7 Tips – Maximise Your Linkedin Profile

Whether you want new customers, a new job, a promotion or just to be found; here are 7 tips to help you build a better profile for yourself using your linkedin profile.

In this digital age, if you cannot be found on the web I personally begin to wonder what you are hiding or do you not want to grow your business?  If you are still holding allegiance to the tribe of anonymity and you have a front line position in a company (sales, marketing or owner) then I would suggest seeking a new profession or shutting your business down. If  you have more customers, opportunities and wealth than you can handle – then by all means operate in stealth and ignore the tips below.

 7 Linkedin Profile Tips   linkedin logo

  1. Add your photo
    Many people are poor at remembering names. Your face is the best form of recognition we still have. Make it visible to everyone. Don’t use logo’s or diagrams. Better still if you can clear cut it (edit the background out).
  2. Load your contact details – Phone, email and website
    If you want to be contacted then put your phone, skype an email address in and make them visible. Linkedin is better than the white or yellow page directories for getting up to date contact details. People who want to connect with other busy people (read successful or great potential clients) publish cell phone no’s.To access someones contact information, click the contact info envelope  at the top of their profile (highlighted below) and it will expand out to show their full contact information.
    MJR linkedin contact info
    The other day my wife and I found a wallet full of credit cards, office access keys and other personal stuff on the street. We then set off in a major social media stalking exercise to find and contact the owner – her hours of anxiety could have been reduced to minutes if she had put her cell phone no or email address in her linkedin profile.
  3. When sending a connection invite – add a relevant comment
    Don’t just send connection requests without at least a simple “this is why I want to connect with you” or “this is how I know you” line. This way you turn your cold call to a warm call.I meet lots of people in my business life, many from speaking gigs – when someone from the audience attempts to connect with me with a little note I generally connect. People with big networks will more than likely accept your request.
  4. Get some recommendations
    Linked in is a great way to build personal credibility – get personal recommendations from people you respect to build your credibility.  Because its in the public its more likely to be authentic.
  5. Put some history
    Make sure you list more than your current role on Linked in. As a general rule cover the last 10 years of your business history.
  6. Use your linked in network for marketing
    You can very easily export your linked in database to a csv file that you can use outside linked in eg starting an email newsletter list. Go to connections page – click settings – its in the panel listed as advance settings.
  7. Delete Duplicate profiles
    If you have duplicate profiles – delete all but one. If you have lost both password and the email account it is linked to contact linked in support. Linked in now have a service that will merge multiple accounts into one.
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Personas & Zero-Based Strategic Thinking

Incremental change is dangerous, particularly come planning time for your business. Left unchallenged you can suffer a slow death, or be taken out by a gorilla in your market. Here are two ways to break your normal incremental thinking.

Personas at the Boardroom Table:

What would Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, or John Key be saying in your strategy day if they were on the board of your company? This is the power of personas.

Edward de Bono first popularised this method with his “Six Thinking Hats”. User experience design people adopt a similar approach to ensuring real users can utilise modern software applications. There is a great article on “The Power of Personas” for user design in the MSDN Magazine.

Create some imaginary board members to your company, they come cheap, and give them a seat at your boardroom table. Then listen to what they would be saying if they were in the room.  To balance the big thinking of a Jobs or Branson, you may want someone else at your board table to balance out their big budget thinking.

If you are known to dream big, perhaps you need the conservative ‘black hat’ thinker at your table to question the reality of your plans.  This is a great way to break with conservative limited thinking, beliefs that exist in many boardrooms, whether your problem is not dreaming big enough or you need a hand break. Do not invite too many imaginary friends too frequently or your friends and family may think you are going nuts!


Zero-Based Thinking:

Accountants often refer to zero-based budgeting. This is the method of creating your budget from a clean sheet of paper, rather than simply modifying last year’s budget by X%.

The same goes for business planning: take the stance if you were starting your business over again, but with the resources and capabilities that you have now – what would you do? Invite your new board members (personas) to the table as well to help you with this exercise.

Morgo Diary Note: Price – higher or lower but not the same…

#MORGO 2011 kicked off with an opera signer – Darryl Lovegrove founder of threewaiters , sharing his inspiring and entertaining story of taking corporate entertainment global.  His shared winning formula:

  • Price leadershiplead with an aggressive price strategy either: price well above your competition or well below not the same.
  • Quality
  • Mass Appeal: adapt known concepts to a broad set of people
  • Focus: on what you can control. Do not get distracted with too many product variants do something and do it well.  Stick with your winning formula and make it better.

The pricing strategy makes sense – why be just the same as every one else. Either you have been able to package your offering with lower costs and can hit the market with a new price point, or what you have is so good it demands a special place above every one else.

Lovegrove also explained how speaking in a Kermit frog voice – was great training to become an opera singer.

MORGO is  a entrepreneurs conference / networking event hosted each year by Jenny Morel. Now in its 9th year, this event has become a “must attend event” for both inspiration in the technology business space and building networks.  In this post I share a few notes that I scribbled down on day one.

Speaker 2: Scott Yara CO founder  Greenplum, his lessons for success:

  • Timing: Being ahead of time is a bad idea.
  • Have Passion: “Earn the right”  – to be heard by customers and  staff alike.
  • Solve Real World Problems

Jades’s Craig Richardson  gave us all an update on  JADE’s reinvention.  I remember JADE in the 80’s with their unique and superior software platform. Unfortunately it became another example of a great product that failed to break into the mass market despite its superior performance.

Great Companies defined:

  • Good products
  • Know the audience
  • Talk to heart and head
  • Reinvent themselves
  • Stay close
  • Preoccupied with growth
  • Culture and capability to manage complexity

Rules for Development:

  • Only go where the category is well defined
  • Look for growing markets (20%+ growth)
  • Go where 2 or 3 trends clash
  • Concept to market in less than 12 months

Building on Yara’s comments of being ahead of time is a bad thing, the concept of attempting to create a category is bold move. Hence Jades new approach of only going where the category is defined.

Too often I see businesses attempting to educate customers of a problem they are not aware off. Typically all this means is very long sales cycles,  slow growth resulting in a slow death.

Altitude’s Michael Pervan gave us a fascinating insight into airline interiors and luxury jet fit-outs.  Some customers spending $60M for a jet then spending another $60M to fit it out. Altitudes strategy was to hit a small niche on a mega market that was to small for the big guys to bother with.

Like wise they have applied the IT outsourcing model to a market that has traditionally focused on in-house manufacture. Instead Altitude have taken the high ground of owning IP, Brand and process.

Michael Pervan gave a great endorsement to the NZTE better by design process, with their key change being around improved team collaboration.

Chris Mardon Energy Mad – gave us some hope for affordable LED like lighting. They are introducing a new technology LES “Light Emitting Snakes” which will be available next year at a great price point.  Ye ha..perhaps Hils and I can ditch those pesky halogen down lights in our living area that keep going on the blink.

Next we jumped into the world of AI and robots with an David Hanson from Hanson Robotics. It was a little freaky, but in the same way fascinating. There is a cool geek like toy coming out soon “RoboKind” that uses some of this great new technology. The prediction I took away – was simulating brain power of humans by 2050. All the same amazing use of computing power and robotics.

 

Quid.com’s Sean Gourley gave us an update on his mission to solve world war & peace with his mathematical genius. Although his keyword analysis tool looking at web activity on search gave a great insight into tools that will be of great use for predicting market interest.

Unfortunately I had to miss Day Two due to a speaking engagement in Wellington.

But I will be back for year ten in 2012 to catch up with many friends old and ones I haven’t meet yet.

For more on MORGO check out twitter hash tag #MORGO or the Morgo website

Thanks all a great event as always…


5 Actions to implement in your biz from #IceIdeas

The IceIdeas forum gathered a sellout crowd of 600 entrepreneurs.
Below are my pick as the top 5 messages that owner managers should take away from the day and action.

            Sales – the No.1 source of capital

  1. “Spend as much on sales and Marketing as product development” – what is your sales and marketing budget vs development budget?  In my experience the cost of sales and marketing of successful companies is more than the R&D budget.
  2. “Sales is more about the customer and customers procurement process than the product “  –  This is particularly true about selling into large companies. Who are the influencers in the decision, is budget approved and planned ?   “People will do what they want when they want “ – this was a great quote on the day  – I still see companies expecting businesses just to buy because it exists.
  3. “Be the newspaper not the ads”– in your communications spend 25% on sales 75% on value for your client. Too often I see people in the social media space bombarding us with messages of buy – buy – buyPeople
  4. Why should the 20th person join your team?” – This is a great concept, often in growing companies we get so focused on the hype of getting started yet  we  do not put enough effort into talent management. For many businesses that have great sales pipelines the marketing effort needs to go into attracting and retaining great staff.
  5. “Every one should know – what every one else does on the team” So true, it’s important that across disciplines everyone has empathy for each others role in the company. To often the techies and science people absolve responsibility to the sales effort and vice a versa