And I’m back. It was a rather eventful week off for me here on the east coast, with a mild earthquake as I was staining my deck, and then having to evacuate because of Hurricane Irene over the weekend.  My thoughts go out to everyone still dealing with flooding, power outages and damage – I was fortunate that my house near the bay never lost power (the yard floods on a good day, so a sump pump is a necessity) and that the damage wasn’t at all severe.  

Today, we’re back to talking LinkedIn, and I’d like to focus on recommendations.  Before we get into the how, let’s talk about about the why. 


Continue Reading LinkedIn Tutorials – Recommendations

Yesterday, we talked about how to get involved with groups.  The only thing left for us to do with groups is to create our own! 

You might not be sure if you want to, but perhaps you want to re-think that.  What if you want to start a group for those interested in legal issues in the construction industry in New Jersey? Check first to make sure there isn’t a group out there like that already, but then start your own – guess who’s going to join a group like that? 

That’s right, potential clients.

And you don’t want to be using your group to just promote yourself, but offer items of value to those people, and they’ll come to see you as the go-to resource for information that they need.  And THAT’S when they’ll start to think that you’d make a good attorney for them.  Plus, if you’re getting access through your group to the decision makers that you want to be meeting at potential clients’ companies, use the platform to send out invitations to an event – host a cocktail party for the group, get together at a local bar for some beer, invite them to a presentation you’ll be doing on a topic that’s of use to them. Take the relationships OFFLINE to cement them. The possibilities here are endless. 


Continue Reading LinkedIn Tutorials – Creating Your Own Groups

When groups were introduced on LinkedIn, it really revolutionized the way a lot of us used the site.  LinkedIn went from being a very one-dimensional platform to being a place where you could regularly engage with people who were interested in the same things that you are.

The first group I joined was one of the first groups created – my alumni group, Hamilton College.  Dan Nye, the former CEO of LinkedIn was a Hamilton grad, so he created this group and invited all of the alums to join.  They really took off from there.  The latest number I found is that there are over 871,000 groups on LinkedIn, which is just incredible.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to browse through all of them.


Continue Reading LinkedIn Tutorials – Groups

I promise that at some point, we’ll be done with applications and move right into looking at some other features of LinkedIn! (Like tomorrow) There sure are a lot, aren’t there? That just shows me what a valuable tool we have here – you can really customize it, make it your own, and put it to work for you so that with a little bit of investment here and there, it can really assist you in your networking efforts. 

Moving right along, we’ll jump into some more applications today.

Events

We talked a little bit about events when we talked about how you could better engage with your network.  Events is an application from LinkedIn that is incredibly useful, particularly for attorneys – again, it’s another one of those applications that will involve a little time investment and will then do the work for you. 

So let’s add the application as we normally would.  It seems to have been added as a default on my new profile, so this may be the case for you as well.  If it appears in the list when you mouseover "More" in the menu on your homepage, then you’ve got it installed!


Continue Reading LinkedIn Tutorials – Is there an App for That? Part IV

Who thought there would be so much to say on LinkedIn Applications? (Truthfully, not me when I started to talk about them – I thought I’d do just one post!).  But there’s a lot of utility in these applications, particularly if you’re looking to make the most out of your LinkedIn experience. 

So today we’ll talk about a few more apps, starting with Huddle Workspaces.  

Huddle Workspaces

Huddle Workspaces is an application that allows you to create "workspaces" for different groups of connections, and you decide who sees what. Your documents are kept private and secure, and you can access them from anywhere at anytime. 

This is another situation where you can start with a free account, but Huddle.net also has an upgrade if you’re interested.  


Continue Reading LinkedIn Tutorials – Is there an App for That? Part III

Following yesterday’s interlude about settings, we’re back to Part II of LinkedIn’s applications! I’ll focus on a few important ones, and briefly talk about the ones that might not be as meaningful for you. 

We’ll start with Company Buzz.

Company Buzz

We’re going to be talking more about Twitter in a later series of posts, but I’ll give you a very quick overview. Since Twitter says it best, here’s what they say about themselves: 

Twitter is a "real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting." You "simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations." 

"At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters in length, but don’t let the small size fool you – you can share a lot with a little space. Connected to each Tweet is a rich details pane that provides additional information, deeper context, and embedded media.  You can tell your story within your Tweet, or you can think of a Tweet as the headline, and use the details pane to tell the rest with photos, videos, and other media content." 


Continue Reading LinkedIn Tutorials – Is there an App for That? Part II

Although today’s post should be our Part II about applications, I’m going to take a bit of a break to talk instead about some settings.  I know we’re all concerned about (and should be) the settings that we have in these various social platforms, and one came to the forefront today – which I’ll get to in a minute.

First, I want to make a comment about privacy – the short version is that nothing on the internet is private.  That’s right, I said it – nothing.  Whatever you write, post, tweet, tag, etc. lives somewhere online forever.  Even if you have the strictest of privacy settings, what you say can become public.  So just bear that in mind whenever you’re using social media – if it’s not something you’d say to your grandmother or show to your grandmother, you probably shouldn’t post it. 

I also recently heard someone suggest you ask yourself these questions – "is it nice? is it necessary?" when posting.  Or do as my friend Heather suggests and ask yourself – "Does this need to be said? Does this need to be said right now? Does this need to be said by me?"  Most companies’ social media policies will boil down to "Don’t be an idiot" and I think that’s good advice. 


Continue Reading LinkedIn Tutorials – Some Important Settings

So you’ve got your profile almost complete and you’ve started to connect with people in your network…now what? 

There’s so much more you can do with LinkedIn, but we’re going to start with what I think is the most important – engaging.  There are a few ways you can do this, including answering questions and joining and participating in groups, but today, we’re just going to focus on how you can engage with people through your home page and profile.

I recently suggested to some of our lawyers at our Annual Conference that they set LinkedIn to open when they log into their web browser, so that they can spend five minutes a day connecting to someone.  A number of them thought this wasn’t reasonable, but even five minutes a week can make a difference.


Continue Reading LinkedIn Tutorials – You’re Connected…Now What?

Yesterday’s tutorial covered how to export your contacts from Outlook and upload them into LinkedIn.  But this is limiting – although it cuts down on the investment of time you need to make in order to connect with people, it doesn’t give you the flexibility of personalizing the invitations to make engaging more likely – and that’s the goal with social media: engagement!

So today, we’re going to go into more depth about adding contacts manually.  I’m the first to admit that manually adding contacts is a pain, and can be time consuming.  But if you take the time to send a personal note to those you add, they’ll be more willing to accept your invitation and subsequently engage with you.  You don’t have to take a whole afternoon to work on this – I know everyone is busy!  Instead, when you first come in to the office in the morning and are having your cup of coffee, log into LinkedIn and add five people.  It won’t take you very long at all, and soon you’ll have a nice list of connections built up.  Even if you do this once a week, it will make a difference.


Continue Reading LinkedIn Tutorials – Let’s Get Connected! Part II

Now that you’ve created a complete profile, it’s time to start connecting and engaging with people you might know on LinkedIn.  Let’s start with the basics – connecting with people in your Outlook contacts.  

Start by logging in to your home page.  Since you’re a new member and still building your LinkedIn base, you will likely see this box:

 


Continue Reading LinkedIn Tutorials – Let’s Get Connected! Part I