What is LINKEDIN® exactly? Before we get started on what is LinkedIn I just want you to know that many of the key LinkedIn® navigation and setting adjustments you might wish to do are in the videos shown below in the footer area.
First and foremost LinkedIn is a marketing channel. You need to treat both your profile and activities as “marketing” and not as a résumé or website.
To leverage LinkedIn® you must take advantage of LinkedIn’s social media nature.
You will learn a lot more about this in the first module of our new SuperPower Mini course. You can sign up to watch that module free via the form on the right side of this page.
Absolutely Critical Before You Get Started
The first thing you need to know about how to use LinkedIn is that the rules state that you are not to invite people you don’t know to connect with you.
I know, it sounds like a silly rule for a networking site. Unfortunately, LinkedIn® feels they must do this to protect their users.
And the reason I say that is…
One of the things the LinkedIn® system will encourage you to do is upload your contacts from various places including Outlook and send them all invitations.
I highly recommend that you don’t do this.
It turns out that in some instances LinkedIn® can punish you for the above rule.
If you invite someone to connect with you and they mark your invitation “I don’t know…” also called an IDK, this is a black mark against your LinkedIn® account.
If you get too many of these in a short period, your LinkedIn® restricts your invitation privileges.
If you upload your contacts to LinkedIn®, and then send them invites using the LinkedIn system for doing this in bulk, you risk the following consequences.
Some of the people in your list may not know you all that well. They may not associate your name with you and they may mark your invitation IDK.
This can occur because they don’t want unsolicited invitations or because they are new as well, and when they see the option “I don’t know” they simply choose it as logical since they don’t make the association to you.
Mass mailing invitations to your connections can get your LinkedIn® account restricted – it’s not worth it.
But more importantly, this is the wrong way to invite others to connect.
You want to send a personal note that shares the relationship you have and provides value creating a positive first impression for those connecting to you.
Additionally, you may have people in your list that could give you recommendations for your LinkedIn profile.
The connection process is the perfect place to investigate their willingness to do so with your invitation to connect.
You can get more information on how to use LinkedIn® in our blog post video “Avoiding The Mail Trap” Click here to watch this video.
Complete Your Profile
The key things you need to fill out are…
- A professional headline that tells your value (not your title)
- Your last couple of jobs telling what you produced (not what you did)
- Your Summary which should if possible offer value to the reader as opposed to talking about yourself.
- And the Contact section where you should clearly show who you are looking to connect with and how others may approach you
There is a lot more I’d like to share with you. So the next time someone asks you what is LinkedIn? I hope you will answer a marketing channel and business networking site!
And if you will fill out the form below I will give you the rest of this free introductory course.
You will receive an email every couple of days with a couple of tasks to complete to get you started right on LinkedIn.
Additionally, you will get our free membership to the site entitling you to additional premium content not offered to non-registered members.
By the way, you can un-subscribe to any of our mailings at the bottom of the email if you decide you don’t want them any more.
Now that you know what LINKEDIN® is let me show you how to get a FAST start.
OBN’s LinkedIn Email Networking course will give you some great tips to get you started.
In this 5-day course you will learn Lesson 1: Critical Getting Starting Tips For LinkedIn, Lesson 2: Getting Your Profile Ready For Action, Getting Your Account And Profile Tuned For Networking Success, Lesson 4: Managing Your LinkedIn Efforts, and Lesson 5: Power Connecting Strategies To Build Your Network.
Simply enter your name and email below to receive this course. Upon confirming your request we will send you the first lesson.
Lessons will be loaded and ready by 11/30/11.