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Unchained Social Networking: Setting Up A LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is the first social network I joined. I received an invitation in 2003. Back then, the network was dominated by tech types networking for jobs. I set up a profile and was BLOWN AWAY by the rich user-provided content. I was a National Sales Manager, in 2003, and new to San Diego. I used LinkedIn to connect with loan originators (to recruit) and potential clients (the refinance craze was underway in 2003).

Unchained Rule #1 of Social Networking: Bridge the Digital Divide

Jeff Brown is a master at this. If Jeff makes a connection, on the internet, he does some homework (click through to a blog, Googles their name) to see if there is potential synergy. Jeff then calls them and introduces himself.

I did the same thing in 2003. I keyword searched, on LinkedIn, to see if I could find Villanova alumni, Knights of Columbus, and independent stockbrokers in Southern California. The first two were affinity groups and the latter was my ideal referral source. I Googled the potential prospect’s name and found contact information for them. I called and introduced myself to them IN A NON-THREATENING, LOW KEY manner. The responses ranged from annoyance to acceptance, heavily laden with surprise. Most tech people were communicating through the “gated-access” approach that was the signature of Linked In. I had more success than failure with my “digital bridge” call. If you’re polite and professional, most users respond well.

Okay, let’s get you set up. Click here to get to the start page. This will open in a new window so you can follow along with my instructions.

1- Click the yellow “Join Now” button at the bottom of the page.

2- Fill out the contact information. Use your primary, professional e-mail address. Click the “Join LinkedIn” button.

3- Fill out the user survey for how you might use LinkedIn- click “Save Settings”

4- Start building your network three ways:

a- import your e-mail contacts (extremely safe and they don’t spam anyone)

b-”Reconnect” with past colleagues through a company search

c- Find former classmates

5- Now, click on the “My Profile” button, at the top, and fill out your profile. LinkedIn has added a photo upload. Think of this as an online resume. I have found it best to limit this to your last ten years. The content you enter will aid others in their searches to connect with you.

6- Here’s the cool part. Use the recommendations feature. I have found that when you recommend someone you know, they reciprocate. It’s better to give first and hope for reciprocation.

7- If you maintain a weblog, fill out the “additional information” section; it gives you three places to place links, including website, weblog, and RSS feeds.

8- LinkedIn Q&A is an excellent way to build up expertise in the community. Answer and ask questions for your network.

LinkedIn is the stuffiest of all the social networks; it’s really a professional network. Keep that in mind as you connect with people there. Certainly, add me as your first contact (and write me a recommendation).

Good Luck!

ALSO READ: Technology is a TOOL Not a Solution

NEXT UP: Facebook Profiles

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  • Unchained Social Networking: Setting Up a Facebook Profile
  • LinkedIn As a Prospecting Tool

  • 2 comments

    2 Comments so far

    1. [...] Getting Up To Speed with LinkedIn [...]

    2. Todd Carpenter December 28th, 2007 10:22 pm

      My LinkedIn Profile is linked on my blog. It’s the one social network that I tell every Loan Professional I know to join. 3 former bosses found me on LinkedIn. They are now references I can use on my resume. Two out of the three had completely disappeared off of my radar, I didn’t know where to begin looking for them.

      LinkedIn is like a Rolodex that updates itself. Take a second to join.