When I talk to strangers or new acquaintances at networking or even social events, the conversation often includes some discussion about networking for business on LinkedIn. I am passionate about the opportunities that exist using this online community as I previously wrote in this blog on May 2nd. That post was entitled: "Small Business Networking Opportunities Exist in Abundance on LinkedIn" and I recommend you read it.
Frequently a typical response to raising the topic of LinkedIn networking elicits something to the effect of: "Oh, I know all about LinkedIn." My gut reaction is that if someone does know all about LinkedIn, the conversation should just get started at that point since I have a lot to share and am always looking for other tidbits of information and insights others may have.
However, when the topic quickly changes, I suspect otherwise. Often one glance at this person's LinkedIn profile reveals the truth. They have merely registered on LinkedIn and minimally completed their profile. They are taking the: "Oh well I am here, what's it all about?" attitude without taking the time to explore the many possibilities.
There is a learning curve to using and applying networking skills on LinkedIn just as there is with any other "new tool". One must take the time to learn these steps in order to gain some benefit from this resource. And the first step is selecting the proper keywords.
You must determine the keywords people will use to look for people possessing that specific talent skill set for the job you covet or the service you provide. I describe keywords as what someone types into a search engine query box (whether Google or LinkedIn, etc.) to find your product or service or answers to their problems or questions. They do this simply because they do not know your name, address or phone number. (Otherwise why would they be searching?) This applies universally to potential partners and clients, headhunters or recruiters, etc.
For small business marketers, don't hypothesize. Do some research. Copy the text from your profile, strip out the non-essentials such as
- LinkedIn titles - I.E. 'Summary', 'Specialty', 'Experience'
- Name of company, type of company, date range worked(ing) there
- “Recommendations” and summary line, or
- “recommend” if you do not have any recommendations for that position.
Then copy what remains and drop the text into a word cloud generator. (Note: a word cloud generator converts text into a visual depiction of the most used words in a document). You can learn more about word cloud generator on my blog at: http://diywebjem.com/blog/linkedin/tool-for-job-search/word-clouds/
Do the results describing your product or service in layman language? Probably not, if you are like most! Then you must get to work figuring out jut what keywords will.
Learn more about LinkedIn on my blog at: http://diywebjem.com/blog/linkedin/ and happy networking!