Your Single Most Important Activity On LinkedIn

What is the number one activity you should be engaging in on LinkedIn? If you only had ten minutes today on LinkedIn, what is the absolute best way you could invest that ten minutes?

Deepening your relationships with your connections.

No one is better positioned to help you accomplish your goals than your connections. They have  the knowledge and they are connected to the people that can help you. But if you are what I call a “thin” connection – for example, you connected three years ago and haven’t had contact since – then that connection may not be someone you can count on for that introduction to someone in their network.

If you have five hundred connections and your connections have an average of five hundred connections, you have a quarter million second degree connections. In that quarter million people are going to be prospective customers, suppliers, contractors, partners and resources.  

That’s a lot of doors your connections can open for you. But if you are a stranger they will be reluctant to do so. So get to know your connections. Offer your knowledge and your assistance (hint: offer to open some of your doors for them).

No other activity on LinkedIn comes close to doing what developing better relationships with your connections can do for you.

 

A Telling “Who Viewed Your Profile” Statistic

I have a premium LinkedIn account, so I get some expanded WVYP statistics. A lot of them are of questionable value, but some of these statistics are interesting. Here are two from a recent look at my own profile viewers:

Number of times in the past 90 days….

  • that someone has found me through LinkedIn Search: 15
  • that someone has found me from their Homepage: 186

Here is a chart with people who viewed my profile in the last four weeks. After several months off, I started publishing updates and articles again on LinkedIn on January 22nd.

My profile views more than tripled in two weeks.

Here’s another way of looking at it: Twelve times as many people are “finding” me through my active personna (posting, publishing and participating) on LinkedIn as through my passive personna (my profile).

People come and view my profile, but for the most part after I have done something that prompts them to.

 

 

Eight Things I Have Learned About LinkedIn In The Past Eight Years

(that you can read in 2 minutes)

I have been a sales and marketing consultant specializing in LinkedIn since January 2011. During that time, I have put in thousands of hours using LinkedIn. I have written something like 300 articles on various aspects of LinkedIn and using LinkedIn. I have seen the platform change, features come and go, and even some features come and go and then come back again (hello “Events”). This a quick list of what I have learned. The genesis for everything I do and everything I teach always seems to come back to one or more of these eight points.

1) LinkedIn’s primary customers are sales, marketing, human resources and recruiting people.

2) If you are not in one of these four groups, you are not so much a customer, you and your data are the product LinkedIn sells to those customers.

3) LinkedIn makes changes to the platform that will serve their customers, not you. For example, if LinkedIn can persuade you to become more active, that is good for ad sales.

4) LinkedIn is a social network for the professions listed above and for solo consultants who need to sell their services. For most other users, LinkedIn is not a social network.

5) LinkedIn is an excellent people database with good search tools attached, though you need a Sales Navigator or Recruiter premium account to take full advantage of these tools.

6) LinkedIn can be used to find paths to people you don’t know via people you do know.

7) Reaching out to people you don’t know works pretty poorly. Yes, that includes InMail (see point number 4 above).

8) The single best thing you can do on LinkedIn is invest your time developing your relationships with your connections. Very few people do this.

There is a lot more to many of these statements than meets the eye, so I will talk about some of these ideas in more depth over the next couple of months, but keep these ideas in mind and you will use LinkedIn more effectively.