Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
April 15th, 2010

Getting Linked In

First, thank you for all the positive feedback I received regarding the last blog. I know that it was a bit basic for some, but we are about to start getting into some meat with this entry. The first social media tool that we are going to discuss is Linked In. Linked In is the smallest of the three main tools with roughly 50 million users, but it is the most “business” oriented of the three. I will spend the next couple of blogs discussing Linked In as I feel that this is the first tool you should get started with.

Since I am continuing to write this series as if you are not familiar with these tools, I will start with the basics. Linked In is found on the web at www.LinkedIn.com. Once at the site, you will need to sign up for an account and begin to build a profile. The basic account is free and will allow you to access the most useful features of Linked In, so do not bother to sign up for the premium service at the start.

I will advise you that you should take your time and build a very comprehensive profile that tells your business and personal story. As many of you have heard me say, people do business with people. Your Linked In profile will be one of the first things that will show up if someone does a Google search of your name. Think of the time that you spend on your profile as an investment in making a good first impression. Have a nice, professional headshot photo and fill out the profile as completely as you are able.

Next, utilize the contact importation feature to determine which connections that you already have in your email address book that are already on Linked In. Send them invitations to connect and invite your contacts that are not on Linked In to do so. There is a major benefit to having a large group of connections on Linked In, which I will get into in the next blog, so start building that connection list ASAP. You should also ask some of your new connections that you have worked closely with to recommend you. This third-party endorsement of you and your work is important to people who are trying to learn more about you.

Finally, search some groups on Linked In that you want to get involved with. There are many groups including ASID, AIA, BOMA, etc. that you should plug into so that you can begin connecting and networking with people who you might want to do business with. There is also a Window Film Professionals group that you might want to look into. In full disclosure, I started this group on Linked In. It currently has nearly 500 members from all levels in our industry and the discussions cover many industry related topics.

One piece of advice here, do not try to push your company and products overtly in these groups. Remember, it is a cocktail party. Work the room. Get involved with conversations, become part of the community. People are savvy. If they like you, they will look for reasons to do business with you. If you get too pushy, or come off as trying to sell everyone something, you will likely be alienated quickly.

In the next blog, we will be discussing how to use your Linked In account to cultivate new business opportunities. Thanks for taking the time to read the blog. I hope that you find it informative and useful.

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2 comments
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  1. Would love to chat with you about LinkedIn. It seems you’re just getting started in the space. Feel free to send me an email. Would love to help.

  2. Thanks for the comment Lori. I am always open to new ideas on Web 2.0. I am actually not new to the space at all, but I am writing this article at a very basic level to help people get started if they are not already working with this tool. Regardless, check out my Linked In profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/patricfransko and let me know if you have any suggestions. I am a big believer in constant improvement and it will never be perfect.

    Thanks!

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