Monday, August 8, 2011

Business, Project and Professional Planning: The LinkedIn Key.

Share this ARTICLE with your colleagues on LinkedIn .

Linked In is probably the most professionally-focused and valuable of all of the business networking platforms, groups and social media. I recently received this posting from Stephen Jones, a Linked In colleague, and wanted to share it with you. The important point is not merely to “join.” It is to leverage and optimize your presence, your accessibility and your utilization of the benefits of membership. He provides some excellent pointers. I’ve added one more (#6) at the end.

Your business, your project posting or your professional resume have the highest probability of meaningful exposure (i.e., dialogue with business leaders and decision makers) using Linked In as a launch platform. But you must proactively "work the room" once you've joined. If you don't announce yourself, your business, project or unique skill set will not attract attention and a "traction reaction". 

5 LinkedIn “Must Haves”

Stephen Jones Turn Key Social Media Marketing Solutions - with RESULTS
Date: July 28, 2011

Hello! Most of you know that LinkedIn can be a prospect goldmine for you, and a tremendous opportunity to position yourself as the industry expert. But before you begin reaping benefits of your relationships, you'll want to make sure the foundation is properly set!
Here are 5 LinkedIn “Must Haves” when you're marketing yourself using this massively useful site:

Editor’s Note*: What follows is an excerpt from Stephen’s website (“Growth Strategies"), which can be accessed by the above hyperlink:

1. You MUST Fill Out Your Profile: A name and title is not enough. LinkedIn gives you ample opportunity to showcase yourself and your brand. Instead of leaving half of the profile blank (the percentage of which LinkedIn will show you on the right hand side of your profile), why not take an hour or two and really fill it in properly. Want people to call you? Add a phone number. Want people to look at your website? Mention it with hyperlink at the drop of a hat. Don’t skimp here…this is where people are going to find you credible or not credible. Oh, and one final thing. Have a professional profile picture, nothing wild and off brand. No picture = no credibility in my book.

2. You MUST Join Groups: Not only must you join groups, you must also take part in them. I know it seems like a tall order, but this is one of the areas where the magic happens on LinkedIn. Now don’t get stuck on the fact that you have to find groups only within your sector, you want to find those in addition to groups where your target consumers may be. For example, if you are a cosmetic surgeon in NYC you may want to join 25 groups on cosmetic surgery and 25 groups based around the NYC area. The idea is simple. The professional ones will help you gain news and knowledge in your sector while the others will help you share your business and expertise with target consumers. I say join as many as LinkedIn allows (50) and start working them!

3. You MUST Ask Question and Answer Questions: There is a wonderful function of LinkedIn that allows you to answer and pose questions to your network as well as LinkedIn at large. This is a great way to get in front of prospective supporters, consumers and referral partners – so don’t be afraid to jump in there and share your expertise by answering a few questions now and again.

4. You MUST Reply: Nothing drives a social media user up-the-wall more than sending messages that never are replied to. I’m not saying the mass messages that start with those wonderful words “Dear Friends”, but rather those emails sent to your on LinkedIn. Not interested in what they have to say? Give them a polite “No thank you, but I appreciate your kind offer”, don’t say “Leave me alone” or ignore them completely. This is networking. Would you act like that in a cocktail party? Nope.

5. You MUST Bring Your Profile Alive With Testimonials and Applications: Even the most engaging profile can use a helping hand now and again. First off, anyone that you have ever worked with or has known you professionally – ask for a recommendation, a mutual recommendation. This is an eye-catching way of proving credibility and the quality of your work. Never ask for testimonials from people you don’t know, never worked with, and just friended. That’s tacky. On the application side of things, go onto your profile and scroll until you see the Applications section and click “More Applications.” This will take you to a section that allows you to not only integrate your Twitter account and your WordPress blogs, but also share pdf files and PowerPoint presentations. These are wonderful ways of bringing your profile to life.

Even though there are several more "Must Haves", these are 5 to get you going! If you'd like to add some or contribute to the conversation, feel free to join the Discussion here:

[End of excerpt from Stephen’s posting] ####

Here’s my (Douglas "Know-It-All" Castle's) #6: Create A Company Profile, too. Be certain to set up and constantly update (and monitor) a profile site on Linked In for your company or organization, as well as one for yourself and each of your colleagues. It needn’t be lengthy – it should merely serve as an accurate and comprehensive outline of your organization, its products or services, and some of its senior personnel. This profile can also be cross-linked to your organization’s website or blog. This is highly desirable from the standpoint of SEO.

TNNWC, my firm, has a company site at  This profile is an excellent complement to our regular website at .

Editor’s Note*:
I am fully in agreement with Stephen Jones… LinkedIn is one of the very best business networking directories/ registries to join, and within which to actively participate.
You must usually join LinkedIn in order to access discussion groups and threads.

Membership is available at different levels – the first level is free, and I highly recommend it.

Please be at liberty to connect with me, Douglas E Castle, through my LinkedIn profile, which can be found at I am always looking for opportunities to expand my network of business contacts and acquaintances through Linked In and various other social media.

Douglas E. Castle, Chairman, TNNWC Group, LLC
TNNWC Management Consulting Services
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