October 2, 2012


LinkedIn 30 day action planAt the end of 2011, I said I was sick of social media and planned to write about other topics instead. I've lapsed occasionally because I keep getting requests for help. I recently spoke to advisors at an Advocis Peel Halton event on Social Media and Branding.

I spoke about building trust with LinkedIn and presented this 30 day action plan with three segments:
  1. Your past experience
  2. Your ongoing generosity
  3. Your current relevance
You can do everything yourself but may get better results with help.

Past Experience

Your past experience helps establish your credentials from studying and work experience.

Credible testimonials are the best way to show that you had the skill to do what you did. You especially want testimonials from clients. You can also get them from colleagues and others but these are not as relevant to potential clients. Action: Get three or more testimonials. 

Your LinkedIn Profile tells the world about you. An incomplete or poorly completed Profile says you don’t care. How does that bring you clients? LinkedIn guides you through the process of building your Profile. You can make changes gradually and make revisions later if you're not happy. Pay particular attention to your Summary. This is your infomercial. Use the first person ("I") and write the way you talk. The rest can use third person. Make your content simple to understand. Big words and long sentences rarely impress. Action: Complete your Profile to 100%.

Ongoing Generosity

Giving changes you and invokes reciprocity, the #1 universal principle of influence . Giving valuable information online costs you nothing but adds to your digital tapestry and creates a stronger first impression on visitors.

Action: Give at least five testimonials. If you won't go on the record to say nice things about others, how can you expect to get testimonials? Do not give/get testimonials from the same people. If you recommend me and I recommend you, we both lose credibility. A reader can easily think we're biased and ignore both of us. Doubt grows very easily and is tough to erase.

Giving testimonials is also a nice way to nudge or remind others to give you testimonials. You’re leading by your virtuous deeds.

Since a testimonial is static, you need signs of ongoing generosity too. To say up-to-date, you probably read information regularly. Some of the content will be relevant to your LinkedIn connections. Action: Post two or more updates every week. Posting an update takes mere minutes. Because updates take very little effort, nothing magical happens. If you’re consistent, your connections start noticing you. If your updates are useful, they start paying more attention to them (and you).

Current Relevance

Just because you have solid past experience and post updates doesn’t show that you can do the work today. Times change. Have you updated your skills? You may be an expert in Blackberries but that’s less relevant when Android and iOS rule.

To show that your brain still works, answer questions. Action: Participate in Groups. Avoid Groups loaded with your competitors. They are not going to buy from you. Focus on the Groups your clients visit. By participating, you’ll start to become known. Your answers get seen by people who aren’t even your connections. Maybe they will want to hire you or connect with you.

Creating original content changes you from a parrot to a pundit. Creating content like blog a post is time consuming. Within LinkedIn, there’s a hybrid solution. When you post a link to show ongoing generosity, also add content to show your thinking. You’ve got lots of options. Maybe you supplement the article, point out weaknesses or interpret. Action: Create original content.


Here’s my full live presentation.
You can also get the slide deck and other resources.


PS Every step in the action plan is free.

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