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A Networking Pro Explains How to Master LinkedIn in 8 Easy Steps

My friend Drew Sanders is one of the best networkers I know. He recently presented his Action Plan for using the networking tool LinkedIn to insurance giant Chubb…and was kind enough to let me share it with you.

If you want to know why you should be linked in, check out my You Must Be LinkedIn article.

Here’s the 8-step plan for setting up and managing LinkedIn:

Step 1: Complete your Linked in Profile (1 Hour)

  • Have a coherent narrative of your history from college graduation
  • Print out several examples that you like and model yours after theirs
  • Brevity is appreciated by all
  • Be factual, but humility is a good tack

Step 2: Email accumulation (1 Hour)

  • Export your outlook contacts to a (CSV file)
  • Do the same for your hotmail, yahoo, or Gmail accounts
  • Extra Credit
    • if you have emailing lists from when people have accidentally not bcc’d people and you saw some cool email contacts and saved the emails.
    • Export those as well.
  • Any email from anyone you have ever met now has more value than just a way to get a hold of that person.

Step 3: Contact Invitation Process (1 to 3 hours depending on number of emails)

  • Load all the emails into the LinkedIn Platform
    • THIS WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY INVITE THEM
  • LinkedIn will now tell you if the email correlates to a profile that is already on LinkedIn.
    • Review the people WHO ARE ALREADY USING LinkedIn, and where appropriate, extend an invitation to connect.
      • A good rule of thumb would be if you saw them at a party would you both feel the social responsibility to say hello.
    • Be patient with the people that you have only met a little bit and who you really don’t have any rapport built up with yet, over inviting can backfire and cheapen your brand.
    • The people who are not on LinkedIn right now are still valuable to have on the site.
      • When they do join, LinkedIn alerts you to that fact and then you can determine if you would like to extend them an invitation at that time

Step 4: Join Groups (1 Hour)

  • Groups you should join
    • Schools you attended
    • Service Organizations you are a member of
    • Industry Groups that you service
    • Causes you care about

Step 5: Publishing Content (Ongoing)

  • Answers
    • Offering up your point of view on a question in an industry can be a way that you can build up an online presence as an expert in your field
  • Discussions in Groups
    • Participate in the dialog in the groups you join and follow
  • Material about your specialty and your firm
    • Post your marketing materials
    • Post other documents that you typically distribute
    • LinkedIn tells you when someone has downloaded one of your item
    • A good place to learn about a book you are considering
    • A better place to see if people that are reading the same book as you might have a similar reason to read it and be someone to reach out to
    • Write Many for others you have worked with
    • Post only a few that are written about you, but have a few that speak to your expertise and your character
    • An advanced stage that should be approached with a plan.
    • Over communicating to your network is just like spamming on email to too many about random things that are off topic.
    • When executed well, it can really enhance your brand

Step 6: Book Reviews (Ongoing)

  • A good place to learn about a book you are considering
  • A better place to see if people reading the same book as you might have a similar reason to read it and become someone to reach out to

Step 7: Recommendations (Ongoing)

  • Write many for others you have worked with
  • Post only a few that are written about you, but have a few that speak to your expertise and your character

Step 8: Status Updates (Ongoing)

  • An advanced stage that should be approached with a plan
  • Over-communicating to your network is like spamming on email to too many about random things that are off-topic
  • When executed well, it can really enhance your brand
2 Comments

  • http://robdkelly.com/uncategorized/linkedin/ LinkedIn Tips & Social Networking for Business | Rob Kelly

    [...] a great 8-Step Action Plan on Setting Up & Maintaining LinkedIn written by a networking pro for a Webinar he presented to [...]

  • Betty Mulatya

    Very informative, thank you