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Leslie Groene Website Homepage April 2019, Vol. 165

Making the Most of LinkedIn for Networking & Social Selling

Have you looked at your LinkedIn profile lately? Did you know that your LI home page is like your own personal business journal? People are looking at your LI page to check on your background and credentials.

I asked my colleague Lynne Gullo, who coaches people on how to set up their LI profile, to provide a few tips as a refresher on how important LinkedIn is to all business professionals.

It's important for both you as an individual and everyone in sales and marketing who represents your company to have a complete profile.

Basic profile tips:

1.     Profile Picture: Business-like, smiling, current and in focus. No pets, kids, obvious selfies, stray hands on shoulders and above all, don't use the default blank head! You don't need a professional photographer, but make sure you are presenting yourself in a positive light.

2.     Your Title: LinkedIn will default to your job title, but don't make this rookie mistake. This is a searchable field and you want people to find you. Add three specialties to your title. This is especially important if you have the same title as others in your company.

For example, don't just list your title as Account Executive at Blank Company. I will have no idea what you do! Try Account Executive at Blank Company specializing in whatever vertical industry or company type you're looking for.

Summary: This is your elevator speech. How would you enthusiastically describe what you do for a living to your friends? This is another searchable field. Make sure you include key skills and expertise even though you are repeating them in other parts of your profile. You can even list your key specialties with bullet points. Your profile represents YOU as a brand, so don't just copy your company mission statement here.

3.     Your contact information: Make sure your information is current so your connections know how to contact you. Include your company website. Note: this is different than your account settings information. Make sure your default info there is always set to your personal, not your work email and phone. If you change jobs you won’t be able to access your account!

Before and after a business meeting:

1.     Look up the company page and find out any current news.

2.     Look at the upper right corner of the company page to see "How You're Connected" to their employees.

3.     Review the profiles of the people you will be meeting with to see what you have in common.

4.     Ask to connect with anyone you get a business card from.

5.     Follow that company.

Your Home Page:

1.     Periodically provide an interesting update about YOU. Tell a success story, brag a little, but don't make this a sales pitch. Share an interesting article you've read to your LinkedIn page.

2.     Read your Home page daily and like, comment or share. Just a few minutes a day will give you a wealth of information about your connections and industry.

3.     Congratulate your connections on their anniversaries and job changes.

LinkedIn is the ultimate Business Directory. LI offers an unequaled and FREE way to promote yourself, your brand and your company. Take a few minutes to make sure you are making the most of this valuable social business platform.

Focus Point

93. Translating your passion into your occupation.

Although this book is intended primarily for sales professionals and others who desire to incorporate sales and business development principles into their business careers, some readers may be taking their first steps in the business world and attempting to decide what you really want to do for a living.

If you remember, in the beginning of this book, we spent quite a lot of time discussing the importance of determining your dream and finding the strength to pursue it! For some of us, this is one of the most important things we can do in our lives and in our careers! Let’s face it, some of us have dreams that involve long odds and we probably have been discouraged by our family or some of our friends from pursuing these dreams.

Perhaps, you want to become a makeup artist or a singer or actress? All of these pursuits are extremely difficult to attain and all involve substantial risks of failure. However, who knows? You could be the next sensation and sometimes, it is better to take your chances initially and see if you can make your dreams come true! Tom has worked for more than 20 years with hundreds of individuals who had dreams of making the U.S.A. Olympic Team, one of the most difficult objectives imaginable when you consider that you need to be the best in your given event from the entire nation!

Add to this the fact that an individual usually needs to train for up to four years just for the chance to attempt to make the team and you have a seemingly impossible and incredibly difficult undertaking. That’s why Tom has such a high degree of admiration for all American Olympians and all of the Olympian hopefuls who even attempted to make the Olympic team.

Why not decide to “go for your dreams” as soon as possible after you have completed your educational program?

For most of us, completing our undergraduate and postgraduate studies is a pretty good idea. It will provide us with a number of options for the future. As a result, we will have something to fall back on if our dream doesn’t workout exactly as we had hoped.

And if our dream is something that does translate into a business career, our education will greatly improve our chances of success!