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Five LinkedIN Tips

Five LinkedIN Tips

    I’m a big fan of using LinkedIN to establish new networking relationships for business. I don’t stick to the rule of knowing the other people deeply and personally before reaching out. Sometimes, I send invites to people who are in my field, that I know from around the news, but who aren’t personal friends or contacts. Yet. So suffice to say, I spend a lot of time on LinkedIN.

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    I’ve noticed that not all profiles are created equal. Some lack easy ways to connect to the person. Others are really incomplete. Here’s what I think you might consider doing and why (*note: if for some reason any of this violates LinkedIN’s terms of service, I’m not aware of it- so feel free to correct me):

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    • Add your email address to your last name– For someone to connect to you without directly knowing you, they need to present your first and last name, as well as a valid email address. Make it easier by turning the last name field of your profile into your last name and then your email address (example: Brogan(linkedin@myemail.com)). This gives folks an easier path to connecting.
    • Fill out your profile– First, some people search profiles for keywords, so make sure the words you hope people are seeking when they think of you exist inside your profile. Use real captivating words up front, not like a resume or CV, but instead, like an advertisement for you, because that’s what LinkedIN is! (Read my profile summary here for an example.)
    • Solicit colleagues and friends for recommendations– People love to read reviews. We do it for books at Amazon. We do it for movies at IMDB or Netflix. Make sure you’ve got some great recommendations for the world you’ve performed. Don’t be afraid to solicit recommendations. I’ve run little campaigns where I offer a recommendation in return for every one written about me. That stacked up fast. The trick is: write what you truly feel about the person in the nicest possible terms, and never oversell someone you don’t recommend. That can come back to bite you.
    • Add plenty of passion– People who are going to bother to read your profile want to know what makes you tick. If you merely put down that you’re an operations manager at a mid-tier tech company, that’s all they have in their minds about you. Add that you’re passionate about Greek wines and that you take Improv class weekly in Dubai. Make sure people know about YOU, not just your job history.
    • Ask and answer questions– Using the Answers feature brings your name and profile around to people you’re not exposed to directly. This means more opportunities for someone to recognize your authority in some field, and to reach out and contact you for something further. It means sharing the fruits of your networking with others, and potentially connecting 3rd parties to each other for something bigger. This comes in handy when it becomes obvious that you’re also a good connector.

    The trick of it all is that you get out of LinkedIN what you put in. If you throw up a profile that roughly covers the details, and barely populates the profile with much of interest, you’ll likely not get connections beyond former coworkers looking to hitch their debris to yours. Should you be seeking to cast a net, develop relationships, and eventually find other opportunities through LinkedIN, you’ll want to put a little more effort into the site.

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    What’s Your Story?

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    Has LinkedIN done much for you? Do you have tips I didn’t cover that you’d recommend to prospective upcoming superheroes? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments, and let’s open the discussion to better understand the ways LinkedIN can build opportunities for you for the future.

    Chris Brogan blogs at [chrisbrogan.com].

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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