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I founded and co-founded a couple of companies: Redington and mallowstreet; now I have launched a global initiative, Partnership for Change, which is working to improve healthcare, long term care, pensions & savings and technology for a rapidly ageing population. I write about issues of the day that touch me and make me think. Mostly about how to make things better.

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I’m on #LinkedIn. Now what?

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So you ‘re on LinkedIn; you have 300 or 400 contacts. Every now and then, you take a half-hearted glance at someone’s profile because you opened an email from the LinkedIn team. The big news is that your contact got promoted to assistant senior supervisor.

 Hmm. That’s nice for them, but not exactly key information for you.

 Then, last week, you thought about changing jobs (you’re made for so much more) but, despite its reputation as a good place to find exciting new employment openings, LinkedIn didn’t help. Nada.

 “If this is social media, I really don’t get it” you think to yourself.

I don’t blame you. That’s not what social media is really about. It’s about influencing change and making stuff happen through what you say and write.

 Here are some questions. If you answer “yes” to more than four, read on. If not, I can’t help

  1. Does anyone care what you think?
  2. Do you think original thoughts
  3. Can you write 100 words containing your original thoughts?
  4. Could you find the motivation to write 100 words once a week?
  5. Do you want to “make a difference” even if it’s a small one?
  6. Do you have any emotion?
  7. Do people seek your opinion
  8. Is there something you know moreabout than most people
  9. Is there something you careabout more than most people?
  10. Are you up for a 12 week experiment?

If you’re still reading, the rest of this will provide the tools you need to achieve one primary goal: to have hundreds of people read your stuff and to think about it.

To some of those people, your stuff will make a difference.

We’re going to do this using LinkedIn.

This is Week One of twelve.

1. You need more than 500contacts on LinkedIn. Not immediately, but over the next 12 weeks. At that level you will get a 500+tally next to your name. That tells everyone you are one of the ninja team. LinkedIn has been going for long enough; there’s really no excuse for not being one of the ninja team. And it’s not very difficult. Invite ten people a day until you hit the ninja number. No excuses.

2. It goes without saying that you must update your LinkedIn profile. When you meet a new contact, there’s a very high chance that they will check you out on LinkedIn. Take the time to make sure it tells them everything they need to know. As far as they are concerned, you are what LinkedIn says you are.3. You need to belong to 50 LinkedIn groups. Not 30 or 40 or 49. Fifty. This is how you compensate for not yet being a ninja. Groups are insanely powerful. If you have 20,000 people in your groups, they will ALL see your amazing stuff when you group-shareit. Now that’s what I’m talking about.

3. Many LinkedIn groups are private and you have to apply to join them. Assuming you’re a reasonably respectable and upstanding member of society, it shouldn’t be difficult to get accepted to most groups whose criteria you fit. The group’s moderator decides. Choose three groups across your interests; say, pensions groups, cycling groups and social media groups. As a rule, try to join groups with upwards of 1,000 members. This maximises your distribution power.

4. Write a great blog once a week. It doesn’t need to be more than 500 words. Quality, not quantity, reigns in the Kingdom of Social Media. Don’t hold back on your insightful views. Be a bit provocative (that’s not the same as being offensive); if you never push the status quoyou’ll never change anything.

5. Copy Paste the link to your blog into the “Share” box at the top of your Profile Page:

 



LinkedIn creates a nice synopsis for you and you are now ready to click Share:

 

This pushes your hot thought-piece into the Newsfeed of all your direct contacts. But this is as nothing compared to what you’re about to do next…

  1. When you have shared your link with your contacts (which was merely the amuse bouche) it’s time for the main course. Here goes. Click the “Share” button again. Yes, you just did that, but that was just a shout out to your contacts. Now it’s Group Time. You are moving into the Premier League.

A new set of options pops up, which allows you to post to your groups:

 

  1. Click “Post to group(s)”. Three new boxes appear labelled: “Group(s)”, “Subject” and “Detail” respectively.

Now type the letter “a” into the box labelled Group(s)”. All your groups starting with “a” appear in a drop down menu. Click the first one. Type the letter “a” again and click the next relevant group. I say “relevant”, because your cycling groups don’t want to read your pensions blog and will tell you so if you post blogs on actuarial liability smoothing techniques.

Then move to the letter “b” and click the first one:

 

You get the idea. Keep going until you get to the end of the alphabet. You should have several groups in your Group(s) box. Maybe around 15-20.

 

  1. Click Share. You just showed up in about 10,000 people’s newsfeeds!Ay Caramba!

 

  1. You’re now in the big league. Your stuff is being seen by many, many people. Some will ignore it; some won’t like it. But some will like it and even love it.

At this stage, you are ready to take things up yet another level. Here’s how: You will soon receive comments on your post in one or more of the groups:

 Make sure you reply to comments with a thoughtful response. Not only is this polite, and good form, but you continue to show up in the newsfeeds of your groups. Just as you drop off the radar through the passage of time (a day or two), your comment exchange pulls you back into the mix.
  1. If you comment enough, you will quickly find that you become the most influential contributor in some of your groups. Make a few salient observations in your group threads and your influence will rapidly rise. Which isn’t to say you’ll become the Dalai Lama, but a few more people will know what you are about.

Operating in this new and revolutionary space is like going to the gym. The more you go, the more you can see the effects and vice versa. So, if you post one blog and share it one time, don’t be surprised if nothing happens. On the other hand, write good stuff and GROUP SHARE it once or twice a week and you’ll be amazed at the impact you will have.

After twelve weeks, drop me a line on here and let me know how it’s working out. If you invite me to connect on LinkedIn, I would be grateful to accept. For LinkedIn connecting, my email address is dawid@mallowstreet.com.

Good luck!

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11 comment on “I’m on #LinkedIn. Now what?

  • Mackenzie Nordal
    March 7, 2013 | 11:03 pm

    A much needed boost to get my LinkedIn butt in gear. Thanks Dawid!

  • Dene Stuart
    March 8, 2013 | 5:30 am

    Thank you for posting this Dawid, It's reraly helpful and just what I needed. I believe there's an old Chinese saying. "When the student is ready, the teacher appears"

  • Matt Jeffrey
    March 8, 2013 | 12:37 pm

    Interesting, very interesting and most certainly the food for thought I have been craving.

  • Marina
    March 8, 2013 | 1:28 pm

    Very interesting! I will follow these tips and get back to you. I was wondering how to use LinkedIn more effectively.

  • Dawid Konotey-Ahulu
    March 8, 2013 | 2:00 pm

    Hey people, thanks for the cool comments. Hope you manage to get your thought-leadership out into the big bad world and bring about some much needed change!

    Let me know!

    Dawid

  • Warren
    March 9, 2013 | 6:55 pm

    Great summary, Dawid. In fact, one of the best "how-to" guides for using LinkedIn I've seen in a long time.

  • Dawid Konotey-Ahulu
    March 9, 2013 | 10:27 pm

    Hi Warren – thanks! I just checked out your home page. A seriously impressive set of blogs and thought pieces.

  • Dawid Konotey-Ahulu
    March 17, 2013 | 9:05 pm

    Thanks, Odd Job! Love to know what you really do…

  • Mike Fullalove
    April 5, 2013 | 7:24 am

    Dawid
    It was a pleasure to read your blog – a great summary of the powers of sharing on LinkedIn.
    One point of clarification from historical discussions i have had with LI (not that you will get a definitive answer from them on this detail)
    Regarding Point 8
    "Click Share. You just showed up in about 10,000 people's newsfeeds!"
    If you share your post with your connections(your point 6) it will hit their newsfeeds.
    If you share to a group (your point 8)then it hits the discussion board of the group (and any individuals newsfeeds if they are also a connection)but doesn't hit the newsfeed on the homepage of each individual of the group. It may be summarised in a weekly email (depending on how the algorithm is working at that point.
    So in my view posting to the Groups is obviously useful but relies on people engaging with the Group and looking at the discussion boards which from my experience they don't.

    i would be interested in your comments / experiences of this

  • @DrMbere
    June 19, 2014 | 11:46 pm

    I have been doing all this but not the group share, I inividually post in all the groups which can be a bit tedious. I went to a conference last year and attended a session on using social media to grow professionally. I can say LinkedIn followed by Twitter has been the best, Facebook not so much. I post regularly (once evry 2-3 weeks) on LinkedIn and tweet daily mostly about my research. This has exposed my research and insights to a wide global audience. As a result, I communicate/network with other peers from across the world through the comments/tweets I receive. I answer everyone individually who posts something leading to great discussions and sharing of different perspectives. Its been very valuable, uplifting, rewarding, and has given me prominence as top contributor in various groups sometimes all at the same time if the discussion is of interest to the group. I have some discussions that have been ongoing for >6 months as people discover them, they comment and revive them. I also share links to older posts when I post new info related to the old post. You start to get more profile views and networking requests. People get to know who you are and about.

    Your info will help me kick it to the next level as I recently started a blog. I will be able to group share all at once without copying and pasting into the different groups. Thanks much .

  • Aaron Kok
    November 29, 2014 | 7:44 pm

    Great advice and guideline! Thanks Dawid!

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