Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Joint My LinkedIn...


How does one get started building a personal brand? How is personal branding different from corporate branding?

The main difference between you and a tube of Crest toothpaste is that you have feelings. Therefore, a personal brand needs to start with the individual rather than the problem that is solved. There are two main benefits of starting your personal branding with introspection.

First, when you start to evaluate your values, passions and aspirations, it becomes a whole lot simpler to make career decisions later on. For instance, if you value sustainability, you will probably decline an offer from an oil company, no matter how big the offer. If this value wasn’t clear for you, imagine the hours and days of indecision.

Second, when you understand your values and what makes you the best at what you do, then your branding messages become congruent, consistent and believable. Here is a great article about the importance of online consistency.

How are online resumes different from paper ones? What’s the key to a great online resume?
In fact, there are many important differences between a paper and an online resume. It would be a mistake to simply copy and paste one to the other.
A key benefit to having an online resume is that it contains keywords. And keywords are the fuel for getting found online. Using certain keywords in headers, URLs and links can get you ranking on Google’s Page 1. Don’t know where to find your keywords? Read this article, “5 Sources of Finding Keywords for Your Social Media Profile.”

Another important element of an online resume is formatting. Most people don’t read their screens; they scan them. So lengthy paragraphs that might look sophisticated on paper deter most online readers. Some formatting tips when putting together your online resume:
1. Make good use of white space. Too much screen
clutter is hard to scan.
2. Divide your resume up with clear headers and
bullets. Headers and bullets allow for easy
3. Because this is an online resume, you can use
hyperlinks, images and video in creative ways.
This keeps the page visually interesting.

A lot of advice for LinkedIn focuses on using keywords. How do people determine which keywords on which to focus to position themselves for the job they want?

Using keywords to rank on LinkedIn is fine. However, this actually isn’t the real strength of this network. Frankly, LinkedIn’s search algorithms are weak and often favor people who employ keyword packing. If you truly want to get found, build a strong network. This is my caveat to people employing a keyword strategy.

Finding keywords is easy. One source is job boards, because they are written by hiring managers looking for what you do. Other sources include the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook and Google’s keyword tool. I talk more extensively on keyword research in my article “5 Sources of Finding Keywords for Your Social Media Profile.”
What kinds of people should one be asking for LinkedIn recommendations? What does a good LinkedIn recommendation look like?
The best sources for recommendations are superiors and customers. It’s too easy to get recommendations from peers, and, frankly, most human resources people write these off.

Keep in mind that a LinkedIn recommendation is not the same as a traditional recommendation letter. Letters are longer and have a defined form, intro, three supporting paragraphs and conclusion. On LinkedIn, recommendations are short and don’t follow a set form. There are some guidelines, however, that I would suggest following.
1. Write recommendation in a normal speaking voice, not formal, stuffy business speak.
2. Make sure there is a concrete example or story that is shared. If you say, “Bill does great under pressure,” you better prove it.
3. Keep the copy to three main points. So it will be make a point, tell a story; make a point, tell a story; etc.
A good rule of thumb is to have about 10% of your network in your recommendations.

Is it a good idea to reach out to a manager via social media ahead of applying for a job? Before the interview? Afterward? What’s the etiquette for those communications?

I teach my clients, and in the book, a four-step method for reaching out to hiring managers online.
1. Find the company to which you are applying on LinkedIn, then find people in the company you can invite to an info interview and who might be a hiring manager. Only take notes at this point.
2. Identify the main problems at the organization. Read industry blogs, news sites or LinkedIn groups to get a temperature of its initiatives.
3. Reach out to the info-interview sources and see whether you can identify the hiring manager and what the person cares about.
4. Engage with the hiring manager by leading with how you can add value. Because you’ve already connected with an info-interview source on LinkedIn, you can probably get an introduction to the hiring manager, which is preferable, then a direct message.
Using this method is a great way to get exposure before or during your application

Your LinkedIn Profile Stats can show you who has looked at your profile over the last 90 days, how many times you appeared in search results, and how many of those appearances resulted in a visit. It’s basic analytics for your LinkedIn profile, and it can be very useful during a job search or a due-diligence process by a potential client.
Not only can you see how many times people have viewed your profile, but you can get an idea of the actual people who looked at it. If you have a basic account, you can see the five most recent people who have seen your profile.
Job-seekers can get an idea of how they’re progressing in a search. Forward your profile on to a hiring manager, and you can tell if it’s been viewed by your target group. Even if the searcher is an anonymous profile, like “Someone in the Executive Leadership function in the Consumer Services industry from Columbus, Ohio, Area” or “Someone at Indiana University,” you can click on the link to see a group of people who fit that profile.
Depending on how specific the searcher profile is, you may be able to pinpoint your one contact from that group. While that won’t help you land your next job, you’ll at least know that someone has taken enough of an interest in you to find out more about you.
However, upgrading to the Business Plan will expand your view, letting you see everyone who found your profile in the past 90 days, their geography, and even how they found you.

LinkedIn is a business networking site that has become an invaluable resource for business people around the world — including lawyers. The site facilitates easy networking and linking to associates and business acquaintances, enhancing an existing business network and expanding it even further. LinkedIn also recently released its own application platform that makes an already-useful network even more important to business people and lawyers alike.
Making a name for yourself. The old saying in business “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is more valid than ever before. LinkedIn is an excellent way to expand any attorney’s network of associates or clients. LinkedIn is also somewhat less time-intensive than other social networks, such as Facebook or Twitter, so LinkedIn is perfect for any professional wanting to make contacts but not spend a lot of time regularly updating statuses or comments.

When you have a LinkedIn profile, you make it easier for other professionals within your industry to find you. It’s also a good way for potential new clients to locate you. That alone should be an incentive to have a well-written profile stocked with meaty keywords. Take the time to fill out your profile as completely as possible so that potential employers and clients can see the full breadth of your skills. It’s a good idea to link your profile to writing samples from your blog, a law journal or another website.

LinkedIn also offers you a great way to ask questions of others within your industry. There are plenty of other attorneys on LinkedIn willing to engage in public discussions — this can be a great networking tool. In return, you also have the ability to respond to questions that may have been asked by potential clients. This increases your professional visibility.
Finally, LinkedIn is the ideal site to have previous employers or previous clients leave recommendations or positive comments about your services and skills. This can be an invaluable way for prospective new clients to check out your skills and level of customer satisfaction prior to hiring you.
You may also prompt others to leave recommendations for you if you’re willing to leave one on someone else’s profile first. Remember to keep your comments professional and positive at all times. Your comment may be important to a potential employer or prospective client viewing that person’s profile — but what you write reflects on you too.
Keep up with the competition. LinkedIn can offer attorneys a way to keep up with what others within your industry are up to — including your closest competitors. By keeping up to date with who your own network contacts are befriending, you have the opportunity to see when other lawyers are leaving firms — or even starting their own firms. You can also look at the questions being asked by their prospective clients. This gives you the opportunity to consider how you would answer those same questions before you approach a new client.
Getting new introductions. One of the biggest hurdles to networking is finding the right people who can expand your circle of influence. LinkedIn makes it easy to spot and befriend these superconnectors. Fellow lawyers, prospective clients and others within your industry sphere will be happy to be introduced to someone within the same industry.
Keeping up with new features. In recent weeks, LinkedIn has made several updates that include some additions that could be useful for attorneys. You can now segregate your contacts by group within LinkedIn. This makes it easy to follow any discussions within particular groups, or search for specific people or topics within other groups. This is an extremely useful feature for lawyers wanting to segregate professional groups from client contacts for easier reference.
Mobile applications for the network means there’s no need to worry about getting back to the office to keep up with LinkedIn contacts. Now there’s a very handy iPhone app for LinkedIn available for those who need to stay in touch even when out of the office.
Andy’s Answers: How Chevron is using LinkedIn to target decision-makers
By Andy Sernovitz on August 18, 2011 | Comments (1)
When we talk about social platforms, Twitter and Facebook still tend to dominate the conversation. But over on LinkedIn, brands are starting to have some real success creating groups and connecting with key influencers.
In his BlogWell presentation, Chevron’s Jeordan Legon took us behind the scenes of the company’s LinkedIn strategy that’s led to 55,000 followers of the company profile page, more than 12,000 group members and a top 20% ranking in engagement among all groups on LinkedIn.
A few of Legon’s lessons on how the company did it:
· Do your homework. Legon and his team started by researching what their target audience – energy leaders and employees — wanted to discuss and discovered they were looking for news, trends and technologies. Basically, they were looking to be the first to know about any industry developments.
· Set the guidelines. When Chevron first took ownership of its LinkedIn group (an employee had originally started it), it was full of spammers and recruiters. One of the first things they did was establish clear discussion guidelines and, as a result, created a safe space for energy leaders to come together.
· Start with the low hanging fruit. Legon and his team started building their group’s membership by inviting employees to join and also through promoting the group from their corporate site at
Watch Legon’s case study. Slides are available.
Andy’s Answers: How Chevron is using social-media monitoring to create valuable content
By Andy Sernovitz on October 29, 2010 | Comments (1)
Lots of brands have annual reports and white papers they regularly push out, but few have been as successful as the Chevron Pulse Report: The State of Online Conversation About Energy Issues.
In his recent BlogWell case study presentation, Robert Raines explained how Chevron created the report using social-media monitoring data — and then used social-media tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube to make it easy to share. A few of his key takeaways:
· Look for external uses of your internal projects. Raines and his team realized their monitoring data on energy issues was valuable to more than just their company — so they turned their work into a report that thousands of key industry influencers have since downloaded.
· Get people talking by making it easy to share. Chevron didn’t bury its report under mountains of restrictions and legalese — it simply encouraged people to post the report and to attribute the material to Chevron when doing so.
· Use all the tools that can help your content spread. Chevron’s “Pulse Report” is a 60-page white paper — but they didn’t just post it on their corporate website. They also posted YouTube videos summarizing it, shared it on Facebook and LinkedIn, and made it available for download on Slideshare and Scribd.

Erik Deckers, blogger, speaker and co-owner of Professional Blog Service in Indianapolis. Deckers is the co-author of “Branding Yourself: Using Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself,” and helped write “Twitter Marketing for Dummies

Joshua Waldman. He is the founder of and the author of the new book, Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies. Sign-up for his newsletter today and get access to his exclusive training videos for free.

Lior Levin, an online marketing consultant for Web hosting companies who works for the master degree in security program at Tel Aviv University
By Andy Sernovitz on August 18, 2011

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