How Well Are You Using LinkedIn?

There is a resounding difference between saying, ‘I want to be successful’ and declaring with fist-thumping conviction, ‘I will do whatever it takes to become successful!’ Success in navigating the popular business networking site, LinkedIn, and using it to meet business objectives operates under the same premise.

The road to becoming a LinkedIn achiever is paved with ongoing learning, constant observation, practice and application. Since 2006, I have worked with thousands of top executives, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and job seekers to help create branded content for their LinkedIn profiles, designing customized LinkedIn sales and marketing strategies, and translating their efforts on the site into positive results. My greatest joy is taking someone new to LinkedIn under my wing and watching them grow and develop into a poised, confident communicator and social networker – in other words, a LinkedIn achiever. Who is the LinkedIn achiever? What does he/she do that is different from the casual user? I can tell you that the LinkedIn achiever doesn’t log in sporadically. He/she has an action plan.

I define the LinkedIn achiever as one who attaches value to the time and energy spent on LinkedIn, presents well on the site, respects best practices in using it, and considers this work to be an integral component of daily business prospecting. In my humble opinion, people who are on LinkedIn but claim they don’t have time to work on it, have not made the conscious decision to explore its possibilities. Perhaps there’s something else holding them back (e.g., fear of technology, lack of faith in the medium). The LinkedIn achiever has overcome these psychological barriers to success, sees the potential and is empowered by a positive mindset. To the LinkedIn achiever, everything done on the site is strategic. All tasks become second nature.  He/she is adaptable, open to suggestion and willing to incorporate new behaviors. LinkedIn is an ever-expanding platform that rolls out modifications and enhancements without notice. This achiever keeps abreast of changes and proactively integrates the new tools into his/her action plan. I never view any aspect of LinkedIn work as drudgery, nor should you. It is opportunity calling.

Finally, and most importantly, the LinkedIn achiever dresses for success on LinkedIn. He/she has a LinkedIn profile brimming with compelling content, one that articulates a unique value proposition and allows for deeper, more meaningful engagements. There are inbound and outbound links to all pertinent Web sites easily located, a professional head shot, and no confusion as to the nature of their business offering. The LinkedIn achiever’s profile transcends good marketing; it is, in essence, a vehicle through which personal brand builds and credibility is buoyed by recommendations from colleagues, clients, and centers of influence. The LinkedIn achiever is always connecting, communicating, contributing and collaborating. Simply put, on a social networking site dedicated to business, these folks are generating business.

Do you have what it takes to be a LinkedIn achiever?

Next post: Gershbein: Ask Yourself, Why Are You on LinkedIn?

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