LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. It can be used to connect with those you already know or to broaden your professional outreach and meet others in profession. If you are in New Jersey, I will be giving a workshop on LinkedIn (beginners and experienced users both are welcome) at the Scotch Plains Public Library on April 19 at 7:30 pm.
When I speak with people about LinkedIn, some say they haven’t gotten much out of it. Others say, wow, it has really opened some new doors. How did the successful on LinkedIn achieve these gains? Read a few LinkedIn success stories that I’ve gathered for this post and organized by method of gaining this success.
Success by One Recommendation Leading to More
A graphic designer I know continually finds leads and gets asked to do work. She started with one top recommendation. She also joins high tech groups on LinkedIn in her geographical area – she says recruiters look in those groups.
What can we learn from her success? Keep up those skills, and write them up carefully in your LinkedIn profile. If you can do work for someone who will publicize your skills on LinkedIn, that will help you gain more clients and business.
Success by Rewriting Your Profile
A real estate professional found her recent job on LinkedIn – she says the key was rewriting her profile with the right skills. In her words: “He (another real estate professional) suggested that instead of focusing on the ‘I sell here, there and everywhere’ aspect that one focus on their skill sets. That got me thinking. I went in and re-did my profile to highlight the vast array of management experience that I have. Everything from budgeting to understanding a P&L to handling real estate commission issues. ” Three weeks later she was contacted via LinkedIn by her now employer, a California-based company that was looking to open a branch in New Jersey.
A small business owner told me that when he rewrote his profile, he got many more views than previously. One reason for this the more detailed your profile, the more keywords you may be including. Think keywords (the words people use to search LinkedIn) when you fill out your LinkedIn fields.
Success via Groups
Joining the right group for you can be a key to success on LinkedIn. One commentator on the LinkedIn Survey post wrote of the varied ways group members of a job hunting group helped each other: “The computer of one member was damaged beyond repair about 18 months ago. It was during a time when he was up for a job that required computer use. Another member of the group purchased a computer for him as a gift and had it sent to his home in Florida.” And that is just one example on that post she and others gave of the value of LinkedIn groups.
Get active in the groups. Don’t just join – ask an engaging question that will stimulate conversation. Answer questions that show off your expertise.
Success via Professional Groups
Groups: I’ve had a lot of success with certain groups, especially for WordPress. Here are three WordPress groups that I’ve found quite helpful:
And if WordPress is not your thing, what is? Search by profession or by your favorite skill to see what groups exist in those areas. Ask others in your profession that are using LinkedIn to recommend LinkedIn groups. If you are a blogger, a great group is Bloggers Helping Bloggers.
Success by Local LinkedIn Group
One of the complaints I’ve heard about LinkedIn groups is that they are too large, too amorphous, too many people post non-relevant content. You might want to try a more local group – if it’s a limited area, there will be fewer people in the group. Here are two New Jersey LinkedIn groups, for example:
There are also groups in New Jersey for areas of New Jersey (Monmouth County, Princeton, Bergen County). On the Princeton group, for example, they talk about times to meet for coffee. Social media online works even better if you combine it with in person meetings.
Success with Status Updates
On this post a salesperson named Steven posted as his status: “I’m up for grabs, who wants me?” And Steven got his next job. Granted, he probably spent a fair amount of time networking with his contact before that posting. But don’t ignore the status update on LinkedIn. Angel suggests updating your status once per day with information that might be valuable to your contacts.
Results of LinkedIn Survey
Last month I set up a LinkedIn survey. Here are the results in charts:
- Yes, I’ve joined and participated in multiple groups and answered multiple questions (59%, 17 Votes)
- Yes, I joined at least one group, but I’ve never posted (17%, 5 Votes)
- No (10%, 3 Votes)
- Yes, I joined at least one group and asked at least one question (7%, 2 Votes)
- Yes, I joined at least one group and I’ve answered at least one question (7%, 2 Votes)
The majority (75%) who took the survey participate in groups. That’s good news, as it is one of the best ways to get results from LinkedIn.
- No (31%, 9 Votes)
- Yes, I’ve made business contacts via LinkedIn (24%, 7 Votes)
- Sort of – I’ve gotten leads but nothing worked out (24%, 7 Votes)
- Yes, I’ve received at least one new client with LinkedIn (17%, 5 Votes)
- Yes, I’ve gotten a job via LinkedIn (4%, 1 Votes)
31% said LinkedIn isn’t really helping. I hope something I wrote in this post can make LinkedIn a better experience for those users.
Your Turn, Please
Do you have a LinkedIn success story? Do you have any LinkedIn groups to suggest? Please share in the comments.