Linkedin Best Practices.

Her are some of the things I have found to make your Linkedin experience shine. Keep these in mind as you do business on the Linkedin platform.

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  1. Complete your profile

Personally I would hope this goes without saying, but fill out your profile as completely as possible. There should be very few things on your profile that are blank. It’s not always possible to fill everything out, but you should make the effort.

  1. Add an updated profile picture

Profiles without pictures seem sketchy. Even when it’s someone I know I am very cautious about connecting if there is no picture. Also make sure your picture is up to date or within a few years. It is unsettling and unprofessional to have pictures on Linkedin that don’t look like you.

  1. Network. Network.

This is the key to making Linkedin work for you. There are two strategies here. Connect with everyone or connect with only the people you actually know. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

  1. Personalize connection requests.

Don’t send the standard Linkedin connection request. Personalize the request to the person you are sending it to. It is more professional and it shows you care about connecting professionally with that person.

  1. Grab your name Courtesy: Ken Krogue, Forbes Writer.

Did you know you can get your own name as your linked in profile instead of the alphabet soup you were randomly assigned. This makes it look more professional on your emails and resumes. It also makes your Linkedin page easier to remember. Go to the profile edit page and an edit button is available at the end of your Linkedin URL.

  1. Never SPAM!

Another no brainer. It is possible to spam and get one or two leads, but at the cost of potential relationships. No one likes being spammed. Just don’t do it.

  1. Edit or Remove Endorsements.

Your endorsement section is out there for everyone to see. Sometimes we are endorsed in ways we don’t want. Sometimes we are endorsed and it looks biased. You can remove endorsements on your profile edit page. Trim up your endorsement to keep your best foot forward.

  1. Freely give and receive recommendations.

Someone asks for a recommendation, give it. Don’t have a recommendation, ask. This is a way to let others know what to expect from you. People like a second opinion.

  1. Join industry and local LinkedIn Groups.

Groups are a great way to learn information about subjects that interest you professionally. Many industry leaders post in these professional groups. If you have some insight, post it. It gets your voice out there and could lead to some great connections.

  1. Vet a group before you join.

Groups are great in general, but some are just ads in disguise. Pay attention to who the members are and what topics they are discussing.

  1. Use 3×3 analysis when connecting with people.  Courtesy: Steve Richard of Vorsight

Meeting someone you can find on Linkedin? Spend 3 minutes and learn 3 things about them you can use as talking points. It shows professionalism and attention to detail. People like talking about themselves so it helps you build rapport quickly.

  1. Use InMail strategically.

Don’t use Inmail like your regular email. A good practice is to only use it for business that is being facilitated on Linkedin. An example would be asking for an introduction to another Linkedin connection. Use your email for normal correspondence and Inmail for Linked in business.

  1. Use Follow effectively.

Follow industry leaders. Follow businesses that interest you within your industry or related industries. This will get your profile more exposure and you can meet interesting people in you field.

  1. Use “Tags” to categorize your connections.

This is especially useful when you have a lot of connections. You can keep track of where you met each person and how you know them.

  1. Ask for referrals through LinkedIn.

Looking for a new job? Looking to connect to a company? Find out who you know and ask for a referral. Make sure you follow good business etiquette so Linkedin remains a great place to get your referrals.

  1. Browse LinkedIn privately.

If you are looking at a lot of peoples profiles and businesses, brows privately. This way you don’t seem like a stalker. It is the polite thing to do.

  1. Add media.

Put up your blog posts. Link articles. Post videos. In general, get yourself on the Linkedin feed. This can create top of mind exposure and help with your other Linkedin business.

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Why should I have a CRM?

Customer Relationship Management software should be a component of every business. There are lots of tasks that CRM’s make much easier for businesses to handle. Every business should have some sort of CRM to help manage the task of customer care. Even small businesses with very few clients should use something to track its customers. I’m not going to endorse any CRM’s in this post, but you need to get one or even manage your own on a spreadsheet and here is why:

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  1. Keeps you Organized – When was the last time you contacted Joe? When did Sue last make a purchase? Using a CRM helps you keep track of what customers are doing and where they are in the sales cycle. You don’t have to spam messages out to customers if you know more about their purchasing habits.
  2. It is a Force Multiplier – I track over 200 business clients and it takes me only 5 minutes a day to manage all of them. With a good CRM system it is easy to keep track of far more than that. Instead of poring over records and hoping I didn’t miss someone my time is used much more efficiently and I can do the job of several people who don’t use CRM’s. This simultaneously boosts my sales and reduces my employer’s expenses. Win-win!
  3. It Boosts Sales – Which is ultimately the goal of every business. The main boost I see is from customer satisfaction. I know when I talked to each client and what we talked about. When I recall that information and use it a month later the customer feels better cared for and is better cared for. They know I am on their team and trying to help them out. Even if they don’t buy from me now, they will remember me down the road when it is time for them to buy. The other way it boosts sales is in a CRM’s predictive power. Our CRM sees an increase in Youth Camps purchasing our service, we know who we should be targeting and where the highest quality sales leads are.
  4. Makes for a Better Customer Experience – Especially when you have a large team sharing the responsibilities of the client base. Each customer doesn’t have to explain the history of their account every time they call in. A well run CRM will have that information available for the person they contact. Even better is that the management team can see customers that might be having a bad experience and proactively reach out to them potentially gaining better customer loyalty. The customer appreciates when you know what is going on with their account without them having to repeat themselves every time.

So what are you waiting for? Go get a CRM service. Your customers, sales team and customer support will thank you.

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