5 Weeks to LinkedIn Success – Week 2: Make Connections
Second in a Five Post Series
As I mentioned last week, I’m helping a law firm get up to speed with LinkedIn. To help veterans and beginners, I’m creating a step-by-step cheat sheet that anyone who is just starting with LinkedIn can use to get up to speed quickly in a few bite-sized chunks that don’t take a lot of time.
Here’s LinkedIn Cheat Sheet for Busy Professionals – Week 2. You’ll find Week One here.
1) Create a Custom URL for your Profile
Most people, like me, simply take out the numbers and use their name for the URL; however, you could use something like: Affordable Seattle Divorce Attorney. Please note that custom monikers such as Seattle Divorce Attorney are available on a first come, first served basis, and that no two can be alike. (Learn how to set the custom ULR at the bottom of this post.)
LinkedIn Sales Tip: Consider adding your LinkedIn URL to your email signature rather than only including your website or blog link. This is a great way to see who is interested in your services as part of the feature called “Who’s viewed my Profile?” I picked up this tip from Carole Mahoney.
With free LinkedIn accounts, you won’t be able to see everyone who’s clicked on your profile, but you will be able to see some. I reach out to those who have checked out my profile – more about how to do this later – to connect with prospects.
2) Set your Privacy Controls
You’ll find these by going to the LinkedIn navigation bar, looking all the way to the right, where you’ll find a tiny photo of yourself. Hover over the photo and you’ll see a drop down menu, with Privacy and Settings as an option.
Here you can turn on or off your activity broadcast settings. When building your profile, you will want to turn these off so you don’t drive your network batty. But you will want to turn them back on and keep them on when your initial profile is complete so that your network can see your status updates.
You’ll also want to set up who can see your activity feeds with options including everyone, just your network, only you or only your connections. I have mine set to only my network.
3) Connect with People You Know
Start connecting with a few people you know, maybe just 20 to get started. Set a weekly or daily goal for yourself to add 10 new connections a day or 20 if you can.
LinkedIn Tip: Don’t just use the canned response when asking to connect, but make it personal. Say something like, “Hey Sharon, Thank you for all the great LinkedIn tips. I’d be honored if you’d be among my first connections here.” Or “I enjoyed working with you at X, and would love to catch up with what you are doing now.”
4) Schedule Time to Work LinkedIn
Set aside 10 to 15 minutes on your calendar each week for the next two months to devote to growing your network.
LinkedIn Sales Tip: When growing your network, take time to think about who might be a good strategic partner, a possible referral partner, or prospect. Set up a virtual coffee and call potential partners to see how you might help them. Ask what projects they are working on and ask what they need help with. Then rack your brain to see who you know might be able to help them or whether you can offer direct help. Remember, you aren’t selling anything here. You are just finding out how you can help your connection.
Be prepared for them to ask you the same questions, and write down a list of things you need help with – either personally or professionally. You never know, they might just be able to help you.
How to make a Custom LinkedIn URL
To make a custom public profile URL: First, decide whether you are just going to have your name or something else, using your keywords, for example. Remember, it can be between 5 – 30 letters or numbers, but not spaces, symbols, or special characters. Then:
- Select Edit Profile from your main LinkedIn navigation bar.
- Under your photo, you’ll see the URL, Click Edit.
- In the bottom right of the Your public profile URL box, click “Customize your public profile URL”.
- Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
- Click Set Custom URL.
Some URLs may be taken. If a member uses a URL and then changes it, the URL they first chose will be unavailable for use by another member for several months. So check back from time to time if you really want something specific – it might just become available. LinkedIn does not make URLs available upon request.
Miss the LinkedIn week one? Find it here.
Are you following along? If so, I’d love to know if this weekly post is doable. Please let me know in the comments below.