Archive for June, 2009

Linkedin provides a powerful feature to allow individuals with business-minded questions to voice these questions on a public venue for experts to answer. This venue is called Linkedin answers, and it could be the ticket to building your reputation as an expert on the number one professional networking site. Offering advice and displaying your expertise on Linkedin Answers can help you land a job or find clients for your services.

So  how do you go about using Linkedin Answers?

1. Click “Answers” at the top bar of the Linkedin Answers page. It is the tab furthest to the right.

2. On the right side you can browse questions by category. So if you want to position yourself as a marketing expert, pursue questions with a marketing and sales theme around them.

3. You will then see a list of questions from your chosen category. Browse through these questions, and select a question you wish to answer.

4. You can also use “Advanced Search” to find questions that are even more focused on a particular topic. It lets you search for both the keyword and the category your potential questions fit into. You can then have more control in finding the kind of questions you want to answer.

Remember that Linkedin Answers expects a degree of professionalism and accuracy in your answers. Anecdotal experiences may be useful for you, but will often be insufficient in proving the soundness of your answer. This means that you need to give your answer evidence to verify the accuracy of your answers.

You also have to keep in mind that Linkedin Answers works on a keyword basis. Just as you can use Advanced Search to look for questions via keywords, so too can other Linkedin users use Advanced Search to look for answers to their questions via keywords. So if you are answering a question about labor disputes, make sure that important words from the question itself are found in your answer.  

Last but definitely not the least, you can use Linkedin Answers to direct traffic to your blog or website, especially if the answers you gave are in some way related to what you have previously discussed in your blog. Keep in mind, however, that the objective of putting any link into your answer is to add some references to the information you have just provided. Blatantly promoting your blog on Linkedin can and will result in you getting banned from the network. Subtly introduce your website as a reference and make sure to indicate that it has something to do with the answer you have provided.

Use Linkedin Answers correctly, and you will steadily find yourself becoming more and more prominent in the network. As your reputation grows, potential clients, employers and media will find you and seek you out as an expert on your topic.

If you want to take advantage of Linkedin and boost your web profits, don’t miss this free webinar – “How to Cross the Bridge from Linkedin to Web Profits.” To register, click >> http://www.yourlaptopbusiness.com/free-linkedin-webinar.html

Linkedin is a powerful tool that allows professionals and businesses alike to connect with each other. But to get the most out of the benefits Linkedin offers you must write a profile that attracts your target audience. A properly crafted profile will help build your credibility on the site and give a very positive first impression to those who scan your profile. Here are a few tips on how to write a Linkedin profile to that lets you shine.

Keyword-rich headline

Make sure the primary keywords you want to be associated with are in your professional headline. For the sake of illustration, let’s say you are a marketing consultant. If you want people to find you for consulting jobs, then you need to put up ‘marketing consultant’ as part of your headline.

Linkedin profile searches work by scanning the headlines of each and every profile for keyword entries, much like how Google or Yahoo! finds websites based on the keywords you enter into the site. This is why your headline’s contents are vital to your profile’s visibility and prominence in Linkedin.

A professional-looking photo

Unlike Facebook or MySpace, Linkedin is a social network of professionals.  You are looking for people to hire you for a job or to use your services, so leave off the funny hats and party mug shots and put up a professional looking photo.

Use your name in the url

By default Linkedin assigns a long, incomprehensible url to your profile. But you can easily edit this and and use your own name in the url if it is available. This will heighten your visibility in the network and make it easier for people to find you.

Write your summary  with your target audience in mind

The summary is a brief but vital part of your profile that encapsulates your entire professional career into a few short paragraphs.Remember to write the summary of your Linkedin profile in a way that would interest prospective clients or employers.

Do not simply put yourself on a pedestal and shower yourself with praise. Determine the needs of your clients or employers, and provide professional solutions that make you stand out from the rest of the competition. Do not forget to add in your  keywords in your summary as well, as this will increase the chances you will come up on a search list.

Be accurate and specific in your work history

Nothing says ‘professional worth’ better than an accurate and specific list of accomplishments that you have achieved. List these accomplishments as explicitly as you can, but stick only to the details relevant to your professional growth.  People often get too general or go off on tangents in their work history.

If you can quantify the value you added to a company you will stand above the competition. Did you increase sales by 27%? Then say so.  Did you contribute to new business? If so, try to be as detailed as possible. How much was the new business worth to your company?

Stories can also work well – as long as they are part of a case history and illustrate the value you added to a project.

When your profile is keyword-rich, your target audience will be able to find you. If you follow that up by being specific about your accomplishments and the value you added to a company or a project, then your profile will shine a lot brighter than your competitors.
If you want to take advantage of Linkedin and boost your web profits, don’t miss this free webinar – “How to Cross the Bridge from Linkedin to Web Profits.” To register, click >> http://www.yourlaptopbusiness.com/free-linkedin-webinar.html

LinkedIn can be a very powerful tool in developing and enhancing your career or helping you build your business. There are, however, common LinkedIn mistakes that even the most competent professionals make – and then they wonder why LinkedIn isn’t working for them.

Here are six common LinkedIn mistakes you need to watch out for.

1) Not using keywords properly

This is perhaps the most prominent LinkedIn mistake people make when crafting their profiles. They focus so much on polishing their profile’s looks that they totally forget to to put keywords in their profile headline and summary.

If you do not enrich your LinkedIn profile with keywords, you will never appear on the site’s list of results when a prospective client or employer types in their needs. For example, if you are a marketing consultant, then the phrase “marketing consultant” needs to be placed in your headline and profile summary in order for people searching for that phrase to find you on LinkedIn.

2) Joining groups but not participating

Another very common type of LinkedIn mistake is to join a myriad of professional groups but never taking the time to join in the discussions.

Groups are one of the most powerful tools available in the LinkedIn networks. They allow professionals to share their ideas and opinions about things, and users are empowered to display their professional competence in these  discussions. Join a group and take the time to share your own professional thoughts on the topics at hand.

3) Trying to sell yourself on group discussions

LinkedIn is NOT the place to explicitly advertise your products and services, although you can do so in a subtle and unobtrusive manner.

People bluntly promoting their wares are not welcome in LinkedIn. Advice and professional feedback are the topics of discussion, and these are your primary tools for marketing your products and services. Help out potential employers or give some advice to prospective clients and you are already marketing yourself.

4) Emailing people you don’t know

Some of the more common LinkedIn mistakes involve emailing people out of the blue. This can quickly get you kicked off LinkedIn if people report “I don’t know this person.”

Emails are closely guarded on LinkedIn, and are meant to be used by close contacts and professional associates. If you want to contact someone you don’t know on LinkedIn look for connections on the network who might be able to introduce you.

5) Not using a custom URL

LinkedIn allows its users to create a customized URL in place of the default URL, and this feature is often ignored by newer users.

Not taking advantage of this tool greatly reduces the chances of prospective clients and employers finding your account. You can change your URL where it says “Public Profile/edit.” Use your name, if it is available, as this will greatly increase your profile’s uniqueness and visibility in the network.

6) Not focusing on results in your profile

Aggrandizing yourself will not work in LinkedIn, but your achievements will work wonders in influencing others. One of the most common LinkedIn mistakes users make on the network is being too general and abstract in the work history portion of their profiles. Be as specific as possible about your accomplishments in your work history and you will do a much better job selling yourself to potential clients and employers.
If you want to take advantage of Linkedin and boost your web profits, don’t miss this free webinar – “How to Cross the Bridge from Linkedin to Web Profits.” To register, click >> http://www.yourlaptopbusiness.com/free-linkedin-webinar.html

Recommendations are some of the most powerful factors that influence a buyer or employer’s decision to do business with an individual or business entity. LinkedIn realizes this, and has created the LinkedIn Recommendations section to highlight a user’s existing connections that can vouch for his or her professional capabilities.

The people you have already worked with in the past can become valuable references to your professional skill and talents. LinkedIn Recommendations allows these references of yours to personally voice their experiences with you on your profile. This makes it a much easier for your potential clients or employers to verify your capabilities, since the contact details of your recommenders, as well as their feedback about you, are available on LinkedIn.

So how exactly does LinkedIn Recommendations work?

1) On the right side of profile you’ll see a link called “Manage my recommendations.” Click the tab “Request Recommendations.”

2) From the dropdown menu you must select the company where you worked with or for the person who is recommending you. If you were hired as a freelancer or as a consultant, you can select your own company

3) Select who will write the feedback for you. It doesn’t have to be one of your supervisors. LinkedIn Recommendations considers feedback from all directions of the corporate ladder. Consider getting some feedback from your peers on the job, as well as any other subordinates you have worked with in the past.

4) Send a personal note to your reference. Do not use the default text for requesting a reference. Adding a personal touch, such as reminding the person of your work together, is more likely to elicit a good recommendation.

Keep keywords in mind when formulating a personal note to your reference. If, for example, you’re a copywriter, you might request a recommendation about your copywriting skills in order to ensure your chosen keywords will pop up a few times in the recommendation.

Focus on quality, not quantity. LinkedIn requires a minimum of 3 recommendations for your profile to be picked up by the search engines, so have at least 3.

The recommendations of colleagues and business partners will carry more weight than what you say about yourself on your profile. So track down the best recommendations you can gather.  If you are not happy with what someone wrote for a recommendation, you can ask for  changes. If you are still not happy with it, you have the option of deleting it from your profile.

If you want to take advantage of Linkedin and boost your web profits, don’t miss this free webinar – “How to Cross the Bridge from Linkedin to Web Profits.” To register, click >> http://www.yourlaptopbusiness.com/free-linkedin-webinar.html

When it comes to driving business-related blog traffic it isn’t even close, according to 
a recent Blog-off contest, involving 12 marketing and social media sites, held by the Community Marketing Blog.

Of the 2,350 directly referred urls, 55% came from Linkedin, 13% came from Facebook, while Twitter referred 11%.

Since Linkedin clearly has so much potential to drive business-related traffic, the question for marketers is how exactly to take advantage of that. That will be answered in a FREE webinar, entitled “Crossing the Bridge from Linkedin to Web Profits.”

To register for this free webinar on attracting more business using Linkedin (space is limited), go to http://www.yourlaptopbusiness.com/free-linkedin-webinar.html

For details on the blog -off contest, go to http://communitymarketing.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/06/linkedin-drives-more-direct-blog-traffic-than-facebook-twitter-or-google.html

 

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