This week’s education article was authored by Stephen Slappey, the CO and Marketing Director for Creative Consulting in Summerville, SC.
Hello, my name is Stephen Slappey. I am 29 years old. I graduated from Charleston Southern and have worked for Creative Consulting for four years. I live in North Charleston.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because this week’s education moment is on the online networking platform, LinkedIn.
Of the five education moments that I am writing, this will be by far the easiest for everyone in the group to implement because you use all of the tools necessary to have a fantastic LinkedIn profile every time you walk into this room! When looking into marketing on LinkedIn, don’t be discouraged by the fact that it is a social media platform. Treat LinkedIn the same way you treat networking, just online instead of in person.
First, make sure that your profile is completely filled out. If you leave the information blank, people will be less likely to feel like they truly know you. The headline of your LinkedIn profile is sadly often overlooked. The headline information should be a summary of you and shows up right beside your name. This info also shows up on many search engines.
Next please, please, please make sure that your information is always up to date. Nothing will make your connection disown you quicker than having incorrect information because it shows a lack of effort, and if you can’t give enough effort to make your own information correct how is anyone supposed to expect you to take care of their referrals?
Use LinkedIn as a connection tool just like the GBN app. It is there to connect you to other business professionals and build a network of referral partners locally and all over the country.
When posting on LinkedIn, just like with all social media, you don’t have to be strictly business. Unlike other social media, you should be more professional. Focus on congratulating and encouraging others. Ask your network if they have someone in their network that you can pass a referral to. Build yourself a persona as someone that knows anyone and everyone that someone could possible need in the business world and people will always think of you first when they need your service. I think Alex Shi said it best when he told me “Don’t just be a consultant for your company or industry. Be a consultant on life and you will be everyone’s go to guy in their time of need.”
Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations on LinkedIn. Your goal is to create relationships and build your Networking. If your connections our local, try and set up one on ones with them. If not, a phone conference works just as well. Strive to hit 500 connections.
The main way you will gain connections is to meet them locally at networking groups and events, but you can also find connections on LinkedIn through the search bar. Think about businesses that you can pass referrals easily to and find them through LinkedIn.
Don’t forget that you must give before you can receive. As I am sure all of you are aware if you aren’t passing out referrals, there is a great chance you won’t receive any either. At the end of the day, it is all about the effort that you put into your network and how much you genuinely try and help your connections. Then, and only then, will you see the results come back tenfold.
Call to Action
Spend the week looking into your LinkedIn. How long has it been since you updated your information? How long has it been since you reached out to your connections just to hear an update about their life? What could you do so that the next time they run into someone that needs your service?