re turning up in search results, you need to undertake a “clean search”. You do need to be mindful of whether you’re reviewing a public or individual profile.

LinkedIn public profiles come in two different formats: they start with www.linkedin.com/in/ or they start with www.linkedin.com/pub/ If there is an “in” in the URL this means the user has a premium subscription profile. “Pub” is for everyone else.

For example, if you were looking for a LinkedIn Profile Writer in Brisbane you

would undertake the following search:

“site:linkedin.com/in | site:linkedin.com/pub -dir “LinkedIn Profile Writer” Brisbane”

–  –  –

How People Find You When assessing how people find you, you need to consider the purpose and patterns that lead to how you’re found. Some of the patterns come from your contacts and who you’re connected to. You may notice certain people keep looking at your profile and coming back to you that way. They may have also found you more easily if you’ve been undertaking aggressive search engine optimisation with your profile.

The amount of content you post will also affect how you’re found and will give evidence of your visibility. The best way to review this is by looking through your newsfeed.

So the overall message is that you don’t need to place high in search results for everything. It depends on your purpose and who your connections are.

Self-Assessment Here is a checklist with some questions to help you determine if your LinkedIn profile is working for you and where you need to focus your efforts.

16 | CONNECT: Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead Generation Current Final score /10 score /10 Establish Your Profile

1. Does your profile address the problems and fears of your ideal client?

2. Do you have a professional headshot?

3. Do you control updates clogging your inbox?

4. Is your profile fully search engine optimised in the title, summary, current role, skills and expertise, and does it include a vanity URL and contact details?

5. Are you well validated with recommendations and endorsements?

Total score /50 Engage Your Audience

6. Do you like and comment professionally?

7. Do you create personalised scripts to connect professionally?

8. Do you leverage LinkedIn to support your faceto-face networks?

9. Do you curate content in a time-efficient and relevant manner?

10. Do you contribute to groups professionally?

Total score /50 Elevate Your Positioning

11. Do you undertake advanced searches to find ideal connections?

12. Are you positioned effectively when being introduced to a potential client or contact?

13. Can you write a thought-leading post with a call to action to attract ideal clients?

14. Do you know how to write a compelling script to connect with ideal stakeholders via Connect or InMail, knowing the difference between the two?

–  –  –

How to Leverage Your Profile H ollywood actress Hilary Duff once said: “I’m pretty good at thinking about everything – all of my consequences – before I make a decision, and I think about everything that’s going to happen because of that decision. I’m a Libra, and I’m very strategic.” We recently worked with a client, Peter, in financial services, who said he was spending a lot of time trying to grow his business through LinkedIn but found he was wasting so much time that he gave up and decided to just focus on his old sales methods. He couldn’t understand what he was doing wrong on LinkedIn, so he dismissed it. Maybe you have been in the same boat, where you have tried to use LinkedIn but received minimal results. The goal of this book is to help you have greater impact in as short amount of time as possible. A good place to start is to think about the type of user you are before beginning.

Q1: Persister. You’re getting results but it’s taking a lot of time. You’re posting content but unsure if it’s the right content. You feel as though there must be a better way but you’re not sure what that is. You’d like to know some more efficient ways to make your profile work and be less time consuming. If you’re at this level, you need to focus on efficiency, effectiveness and getting your profile to work for you a lot more.

You may also need to look at the sequence of what you’re doing with your profile. The order of your activity may also be out of sequence and need to be adjusted.

Chapter 3: How to Leverage Your Profile | 19

Q3: Attempter. You’ve tried putting some time into your LinkedIn profile but you’re not getting any results. You’re about to give up if something doesn’t change. You feel overwhelmed and it all seems too hard. At this level, you need to focus on creating the strategy for your profile that will create the results you’re looking for. You also need to shift from the mindset of taking from others to giving to generate leads.

Q4: Avoider. You think LinkedIn is more a recruitment tool. You may think that if profiles are created for your team, they will leave and not attract clients. You have a private profile because you don’t want attention and you don’t see yourself as an integral part of the sales funnel. Alternatively, you don’t have time to spend on social media and don’t even see the value of it. If you’re at this level, you need to look at the purpose of your role in the organisation and where LinkedIn’s purpose intersects.

From here, your strategy can be designed to leverage the time you spend on it and keep you focused on business-critical activity.

Q2: Rockstar. You’re confident and killing it. You know how to design your profile to attract your ideal client. You’re leveraging your content, approaching your clients with ease and generating leads. You know the process, have the system in place and it’s a strategic part of your sales process. You know there is no replacement for face-toface communication, but you know how to leverage LinkedIn to support other leadgenerating activities. At this level, you can focus on helping others in your business or elevating the business through your profile and other thought-leadership activities.

There are three elements to get help you move to Rockstar Status:

• Search Engine Optimisation

• Positioning

• Connection 20 | CONNECT: Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead Generation Search Engine Optimisation LinkedIn, first and foremost, is a search engine. In other words, it’s similar to Google in that it’s designed for people to use to search for what they’re looking for. Not only does this mean that you can turn up in a search result in LinkedIn; you can also turn up in a Google search if you have the right words in your profile. The advantage of this is that you can beat your competitors, even if they’re large organisations, in a Google as well as a LinkedIn search.

So, one of the first things you need to have in your profile is search engine optimisation, or SEO. SEO is about having the correct words in your profile so that you turn up in search results and are found. There are three main elements to keep in

mind when search engine optimising your profile:

1. Relevance: Ensure you use words that a customer uses when searching for you. For example, if you’re a facilitator in leadership, a customer could type in “Leadership Facilitator Sydney”, but there are also people who might type in “Leadership Trainer Sydney” or “Leadership Training Sydney”. Ensuring you have enough of the words in your profile means that people can find you for what you want to be found for. By doing this, your profile will have a lot of pull.

This means your profile will bring the right people to you like a magnet.

Chapter 3: How to Leverage Your Profile | 21

2. Competitiveness: Some keywords will be more competitive than others. This means that to get a strong, targeted result, you may need to be more specific.

For example, the keyword “coach” would be a competitive keyword. It is also not very specific to what you do. By making the keyword “junior AFL coach” or “executive coach”, you will get a more targeted response that aligns with your goals and ideal client.

3. Location: The third element of SEO is the location of keywords in your profile. There are five areas that impact the SEO: Headline, Summary, Employment History and Endorsements Recommendations. Ensure you include your keywords in all areas to maximise your SEO.

Positioning When you have positioning, it means you stand out from your competition. You have differentiated yourself from others and you are perceived in the market for the work you want to be perceived as being able to do.

The main elements of positioning are:

1. Content: Your content relates to your expertise; it relates to those things that help your audience to understand what you do to help. It’s about your profile photo, your content and your thought leadership. It’s about your brand leverage and being the brand of the companies you have worked for.

2. Social Proof: What others say about you is more important than what you say about yourself. The importance of testimonials and case studies cannot be over emphasised. The evidence that you can do what you say you can do is invaluable and gives people hope as well as trust in you.

3. First Four Seconds: When a client lands on your profile, they don’t make a cup of tea and read your profile, taking in every captivating word. You only have four seconds to grab their attention and help them make sense of what you do.

Your profile needs to stand out immediately!

Connection One of the things we often hear people say about LinkedIn is: “I’ve got a profile, but it doesn’t do anything for me.” It’s actually a bit more of a team effort. People set up their profile thinking, “Oh, it’s done now. I’ll just sit back and wait.” You need to be 22 | CONNECT: Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead Generation proactive with your profile, but there’s no point being proactive unless you’ve got full SEO and it’s fully branded. Only then can you go to market.

Just because you’re online rather than engaging face-to-face doesn’t mean you should treat people any differently. It can be easy to forget that the people behind the computer screen are human. The As a result of the sheer volume of people online, we try to speed everything up to attract the masses. The irony is that this slows the process down. The secret is less haste, more speed.

The three elements of connection are:

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