Case Study – Meeting #2
Following on from our first meeting, this time we will be concentrating on Sheila’s Linkedin profile and her professional presence on there. For me Linkedin is still all about being yourself, but more formal than Facebook, you need to present your professional self, the one you take into sales meetings or networking events. Yes you can still have a sense of humour but be wary of stepping over the line to becoming inappropriate. Linkedin is the perfect platform to establish yourself as an expert in your field, an authority on your subject or as a ‘go to guy’ (or gal)
Our first port of call was to address the display the websites on Sheila’s profile in a way that everyone can see what it is they are clicking through to, as like many of us Sheila is involved in a few different projects. On your profile you have 3x websites listed, if you edit these and instead of selecting ‘Website’ in the drop down box select ‘other’ this will allow you to type the name of the website you are linking to, a simple yet effect tip.
Next we added a link through to Twitter, to encourage further connections. The last part of this section we looked at endorsements. This is a very powerful tool on Linkedin and for me one of their best features. The recommendations. Not only can people recommend you for services they have received in your current position, but in any other role you performed you can ask for and receive endorsements for your entire work history, if you display it on your profile. As with business testimonials this adds credibility and recognition of your skills and talents as a professional person. With these endorsements of you and your products/services an element of risk is removed from dealing with you. As clearly these others have such great things to say about you it takes away some small factor of the unknown. We all know how powerful these kind of testimonials can be. And in fact by giving a testimonial for a service you have received you do by default raise your own profile. Beware – Do NOT fall into the quantity trap! A few good quality recommendations are far better than the tit for tat ones you sometimes see. The good thing is you get to review these endorsements prior to publishing them on your profile. Ensure this person has used your service and the recommendation says great positive and constructive comments. Don’t then feel obligated to return this favour if you have never used their service. You won’t do either of you any favours and will negate the endorsement you have just received and cast doubt on all your other ones too! As my relationship started out with Gemini Supplies and Knights & Hyde as a customer, I was delighted to give Sheila her first Linkedin recommendation:
“Regardless of the size of your order Sheila and her team treat their customers as if we are their main client. I am by no means a large customer but the excellent can do attitude, attention to detail and good old fashioned customer service means I won’t consider switching to another supplier for my stationary supplies, printer cartridges or any of the other useful products Knights & Hyde or Gemini supply. Have a chat with Sheila, she will make the whole process effortless!”
Finally we looked at Linkedin groups and the importance of joining industry specific groups, networking groups, your target market group and local groups. Sheila quickly found and joined an office Products group and a Cleaning Industry Group to begin to comment and establish herself as adding value by contributing to the discussions within these Linkedin groups. This is all about marketing yourself so is entirely interaction based, it is not appropriate to advertise your business, products or services through these groups. The unwritten rules or etiquette demands you do not treat these groups as advertising forums. To combat ‘spammers’ Linkedin groups have become closed, all that means it that you have to ask to join and await approval. Open groups run the risk of just receiving spam, although I know some of these that are managed quite well so it is still pertinent to consider joining these. Linkedin limit the quantity of groups you can join to 50. I have yet to reach that number as there is plenty of interaction happening in the groups I am already a member of. My last piece of advice with regards to groups, is to not post the same discussion topic in a multitude of different groups. What you will often see is certain people will not interact, just post their blog, which is great as it is lovely to read other’s ideas, professional advice and stories. And I too will be linking to this blog through various mediums. However, not so great if they then post the same one in 7 or 8 different local groups. All that will create is annoyance. There is a fine line between raising awareness and getting peoples backs up. If in doubt, delay posting a duplicate link for a week or two.
My final advice to Sheila, was to continue to find, join and interact within these professional groups, increase your contacts by connecting to people you know and send those all important endorsement requests to those people who have been a customer.
Hopefully this will give Sheila a good start to her Linkedin activity, my doesn’t an hour go by quickly. I look forward to meeting #3 Our final meeting which will be about Twitter.
The Last Hurdle™