Don’t go it alone in social media, when you can partner with your team, coworkers, colleagues, or group to make social go easier and grow faster. In just an hour or two, once in your life, and a few minutes per week, you can build your team on LinkedIn, grow your mutual reach and reputation, and improve your own referral value. There are four steps:
- 1 STEP 1. Complete Your LinkedIn Professional Profile
- 2 STEP 2. Connect With Each of Your Team Members
- 3 STEP 3. Write Recommendations for the Members of Your Team
- 4 STEP 4. Check Your Home Updates Weekly and Reshare Valuable Team Member Posts
- 5 OPTIONAL: Go Farther and Grow Your Value TO Your Team
- 6 HELP: Get Some Help With Your LinkedIn Strategy
STEP 1. Complete Your LinkedIn Professional Profile
Log in to LinkedIn.com (spend a moment creating an account, if you don’t have one). Once logged in, click PROFILE > EDIT PROFILE. Complete your profile in the following manner:
- Upload a portrait photo.
- Fill out your resume info.
- Write a brief summary of how people benefit from your product or service.
With a little effort, and about 45 minutes, you can optimize your LinkedIn profile. Make sure each of your team members completes their own LinkedIn profile, as well.
STEP 2. Connect With Each of Your Team Members
Once all/most of your other team members have completed their profiles, log in to LinkedIn, and type each one’s name in the search box at the top. When you find each member, click CONNECT next to their name/profile, to send them a connection request. Likewise, when they send you a connection request, be sure to ACCEPT it. There are 3 icons at the top of Linkedin, when you’re logged in; the one that looks like a person will show you any connection requests you receive from other team members. Between them sending you requests, and vice versa, all team members can soon be connected.
STEP 3. Write Recommendations for the Members of Your Team
Once all your team members are connected, log in to LinkedIn, and again type each one’s name in the search box at the top. When you find them, click to view their full profile. On their profile, you can click the dropdown arrow next to the “send a message” button for possible interactions. Select RECOMMEND and write a brief testimonial of their value, their expertise, and their work. They will receive it as a message (alerting them via the envelope icon) and they can choose to display the testimonial on their profile or send it back to you for suggested revision. Be sure to monitor your incoming recommendations, as well.
Pick a day, put it on your appointment calendar and, at least weekly, amplify your team’s content. 40% of LinkedIn users check LinkedIn daily, because it’s such a powerful networking and referral marketing tool, and a platform for reading and submitting valuable content. You can get away with checking it once/week and still do right by your team. It’s like e-mail in the early days. In the late 1990s, business owners still checked once/week; now, we depend so much on e-mail for business interactions, that we’d never dream of waiting that long to interact or respond. Starting out weekly is fine. When you log in, even before checking your messages and connection requests, click HOME and scroll through the content shared by your team (and other connections). If you really want to help each other grow and succeed, click SHARE whenever a post would be valuable for your own wider audience and other connections. If you don’t have any/many connections yet, do it anyway. It will signal LinkedIn and your team members that the content is being valued.
OPTIONAL: Go Farther and Grow Your Value TO Your Team
If this were all you did, your team would benefit, because at least some members of the team are likely using LinkedIn to further their business reach and reputation. You’ve done a lot, and it’s quite admirable. If you decide you want to go a bit farther, you certainly can. Here are some best practices:
- Keep up with new members: Of course, you’ll want to keep up with new team members, as they come onboard. Encourage them to complete their profiles and send connection request to each member of your team. Wait a bit, until you know more about them and the value they bring, and then write a recommendation and ask for one in return.
- Keep up with new contacts: Add any new business partners, visitors to your group, or clients, prospects, and professional contacts as LinkedIn connections. One third of all professionals on the planet are in LinkedIn; chances are you’ll find most of your business contacts. Growing your connections isn’t an end in itself; LinkedIn cuts off bragging rights at 500 connections (simply showing 500+) once you cross that threshold. The value is in the ability to trade referrals, share each other’s content, and appeal to agencies, employers, brands, and other sources of business that find professionals on LinkedIn more than any other site, hands down.
- Post some content: Focus on content shares, not profile views. People are more likely to get value out of your thought leadership in the area of your profession than from looking at your profile, which is pretty much your online resume, business card, and sales pitch. Profile views on LinkedIn come from connections and search on the one hand, content, and referrals on the other. It’s the active behavior of giving and receiving referrals and/or posting and sharing content that exceeds the passive value of simply waiting to be seen or found. You can post content on LinkedIn exactly the way you would any other social media site or a blog on your website. From the HOME screen click on the “share an update” box to share a brief update, such as a thought, quote, or observation. Click the pen in that same box to create a full ‘blog’ post, which is more like a brief article.
HELP: Get Some Help With Your LinkedIn Strategy
You may want to go beyond just the basics with your LinkedIn strategy. That’s a great decision! In that case, engage a digital strategist. That’s what I do, so I’d love to help you grow your reach and reputation, and ultimately your business via LinkedIn. I can get you through crafting a killer profile, loading your contacts, building a marketing plan for LinkedIn, creating posts, and extending your reach from LinkedIn into other social media that it supports. A digital strategist helps you make sense of the perhaps bewildering digital landscape. It’s easier than you think, so contact me to get started. We can still party like it’s 1999; we just can’t run our companies that way.