how to use linkedin

The One-Time Only Plan Development Workshop

By Communications

That’s right – I mean it – I’m only offering the Digital Communications Plan Development workshop once.


It’s my way of giving back to the Charlottesville community that has been so good to me in the five years since I moved here. To celebrate that, and help area businesses and nonprofits I’m offering this affordable three-hour boot camp to jump start your social media efforts in 2011.

You will:

  • Learn how you can be using social networking and social media to benefit your career and your business
  • Walk away with the infrastructure of a 2011 integrated communications plan for your business
  • Have focused attention and access to the most experienced communicator and social media expert in Central Virginia

The workshop will be January 13, 2011 at 9am at OpenSpace – more details.

I’m limiting participants to just 10 (3 seats left at this writing) to devote enough attention to each of you.

Sign up today or forward on to someone who you know will benefit from this workshop.

Register Now!

I hope to see you at OpenSpace on January 13!

Updated 1/12/2011: This workshop has SOLD OUT. Please stay in touch for future training opportunities.

A 6-step Plan for Improving your Social Network

By Communications

I can’t stress this enough: LinkedIn is an important tool to manage your social network, but only if . . .

  • You care about your online reputation
  • You are a business person who wants to be successful
  • You want to help others reach their goals

If none of that matters to you, just stick to MySpace or better yet, go to great lengths to make sure you have no online presence whatsoever.

Since you’re here, though, that says to me that you care about your social network — you recognize that you have one, that it benefits your business and you (personally and financially.)

Here’s a brief plan to get you started improving your social network:

  1. Once a week, schedule time to write a recommendation of someone in your network. LinkedIn has a built-in function for this, but other ways to do this include a blog post, a meaningful #FollowFriday recommendation on Twitter, a post on a business’ Facebook page or offering a testimonial quote to a business to use on their website.
  2. Once a month or when a project has been completed for a client, ask for a recommendation (see all the recommendation options above.)
  3. Weekly, pull the business cards you collected at that last networking event from your jacket pockets and your bag and enter those new contacts into your system. Personally, I like to enter contacts into Outlook, my main warehouse of contacts and periodically export those contacts to LinkedIn and Facebook to move my network to the virtual space. LinkedIn and Twitter have kindly integrated so you can easily discover and follow your business contacts who tweet.
  4. Once a month, find a networking event and go to it. No networking events in your area? (OK, I don’t believe you, but whatever) Start one!
  5. Twice a month, step out of your comfort zone and invite someone in your network to meet you for lunch, coffee or drinks.
  6. Every day (I mean it!) engage with your network by responding to questions, sharing content from members of your network (linking to blog posts, re-tweeting, etc.) Be helpful by introducing members of your network to one another.

Stick to a plan for improving your social network and your social network will help you improve your career and your business success.

Are we connected on LinkedIn? We should be — find me here.

5 Popular Blog Posts: Learning What You Like

By Social Media

Borrowing an idea from my friend Jay Baer in his great post, Content Lessons Learned From 25 Popular Blog Posts, and because this blog has not lived as long as Jay’s,  I’m reviewing the five most popular posts from Change the Conversation, below:

  1. Twitter: Why We Care What You Had for Breakfast Sometimes, when I’m incensed annoyed about something, I do my best writing. I guess you think so too because this post (with run-on sentences!) is a favorite so far. I think those of us who are active Twitter users “got” Twitter long before others and so have had to suffer the ridicule of others who don’t understand its power. It’s not about breakfast, people.
  2. Time vs. Newsweek and the Demise of the English Language called out a mistake and one of my pet peeves (peek, peak pique). Extra fun bonus: read the comments!
  3. How NOT to use LinkedIn: Three D’oh!s from a Real Life Example was another super popular post, probably because so many people in my network had experienced the same poorly-executed outreach. The result of this post has been an ongoing case study of what not to do and helped with instruction to others on the proper way to use LinkedIn and conduct oneself when engaging in social networking. (Incidentally, there was a follow-up conversation which took place and included a threat that I might not ever want to meet someone’s spouse in a dark alley. REALLY?)
  4. I watched a social media/reputation management nightmare unfolding in the local blogosphere and had several people direct me to it, suggesting it would make for excellent fodder for this blog. How could I resist that? As always, I try to be helpful here and redirect toward more productive use of social media and did so in Five Steps BHG Real Estate III Should Take Right Now. And you know what? I made a new friend from that one.
  5. Five Ways to Avoid a Social Media Spanking is another heavy-hitter and one of my personal favorites. It’s one of those posts I consider required reading for anyone representing their company on the internet. Share it with your employees and colleagues today!

Content lessons:

Like Jay, I’ve learned that numbers in headlines, or posts that include a numbered list seem to rank among the most popular. I will try to do more of these.

Twitter is a hot blog topic. People interested in learning about social media are still trying to get their arms around Twitter and posts that focus on that platform tend to do quite well.

You all seem to like it a lot when I get fired up about something or go after someone not following the “rules.” It’s good for me to channel my frustration into writing instead of oh, a pan of brownies, so when I’m annoyed I’ll stick more closely to the keyboard than the kitchen.

Do you have any favorites not listed above?

Five Things to Do on LinkedIn Before You Leave the Office Today

By Communications

MJ Linkedin
You have an hour or so till the end of your day. There are several projects you could start . . . but why not use the hour and devote it to something you’ve been meaning to get a handle on for years: Your LinkedIn network.

Here are five really worthwhile actions you can take right now, today, before you leave the office.

  1. Upload your email addresses from Outlook or by exporting your contacts and importing them to LinkedIn for a quick, simple way to find out who in your network is already using LinkedIn.
  2. Take a self-portrait or have someone else take a photo of you and post it to your profile. It doesn’t need to be a fancy headshot but the image there should be you, your face should be visible and recognizable and recent (no fair posting that gorgeous photo from your early 20s.)
  3. Edit the title field in your profile to include keywords that represent what it is you do — Vice President or Manager doesn’t really tell me that you’re a logistics expert, or a manufacturing specialist. What else do you do? Are you a trainer, a speaker or maybe even a blogger? Get it in there!
  4. Recommend someone you’ve worked with. It doesn’t have to be long, or gushing — just do it. Share how pleased you were with the work and in doing so, make someone’s day.
  5. Ask someone else for a recommendation. Have you just finished a project or provided a good lead or referral to a contact? It’s time to ask for their endorsement.

Start chipping away at tasks like these and soon, you will be reaping the value of a robust LinkedIn presence.