CAMP’s first ever Newmarket session was hosted at Treefrog’s spacious and welcoming venue on Davis Drive, close to downtown Newmarket on September 22. More than 40 marketers and entrepreneurs joined us for an evening of insights into LinkedIn. Our speaker was none other than CEO Sean Stephens.
First off, Sean Stephens is the epitome of a fun leader. Speaking with an energy that gives away his passion, we could tell Sean not only knew LinkedIn inside out, but he loves this stuff. There is no better way to enjoy a night of learning when our instructor enjoys it so much himself.
With 12 million Canadians with LinkedIn profiles, it’s our best way of connecting with people to grow our business (or our careers).
While there was a ton of advice imparted, here are my top takeaways from the evening:
- LinkedIn is a tool for economic connections. It’s meant to grow your business and improve your bottom line, and hence, should be approached as such. Users on LinkedIn should understand this, and know that the contacts they receive are often sales or marketing related. Understanding this purpose will ensure that you’re connecting with potential economic connections (as we only have so many free invitations, so use them wisely!)
- Sean’s rule: Connect with someone if you need to remember their name. That means a business connection, client, collaborator, potential employer or source for referrals. It may not mean random folks that send you invitations.
- Use profile settings to your advantage. Sean is a huge advocate of changing your security settings often – for example, if you’re meeting a potential client, change your security settings when viewing her profile so she’ll know you looked her up. Ensure you put them back to private when checking out your competitors’ pages. Further, change your picture every so often, as a new picture shows up in people’s feeds much longer than other updates.
- Make your summary count. Your LinkedIn profile is essentially your resume, but shouldn’t read like one. Think about what your potential clients (or employers) care about. Often, it’s not your education, but your skills, recommendations and past projects. You can adjust the position of your profile, so place the more important items at the top.
- Groups, groups and more groups. LinkedIn groups are where the magic happens (or to quote Sean, “Groups are secret sauce.” To get to know folks, join groups and comment in groups, as you’ll find this is where a lot of LinkedIn conversations happen.
- Endorse. One of the best ways to say hello or remind people you’re around is to endorse them for a skill. These look great on someone’s profile and makes the contact feel good. And, they may in turn endorse you. So do not be stingy with endorsements.
While LinkedIn may not be the best or only social media platform we invest resource into, it should be a major part of our overall focus.
Sean’s advice? By the end of the year, focus on building our connections to more than 500, our endorsements to more than 99, and gaining 10 or more recommendations.