Fun with Linkedin

You know how to sell.

You know how to use Facebook.

Many of us can do FB in our sleep; we have a pretty good idea of who cares about what; we know how to identify stories and pictures and information that various groups of our friends will care about. Our friends, in turn, know more about us from what we share on FB (albeit sometimes too much more) than they would have known based on our friendship in HS, or college, or standing next to each other at the kids’ soccer game.

You know how to use groups to connect to strangers you don’t know in real life, who share a common interest: hula hooping, extreme political strategizing, dog rescue.

You may follow, and sometimes interact with, musicians, artists, authors and other interesting people on FB who are not in your normal life.

Funny, but we don’t use or talk about Linkedin the same way.  It’s always about “branding,” or “targeted prospects,” or “optimizing.”  Do you ever think about optimizing your Facebook profile?  Heck no.  No wonder we treat Linkedin like it’s work, and spend as little time as we have to on the site.

Most companies are trying to portray themselves as “fun places to work.”  We’ll help you have a bit more of that fun by showing you how to use LI, for your sales activity and your business life, as easily and as naturally as you use Facebook for your personal and social life.

People who sell for a living are comfortable being “in the public eye.” Their clients, OTOH, are often not that way. Many of our clients are less out-going, perhaps more technical, more focused on a limited number of direct reports, or longer in technical and analytical skills than people.

  • A good LI profile lets our clients get to know us in the comfort of their own time, at their own speed.
  • A good LI profile gives your connections ideas about things to talk about, openings, shared interests, common history.
  • A good LI profile allows your prospects to see what you know, without your having to brag about yourself.
  • A good Linkedin profile has lots of pictures, so people aren’t forced to read all that tiny text.
  • A good LI profile separates wheat from chaff. Be wheat.
  • A good LI profile, along with regular updates, sharing in groups, and publishing interesting and useful articles, establishes you as someone who knows your trade.
  • Professional sales people like to think of themselves as consultants. LI allows your customers to get to know you as a consultant, on their own time.

Your LI presence is bigger than your profile. Just like FB, LI offers the now-common social interactions—likes, shares, comments. LI has two sizes of updates, a regular status update / share, and a larger “publish.” Groups support conversations among people.

Your LI presence is bigger than your resume, too, and far less dependent on text than you may have notice. You can fill your profile with images from top to bottom; almost as many as FB. Learn to use good images to help convey a point. You have all the technology you need in your smart phone. Stop boring stock photography!

Most of us want to be the “Chris” in “better call Chris—Chris knows exactly how to solve that problem.” LI helps you be that “Chris” in your trade.

Sales professionals who learn to think “I could share that on LI” the way many of us automatically think “I could put that on FB” have a head start on creating an online presence that will be found in a search, will be noticed, and will be sought out.

When you spend enough time on a platform to be comfortable with how it works, you’ll also be present when someone else asks a question that your product or company is the answer to.

What do you get?

The full version of this class is six hours, in-class, with homework, and includes Twitter.  There’s only so much we can cover in a day.  The class can be adjusted as needed for the audience.  We can work on corporate or classroom PCs or on laptops; everyone needs an existing Linkedin account, headshots (or cameras), and access to their email.

If the class is offered through NCSU’s TTS, continuing education credits can be arranged.