This is the second in a four part weekly series on the basics of using Linked In for business development.
2. Personalize Your URL:
You have the option to claim your name as part of your LinkedIn web address, rather than a standard web address with a long list of numbers at the end. Find this under the Edit drop-down menu on your profile home page, click "Manage your profile settings" then find "Customize your public profile URL" along the right side, as shown here.
3. Connect with your Colleagues and Business Contacts:
Take time each week, each month, etc. to update your LinkedIn Contacts. On your Home page, you will see People You May Know on the right side of the page. If you've kept your profile updated with affiliations and groups you belong to, LinkedIn will better be able to suggest people with whom you should connect. The more experiences you add, even non-work related experience, the easier it will be for LinkedIn to connect you with others within those networks.
Add your colleagues at the firm, along with your professional network outside the firm. Add new contacts you meet at networking or social events. LinkedIn is one of the most searched professional sites online. Just as our in-house CRM shows who knows a specific contact, LinkedIn also shows who you already know that may know a business contact you are trying to connect with, and that can lead to a touch point to facilitate an introduction.
Or vice versa: contacts may find you can help facilitate a business introduction for them. If you find you need to delete a contact, you can remove them under the Network – Connections tab. It’s worth periodically culling out connections that don’t augment your profile in some way. Often times, others will attempt to connect with you just to increase the number of connections they have believing that large networks gain them higher rankings in search results. However, the behavior of searching on LinkedIn is really through the process of searching ‘degrees of separation’. Knowing this, it is more important to ensure that the connections you have are of the best quality, have similar good quality connections, are meaningful and offer the potential to help someone out in the future.
4. Add Recommendations:
An easy way to enhance your reputation is to obtain recommendations from quality, well regarded sources. These recommendations add up to social proof that you’re a professional others can depend on. The best way to get recommendations is to ask for them. The Request Recommendations tool is simple to use, but take the time to edit the default message by tailoring it for your audience. Access this thru your Privacy & Settings page. Do this sparingly. Target those who have direct experience with you and your work. For connections or clients that you have not spoken with recently, include a point of reference to jog their memory in your note. As for the message itself, be short and to the point. A good way to start your message is to acknowledge how much you value their opinion. Start writing recommendations for others you know as well, and you may find many will reciprocate.
If you'd like help using Linked In for business development, contact Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll find I'm an eager resource and that it costs nothing to talk.