This is the fourth in a four part weekly series on using Linked In for business development.
8. Seek Out Business Development Opportunities:
LinkedIn tracks who has viewed your profile. You can find this on your Profile page on the lower right hand side. Review this regularly to look for possible referral sources, connection opportunities, or reasons to contact someone. If you've recently met with or pitched someone, you'll often find them or a company representative show up as having viewed your profile. Sometimes who viewed your profile is a precursor to the posting of an RFP. If you have no connections to the person viewing your profile, you may not be able to see all of their information without paying for LinkedIn's premium service. There are several packages at various monthly price points that you might choose. Once you've clicked through to find out who's viewed your profile, you can find upgraded costs by clicking the yellow "Upgrade" button. You can quit the service at any time so don’t worry about having to sign up for a whole year. Sign up on a month to month basis and see if it provides value and see whether or not you use the premium service on a regular basis.
9. Check your privacy settings.
Determine how you want to be found and viewed. Turn off activity broadcasts when you are in edit mode so you don’t bombard connections with every change you make to your profile. But don’t forget to turn it back on. Set who you want to see your activity feeds to everyone, your expanded network or just your first degree connections. Review what you want people to see when they view your profile. Make sure you include an e-mail address that your connections can access. Restrict who can see your connections to only your connections. Consider turning off the feature ‘viewers of your profile also viewed these other profiles’. The benefit of this feature is being able to see who you are being compared to. The downside is that it gives those viewing your profile other suggested profiles to view thereby increasing competition.
10. Distribute content through Linked In
I promote a writing style which makes content easier to re-purpose and distribute called ‘140, 1, 4.’ The content should be written in the form of a pyramid in which the essential information or some compelling proposition is stated in the first 140 characters. Then, write a complete overview about the topic in the first page being careful to address all the major points of your proposition within that one page. Then use the following four pages to elaborate on your point. This will give you a strong, ‘tweetable’ proposition to distribute through linked In, Twitter and other channels, a one page summary for the time constrained reader and a more in-depth analysis for those willing to read five pages of material. Be sure to embed white papers, client alerts, blog posts and publications in your profile.
Linked In will likely become the CRM system of choice for the global business community. Putting your best foot forward by having a thorough and well written profile is critical. And the sooner you get the basics done, the sooner you can begin to master its powerful features and utilize it for business development.
If you'd like help using Linked In for business development, contact Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll find that I am an eager resource and that it costs nothing to talk.