Linked In was a challenge for me recently, a “30 day Linked In Blitz” challenge to be exact.
I was invited to take part in this project by Des Walsh, a well-respected Social Media speaker and coach, and long time blogging contact.. Although I had been a member of Linked In for many years, I knew I had not explored its full potential and jumped at the opportunity.
I would go into Linked In occasionally, reply to friend requests, add the occasional update and endorse people for skills. I would hit the Linked In share button at the same as the Facebook Like, G+ and tweet buttons on quality blog posts. I rarely communicated with anyone on there, apart from some old friends who I had not found on other social networks. Many of the people I added as contacts were those I already knew from elsewhere.
Armed with the Blitz training webinar and a checklist of daily tasks, I enthusiastically started off my 30 day challenge. A dedicated Linked In group provided support,extra guidance, and information, and gave us an opportunity to ask questions and share ideas.
Aims of the Linked In Blitz Challenge
To develop a habit of using Linked In, we committed to logging in 6 days a week and spending 20 minutes carrying out certain daily actions. Some some general tasks were also required, depending on how much we had already developed our profiles.
Develop A Comprehensive Profile
For me this involved a total overhaul of my profile information, which I had originally added without much time or thought. I added much more detail. I also deleted an old LinkedIn account, after setting up connections from there on the account I now use.
One of our challenge tasks was to add at least one new connection daily and accept new connection requests. I used the search feature to find people, as well as adding them from the Linked In recommendations. Instead of adding just anyone I took time to work out if they suited my needs. I searched for suitable groups and found more connections within them.
Quality of your contacts is more important than quantity. With too many non targeted connections you waste time and effort. Effective use of social media is not just about having the connections but communicating and interacting with them, for the maximum benefit. Linked In is much less spammy than other networks but add the wrong people and you can still be the recipient of unwanted messages.
One challenge task ,which is now a habit, is to always send an introductory message to new contacts as a way of starting off communication. I send a general message of welcome and thanks with a little bit of information about myself. As with other business or social networks I find that some make the mistake of using their very first message for a sales pitch. This does not automatically preclude me from continuing to talk to them. If they are new and inexperienced it can be a chance to coach them and develop a long-lasting relationship.
You can show your appreciation and help others in a few ways. Blitz tasks included skill endorsing, making recommendations and asking some close connections to do the same for you.
Join and Participate in Groups
Linked In group interaction is an important way of increasing our social presence and network influence and getting yourself known for your skills, knowledge and expertise. We were encouraged to post messages in our groups and reply to discussions.
The good news is that ,not only have I developed a larger and more targeted list of connections, I am getting more contact requests and more people messaging me. Linked In has been incorporated into my normal routine.
Two people new to online business are coming to me for advice. I helped one set up their first domain and WordPress site. I have been approached by a locally based contact to take on a job to enhance the web and social presence of herself and her business.
I came away with a now personal commitment of using Linked In on a regular basis, to communicate with contacts and to continuing learning. My next step is to develop my own Linked In business page and group; challenge suggestions that I did not quite get to because I had more of the basic steps to concentrate on.
Thank you to Des Walsh for inviting me. You can find out more about the blitz which will hopefully be run again, on 30 Day Linked In Blitz
Please share your own experiences with Linked In.