This page lists some business resources I’ve found useful. There is a focus on social media, especially LinkedIn, and business coaching. Like all dynamic, innovative business, the page is a work in progress. (Update February 2017: I’m reviewing this page, getting rid of some out of date information and bringing in some fresher material. It may look a bit sparse while I do that “spring cleaning”). Note: There are some old links on the Web for an earlier version of this page. If you are looking for something and can’t find it here, let me know via the Contact page and I’ll do my best to find it for you.
Sites and Groups focused on LinkedIn
Self-described as “The Unofficial LInkedIn Blog” and founded by social media pioneer Scott Allen, LinkedIntelligence has been around for years and is a treasure trove of information about the platform and how to use it to best effect.
LinkedIn User Group (Official LinkedIn User Group)
Linked 2 Leadership
Anatomy of a LinkedIn Professional Profile
There is a pair of “profile walkthrough” videos.
Note. For some people, those who have the new LinkedIn user interfact (UI) on their profiles, the information here about profiles will be at least in part out of date. For the rest it will soon be out of date. I don’t have the new interface yet and I don’t intend to put aside time to check out in detail what’s happening. Once I have the new UI I will decide whether I will update the information here or just delete it.
The first walkthrough video looks at a profile as a LinkedIn member with the appropriate account and level of connection would see it, and explains the various elements. The second is a look at the same profile, but in edit mode. These were made in November 2013, so there will almost certainly have been some changes in features and layout (LinkedIn is always changing!)
“External” profile walkthrough: http://youtu.be/7FJEIDv8Mns
Profile in Edit mode: http://youtu.be/p4KEuz7yI4I
Defining Your Purpose for Your LinkedIn Activity
A lot of people just “fall in” to LinkedIn, without really defining why they are there and what they are aiming to achieve with their LinkedIn activity.
I’ve found that I and others benefit from stepping back from time to time and getting very clear about our purpose in being on LinkedIn. Note that your purpose can change over time. It’s ok to switch purposed.
Here for your consideration and some brainstorming are ten suggested purposes:
- build brand awareness
- get leads
- retain customers
- retain and recruit staff
- establish and maintain thought leadership
- promote products and/or services
- find business partners, joint venturers
- attract investors
- expand professional and company network
- market research
This video, just over 55 minutes, is a recording of a webinar led by Des Walsh, as part of the 30 Day Linking Blitz project in February-March 2014. It looks at a) finding and participating in Groups and b) starting your own group. Click here to play.
Insider Tip: How to Create Your Own Network, Outside LinkedIn, Using a LinkedIn Group to Attract Members
Building your own group on LinkedIn is a great way to promote your brand and build a more powerful network, if you do it right. At the same time, you have to recognise that there are some limitations on what you can do:
- LinkedIn owns the list – people who don’t value the group can leave and then you can’t use the Group to contact them.
- As a group owner, you can’t send “announcements” (group emails) more frequently than once a week and even then you are limited by the very basic text format of the announcement – no hyperlinks, no styling etc.
A couple of people, Lewis Howes and Denise Wakeman, have worked out and implemented a way to overcome these limitations. Basically, it is about using the signup process for the Group to offer people membership in a related community. Done correctly, this is not in breach of the LinkedIn User Agreement (as far as I can tell). To see how it works, you could join Lewis’ Sports Industry Network Group on LinkedIn, read carefully the follow up messages you get and take up the offer to subscribe to the related network. To understand the process, you can read Denise Wakeman’s blog post where she explains it all. List Building Tip – Most LinkedIn Group Owners Miss This Note that to make this work and make it sustainable, you will need to provide value – however that will be perceived by your target audience.
Time and Automation One of the most common problems people raise with me about LinkedIn is how to be able to set aside the time to engage effectively via LinkedIn. This is actually a general challenge for business people using social media. My personal theory about why it has a particular edge for conversations about LinkedIn is that this platform is not as much conducive to fun as are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
We all have to make decisions about time in relation to priorities. Using LinkedIn is no exception.
One way to reduce our stress about the time commitment to make the most of LinkedIn and other social platforms is to use one or more applications that automate some of the process.
Coming up with content to post on LinkedIn and elsewhere may be easy for some. For the rest of us it can be a challenge.
Two tools I find very helpful for coming up with content to post to LinkedIn are LinkedIn Pulse and Scoop.it.
LinkedIntelligence – the unofficial source for all things LinkedIn, from Scott Allen, who has an incomparable knowledge of LinkedIn. LinkedIn Learning Center – naturally, at this link you will get the official LinkedIn line, but there is a fund of information there.
Getting Started on LinkedIn
For people new to LinkedIn (or have not really used it to any extent)
Start LinkedIn in 5 Simple Steps (This ebook is by Des Walsh: requesting it will also put you on a mailing list – there is an easy unsusbcribe.)
Blog and Content Management Software – WordPress Wins
We remain convinced that the most practical software for small business and especially for solo professionals is WordPress. We strongly recommend using the self-hosted version at WordPress.org, and not succumbing to the siren sound of the “easier” WordPress-hosted version at WordPress.com Same company, same product, just different strategies and different functionality and accessibility in practice. This article, which I have scanned quickly, seems to put the cases for and against the two options quite fairly. And it comes with an infographic. Self Hosted WordPress.org vs. Free WordPress.com [Infograph] I agree with the author’s recommendations. Note, there could well be some affiliate links in the article, for hosting services etc. I will include our own recommendations (and affiliate link! – we all have to eat 🙂 ) in this page, soon. If you are not into building and managing your site yourself with WordPress there is an army of competent people out there to do it for you. Some are great, some – inevitably – are hopeless. Caveat emptor!
WordPress Themes and Frameworks
Updating this section.
Quotes by legendary coach, the late Thomas Leonard