How are you connecting with your network?

Reaching out from computerHow are you reaching out to connect? If you are a job seeker, Can you get me a job? Simply doesn’t work! If you are a business owner, Will you buy my stuff? Doesn’t work either. You need to build a relationship with someone after that initial invitation.

Start out slow when building a relationship on LinkedIn. Find something you have in common, maybe you went to the same university or they worked at the same company that your brother did. Compliment them on their skills and expertise.

I’m sure you know how it feels when someone (who has just connected with you) sends you a message that is 3 long paragraphs about how you don’t want to miss this opportunity to work them and just in case you don’t believe them, feel free to visit their website, like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter. You would think they have that message ready to copy and paste as soon as you accept the invite.

If you are in the helping profession as a coach or consultant, you may get the 3 paragraph long message asking you to help fix their lives with full instructions how you can fix it. I believe most people want to help others if asked in the right way and the right time.

People want to do business with those they know, like and trust. We know it is much harder to build relationships online than face to face. So how do people trust you on LinkedIn when they don’t know you? I offer tell potential clients to read my LinkedIn recommendations. Recommendations on LinkedIn are much more valuable than the recommendation letter you get from your previous boss. No one feels compelled to write a recommendation for you unless they truly want to! You can send a request but they don’t have to return it. So if someone has given you a recommendation, they probably think you have done a good job, are a great employee or would make a great employer, so on and so on 🙂

5 Reasons to Have a Stellar LinkedIn Profile

Linkedin Connections1. You are currently a college student: If you start working on your LinkedIn presence prior to graduation; you stand a better chance of finding a job when you DO graduate. It takes time to make the proper connections, so the sooner you can build your brand- the better. LinkedIn is more highly regarded than Facebook because it is strictly a business social networking site. It’s where your future employers are seeking candidates. If an employer Googles you, you will stand out in the crowd if your profile is well constructed.

2. You are a job seeker: Recruiters and hiring managers are constantly searching for new employees on LinkedIn. You want to be found and noticed by them! An All-Star profile is full of your accomplishments and should let a company know why they should hire you? And what you can do for their company?

3. You have a job but you might want a better one: You are already successful and very attractive to other employers. If you have a rocking profile, you will definitely be found via a search and just might be contacted by hiring personnel. You may love your job but the next one might be your dream job!

4. You are a small business owners who would like more clients: Know your find-ability factor, what service do you offer that no one else does? I believe that LinkedIn is fast becoming the new search engine. People are searching on LinkedIn to do business with you. Create your headline to attract new customers. Have recommendations on your profile; there is no better way to advertise than the words of your current or past clients.

5. You are a recruiter or in HR: Your employees are on LinkedIn! Knowing how to search for the right candidates is crucial. Have a clear focus about who your target candidates are, so they can find you as well. Sometimes your candidates will come from your other connections. Keep in touch with your clients who you have worked with in the past.

The bottom line: It’s all about the relationships that you build on LinkedIn. Be assertive, be honest and always be professional.

Happiness and Success Always~ Sherry

 

 

Recommendations: How to give and receive these valuable testimonials

Seal of ApprovalAsking for Recommendations:

There is a right way and a wrong way to go about asking for recommendations. If I have provided a service for you and you are happy with my work, I may ask you for a recommendation. I may also go as far as giving you some talking points such as speaking to my expertise, the timeliness of my work, and my communication style while working with you.

Many people are too busy to compose the recommendation. They may ask you to write it for them, then forward to you for your approval so they can then recommend on your profile. It is not a given that someone will give you a recommendation, don’t take it personal! They could be too busy or simply not able to get back to you. Just ask someone! It’s perfectly fine to ask coworkers or previous employers. If by chance, you receive a recommendation that you are not happy with; you have a two choices. Ask them to edit the recommendation or choose not to show it on your profile.

Also, be careful if you have exchanged services. Not that you can’t endorse each other but most of your recommendations should come from your clients, co-workers or previous managers.

I would not consider asking someone to recommend me who doesn’t have first-hand knowledge of my service. I also list my personal philosophy in my “Advice for Contacting (Your Name) section.

Giving Recommendations:

If you have provided a service for me and I was happy with the result; I would be more than happy to recommend you. If I worked with you in the past, I may speak to your expertise while working with you. If I was employed by you and it ended amicably, I would be happy to recommend you.  However, I DO NOT recommend someone I don’t know.

Happiness and Success,

Sherry

 

5 LINKEDIN ETIQUETTE NO-NOs!

Photo for 5 LinkedIn Etiquette NO NOs

  1. Don’t use the default connection statement, “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” or my personal favorite, “Since you are a person I trust, I wanted to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn.” You don’t know me well enough to trust me. Personalizing your statement to connect is vital to building a relationship. Tell me why you want to connect and/or how we know each other.
  2. Don’t ask me to send out a message from you to my network. Especially, if I don’t know you or you connected with me a day ago. It’s NOT happening! I would never send a mass email (at least not for any reason I can think of) to my connections from me, let alone from you. I love to be complimented like everyone else, but flattery doesn’t work in this regard.
  3. Don’t try to sell me! Or ask me to visit your website or like your Facebook or Twitter pages! It screams buy my stuff and no one likes to be sold to. Offer your help or support. Be sincere when trying to help someone, say what you mean and do what you say. Don’t make false promises, it may hurt your online reputation.
  4. Don’t send out a mass email, it rarely works! “It says, I don’t have the time to connect with you personally, so I will just see if some of you bite!” Maybe if LinkedIn decides to have a BCC option in the future, it might feasible but no rumors about that coming anytime soon. In the meantime, use Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Etc. to email your contactsJ
  5. Don’t steal someone else’s thunder. I just saw this a few days ago for the first time and couldn’t believe my eyes. You know the headline in the new contact app that shows you when someone has a new job or birthday or moved. Well, this gentleman had a new job and some congrats posted and one of the posts was actually a sales pitch from someone saying, “Congrats and BTW stop by my business XYZ for 10% off”! I wanted to respond, “Hello, this is not about you!!”

3 Things Not to Do on LinkedIn

3 things not to do on LinkedIn post1. Don’t send a message without a personalized greeting!  It can hurt you more than you know. Take the time to view someone’s profile to learn more about them. Sometimes I have noticed that LinkedIn prevents you from sending a personalized greeting; maybe when inviting some people in a group. If the default greeting is sent, you can always follow it up with a simple statement about why you want to connect with them.

LinkedIn now gives you the ability to see what you have in common with that person. On the right side panel about half way down, when you hover over the circles- you see what you have in common. It could be skills and expertise, it could be groups, and it could be your education or the connections you share. This gives you a great starting point for the conversation.

Lastly, LinkedIn has now put more emphasis on your relationships. Keywords are still important but relationships are starting to mean more in terms of targeted searches. Therefore, strategically connect with folks, it’s no longer just a numbers game.

2. Don’t use capital letters in your messages! It comes across to the other person that you are yelling. Yes, there is no way to bold phrases or use italics but there are other ways to explain yourself with words. Online communication can be difficult but unfortunately, I doubt that it will change in the near future. I am sure I have been guilty of this myself in the past. However, you can try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. At times, I may add a comment saying, “I hope I was not too blunt or too honest?”

3. Last but not least, tell don’t sell! No one likes to be sold to! At least once or twice a day, I have someone who either writes “Buy My Stuff” (indirectly of course) in their invitation or directly after connecting with me they send me a message about their business or their paid event.

Building relationships first is paramount to your success! It’s a proven fact, people do business with people they know, like and trust. Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about them. Helping others with no agenda, will develop those lasting relationships. Which in turn, become referrals sources and they may even recommend you!

Happy and Success Always~Sherry

You Can Control What Others See When Viewing Your Profile

Searching for SomeoneControlling what others see on your profile is easier than you think. LinkedIn does have basics elements of your profile which cannot be changed.

How to control what others see:

1. Hover over your photo on your tool bar, click on  Privacy and Settings.

2. Once in Settings (at the bottom right of the page), click on the 5th line which says Edit your public profile.

3. This will take you to your Public Profile– to the right of your profile you will see the sections that are visible to everyone. If there is something, you don’t want displayed-you can un-check the box.

4. I personally don’t recommend hiding anything, especially if you are using LinkedIn for networking or finding a job. Google does a good job of picking up things on your profile which can benefit you when someone is looking to hire you or offer you a job!

5. Hiding your photo is never a good idea. People like to connect with someone they can put a face to 🙂

6. Be sure to Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

7. To see how your profile looks after the changes, click on View My Public Profile as others see it.

As always, wishing you happiness and success!

Sherry

 

Could LinkedIn Become The Next Search Engine?

Searching Photo for PostRecently, I was looking for a pet sitter. I knew her first name and part of her company name. So I searched for her on LinkedIn and there she was. I’m not sure Google, etc. would have found her as quickly. Plus when I was in her profile, I looked at her recommendations; another thing that I wouldn’t have found easily on the current search engines. I know I could have gone to her website but LinkedIn was simply, quicker and gave me more information.

LinkedIn reached its 10th year anniversary and a lot has changed over the years. Ok, so things aren’t always perfect. Finally, everyone has the ability to add a link or upload a file, the new toolbar and especially the new LinkedIn contacts app; putting everyone on a level playing field. They are making changes sometimes daily but they are definitely doing something right!

People are finding jobs on LinkedIn. People are getting business on LinkedIn. It has replaced pet tales, photos of what someone else is eating, and nights out on the town details on Facebook.

The best place to start on LinkedIn is to listen to what others are saying and reach out to help them. Helping others is what the big social media players know and do well.

Happiness and Success Always 😉

Sherry

 

LinkedIn: The Envelope and the Flag

Screen for Blog_Envelope and FlagWhether you have the new LinkedIn format or the old LinkedIn toolbar, you have the envelope and the flag! Both should be near your name with the old bar or to the left of your photo with the new version.

Let’s talk about the Envelope first:

This is the place where your current invitations and messages reside. By clicking on the envelope your invitations appear first and your messages below them. I typically make it a practice to look at the person’s profile before accepting the invitation to connect. If you decide you want to connect with someone; you can send a message thanking them for reaching out to you to connect. I know I discussed how important your photo can be, here is another example of why it is important. People want to see who they are connecting with. In this crazy world of spam, it’s important to know just who your connections are. Remember when connecting with others don’t sell, it’s a turn off! As for the messages you receive, you can decide if you want to reply or not. Some people will blanket their entire network with a message about an event or try to sell you something.

As for the Flag:

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How Long Does It Really Take To Be Found on Social Media

Connected on Social MediaOf course, we all want to be seen and hear on the social media platforms. However, it’s a lot more than just adding a page, an account or a profile. It’s all about the communication but more importantly, the listening. It’s a two-way street!

If per chance, you drop off of the social media grid like I did ( due to personal reasons) it will take time to rebuild those relationships. It could even take three months or more! Be patient and don’t take it personal. After all, it’s not like folks don’t want to know what’s up with you. You just need to get in front of them. So, post more often and engage in their conversations. Add a photo or video to your updates 🙂

Invest some time every day to interact with someone; it will definitely pay off. Just when you think it’s a waste of your time, people will start responding!

Happiness and Success Always,

Sherry