Learning to Love LinkedIn Tip #8

9 07 2010

When I worked on-site in a business and market development role for a client in 2008 I had 2 monitors on my desk. The first had Outlook and a browser open with tabs for Salesforce.com, Gmail, and whatever else I was focused on at the time. The other monitor had another open browser with a tab open to LinkedIn all day, every day.

I used LinkedIn to prepare for every conference or cold call I had or made, and just as often I used it to look up someone that had called me, or because I can type with more than two fingers, even as they were calling me if their name came up in the caller ID window.

I saved time and acquired knowledge by doing this, and since time is money and knowledge is power, I highly recommend using LinkedIn to research prospective clients, company executives, vendor reps, folks involved in the hiring process for your next dream job or the people that might be sitting in on your agency’s next pitch meeting.

More often than not, you can get the names of these folks in advance because the person that has invited you wants the meeting to be as successful as possible for all parties involved, so they’ll usually send that info along if you ask for it. Sometimes, if the person setting the meeting or call is truly invested in you or your company’s solution, they will just offer this info up, but other times they wait for YOU to ASK, and if you don’t, it will become a little black mark next to your name or the company you represent. Seriously.

Clearly, doing this type of research (homework!) gives you an edge and enables you to find common ground with an individual or even potential areas of similar interest or future collaboration. And, yes, I even look up new Twitter followers (@sandyjk) via LinkedIn. 🙂

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Learning to Love LinkedIn Tip #7

21 06 2010

Maybe it’s the many years I spent in market research and/or business intelligence that made me so data driven, but I rarely react to anything without doing some research first.

Where do I start? I use LinkedIn to conduct research on almost everything and everyone. Whether it’s a new prospective client, someone I met at a networking event, a highly recommended recruiter, a company I never heard of, or a potential new hiring manager, my go-to place is more often than not LinkedIn. Sure you can Google folks or companies as well, but I save a lot of time, and gain many more insights, by going to LinkedIn first.

I even use LinkedIn’s Answers feature to search for information/answers on topics I am already curious about because in many cases the question and corresponding answers are already in there.

LinkedIn Answers Search box on BellaDomain.comAnd yes, you’ll usually have to sort through plenty of thinly disguised self-promotional answers (I always prefer when people just admit doing this), but you will find some intelligent responses from all types of experts on LinkedIn, and it’s definitely worth your time to do a quick search there.

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Learn to Love LinkedIn Tip #4

14 05 2010

As a marketer, executive, sales type or talent acquisition pro, it’s always important to know your competition. Well, the same thing applies to your job search.

How can you do easily do this? Start “following” the company of your dreams on LinkedIn (they need to have created a Company Profile though), and then, if you do receive that dreaded phone call or email from your point of contact informing you that, “They went in another direction,” or “You weren’t viewed as an ideal fit,” or “We’re putting the position on hold,” just head on over to LinkedIn in the next week or so and see who they hired instead.

Why do this to yourself? Because you can use this type of intel to identify the skills you may be lacking, and can then go develop them (take a class, volunteer to work for free to learn, etc.), or, if you want to look for different position within the same company, you can even learn more about the types of folks they view as ideal for their culture.

Above is a screen shot of what I now see in my Network Activity feed on LinkedIn as a result of following a few of my “worth following” companies with profiles. Have fun with this handy new feature!

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