Using LinkedIn for Business

The question I ask many sellers is, do you research your client before making contact? Most of the time they do: “I like to understand where they have worked before, what groups they are interested in, and sometimes it gives me an insight into their interests outside of work. Which is great to sometimes break the ice with.

Then I ask, do you think your clients do the same to you? If you think they don’t, you are very much mistaken.

When was the last time you looked at your profile? Is it looking tired and frayed at the edges?

Is you headline title one of  acronyms that needs a cypher to decode?

Could a potential client understand how you can add value to his or her company?

So first, before you start building your valued network, and requesting your clients to connect with you, let’s consider your personal brand, LinkedIn is your chance to demonstrate the value you can offer.

Let’s start with your photo. Do you use the same image across all your networks? Keep it professional and consistent; it’s always beneficial to know that the same person I was speaking to on one site is the same person I am speaking to on another. A huge eighty percent of professionals have indicated they would not generally connect to someone with no photo. We like to know whom we are talking to.

Next, is your professional headline. By default, LinkedIn populates this with your job tile. Take mine several years ago “ICR LSE at IBM” – I can’t imagine why clients had no idea what I did. So take advantage of the 160 characters available and answer the question “What do you do?”

As a result of doing these tasks, you can now address what I believe, are four important things. As a result of a search on LinkedIn, a potential client is presented with only four answers: your name, your headline tag, and how many connections and how many recommendations you have.

Are you going to stand shoulders above the rest?  Would you click on you?

So now they have clicked on your name and are now staring at your profile. Have you written a summary using all 2000 characters available? It is not important to do so,  but why waste? Aim to make your profile an interesting read – long enough to cover the essentials but short enough to still be interesting. Never start it with “In my role as” or “I’m here to make money.”

Why are you here on LinkedIn? Take a moment to summarize from your work experience – what value have you brought to other clients?  What results did you get? How can you provide value to your next client?

The summary is also subject to search engine optimization (SEO) and is used by the likes of Google and others. So, consider using key words that reflect the industry and skill set you have. Same goes for specialties.

You’re almost there. Under your work experiences, make sure that you have highlighted your one to three accomplishments within each role. Clients like to see progression; it provides them with credibility and helps reduce the trust gap.

Now you’re ready to start approaching new prospects, and they will be willing to connect with you because now they can clearly see the value you could potentially bring to them.

Next question: If, every Friday, I supplied you details about your customer, such as who has been promoted, and who are new joiners and even leavers, would you find that of value? Of course you would.

Follow the companies you are aligned to or are of interest to you. LinkedIn will then send you this information. What better way to introduce yourself by saying congratulations on your new job, promotion, and such.

The people who have left, in my opinion, are the most valuable. Ask them for help – as a species we are geared to do so. For example, “I’m trying to get through to xxx, can you help me?”

If you don’t have companies, you can take advantage of the superb search function for lines of business. You can use Boolean search strings within LinkedIn. For example “Chief Information Officer” OR cio will search for the exact phrase in quotation marks (” “) and also the word CIO. You can search in a geographic area using a postal code and you can save this search. Guess what? Every time a new CIO appears in this area you will receive a notification.

Last but not least, keep your network updated with what you and your company are doing. Don’t send too many marketing type messages; try to keep them of value and informative. It will bring great results.
With a bit of polishing your profile can be rich and demonstrate the value on offer to a potential client

Personal Branding & Your Profile Pic

Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities such as Justin Bieber or Stephen Fry, yet each and every one of us is a brand. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others. Dan Schawbel is the author of Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, and owner of the award winning Personal Branding Blog and in this article discusses the personal branding process, so you can start to think about what face you want to show to the world and how you want to position yourself for success!

I spend a lot of my time coaching colleagues how to use social media for personal branding. One thing I always stress is the importance of first impressions and your profile picture.

Firstly to actually have an image of ‘yourself” goes a long way. We all like to know who we are talking to. Secondly using the same images across your platforms, so that we know we are speaking to the same person we met a ye olde twitter pub.

LinkingR have come up with a great gauge. Have a look and see if your avatar falls under one of these categories.

Category: Social Media

The Four C’s of Change Management: Choice, Conviction, Commitment, and Compassion

Guest Post Jennifer Dubow

After spending a week at SXSWI for the first time, I met a lot of folks in a range of roles and companies including:

  1. Large enterprises responsible for transforming their business practices and workforce to adopt social business.
  2. Digital agencies and social business consulting firms trying to get their clients to adopt social media programs and new mindsets
  3. Social Media software vendors trying to train their clients to more fully adopt the software the client has purchased
  4. Startups seeking to scale their businesses and sell their software or services

To me, one resounding theme, especially with the onset of Spring, is that Change is in the air.

Organizations and their employees may or may not want to become a social business, but the impetus for change, whether externally or internally driven, is getting stronger. In my years in organizational change management consulting, I often heard the phrase “People (or Organizations) change when the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain of change.” Another common question asked is “What’s the burning platform?” that will make executives take action.

CHOICE

Change is a Choice. It’s that simple. Going through with the change, whether in your personal life, or in your organization, is tough. It may not always feel like a Choice, especially when the change is driven from an external source, such as a new CEO who has a new set of directives and style.

As we’ve seen in my last post about the Change Curve, people follow a predictable process on the change journey, and each step along that journey requires a Choice to continue moving forward. Deciding to be part of the Change is also a Choice: there are benefits and consequences to either participating in the change or resisting the change.

CONVICTION

Once you or your leadership have decided, “Ouch, this burning platform is about to explode, I better make some changes,” then you need to have the Conviction to see it through to success. Having that Conviction, or that belief that change is possible is very powerful. In practical terms, your belief in the possibility of change may take the form of a vision of change or a roadmap of transformation (“as is” vs. “to be” state), a project plan, or a motivating speech to call the staff to action.

Another complementary technique to consider is solution-focused guided imagery, an approach long used by Sports Psychologists and Athletic Trainers to help athletes win in competitive situations or overcome barriers to success known as “the yips.” You can encourage your staff to imagine what a successful change would look like, or practice this yourself. Either way, having a positive focus and belief that your organization can successfully change will go a long way.

COMMITMENT

Whether you are embarking on a personal change such as trying to lose weight, or a Social Business adoption program such as retraining your workforce on social business skills, or rolling out a new internal collaboration system, transformative Change is actually composed of many small steps that require Commitment.

This is the place, in my opinion, where Change frequently breaks down. Change often takes time, especially large organizational transformations such as incorporating social business practices into core business processes. People can experience “change fatigue” along the way, executives may get frustrated that adoption or performance results aren’t where they should be, and the list goes on, etc.

COMPASSION

It’s at this point, where we need to show Compassion towards ourselves and ideally, executives can take this opportunity to show Compassion towards their staff. Showing Compassion doesn’t mean excusing poor results or throwing in the towel. What it does mean is acknowledging that Change can be difficult for some, validating the challenging nature of change, and reaffirming that each step of the way requires Commitment, and re-Commitment on the part of the entire team of staff and executives.

We can think of the change journey as a series of Choices and small steps requiring micro-Commitments. When things don’t go according to plan, have some Compassion for yourself or your teammates. And recall that Conviction and belief in the possibility to Change that got you started on the change journey in the first place. That’s the real Magic in the C’s of Change.

As always, I welcome your thoughts, reactions, and any additional C’s you may think.

Follow me on Twitter @jennifer_dubow.

Image: StockFresh Change

Generate More Leads with B2B Social Media

Inside View created this awesome infographic that pulling together many statistics, ideas and examples about using social media to help drive leads and sales for B2B companies. You can look through the stats yourself, but here are some to consider:

  • 61% of US Marketers Use Social Media to Increase Lead Gen
  • IBM saw an Increase of 400% in Sales in a Social Selling Pilot Program
  • 55% of Buyers Search for Information on Social Media
  • 75% of Buyers Likely to Use Social Media in the Purchase Process
Social Media Leads Infographic
Selling Through Social Media to Close More LeadsInsideView

Category: Social Media

Fuel costs in the UK.

There are 31 million cars on the road in the UK, Ever wondered how much we spend a day on fuel?

I had a go at calculating the answer…..

(Based on the following averages)

So here goes – this is what we spend a day on fuel….

How does this compare to the USA? (based on 31m cars! I know they have more)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edit 14/04/2012 – I stumbled on this infographic, depicting costs of fuel in the US. In comparison the UK is just over $9 dollars a gallon

Category: Retail

An Intelligent Museum – The Louvre

With its new intelligent management system, the Louvre Museum can protect and maintain artwork while keeping galleries open to the millions of customers who visit yearl.

“Managing thousands of repairs, cleaning and maintenance visits per year to preserve the facilities and artwork while keeping the galleries available and accessible to visitors is a daunting undertaking,” said Metin Pelit, department manager of computerized maintenance management system, The Louvre Museum. “Thanks to our new software systems, we’re able to visualize our entire infrastructure and make better, more informed decisions about when and how to respond to problems — and about when to proactively address a potential problem that we otherwise wouldn’t have seen coming.” 

The Louvre’s management system can now aggregate data from individual systems within the museum, providing the museum staff and its vendors, coherent and real-time information on each asset. Additionally, the software provides a predictive view into the performance and reliability of the facility equipment and systems, allowing museum staff to better determine which assets need to be repaired or replaced.

   

“Buildings are massive systems of systems, and these systems need to talk to each other for a building to become smarter,” added Pelit. “In the Louvre’s case, there’s the added challenge of being home to thousands of irreplaceable pieces of art which must be carefully preserved while trying to accommodate millions of visitors annually. By using Maximo software to monitor the condition of assets across the museum’s facilities in one single database, these systems begin to talk to one another, allowing staff to preserve artwork and facilities with more ease and efficiency. As a result the Louvre is now able to keep the majority of their galleries open to customers on a daily basis while simultaneously reducing costs and energy consumption.”

For more on this story please visit: UK Smarter Buildings