I already have a website so why do I need to be on LinkedIn?
Having an impressive profile on LinkedIn is as important as having a website because it is quite likely that prospects will go to your LinkedIn profile before your website. First impressions are so important, especially online.
LinkedIn is of course far more useful than just being a place to be found but using LinkedIn requires you to create a profile so you need to ensure it does an effective job for you.
How much does Linkedin cost?
You can pay to use LinkedIn but you really don’t have to. Premium accounts have various benefits but the main ones most users value are;
InMail – a message you can send to anyone. This can be done for free if you know how but InMail is always going to be the quickest way to contact someone that is not a connection.
Open Profile – This means that anyone can contact you for free (although they often don’t realise it) and it makes your profile completely visible to all LinkedIn users (a major advantage)
Who’s viewed your profile – Free users get to see the last 5 visitors to their profile (if they are happy to reveal themselves) but premium account holders get to see the last 90 days. I have won business via this popular feature.
How much time will it require to be effective on Linkedin?
LinkedIn is a live and active network of business professionals so the more active you are, the more you will get out of it.
I believe that to get results you need to be on LinkedIn every day of the working week but this doesn’t need to involve large amounts of your time. I can show you many quick and easy actions that can have a significant effect when practiced daily. Short and consistent actions are the key to success.
I keep receiving invitations to connect from random strangers. Should I accept?
Growing a strong network is very important on LinkedIn and most people don’t connect enough. That said I only advocate connecting to relevant people, if they are strangers but relevant I would advise accepting the invitation and using it as an opportunity to expand your network.
It does depend on many factors but on the whole I would prefer to see a connection request as an opportunity.
What is the best way to invite people to connect?
Take a look at the ‘people you may know’ section to see if the suggestions are worth connecting to. You can also connect your email account and LinkedIn will search to see if your contacts are on LinkedIn, I would avoid sending invitations to all of them but this can be a useful starting point.
I believe it is good practice to have had some level of engagement with someone prior to inviting them to connect – most people object to receiving random invitations from people they haven’t heard of before. Aim to connect with 2nd tier connections and always customise the invitation message.
How many connections do I need?
How long is a piece of string?!
Seriously though this is never a straightforward question because there are so many variables such as your market, locations, how long you have been in business etc.
As a rough guideline I would say getting beyond 500 connections should not be a big issue for most professionals but getting beyond 5000 is probably too many.
My time is limited. Will LinkedIn really allow me to win new business?
Yes! I can show you plenty of examples where people I have worked with have seen real results. Nothing is guaranteed of course but if you follow a systematic process that does not involve huge amounts of time then you have every chance of seeing your business grow.
What are endorsements and why do people keep giving them to me for skills that are not relevant?
According to LinkedIn Skill endorsements are a ‘simple and effective way of building your professional brand’. In truth they have very little value other than the small effect they have on the search algorithm (ie skills act like keywords that are enhanced by endorsements). The problem comes from that first word they use in their description….simple! Because it merely takes the click of a link to endorse 5 skills (when you visit a connections profile) people tend to give it very little thought and this has led to a situation where people don’t value endorsements.
That said you may as well put skills in your profile and let people endorse them as they do no harm, just don’t expect anyone to be impressed with them!
Which groups should I join and why?
Groups are designed to be discussion forums for professionals with matching interests to engage and learn from each other. Well run group can be a fantastic resource and one of the best places to ‘network’ on LinkedIn. Beware though as groups are run by individual members and are largely unregulated by LinkedIn which results in many groups being a bit of a ‘free for all’ with lots of spamming and promotional posts.
You can join 50 groups but my advice is to only get involved in discussions in one or two.
How can I contact LinkedIn?
Unfortunately LinkedIn do not provide a number you can call so all contact has to be through the help center. This can be frustrating as they force you down an FAQ route before allowing you to raise a ticket for your specific problem or question.
On the plus side response times are pretty quick, especially if you are a premium member.
If you have a question about using LinkedIn or you are stuck with something, feel free to ask me before contacting LinkedIn, I’m always happy to help.
How can I prevent people from viewing my profile?
I love this question because it gets to the heart of what LinkedIn is all about!
The best response I can give you is to ask a question back – Why would you want to?!
One of the key purposes of LinkedIn is to be seen. Profiles views are what you should be aiming to achieve – why be the best kept secret in your market!
That said, it is an unfortunate fact of life that there are some weirdos and unsavoury characters out there and LinkedIn does attract a few (although not in the same numbers as other social networks) but the good news is that you can block such an individual and this will mean that they can no longer see you on LinkedIn.
How can I prevent people from seeing I have viewed their profile?
If you wish to prevent someone from seeing you have viewed their profile you can alter your settings to anonymous. This will also prevent you from seeing who has viewed your profile although you can change it back once you have viewed the said individual.
The bigger question is why would you want to?
As with the earlier question, it is important to understand that LinkedIn is a place to be seen and is designed for ‘checking people out’’ no-one will think it odd if you view their profile and in turn they will probably view yours – which is a good thing!
Should I be using the mobile or desktop version of LinkedIn?
Both! LinkedIn is designed to be used across all 3 platforms (mobile, tablet & desktop) at different times of the day. The mobile and tablet apps are largely designed for consumption of information whereas the desktop version allows you to do many more tasks.
Most of the clever things you can do are restricted to the desktop version of LinkedIn unfortunately so if you are only using mobile you will find LinkedIn a lot less useful.