Top 3 LinkedIn Questions

linkedin-questionsAs the third and final article in this series, I wanted to address commonly asked questions regarding LinkedIn. These are a few questions that seem to come up repeatedly as I work with others to leverage their LinkedIn accounts.

How do you select a group?

  • Groups that you choose to join are based on what you are trying to achieve through LinkedIn. A great place to start are the groups dedicated to the sales region or industry you are trying to reach.
  • Groups all have lengthy and detailed descriptions. Often, searching for and reading about a group’s criteria and mission will help you determine if a group is for you or not.
  • It is easy to join and leave groups, so trial and error (until you find the groups that stick) may be the best option.
  • See what groups your connections have joined. You will find value and interest in being in the same groups as your connections.

What is the protocol for referrals?

  • Often referrals are used and abused! This is not a good thing. Be sure that the person from whom you are asking a referral is someone you know well. You want to ensure they will not feel that you are “stealing” their connections.
  • When asking for a referral, be clear as to your intent. I often use the line “Would you be willing to refer me to…because…” This seems to work well. Be honest and open.
  • In the end, referrals can be tricky. The person from whom you are requesting a referral holds the “power” and may very well say no for good reason or not. I have often turned down a referral request because it was not a good fit, because I knew that it would not go over well or for other reasons. I have also passed many referrals along. It really all depends on the situation, the people involved, etc. Don’t be hurt if you’re turned down. Just move along.
  • On the other hand, referrals ARE a better alternative to connecting with people who don’t know you at all. Don’t be afraid to request referrals, just be aware that the fit has to be “right.”

How do you establish a personality and credibility on LinkedIn?

  • Your LinkedIn personality comes from two things: 1) your profile (think of this as your business card) and 2) your comments and discussions (think of this as your face to face meeting).
  • Every one has his or her own goals for LinkedIn and this will influence the  personality you would like to portray. Only you know the people that you would like to attract or the industries you wish to reach. Use this as a guideline for the language you use. Consider how you want to be seen and by whom.
  • Often times, the profiles are more formal and the discussions and posts are more “business casual.”

I hope these three articles have helped you feel more comfortable with using LinkedIn for business purposes. Please feel free to ask me more questions if there are any I have not answered.

Related Articles in this Series:
Using LinkedIn For Your Consulting Business
LinkedIn Best Practices


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