There are over 35 million professionals on LinkedIn. Chris Muccio, David Burns and Peggy Murrah have written a great 42 Rules book called 42 Rules for 24-Hour Success on LinkedIn. It is my bible for brand building via LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the best social networking site for professionals. LinkedIn is a place to find people and for people to find you. It provides you with a communication tool that can help you create a platform for your success.
In 42 Rules for 24-Hour Success on LinkedIn, Chris, David and Peggy show you how to use LinkedIn to do the simple things that will create the opportunity for you to achieve success 24 hours a day. Remember, the internet never sleeps.
Your LinkedIn profile is the place to begin. It can help you build your brand. A good profile will attract others, educate them about you and influence their feelings towards you – even if you’ve never met in person. Chris, David and Peggy say that you have three seconds to communicate your brand on your LinkedIn profile. Make those seconds count.
The LinkedIn provides you with the opportunity to create a “professional description.” Prior to reading 42 Rules for 24-Hour Success on LinkedIn, and speaking with Chris and Peggy, my professional description read “Bud Bilanich, The Common Sense Guy.” Now it reads, “Bud Bilanich: I help individuals, teams and entire organizations succeed by helping them apply their common sense.” I don’t know about you, but I think that the second professional description is much stronger, communicates better and makes the most out of my three seconds.
You can leverage your LinkedIn profile in several ways. Invite everyone you know to connect with you on LinkedIn. Use the LinkedIn colleagues and classmates reconnect function. It can be a lot of fun to reconnect with people you used to know. If you use Microsoft Outlook, download the Outlook toolbar. It will let you know the LinkedIn status of everyone from whom you receive an email. Ask your existing LinkedIn connections to introduce you to their connections. In this way, you can build a large network of people who will be exposed to your brand.
Chris, David and Peggy showed me how the LinkedIn “What you are working on now” function can help build your brand. Update it regularly. Post all of the interesting things you are doing – at work and in your life. This will help others get to know you better and it will showcase the depth and breadth of your experience. Think of it as a longer tweet. Twitter limits you to 140 characters per post. Here you can post three or four sentences and go into a little more detail.
And, just like Twitter, people can respond to your LinkedIn “What you are working on now” posts. This creates the opportunity for you to engage in dialogue with the people you meet on LinkedIn, strengthening your relationships.
LinkedIn Groups are another powerful way to leverage the power of LinkedIn. You can find groups by seeing which groups people with interests similar to your own join. You can use the LinkedIn search tool for this. Chris, David and Peggy suggest joining no more than three groups at first. Spend some time in these groups. See if they appeal to you. If they do, become active by participating in conversations; sharing your thoughts and ideas and links that you find helpful. If you don’t like a group, drop out and find another.
Participating in groups can be time consuming. Chris, David and Peggy suggest setting your default to receive emails from groups once a week. Then set aside a specific period each week to read the recent post and reply to the relevant ones.
LinkedIn is a great social networking tool – if you leverage it correctly. 42 Rules for 24-Hour Success on LinkedIn is a great guide to using LinkedIn for building your brand and web presence.