By Alex Wolk
Any business owner will tell you LinkedIn can be an invaluable resource for a company, from recruiting talented employees, and connecting with clients and potential leads to networking with other professionals.
But I’m often inundated with so many requests in a day from people who seem like scammers to people trying to sell me useless services and more. It’s hard sometimes to cut through the noise to use LinkedIn to its full potential. Luckily I’ve found a few tools to help weed out useless sales pitches, scammers or just people who won't help my network or business grow. Here are my favorites:
I use pitch.Me as a supplement to LinkedIn. pitch.Me is a career and social-networking site where users create a customized profile highlighting their professional and personal experience as well as skill sets and talents. Additionally, profiles can spotlight a user’s past or current employers, education and unique character traits. But the real magic of it lies in how you connect with other users.
You add a list of needs to your profile — this can be open positions, services for your business, etc. People who find me and want to connect have to donate a certain amount of money to my charity of choice, and then they’re able to schedule a 15-minute in-app video or audio call.
I put a little note on my LinkedIn saying if you’re wanting to set up a phone call or connect, go to my pitch.Me and schedule it there. It really helps weed out blanket requests and ensures that calls I have are only with people who take the time to get to know me and put some effort into the relationship.
A lot of people use LinkedIn ineffectively. Often there is no effort to build a relationship or to network — it’s just “here’s what you can do to help me, will you do it?” I reached out to Linked University founder Josh Turner, who explained, “Would you go up to a person you just met at a networking event, and immediately start pitching them on your products and services, features and benefits? No way. And if you did, you wouldn't get far. It's the same on LinkedIn.”
In Josh’s Linked University, I learned how to better build a relationship with members of my network on LinkedIn and utilize its features to make it a resource and not just a place where I send out cold messages for sales and services.
If you’re on LinkedIn for any period of time, you’re bound to get a message for a free month of LinkedIn premium. I was always hesitant to pull the trigger on that but when it came time to fill a position at the internet marketing agency I founded, I decided to give it a try.
It took way less time to find candidates than going to Craigslist or working my local network to find talent. With the time left on my trial, I tried out some other features. A really cool feature I have used is statistics for top search terms, peoples visiting my page and their industries and locations. If I can see a lot of search traffic in visitors might be people who are looking for services my company offers, I can then work to tailor my intro and profile content to catch their eyes.
So there are some of my favorite tools for making sure my LinkedIn network works for me. What are yours?
Founder of Insite Advice.