Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

TOOL TIP: The LinkedIn Toolbar for IE & Firefox (And Other Handy LinkedIn Tools)

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Are you integrating LinkedIn productivity tools into your day-to-day workflow? They’re not new, but if they’re new to you…they’re worth the minute they’ll take to install in your Internet browser or your email client.

I’ve already talked about how you can integrate LinkedIn with Outlook (click here for the Outlook toolbar download). I’ve also talked about how important it is to make the most of your LinkedIn invitations to connect. (I know that’s not a tool, but I wanted to work it in up front because it’s just so darn important.)

But did you also know LinkedIn has browser toolbars for Internet Explorer 3.2 and Mozilla Firefox 3.3 that make LinkedIn even easier to access in a single click? It’s true. I wouldn’t kid ya. Check them out! If for nothing else, the toolbar across the top of your browser will remind you that LinkedIn is there for you to leverage.

Do you have an email signature setup? LinkedIn can help you create a customized email signature for Outlook, Outlook Express and Thunderbird.

Are you smartphone equipped? Keep your digital LinkedIn rolodex at your fingertips.

LinkedIn_Mobile_Apps

Are you making the most of LinkedIn Apps? They’re free and they can automatically integrate with other tools you may be using to further enhance your profile. I just added the Legal Updates app by JD Supra to my LinkedIn homepage so I can stay informed of legal issues in the categories of interest to me.Legal_Updates_JDSupra

If you’re job-hunting, then downloading the browser tool for LinkedIn Jobs Insider is a MUST. When you open any job posting at Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs, Craigslist, SimplyHired, Dice or Vault, you’ll be able to instantly and automatically see the people in your network that work at the hiring company. You can then request an introduction to the hiring manager, get your resume to the right person or find out more about the company via LinkedIn.

LinkedIn_JobsInsider

LinkedIn Jobs Insider Sidebar box

It’s all there for you to use. And they all work to help you save time.

For the record, this isn’t a plug for LinkedIn. It’s a plug for WEB TOOLS! I try to keep my blog’s RESOURCES page up to date with all of the great web tools I come across, but every now and again, I come across a few that I find worthy of a little special attention. If you use LinkedIn at all — and, as of July 2010, 70 million professionals do — these tools are unquestionably handy to have in place.

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Are You Missing Networking Opportunities on LinkedIn?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

How well are you leveraging the power of LinkedIn? Are you just accepting “invitations to connect” or sending out invitations with that impersonal default message? Take a look at this exchange I recently had…see a missed opportunity here? (Click here if you cannot see the image.)

LinkedIn_NetworkMe? I see a HUGE missed opportunity here…and I’m not picking on Michael, because there are plenty of people that — innocently — just haven’t taken a moment to think about the broader networking opportunities that LinkedIn can create.

Here’s what I see:

  1. He used the default message to connect. Why? Why not take an extra second and give some context to your invitation? Let the person know why you’re connecting or remind them of how you know each other if it has been awhile since you chatted (in person or online). It takes 2 seconds to personalize the message. I think it’s very worth the time.
  2. I opened a door of communication. I took the time to look at his work on his web site and was actually very impressed. I responded accordingly, and tried to politely ask and obtain some of the basic information I just described above since his invitation didn’t give me anything to go on. Then I opened the door to have a conversation. So how did he respond?
  3. He answered my question and closed the open door…which is perfectly fine…that’s his prerogative, of course. But this, to me, is the opposite of what LinkedIn positions you to do from a networking standpoint. Needless to say, I didn’t accept the invitation because he didn’t give me a reason to do so.

How well are you leveraging the professional networking potential of LinkedIn?

Are you moving your online relationships offline? Are you creating or responding to opportunities to have further conversations? Why not? I always tell professionals that there is typically good SEO value to being on LinkedIn because if someone googles your name, your LinkedIn listing is likely to rank highly in the search engine results…in which case you want your LinkedIn profile to be buttoned up. But don’t you want your LinkedIn correspondence to work just as hard for you? Whether sending or receiving invitations, think of them as opportunities to make a good impression, just like you would at a traditional (offline) networking event.

Just something to think about the next time you log in to LinkedIn…

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FILESHARE: LinkedIn & Outlook – Connected

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Use Microsoft Outlook? Have a solid, functional LinkedIn network? Bring those worlds together, starting today.

Elliot Schmukler has offered up 3 easy steps to get you started:

  1. Download the latest version of the Outlook Social Connector from Microsoft (Outlook 2003, 2007 or 2010 is required)
  2. Once that is installed, download the LinkedIn Outlook Connector
  3. Restart your Outlook and follow the instructions to connect your LinkedIn account to Outlook

Here’s a video to if you’d like a visual introduction to the process. (Click here if the video is not appearing below in your feed reader.)

There you have it. Now go sync up and leverage your contacts and connections!

Oh, wait…hold on, before you go…just one back-to-basics suggestion from little old me on LinkedIn etiquette. (Make that two suggestions…)

  1. CUSTOMIZE YOUR LINKEDIN INVITATIONS: Please do NOT use the default “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” unless you literally just got off the phone with that person. Say hello, tell people (especially if you don’t know them well) WHY you thought it would be good to connect. And if you’re connecting to someone you haven’t seen in 100 years or only met once 5 years ago, remind them of how you know them. Remember this is a professional network — so be professional and personable.
  2. CHECK YOUR PROFILE, PEOPLE: By all means, please fill in your LinkedIn profile to as close to 100% completion as you can get it BEFORE you start sending out invitations to connect. It sounds obvious, but I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t see a need/reason to say it. Tips for your profile? Be succinct. Address the “here’s-what-I-can-do-for-you,-Mr./Mrs.-Visitor-To-My-Profile” benefit quickly and right up front in your summary. Use keywords relevant to your business/job/industry. Post a logo or image of some kind if you don’t want to use your own portrait, but DO NOT leave the image blank so that default human outline pops up.

That’s it. Link up and link on, my friends.

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No 2009 Lists, No 2010 Predictions & Absolutely No Regrets

Monday, January 11th, 2010

The pressure to post an all-encompassing review/recap of 2009 or a big social media prediction/pronouncement for 2010 was not lost on me.

However I opted to step aside and let it pass me by. (Traffic schmaffic.)

When I look back and consider my time in social media in 2009, it’s not the cool marketing tools I’ve experimented with, the great content that I’ve consumed or even the new business opportunities it has created — it’s with complete humility that this anti-social curmudgeon confesses (with uncharacteristic optimism and utter embarrassment at my public display of “joie de vivre”) it’s the people I’ve met and reconnected with that made my 2009 brighter, more interactive, more professionally rewarding and, even, more entertaining.

So as I look at 2010, I hope to continue to experience all of the spectacular and unexpected side effects social media, social business and social networking put before me each and every day.

We are all of us so much more than the sum of our work and it is the people with whom we work that make the work itself more pleasant…or unpleasant.

Social business provides more consistent, personal and direct access to people we like — people we want to be around and work with — which can bring greater value and meaning to how we spend our workdays.

If you’ve interacted with me here on this blog, on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, meetup.com, blip.fm, slideshare.net, at a local Panera, at a conference, at a seminar or event, through email, on google wave, by phone, at one of my presentations, on a sailboat or through Social Gets Local… I just want to say thank you.

You have enriched my life — online and off.

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