Happy Holidays with LinkedIn!

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Jan Wallen, author of Mastering LinkedIn in 7 Days or Less

‘Tis the season for good tidings, holiday parties, shopping, music and time with family and friends.  It’s also a good time to simplify.  LinkedIn can help you with that.

Focus on doing one thing with LinkedIn over the holidays. How do you decide what’s the best thing to focus on?  The holidays are busy, so pick something that doesn’t demand a great deal of your time, yet gives you a good return on your time investment.

For example, now is a perfect time to connect with people you meet and reconnect with people you haven’t been in touch with for a while (perhaps those who send you holiday cards).  Invite them to connect.  A few invitations a day really adds up without taking a lot of time.  Remember to always add a personal note in the invitation that refreshes their memory about where you met and how you see networking together.

Or if you don’t have many Recommendations, request them from people you worked for, worked with, and from people who have worked for you.  Someone who reads your LinkedIn profile wants to know what it’s like to work with you from several perspectives and what you can do for them.  It may be a company that’s looking for the perfect candidate for an open position or opportunity, or it may be they’re deciding who to bring in to work with them to solve their business challenges.  Be sure the Recommendation they write is results-oriented.  The best way to do that is to tell them what you’re doing now and ask them to relate what they write in your Recommendation to that.   Say something like, “I’m building my business now, and want potential clients to know what it’s like to work with me.  It will be helpful if you include how we’ve worked together, how you found it to work with us, and the results we helped you achieve when you write your Recommendation”.

After the holidays, review your LinkedIn profile and be sure it’s aligned with your goals for 2012.  Set a goal for 2012 to maximize LinkedIn and integrate it into your marketing and business development plans so you expand your reach to the thousands and thousands of people who are on LinkedIn.  Take advantage of the endless stream of opportunities on LinkedIn.  I’ll tell you more about how to do that after the holidays.

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