Creating Conversations and Relationships Using LinkedIn

What is LinkedIn good for when you are not looking for a job?
The short answer is: a lot!

The long answer is found in this list of articles in a group writing project started by Brandon Hull of SalesTeamTools. I found this list some time ago and definitely suggest checking it out: 100+ Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn (from the LinkedIntelligence blog). There are many useful ideas from actual LinkedIn users.

:

People talking

People talking, people connecting

More than an Online Resume

As you can see, Linked in is much more than just a futuristic resume, it is a tool for connecting. Here are three more things that I to do with LinkedIn:

  1. Focus on connecting. Whenever I get a business card from someone I enter them into my Highrise HQ account, then search for that person on LinkedIn right away. Because I have their email, I can send them an invitation to connect.
  2. Increase your visibility. Don’t add people to your network and then forget about them. While everyone you meet may not be a “business” contact, they may be a referrer. How will you know? Use the Question and Answer function on LinkedIn. Also, make sure your public profile is complete. I like to recommend people in my network, I also ask them to recommend me. Every time I do one of these activities, LinkedIn posts updates online and in weekly updates to everyone in my network.
  3. Make LinkedIn your homepage. Whenever I open my browser, I can immediately review my “LinkedIn Home Page” which shows what others in my network are doing and who they’re connecting with. I also check every 2-3 days to see “Who’s Viewed My Profile.” Just as you can use web statistics to see who is looking at your website, you can also see who’s been checking out your profile.

For a real-world example, I recently used the Question and Answer feature for doing some research on a post about working from home. This is something that I have been struggling with for some time now and it occurred to me that I had a large base of people that I know that have been working from home for years. Who better to ask for tips?

I asked a question, and a lot of people answered! In fact, many more than I expected. I consider myself blessed to have so many contacts that are so engaged and willing to help. One of those that chimed in with an answer was Grant Griffiths from Home Office Warrior, who graciously offered to host the collection of tips as a post on his blog. Click on through to see this amazing list of tips for working at home.

Comments

  1. says

    A terrific list of resources, thanks. It is my personal experience that twitter users give faster results on searches for information … albeit the relationship building isn’t as deep.

  2. says

    This is quite a post, Stephen! Making LinkedIn your home page is a great idea that puts you in touch with your network every day. Also like your suggestion of using Highrise HQ to manage contacts
    .
    From a PR perspective, asking and answering questions on LinkedIn gets you visibility and exposure you can’t get anywhere else. Inside this collaborative communications system, you can generate your own blend of contacts for business, blogging, resources and networking. Reading your post was a reminder for me to be more active on LinkedIn – thanks!
    @wiredprworks on twitter.com

  3. CJ Guest says

    This is great advice on using a very powerful tool! The power of Linkedin is that it’s makes you a constant applicant to potential employers. Sooner or later, that one job you really want will be available, or that one perfect team member that you need to hire has to be found. I like the fact that Linkedin converts this usually intensive search, to a more passive one. Great post!

  4. says

    Great post Stephen – this is one of my favorites on LinkedIn. It is quite versatile, even though it’s seemingly simple.

    Also, I agree with Barbara that we need to have some kind of traditional contact management system – she uses Highrise, I own and use JibberJobber – the point is, use a real CRM so that you can actually work on nurturing relationships, not just collect connections and never do anything with them.

    Jason Alba
    CEO – JibberJobber.com
    Author – I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???

  5. @Stephen says

    Thanks for your comments folks, I live LinkedIn for what it is and for the powerful connections that it can generate.

    And, >>Daltonssbriefss: Twitter can be very fast in getting answers, and I use it too. But I like to use LI Q&A b/c it gets out to a wider audience, outside the “echo chamber”

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