Linked In and Productivity

Last week I posted on an article about using LinkedIn that I saw at Chris Brogan’s blog. A few folks e-mailed me for more information on how and why I use LinkedIn. The answers are actually quite simple, and I’d like to share them with the rest of you here.

First, I started using LinkedIn like most others, because I was looking for a job. As I worked on completing my profile, which I initially saw as just an online resume, the service asked me to look for contacts already using LinkedIn by uploading my e-mail address book.

I was quite surprised to learn that many of my contacts were already using LI, and I had a chance to ask them to connect. As of this Monday, I have 125 connections!

My LinkedIn profile

As you can see, I did manage to find a job, and LinkedIn played a role. A recruiter had found my resume posted online, and there was a link to my LinkedIn profile. She checked it out and saw the recommendations and list of connections. Because I was connected to other professionals and many of them were in marketing and sales she decided to give me a call and set up an interview.

LinkedIn – Not just for job-hunting

That part of LinkedIn is pretty obvious. The less obvious part of the platform deals with the question regarding “What is LinkedIn good for when you are not looking for a job?
The short answer is: a lot!

The long answer is found in this list of articles in a group writing project started by Brandon Hull of SalesTeamTools. I found this list some time ago and definitely suggest checking it out: 100+ Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn (from the LinkedIntelligence blog). There are many useful ideas from actual LinkedIn users.

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More than an Online Resume

As you can see, Linked in is much more than just a futuristic resume, it is a tool for connecting. Here are three more things that I to do with LinkedIn:

  1. Focus on connecting. Whenever I get a business card from someone I enter them into my Highrise HQ account, then search for that person on LinkedIn right away. Because I have their email, I can send them an invitation to connect.
  2. Increase your visibility. Don’t add people to your network and then forget about them. While everyone you meet may not be a “business” contact, they may be a referrer. How will you know? Use the Question and Answer function on LinkedIn. Also, make sure your public profile is complete. I like to recommend people in my network, I also ask them to recommend me. Every time I do one of these activities, LinkedIn posts updates online and in weekly updates to everyone in my network.
  3. Make LinkedIn your homepage. Whenever I open my browser, I can immediately review my “LinkedIn Home Page” which shows what others in my network are doing and who they’re connecting with. I also check every 2-3 days to see “Who’s Viewed My Profile.” Just as you can use web statistics to see who is looking at your website, you can also see who’s been checking out your profile.

Recently I used the Question and Answer feature for doing some research on a post about working from home. This is something that I have been struggling with for some time now and it occurred to me that I had a large base of people that I know that have been working from home for years. Who better to ask for tips?

I asked a question, and a lot of people answered! In fact, many more than I expected. I consider myself blessed to have so many contacts that are so engaged and willing to help. One of those that chimed in with an answer was Grant Griffiths from Home Office Warrior, who graciously offered to host the collection of tips as a post on his blog. Click here to see this amazing list of tips for working at home.

32 thoughts on “Linked In and Productivity

  1. Hi Barbara, thanks for stopping by. As you may have guessed, I am still going through these posts myself!

  2. Thanks for linking to Interview Chatter! I will be back to check out your blog later this week or weekend. Have a great night!

    Darlene
    Interview Guru

  3. I’ve never found the networking side of LinkedIn to be particularly useful but that’s more down to me and my current situation. If you have a job where networking is important, LinkedIn is a necessity. My favorite aspect is the question and answer section. Excellent for us bloggers looking for research and feedback!

  4. >Al, thanks for coming by! I am still reading and absorbing all of the info in those links.

    >James, Thanks for the great point. This post was in fact inspired by the feedback that I received from asking a question. Did you see the post at Home Office Warrior? A treasure trove of information!

  5. Very topical and timely article. Great resource for my clients and readers also! It will be great to see where LI go from here with their latest capital injection…and what else it becomes over the next 12 months!

  6. Great post! I’ve used LinkedIn for awhile, and yes, it’s getting better over time. The ability to post a photo, for instance, makes it a better networking/profiling tool. But you raise some great tips for really leveraging the tool for professional purposes. Thanks!

  7. Thank you for the post – I’ve been on Linked In for months, but have only just started building my network. Great tips, and thanks also for the LinkedIntelligence link.

  8. Thanks for the kind words folks, I am looking forward to networking with those of you that joined my network. Since this post was published, I have added 19 more contacts!

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  12. I have never opened an account with LinkedIn because I always feel that maintaining a lot of accounts are cumbersome but now, I am an online seller so I am thinking of opening an account at LinkedIn to get connected with a lot of people (and clients too) for my shop.

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