Tools

When I was first exposed to Linked-In I saw it as yet another electronic time sink and nuisance, but my opinion has shifted significantly.

Linked-In could be powerful tool, if understood, invested in and exploited properly, for anything from networking for a job, to landing consulting work, to business development.

As the teacher of a Linked-In course I took pointed out, a sparse profile leads to sparse results, a rich profile at least leads to an increased probability of rich results. The latter scenario is how it worked for me. Today, more than ever, we need to leverage every advantage to get to the right people asap. As we all hopefully understand, networking works, posting resumes does not, or at least not very well...

These are the steps I suggest, in priority order:

  1. Develop a rich profile, as fast as you can, replete with recommendations. Use my profile as a potential model or finds others that are better and use them.
  2. Articulate your objective in as crisp, succinct and compelling a form as you can. You will use a simple form of this to send out your connection invitations, but you better know what you want first and be able to articulate it crisply.
  3. Once the two first steps are achieved, then expand your network with "quality" connections, as fast as you can, with stepwise goals of 50, then 100, then 150, then 200+ connections. This is neither simple nor quick, but it is essential.
  4. When you make connections, scan your new contact's connections, to see if there is someone there who might be of assistance to you, or you might be able to reciprocate assistance too, and request an introduction or proceed yourself.
  5. As you meet new people in business, or otherwise, consider requesting to make connections with them and adding to both networks: professional and personal. This is especially valuable in a business development role as those contacts can be pure gold later.

Additional Useful Features on Linked-In to Leverage:

  1. Uploading my consulting flyer using box.net.
  2. Using the feature that says what you are doing for me to say: "Steve is Marketing Rochester Biofuels Consultants via flyer on LI Profile (box.net). Finder's Fee paid for leads turning to contracts."
  3. Using Linked-In to explore someone else's profile for talking points before I call them for a discussion in either consulting or business development mode.

Results have been:

  1. My profile and consulting flyer has brought me repeated consulting leads.
  2. Box.net notifying me when my consulting flyer is downloaded. Another box.net feature will tell you who downloaded it, but that feature is a cost.
  3. Linked-In notifying me of how many time my profile has been reviewed.
  4. Multiple calls from head hunters for potential jobs.

 

Additional Information:

Tools

People

Law of Reciprocity