Tag Archives: LinkedIn

On Networking as a Business Professional

I came across a post on TrapIt today regarding, “Why LinkedIn Isn’t Finding You a Job” by Mike Moran.

In the post he speaks to the large number of people who haven’t prepared their network for a time of need (unemployment) and then reach out asking for help without also offering assistance.

If there was one thing I learned during the time I was unemployed/underemployed is that you can’t stop building and developing your network.

Now that I am employed, I’m not actively seeking employment, but I am trying to be a better networker while at the same time doing a better job of articulating and sharing my skills and interests (via this blog, Twitter, G+, etc).

I also make a point of offering assistance to those who are going through employment upheaval (realignments, layoffs, etc). The simplest way to help is to make a connection on LinkedIn (if you don’t already have one) and tell the person to look through your contacts and see if there are any individuals working in positions or at companies they are interested in. If so, you can make an introduction.

I do think a lot of people get caught off guard and I think many people are reluctant to ask for help. As Martin notes, how you ask is important, but for me what is more important is that the person pays it back down the road when they are in a position to help someone else out.

What are your thoughts? Have you helped someone in their job search through LinkedIn? Did it help?


IFTTT: Understanding Recipes

Last week I had an epic fail using If This Then That (IFTTT). The primary reason is I didn’t take the time to fully understand how the recipes work and are structured. The outcome, two tweets were sent from BufferApp to Twitter to WordPress to Linked In in an infinite loop, which I caught after about 50 postings.

IFTTT is actually pretty simple. Channels are media sites you have an account with (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, RSS feeds, etc). You sign-in and authorize IFTTT to access your account. Recipes are simple sets of instructions including a source and destination.

First recipe I set-up was to send my Tweets to Evernote so I would have an archive. To accomplish this I had to add both Twitter and Evernote as channels. When I select Twitter it asked if I wanted to include retweets and replies via a checkbox. Then on the right was a drop down box that included fields based on Twitter. In the main body of the page were fields required to send to Evernote.

You then decide what you want to include in the Note Title, Body, Name of the Notebook you are submitting to, and any Tags for inclusion.

Once you activate the recipe your tweets begin being posted to Evernote.

After setting up Twitter to Evernote, I set up Google Reader to Evernote by using someone else’s recipe (you can then modify if you want). Now whenever I star an item in Reader it is sent to Evernote.

After learning how the recipes worked, I set-up my own to send from Twitter to LinkedIn as a status update (LinkedIn recently killed the ability to send from Twitter). I also set-up an Olympic related recipe that looks for “Wrestling” on ESPN searches and sends an SMS text to my phone when stories are posted.

There are 50 channels to use in your recipes.

You definitely have to think out what you want to accomplish, but the tool itself is pretty straight foward once you take the time to grasp the basic concept.

Would you use this type of service? Do you have any favorite recipes? What would you like to automate?

LinkedIn Answers Not Worth Investment of My Time

I previously posted on LinkedIn Questions as well as how I use the service, in both instances I  noted my surprise at the low quality of questions asked by the community and whether or not I’d continue to try to answer them.

After feeling I’ve given the service enough time (probably close to two months now), I’ve decided it is simply not worth my time to scan daily the questions and attempt to answer any of value. I’ve answered maybe a dozen after scanning literally hundreds.

My approach to this was to use Google Reader, scan questions, and when there were ones I could make a contribution to, I’d answer them. The feeds were LinkedIn Answers: branding, business analytics, internet marketing, market research and definition, mobile marketing, project management, and technology.

In the interest of time I’m going to remove these feeds, but keep my network activity as that allows me to see who has made changes to profiles, posted articles, and made new connections without having to visit another site.

Have you used this service? Found it of value? Would be interested to hear other’s experience.

Online Services: LinkedIn

So clearly finding time to post long-form is not so easy. I was up early this morning with my GSD (German Shepherd Dog) and now that she is recovering from the workout, I have some nice quiet time to give some thought to how I use LinkedIn and what benefits can be gained from it.

LinkedIn is pure and simple business. To begin, fill out the profile as completely as possible and consider it your online resume. I try to only connect with people I know. Some of these I know well, others I’ve met, had a meeting with, and was intrigued enough by what they do/offered that I added them so I could later reach out to them while keeping up with what they are thinking (via updates).

Join relevant groups. There are a ton of them out there. Search them, look at number of people, see if any connections are members, and join. People share content, ask questions, and when seeking vendors it could be a good way to find one.

I connect my Twitter feed to my LinkedIn account so my Tweets all channel through LinkedIn. As such most of my Tweets are business based. I also connected this WordPress account to LinkedIn, again my posts are relevant to my field.

Pay attention to ‘People You May Know’ box in the upper right corner or that appears after connecting with someone. LinkedIn does a very good job of finding people that have a probable history with one another.

Questions. I’m still torn on this one. I’ve added several LinedIn question topics plus news feed to my Google Reader so I can follow what is happening without having to constantly log-in. The news feed is something I scan through and try to reach out if someone has a new title or job.

I also try to answer questions that I have some knowledge of. I’m torn in this area because, as I’ve posted previously, some of these questions are really bad. By bad, I understand that some are written in a 2nd language making it harder to get the full meaning/intent across, but others are fundamental questions about an area the person asking claims to be an expert, so I wonder what the true motive is.

At any rate, I’ll continue on this path for a while and see where it takes me.

The best part of LinkedIn is staying in touch with business contacts. As they move from job to job you don’t have to update contact information, they do it for you. Working in the Pharma/Biotech/Medical Device space, I’ve found it is a reasonably small world and many people I worked with during my non-profit days I’ve come across in my new position. It is great to be able to go back and find people whose work and work ethic I admired then and put an RFP in front of them now. Without LinkedIn, it would be much harder to do this.

Managing Information and There Really are Stupid Questions

This week I continued to try to de-clutter and improve my online life.

I decided it was pointless to receive email newsletters and announcements. The simple fact is that I don’t read any of the emails from retailers, so why keep getting them? Further, newsletters were nearly 100% redundant with my Google Reader feeds, so again redundant content.

I cut my incoming personal email by about 80% – awesome.

I also took advantage of Gmail’s attempt to determine which of my emails are important and which are not and began starring those to follow-up. Most of this was driven by the fact that I’m no longer using Outlook on my personal email and am more reliant on my phone.

To not miss alerts that I was receiving by email, though rarely ever reading, I set up feeds in Reader for LinkedIn.

I also decided I’d try to answer a question a day on LinkedIn. I think over the course of the week I found two worthy of actually being answered.

I was subscribed to Answers in Marketing, Digital, and Technology (7 categories altogether).

One I answered was, “What is your policy on following someone on Twitter once they follow you?” Fair enough and I got a nice response from the person who posted it. In the Internet Marketing Group I answered, “What tools are you using for social media monitoring and would you recommend them?” On that one I got a “Best Answer” designation, which was a nice pat on the back.

Despite the fact that I wanted to post an answer a day, though, I found the questions were mostly rubbish, considering many of these people were asking based on needs for their clients or their own business.

Here are a few:

Branding, “Need thoughts on a website. I swear this isn’t an ad! I just need opinions and thoughts on a website for a client.

Internet Marketing: “We have a social network website where people connect and socialize. We think that our strategy is not good enough and we need to do strategy/scope change or close the project. Could you please share some information like books / other resources that can help us to get correct approach to the issue.”

Market Research: “Do you own or operate an Advertising Agency, Network, or work in any aspect of Performance Based Marketing?I need to know what is out there.”

Mobile Marketing: “How do QR Codes work? Do they need some sort of hosting? Can I generate my own custom QR codes? How? Hi guys, I am looking to create mobile websites for my clients and would like to generate QR codes. However, how do QR codes work? When you scan a QR code, do you get taken to a server where the URL is interpreted? If so, how can I host that part myself? Or can I? And finally, can I generate my own custom QR codes?

Project Management: “Business has been great the last few months. The only problem is I find myself getting complacent. Does anyone have any tips to quickly pull out of such a state-of-mind?”

I’ll continue this for a few weeks to see how it goes, but week one sure was disappointing.

How to Make LinkedIn Groups Work for You

LinkedIn is a great tool, but you can’t simply sign-up and expect things to happen.  You have to make them happen.

Once you’ve signed on, created an in-depth profile, and added some contacts, it is time to take advantage of the service and join some groups.

Groups are a tremendous resource.  Through them you can meet new business contacts and reach out to them in ways you couldn’t do if you found them via search.  It is also a place where you can ask and answer questions and gain insight.

To find a group, use the search in the top right.  Enter keywords about the type of group you are interested in joining.  There are groups for about everything including trade, industry, alumni, company, regional, and combinations thereof.

Once you’ve found a group you are interested in, select join.  I always check off the box asking if I’d like an email digest of conversation.  These get routed to a folder in my inbox and I try to check them daily.

As a member, you now have full access to the group.  On the group page are several navigational tabs including Discussions, News, Jobs, Subgroups and More.

Discussions are the place you can ask or answer questions.  This is a great opportunity to learn or share information.  If you have something to contribute to the conversation – go right ahead.  If not, and the topic is one of interest to you, send a private reply to people in the thread.  Let them know you appreciate the insight, and if you think they could be a valuable contact in the future, let them know you’ll be sending an invite to connect.  Most people will accept the add when they receive it.

News is a place where you can share articles by pasting a link and then commenting on it.  As a manager, news feeds can be added.  Recently I co-created a site and one of our first discussion posts was to request feeds from group members.  Feeds are a great way to keep current on industry hot topics.  Being able to discuss them with other industry members is invaluable.

Jobs is pretty obvious and depending on the group this may or may not be a good source.  If the group is regional and industry specific it could be very good, but I’ve found most of the large, nationally based groups have plenty of jobs with little relevance for me.

Subgroups is a good management tool if the group has natural divisions.  The subgroups allow for discussion and news based on a more specific demographic.

Under “More” are three choices – Members, Updates, and My Settings.

Members allows you to see profiles and send messages to fellow group members.  Updates allows you to see all the recent activity within the group.  My Settings allows you to receive updates by email and maybe most important, here you can check allow fellow members to contact you.  I say this is most important because your network outreach significantly increases through groups.  Without them you couldn’t send a message or request an add.

So that is the 500 word look around a group.  To make groups work for you, you must embrace the principles of social media.  Be honest, open, transparent, helpful, and engage the people and community you join.  By doing that, you will meet new people, gain valuable contacts, learn, and grow.

Good luck!

Leveraging LinkedIn

Connect with Me on LinkedIn

Connect with Me on LinkedIn

To begin, I have close to 250 contacts on LinkedIn and belong to 32 groups.

I receive an email summary of my groups’ activity daily.  I typically review these twice a week, scrolling through the email and clicking on any discussion topics that are of interest to me.

Today I was provided a perfect example of how to use LinkedIn.  I was reading a discussion on the Motorsports Professionals Group started by Glenn Kelley, MediaFit, who asked, “Which is more important to sponsorship success in racing-talent or publicity?”

This topic is extremely important to me as I’m trying to secure sponsorship for the 2010 Star Mazda series for a driver (www.coreylewisracing.com). Twenty-three people replied within one day, and as you’ll see below the quality and diversity of perspective was excellent.

In the midst of the conversation about sponsorship came this gem from Fred Callahan.  It is worth the space to quote the entire thing:

Mark and Max, thank you for your gracious comments. Chris Palmer, congratualtions, you have taken the first step – you have just introduced yourself to a whole host of industry professionals. You should have already sent e-mails to both Mark Chavous and Anthony Castaneira asking them advice on how you can get your son media exposure – press is power in this industry and if you can walk in to the next sponsor meeting with ink or electronic media – you have just seperated yourself from the last 5 fathers that were in there. Next Chris Calligan just told you how she prefers sponsorship proposals and she is a national sales account manager for APPAREL, you’ve just found your team shirts and maybe a little money – Dave Alford is the Motorsports Sponsorship Program Manager for Turtlewax, huge resource for advice on what he likes to see in the way of proposals…and possibly a sponship deal at your level is a stroke of a pen compared to the levels he is used to funding – but at this level, if it cost you $1,000 to fly to a turtlewax meeting for $500 worth of sponsorship – DO IT!!!! You’re not looking for money at this level, you’re looking for relationships. Max Munsie – President, Race Driver, Marketing Director, Public Relations – I’d put him on my Christmas card list if I were you. Glen Kelly Director of Sponsorship Development started the thread. You’ve had a great back and fourth with George Daszkowski who is an Executive Director. Rene’ Kroll owner/manager at R+M Solutions. Take the time to look into the LinkedIn account of each of these, at least seek their advice – ask them what they would do in your situation. You stated its not what you know but who you know – now, look who you know.

This is how you can leverage the power of LinkedIn.  It is not enough to make connections and join groups, you need to engage them and interact with others.

Often I will make a public comment, but in this instance I didn’t have anything I deemed valuable enough to contribute, so I read and thanked people for their input privately.  I also explained, briefly, that I was working with a driver, had been in a different sector previously, and was not only learning more about the industry but expanding my network in it and would follow-up with a request to connect.

Within an hour I had two new, valuable contacts.  I expect I’ll get more.

You can’t join, be read-only, and expect results.  Starting discussions, commenting , helping others, and thanking people, will all contribute to your professional success through LinkedIn.

So don’t sit back, get engaged.