It’s not who you know, but how well you know them

No matter what sized business you run, what you sell, or how long you’ve been operational, one of the most important things you have access to is your database of names.  It might only have 10 contacts in it, or it might have thousands, it doesn’t really matter.  It’s yours and it can make a huge impact on your future success.

I’m a huge fan of networking, whether it’s face to face or via social media platforms but one thing I notice more and more is the amount of people who do it, but don’t do it very well.  Yes, they’re great at reaching out and chatting to new faces, but there’s no follow up afterwards.  What’s the point of taking a business card if all you’re going to do is drop it in the bin, or worst still the “I’ll deal with that later” drawer?

No matter how much fun you had at a networking event, it boils down to nothing if you’ve wasted that time.  And trust me, coming away with a new contact you’re never going to actually get in contact with is a waste of time.

I know I’ve talked in the past about how hiring a Time Saving Hero can help you organise your new contacts after a large networking event or conference; however, we’re also handy on a day to day basis.

Think about LinkedIn.  The average user has between 0 and 300 contacts, whilst 15% have 301-499 and 27% have 500-999.  Assuming you’re average you’re going to have in the region of 300 people you’re connected to.

How many of those do you talk to on a regular basis?

How many of those do you never talk to?

More importantly, of those 300 how many of them do you not know at all?  They’re random requests you accepted way-back-when, and have consequently completely forgotten about.

If you even have one unknown, that’s too many.

Someone you don’t know is completely pointless to you.  There’s no relationship, no opportunity to interact; unless you force the issue.

And you can force the issue – you can log on and send a simple InMail.  Apart from you don’t have the time.

So that unknown remains unknowable. They could be your next biggest client, but for whatever reason (and I’m sure it’s a really good reason) you’re not reaching out to them.

That’s where a VA can come in.

One of the services we provide is a LinkedIn connexions cleanse (but we’re working on calling it something a bit flashier).

Essentially we will:

  • Download all your contacts and ask you to tell us those people you genuinely know, and those who randomly added you and you’ve never spoken to
  • We will then InMail the “unknowns” on your account, as you, to reach out to them, and encourage them to have a conversation
  • Any responses you receive – you deal with so as to ensure they are having a discussion with you, and not us
  • If no response is received within a set period of time (we never advise longer than 2 weeks), we will remove the individual as a connection

For years I’ve been wanting to do a case study on the benefits of this service, but the difficulty is those who use it are often too busy to keep a genuine record of the impact this approach has had on them and their business.  When I ask “how many people have you heard back from and what was the outcome?” the answer is usually “a few, and there’s stuff going on in the background”.

It’s never anything tangible.

So, I’m going to do a case study on my own profile.

Since January I have been accepting every request that’s come my way (something that is insanely alien to me), and over the next few weeks I’m going to reach out to all my new contacts who I don’t know and see what happens.

Why snooping on snoopers can improve your networking

A fair few weeks back I wrote a piece on LinkedIn Premium, and the advantages the paid for version had over the free one.  To be honest I focussed solely on the LinkedIn Learning feature, which I think does give you a bit more bang for your buck.  However, there’s a lot more you can do with Premium which makes it worthwhile.

Most of us are aware of the ability to see who has viewed your profile as it’s available as an option on free accounts. However, you can only go back and see the last five person, which means if more than five people view your profile in a day … well, you can do the math.

With a Premium account this isn’t an issue as you can see everyone who has viewed your profile (and a lot more information besides).

Now, you might be wondering what the big deal is.  After all, these people took the time to come across your page, had a snoop, and then disappeared in to the distance without saying howdy.

It’s true, but then how many times have you looked at a profile and just not bothered to make contact?  Why is that?  Perhaps you didn’t know how to make an introduction. Maybe you wanted to be connected by a mutual contact? Maybe you got distracted.

There’s a whole host of reasons (besides lack of interest) as to why someone might view a profile and then not reach out.  If there’s a genuine reason that took them away, but the interest remains, wouldn’t it make sense for you to try to initiate contact instead?

I will usually send a message to people who have viewed my profile to see if I can help with anything. Personally, I customise mine rather than sending a generic text, but that’s a personal call.

In my experience this is a great way to make new contacts, and to extend your network; however, again it all comes down to how you work your contact lists and actually network with the people you are now connected with.  Don’t allow LinkedIn to become the graveyard where potentials go to die.

 

If you’re not getting leads through LinkedIn, you might be making this mistake

Usually when I speak to people about LinkedIn they tell me it’s a waste of time.  Initially I was surprised by their attitude because, for me, I’ve always found LinkedIn to be really useful when it comes to promoting my business, expanding my network and generating meaningful leads.

A few minutes and some pertinent questions later I realise that in every single case the individual concerned is using LinkedIn wrong.  For most they half-heartedly set up a profile months (or even years) ago, and haven’t done a single thing with it since.

And they wonder why the phone’s not ringing off the hook.

The simple fact is, if you’re on LinkedIn and you’re getting nothing out of it, then you’re using it wrong.

It honestly doesn’t get any simpler than that.

No matter what your ultimate LinkedIn strategy is, it’s ultimately going to involve communicating with your network.  In order to do that you need to have a network in the first place, and you can only establish one of those by connecting with other users.

Which leads me on to my tip for this week.

Make sure your profile is optimised

There’s no part of your LinkedIn profile that’s not important; however, there are some bits that are slightly more important than others.

When you send an invitation to someone to connect, the first things they’re going to see about you are:

  1. Your name and profile picture
  2. Your professional headline (job title)
  3. Your message

As a result, it’s fair to say your name, picture and headline are the three most important things you need to add to your profile to make the right first impression.

Admittedly, there’s not a whole lot you can do about your name – you’re probably used to it by now, but do avoid using nicknames. Equally, you might want to give some thought as to whether you want to include letters after your name.

I have a BSc, but don’t include it on my profile because it’s utterly irrelevant.

When it comes to your profile photo you need to make sure you have one.  I’ve seen many business owners who decide to use their company logo instead of a photo of themselves.  They might think this helps with getting their name out there, but it doesn’t.

If I’ve just met you at a networking event I’m going to remember you, not your logo.  You profile photo shows me who you are, and a professional one shows me that you can be taken seriously.

As for your professional headline, this is really important and so many people get it wrong. It is not simply your job title, though you might very well went to include that in there somewhere.  Headlines are searchable, which is why it’s key to think of something that not only clearly represents what you do, but is easily understandable to your target audience.

If someone needed your product or service, what would they search for?  The biggest problem I see is business owners identifying themselves as “Business Owner.”  If I’m looking for a carpet cleaner, or website designer I am not going to type in business owner in the search bar – therefore, I am never going to find you.

You might well be precisely what I’m looking for, but LinkedIn doesn’t know that, therefore I won’t know that.

 

 

Here at Time Saving Heroes we spend a lot of time helping people develop LinkedIn strategies to achieve their goals.  Part of this includes providing a review on LinkedIn profiles to make sure you’ve got everything you need to make a good impression.

To find out more simply give us a call on 0161 883 2024 or email hello@timesavingheroes.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

 

 

 

LinkedIn Premium: Is it worth it?

One of our areas of expertise at Time Saving Heroes is LinkedIn management and training.  When people first approach me about doing any work with them on their LinkedIn profile it’s usually because they signed up forever ago, and haven’t touched it since.

Once we’ve gone through the basics, updated their information, and optimised their account we usually end up talking about the Premium version.  Ultimately they want to know whether paying for something they’re currently using for free is worth it.

Well, is it worth it?

To be honest, it’s a difficult question to answer, and I don’t say that to be awkward.

Think of it this way – is a gym membership worth it?  Well, if you go and actually use the facilities, then yes, it probably is.  If the membership card sits festering in your wallet for the next 10 months, not so much.

LinkedIn Premium is no different.  If you’re not going to use it to its full potential then no, paying for it is an utter waste of money.

Far be it for me to tell you what questions to ask, but a better one would be “what does LinkedIn Premium offer that could be beneficial to me?”

What’s new?

Over the last few years the Premium offering has changed quite significantly.  One of the best things, I think, that has come out of these changes is the introduction of LinkedIn Learning.

This new feature provides a wide variety of videos and PowerPoints to help you enhance your skills in a number of different areas.  There’s courses on writing killer headlines, Excel for Mac, talent sourcing and Facebook marketing to name just four.

The topic areas are by no means exhaustive, but there’s plenty in there for everyone to get something out of it.  If you do nothing else with your Premium account (and you should) it would still provide you with good value for money.