8 ways to become a LinkedIn rock star (Part 1)

How do you separate yourself from the pack? Doing little things right, like optimizing your LinkedIn profile, utilizing LinkedIn tools, and maintaining an active presence online are just a few of the ways. Here are some ways you can use common social selling techniques to amplify your experience on LinkedIn.

1. Prioritize your clients. Instead of talking about you, your LinkedIn profile is an opportunity to tell the story of how you help your clients. Write your LinkedIn summary in the context of what your clients and prospects will want to know about you.

2. Research smarter by digging deep to gain insights into prospects. Look for common groups, associations, connections, and interests that you can leverage in a conversation.

3. Don’t miss opportunities to connect. Leverage mutual connections and introductions to connect with second-tier connections. Use LinkedIn’s new “How You’re Connected” tool to help you find the strongest commonalities shared between you and a potential connection.

4. Add more value than you ask for. Make every connection a win-win by offering to give at least one thing back for every one you ask for. For example, if you ask for an introduction, forward an article or link that pertains to that person as thanks.

Try tackling these items this week, and next week we’ll share an additional four steps you can take toward becoming a rock star on LinkedIn.


Why do I have popcorn in my hair?

The answer to that question is probably my obsession with food. But I like to think it’s more than that.

I’ve been contemplating what exactly I want to accomplish in keeping up with this blog. I started it because I was looking for full-time employment after graduation and this was another way I could showcase my resume, portfolio, and express thought-leadership. I obtained said employment and continued keeping up with this blog to continue writing about Twitter, LinkedIn, and how social media is life (it is my job, so close enough). But in 2014 I have realized I want so much more than that.

Lately, I have also been contemplating the life of a writer. I have never envisioned myself to be a great writer, mostly because when I write it just rolls off of my tongue (fingers). Since it seems like such an ordinary part of my day I never considered that it was something I excelled in or even… barf… like to do. Now when I say life, I don’t actually mean my whole life. I love my job, I love social media and digital marketing, my dog, sports, and I’m not ready to give those things up. I have realized that most of all I love food. What better way to express how in love with food I am than to start writing more about my one true love. So in 2014, expect a lot more food. I want to share some recipes and how I manage to tackle tany cooking challenges, the bizarro foods that I love to try (and many that I adore), and evaluate the up and coming trends in the food industry.

So, who’s hungry?

Don’t use any of these LinkedIn buzzwords in 2014.

LinkedIn tip
In the United States, “responsible,” “strategic,” and “effective” were the top three most overused LinkedIn buzzwords of 2013. If any of them appear in your profile, consider updating it in 2014. (P.S. “creative,” “patient,” “expert,” “organizational,” “driven,” “innovative,” and “analytical” were also in the top 10.)

LinkedIn update
LinkedIn is becoming a reliable information and news source on the web. Influencers, companies, and publishers are able to share posts and stories. Check out the most engaging stories of 2013, and follow one or two of these influencers or publishers.

Check out more at the LinkedIn Official Blog.

Twitter tip
Search a #hashtag using Twitter search to keyword specific posts. Similar to LinkedIn search, you can save your searches on Twitter. After completing your search, click on the gear in the top right corner, and click “save search.” Now you’ll be able to view your most frequent searches at any time!

Twitter update
On January 6, Dr. Janet Yellen was confirmed as the new Chairperson of the Federal Reserve. How did Twitter react? 10,000 tweets in the first 30 minutes. Remember to get involved and participate in trending topics and conversations on Twitter.

Check out more at the Twitter Official Blog.

Why most customers are now checking your online reputation

Customers and potential clients value reputation and frequently check online before doing business. In a new digital age, it is easier than ever to evaluate a company’s and an individual’s reputation online. Keep up with that is said about you or your business – a simple Google search can accomplish this. The positive? Activity on a social network like LinkedIn and Twitter hold immense value in Google’s page rank and can actually push other results further to the bottom of a search. Make sure your social networks display the most appropriate representation regarding your personal brand so others can find a positive reputation of you online.

Full article regarding online reputation available here. 

How to network using LinkedIn groups

How to network using LinkedIn groups

A recent article posted by Social Media Examiner offers five tips to make the most of networking on LinkedIn groups. You can join up to 50 groups. Since participation in 50 is a lot of work, we recommend maintaining regular activity in five to 10 groups. This will help you get the most benefit out of those groups and help you build personal relationships with other group members.

Use LinkedIn search to find relevant groups to join
LinkedIn search received an overhaul recently that includes enhancements regarding keyword and Boolean search operations. You can search for relevant groups based on your networks and even discussion topics within open groups. Boolean search operators allow for smarter search. Per the LinkedIn tip we included last week: a tip guide from LinkedIn Corporate Solutions.

Review the “Groups You May Like” suggestions
LinkedIn does provide suggestions for groups based on your network, recent activity, profile and other group memberships.

Evaluate the quality of a group
It’s important to join groups that are high quality and offer substance to your network. Be sure to evaluate the statistics of the group, like demographics and activity, as well as an active manager. The referenced article also suggests additional questions to ask in order to evaluate a group’s effectiveness and credibility.

Consider joining corporate-sponsored groups
Corporate-sponsored groups are typically well managed and have strong dialogue with intriguing weekly discussions.

Adhere to LinkedIn group participation best practices
LinkedIn actively fights against promotional posts and spam. Discussion posts containing the words me, my or I typically don’t show up and instead end up in the Promotions tab.

Additional best practices include asking questions, providing answer to others, sharing interesting and relevant content, and providing links to reputable sources or articles.

In closing, participate and develop a presence by participating in group discussions. As you develop personal relationships with group members, consider making them part of your LinkedIn connections.

The map of United States labeled by an Aussie is a funny interpretation of us

America’s states

A funny interpretation of the U.S. by someone not from this country… and has never been here. Just brilliant.

H/T to Buzzfeed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/the-most-accurate-map-of-the-us-ever


UPDATE: There has been a rebuttal. http://happyplace.someecards.com/27265/australian-man-who-has-never-been-to-the-us-draws-hilarious-map-of-it


Stay ahead of the social media curve

I really liked this article recently posted by wealthmanagement.com that praises early adopters of social media. While you and I may not be a part of the coveted 8% of advisors that met the criteria to be considered an early adopter, we can learn to build on some characteristics of one.

Use social media daily
We recommend spending between 15-30 minutes a day. Develop a plan or a checklist and stick with the routine every day and week. Adding connections, sending messages and reviewing scheduled content can all be included in this plan.

Gather information on clients
The article notes using LinkedIn and other social networks as a way of profiling clients while gathering information about them. While establishing a personal relationship, advisors can uncover potential second- or third-degree connections.

Research prospects
Through researching potential connections on LinkedIn, Google and other social networks, you can get a better understanding of the person to help you make a good impression.

Uncover business opportunities
There are many people who can provide you a jumping point for new opportunities: family, friends, alumni, former colleagues and other centers-of-influence. Run advanced searched on LinkedIn and follow local companies.

Get introduced offline
Another helpful article from wealthmanagement.com can help you use LinkedIn as an online tool to get offline personal connections.

Acquire new business
Get involved. When a new opportunity arises, follow these steps and take the relationship offline.