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LinkedIn: Make the Most of Your Six Seconds

Photo credit: Cellar Door Films

Photo credit: Cellar Door Films

Are You Making the Most of LinkedIn?
by Jenny Hansen

Whether you’re a writer, a businessperson or a freelance worker, LinkedIn is a wonderful place to find endorsed professionals to be part of your team. LinkedIn really is more than ‘just one more social media site.’ It can be a valuable tool in your success.

[I just heard a few of you groan: Another social media platform?!]

I know, I know. I’ve got friends who are worried their heads might explode. “I’m already on Facebook,” they whine. “I just want to stay home and (fill in the blank) in my pajamas. Why do I have to talk to people?”

Because you do.

LinkedIn will become a big part of your professional team-building once you understand how it works and how to navigate it like a rockstar. I’ve gotten my last 3 jobs on LinkedIn.

The most important thing to remember?

You get two inches, or six seconds, to make your first impression.

(Get your mind out of the gutter! You’ve gotta hang out at More Cowbell for thoughts like that.)

Seriously, it’s a common saying in the business world. Get your most important point into the subject line and the first paragraph of an email because that’s all most people will read. Even as an author, I’m aware that I have anywhere from two paragraphs to two pages to engage a reader. Hook people quick, or they’re moving on.

The average resume or LinkedIn profile gets no more than 6 seconds to engage someone. To be fair, the average person is looking for different things than the recruiters I mention in the link above, but 6 seconds is still the average browse time.

What makes people scroll past your “top two inches” on LinkedIn?

1. Your picture.
It should be a clear, close, front-facing shot where you look friendly and attentive. Unless you work with kids or animals, there shouldn’t be anyone else in the picture with you. No spouses, no kids, NO hats.

2. Professional Summary
What are you doing now? What have you done in the past? By adding current and past positions to your LinkedIn profile, you get a quick summary of this in your top profile block. (I’ll show this below.)

3. Easy to remember LinkedIn address
Very few people remember to customize their LinkedIn address. http://www.linkedin.com/in/kristenlamb will be easier to remember than http://www.linkedin.com/pub/writername/11/442/b42/. One I can type from memory and share easily. And the other…I can’t, and won’t.

4. Multiple ways to get hold of you
If you don’t want to be called, you don’t need to put out your phone number. But you should have an email, blog, website or social media account like Twitter listed in your Contact Info. These things will also help update your status, if you set them up correctly, which is a really easy, passive way to stay at the top of your connections’ minds.

Let’s look at a few profiles so you see what I mean…

I’m a software trainer by day and one of the things I do is work with accountants who want to build their networks. Last year, I took a class through Accounting Today with marketing master, Eric Majchrzak (and was delighted to discover he was in sync with my writing social media maven, Kristen Lamb).

Here’s Eric’s profile:

LinkedIn-MarketingGuruProfile

If you were to click his Contact info button, you’d see his email, phone number, Twitter info and website. He fits all of the four criteria above (and he should, because he’s a marketing dude).

What about on the writing side?

I picked Kristen (mentioned above) on the indie/freelance side and a traditionally published author so you could see some good examples. (I’ve linked their names if you’d like to see their entire profile.)

Kristen Lamb – Writer, Blogger and Social Media Jedi

LinkedIn-Kristen

If you continue into Kristen’s summary, you see a link to her blog and the names of the books she’s published. Her contact info contains ways to get hold of her. For someone that wants to get started down the path to “Writer,” they’ll be able to find what they need at Kristen’s profile.

Robin Lee Hatcher – Traditionally Published Author

LinkedIn-TradPubAuthor

I’d maybe like a closer picture of Robin, but otherwise she gets an A+. Inside her contact info, she has two emails, her website and her blog.

Just to recap on why the above are great examples:

  • They have a picture, blog, and other social media info.
  • They clearly list what that person is up to.
  • They’re friendly and engaging, yet professional.

So…Are YOU making the most of your six seconds??

******************************

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm. Jenny also writes the Risky Baby Business posts at More Cowbell, a series that focuses on babies, new parents and high-risk pregnancy.

© 2013 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.


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