133 – How To Power-up Your LinkedIn Profile

1.smbh-Mike Shelah

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In 2011, Mike began sharing his insights and perspectives on LinkedIn with audiences throughout Maryland. In 2015, He founded Mike Shelah Consulting to work directly with companies and sales professionals across the United States to find more customers and find them fast, leveraging the power of LinkedIn.

Mike also uses his experience to evangelize the value of LinkedIn and assist those in the job market wanting to find their dream job and get to the front of the applicant list.

A resident of Westminster Maryland since 2005, Mike is a dedicated: husband, father and community advocate.

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What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a very powerful, crucial online tool for professionals. When used correctly, LinkedIn can help you build a great network, find and get introduced to your ideal prospects and showcase your true value and worth to them.

All you need is basic networking skills to make it happen.  If you have networking skills and understand the golden networking philosophy.  It’s a philosophy best described as one where “You to give before you get”.  That is you should give value and not just look for an immediate return. When you give true value to somebody, most of the time, they will try to give back to you. LinkedIn is a great place to apply this networking philosophy.

How To Power-up Your LinkedIn Profile

What Makes Mike Shella Unique and Successful? Mike is a well-known LinkedIn Expert, but thinks of himself not as an expert or guru but just a successful salesperson who’s figured out LinkedIn. He suggests, a lot of people think that including words like “expert”, “guru” or “ninja” will make their LinkedIn profile more attractive and will outshine others…but those people have got it all wrong. A LinkedIn profile doesn’t have to be extravagant and boastful.  By making it realistic, a profile with value and strong content will easily give you an edge from other professionals in your industry.

LinkedIn Guru With The Answers

Mike started out in sales in 1995 and got into technology sales in 1999.  He was one of those traditional sales people making calls and setting appointments. It was a repetitive job.   Sadly, Mike noticed he was becoming less effective at it…that is, until a good friend sent him a connection request on LinkedIn. It was a request that started him down a new road in life. That new direction, led Mike from the telecom/communications industry, to starting a business teaching and consulting with professionals on how to properly leverage LinkedIn.  Because of his one-on-one consulting, group presentations, and seminars, he was able to help many individuals take full advantage of LinkedIn.  After listening to Mike, they were able to find customers, find a job, and succeed in their careers.

How To Properly Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn was still fairly new during the time he accepted that friend’s request.  He did not waste time exploring and experimenting the ins and outs of it. He found a lot of good and bad things with LinkedIn and both helped paved the way to his success.

LinkedIn has an extremely valuable section called advice for contact. Most people use this option in the wrong way. Based on Mike’s experience, most of the people contacting him, will just write a long paragraph or even a short one saying “send me an email” without including so much as their email address or phone number.

Simple Power Tips For All LinkedIn Users Sending Contact Requests:

• Keep it simple, make it easy for people to contact you
• Include a phone number
• Include an email address
• Utilize the summary section to include your contact details

Most of us are not comfortable giving out personal information over the internet.

Check Out Two Solid Tricks For Protecting Yourself While Building Your Network:

• Have A Dedicated LinkedIn Email Address – Create an email address mainly to be used for LinkedIn.  This will let you completely control your inbox.
• Sign Up For A Google Voice Number – If you are not comfortable giving out your mobile or landline number, go to Google Voice and sign up for a free Google Voice number.  You can then pair the Google Number to your mobile number without anyone seeing your “real” phone number. You then, don’t have to worry about people knowing your mobile number. You can also get an application that can be downloaded directly on your smartphone for this.

Are You Committing The Single Biggest Pet Peeve On LinkedIn?

How would you feel if somebody sent you a message or you sent someone a message and received a response with a huge delay (like a week or so later) – only to apologize for the late response. The most common excuse?  People say they are not checking their LinkedIn mailbox regularly.
Avoid this embarrassing and unprofessional situation, by using LinkedIn often and spend time checking the 3 most important sections regularly: 1) Inbox 2) Wall 3) Notifications.

It will only take you around 5-10 minutes per day to check everything. LinkedIn is a great tool to engage others with, even more so, if you are using it for your business. Take the time to answer questions from your notifications, celebrate with your connections (who got a new job, who are celebrating their work anniversary, etc.) and go through your invitations on a regular basis.

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3 “Expert Level” Ways To Spot A Good Connection on LinkedIn

Since LinkedIn is open to networking, you will always get invitations from people you don’t know.  Make sure to use this list when considering a new connection request:

  • Always ask yourself the following before accepting an invite:
    • Is this person a legitimate customer for me?
    • Can I do business with this person if I accept his invitation?
    • Is it a personalized invitation to connect? (Only few people personalize their request to connect with a personal message)

Great example to filter your invitations:

Try this one fantastic trick to filter invitations, especially from people you don’t or you’re not really connected with in any degree.  Don’t ignore invites, but send them all of these “unknown” people an email with the same message —

“Hello Name, Thank you for reaching out to me, I don’t believe we have me. What are your thoughts about helping one another? I will wait 3 days for your response before I accept your connection request”

By sending this response email, you’ll find that 90% of those people will not bother to respond.

“Don’t bother sending out connection requests if you don’t know what you can do or if you’re not yet ready to start networking with the big boys” Mike Shelah

The key is message customization and profile research. If you are trying to connect with somebody and looking at them as a prospective client, be prepared because you need to let them know your value and the level of engagement you can provide.

Everyone needs to learn the fact that we have to reach out as a person and try to develop a personal connection because that can and will make a difference.

3 Tips using LinkedIn To Manage, Develop and Nurture Contacts

  • Engaged – LinkedIn will always give you the opportunity to post an update (like Facebook). However, your update shouldn’t be like the regular Facebook posts about your breakfast, kid’s rehearsals, etc. but it should be on more of a business level. Post an update and invite people to engage and join the conversation.
  • Join Groups – LinkedIn now allows you to join max of 100 groups. Joining groups will help increase your audience and engagement.
  • Share your posts – LinkedIn has made it possible for you to share your posts with other social media channels like Twitter.

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Connect With Mike And Get The Following

Anybody that goes to Mike’s website will get:

  • FREE 3 page personalized LinkedIn profile report
  • He will also share with you his top 5 tips and tricks
  • Recommendations based on what he sees on your LinkedIn profile
  • After Reviewing his free report, if you have a specific goal you want to achieve, Mike will offer you one on one coaching!

SHOW

Click Here To View The Full Transcript Of The Show +

Mike:              Hi, this is Mike Shelah with the social media business hour with Nile Nickel and today we’re going to empower your Linked In profile.

Woman:          Are you in business or thinking about starting a new business and could do with a bit of help and guidance when it comes to social media? Then you’re in the right place. Social media can seem daunting and even frustrating but it doesn’t have to be. That is why we offer insights and experience from social media experts from around the world. Discover tips, tricks and information that will help you leverage the power of social media so you can start growing your business today. Welcome to social media business hour with your host Nile Nickel.

Nile:                Hey, welcome back to our first segment and you heard in the tease that tonight we’ve got Mike Shelah and Mike Shelah is a Linked In expert and I really like talking to Linked In experts. We’ve had probably -- what would you say Jordan? About a half dozen on the show?

Jordan:            Yeah, sounds about right.

Nile:                And I really like those experts. Don’t die on me Jordan. Don’t die on me. I really like the Linked In experts because that’s sort of what I do so we always have fun. We tend to learn a lot from each other and we all become better so just to give you some background on Mike. In 2011 Mike began sharing his insights and perspectives on Linked In with audiences throughout Maryland. In 2015 he founded Mike Shelah Coaching to work directly with companies and sales professionals across the United States to find more customers and find them fast leveraging the power of Linked In. mike also uses his experience to evangelize the value of Linked In and those in the job market wanting to find their dream job and get in front of the applicant list. And so Mike welcome to the show.

Mike:              Thank you Nile. Excited to be here today.

Nile:                Well, I’m excited. You wanted to -- you talked about helping people out with their profile and I look at profiles as where people really can shine and most of the time they don’t. They just fall flat on their face. In fact I do a product why your Linked In profile sucks and exactly what to do about it so I’m really interested in what you’ve got to talk about tonight. But if I look at all of the Linked In consultants that are out there and you and I both know there are thousands. In fact maybe even tens of thousands. What makes you unique out of all of us Linked In people out here?

Mike:              The first thing that makes me unique Nile -- and that’s a great question. I get asked it a lot. Is I don’t think of myself as an expert or a guru or a black belt or a ninja or any of those other foolish words that people like to put in their profiles because they think it’s going to somehow attract people to their profile. What I am is a successful salesperson. I started out in sales in 1995. I got into technology sales in 1999 and like many salespeople I come from that tradition of you get a list, you make a 100 phone calls, you set 10 appointments, you get three sales out of that, you move on to the next month. Then you repeat. And what I started to notice about eight years ago was that was becoming less and less effective and a good friend of mine sent me a connection request on Linked In and at that time Linked In was still fairly new. People had it but it certainly was not the platform that it is today and I began experimenting with it and I found lots of bad things to do that I stopped doing and I found a lot of good things to do that really helped me be successful as a salesperson and I’ve been able to modify that to also help people that are in the job hunting process because a lot of the skills that it takes to use Linked In for selling also apply to people that are in the job market looking to find a job.

Nile:                Sure, absolutely. Absolutely. Of all things that you found with Linked In what would you say is your biggest pet peeve on Linked In?

Mike:              There is an extremely valuable section to Linked In that says advice for contact and it amazes me how many people in that section don’t actually put a way for me to contact you. They’ll write a big long paragraph or they’ll say shoot me an email but I don’t have your email address. I say keep it simple. Put a phone number in there, put an email address in there and I recommend to people create an email address just for your Linked In account. With Yahoo and Gmail and all the other email platforms out there create an email. Keep it just for your profile and for the phone number -- some people are uncomfortable giving out their personal cellphone number which I can understand. Go to Google Voice, sign up for a free Google Voice number, put that in your profile and that way you can check any messages that come directly from Linked In and you’ll know because it’s a separate app on your smartphone that you just pair with the smartphone number and people never have to know your smartphone number.

Nile:                Both -- a couple of golden nuggets in there. One of the things that I always recommend is you make it easy for people to contact you and like you said there’s the advice for contact section, there’s information but I also even recommend putting it in the summary section. Make it super easy. And you’re right. So many people don’t do that and after all, if they find you on Linked In which is one of the goals that you likely have if you’re really optimizing your Linked In profile and you’re using it for business or to find a job, you want people to contact you.

Mike:              Absolutely. Let’s make this simple. Let’s take the confusion out of it. How do I get a hold of you?

Nile:                In fact, not only taking the confusion out of it. Make it super easy.

Mike:              Yeah.

Nile:                If they’re used to looking in a place where it’s not at make sure that it’s in the place that they’re going to look so I love it. I appreciate that advice. Of all the things that you’ve done and the people that you’ve worked with what would you say your favorite Linked In success story is?

Mike:              Probably my favorite one comes from about six years ago. I was actually at a networking event in Baltimore and I met a gentleman who was the owner of a small business and he was one of the distinguished guests at that event. It was very obvious he didn’t want to talk to any salespeople that day but he was nice enough to give me his business card and after the event I sent him a connection request on Linked In. simply Wayne, thank you for your time. It was a pleasure meeting you this evening. And then a couple of weeks later I see in the Baltimore Business Journal that he’s going to be a keynote speaker at an event. Send Wayne another quick message. Wayne, best of luck with the speaking event. I hope it’s a great success for you. Couple of weeks after that a friend of mine is looking for a job and he’s got a perfect background for this gentleman Wayne. I sent Wayne a message. Wayne, I’d love to introduce you to my friend Dereck. He just got back into the job market and I think he’d be an ideal candidate for your company. Wayne immediately calls me. We spent 15, 20 minutes talking about Dereck and at the end of the conversation Wayne says to me by the way Mike, what do you do? And within 10 minutes of that I’m talking to his office manager. Shortly after that Wayne becomes a customer. But even more important, three years later there was another article in the Baltimore Business Journal about a bank and how they’re going through this explosive growth and they’re interviewing the CEO of the bank. I look her up on Linked In and who does she know? My friend Wayne. Reach out to Wayne. Wayne, would you mind introducing me to Mary? And he says, I’m not going to introduce you to Mary. I’m going to introduce you to the person that I do all my work for her bank through. And within 60 days of that Linked In message I landed the largest account of my professional career and today they spend a quarter of a million dollars a year with my daytime job company.

Nile:                As you go through that story it reminds me of so many things. One of the things that I talk about and I’m really interested on your thoughts on this as well is Linked In is a tool and it’s a networking tool but it’s just that. It’s a tool. So, when you’ve got good, basic networking skills and networking skills is about give before you get, giving value, not always looking for a return. It’s sort of a natural thing that happens. When you give true value to somebody they look to give back. And so I take that networking philosophy that I have and I’ve shared and I just heard you describe that philosophy perfectly but you used Linked In to implement that strategy. You used the tool of Linked In.

Mike:              That is correct. And I think you alluded to this earlier. So many people really don’t take the time to develop their Linked In profile and most of the time when I meet someone at a networking event now and they say oh, what do you do? And I tell them I do Linked In consulting, I’m a sales strategist. They look down their feet as if they’re ashamed. As if they’re being addressed by their third grade teacher and the answer’s almost always the same. Well, I have a profile but I don’t really do anything with it and oh, please don’t look at mine because it needs to be updated. And my first thought is well, if you know that why haven’t you done it?

Nile:                Exactly how long does it take to do that?

Mike:              In my opinion it takes an hour of hard work to really set up a great profile and then depending on what you do for a living it’s 15 to 20 minutes of maintenance a day.

Nile:                Well, I’m going to give you my thought and it’s one of the things that I teach. In fact, I teach to really develop your profile and I go through -- there’s currently 13 sections and I talk about going through each of those sections in detail. Spend a week on it but spending a week, you’re probably going to spend anywhere between 15 to maybe 20 minutes a week. Not a day. A week. And then go back over each one of those 13 sections after you’ve went through it the first time which takes you about a quarter so first quarter just build your profile. Second quarter is you start to go back through each section just one section a week which will take you another quarter but that means that you’re touching your profile each and every week and you’re making sure that all of the sections are updated and most sections aren’t going to change that frequently. If at all. But the bottom line is you’ve at least looked at it and you could do that in five to 10, maybe 15 minutes a week. And so you could really have a top of the line profile with very, very little time invested.

Mike:              Agreed.

Nile:                Now I suspect that when you’re talking about maybe 15 minutes a day you’re doing the other maintenance things like people send you messages. It might be a good idea to answer those messages. People have connection requests and depending on what your personal policies are and I’d be interested in hearing you’re either going to accept or reject them, whatever. But the flipside is -- and there’s other minor maintenance things you do and then strategically how are you using it for your business. So, I know that I gave you a lot about what I’ve done but I’m interested; and I know you followed all of that too but I’m interested in what you think and what you recommend people to do through those processes as well.

Mike:              Yeah, you’re hitting a lot of similar ideas that I like to reinforce to people and I apologize. You asked me what my pet peeve earlier was and I think I gave you the wrong one because nothing drives me crazy more than when I send somebody a message on Linked In and then a week later they respond and they say sorry Mike. I don’t check Linked In very often. Again, take 15 minutes a day. You’ve got that little banner right on top of your profile. You’ve got an inbox that shows messages. You have the flag for to dos and then you have invitations. It’s really that simple. Those three things, that’s the 15 minutes I was referring to. You’re right. Those three things should not take you more than 15, 20 minutes a day. Answer the questions that come through, check out the notifications. Who wrote a good blog, who’s got a new job, who’s celebrating an anniversary? Engage on those things and then go through your invitations. And I am not _____30:58 Linked In open networker but I’m not a lock down Linked In user either. What I generally recommend to people is -- because you’re going to get recommendations from people that you don’t know. It always happens. My first thought is is this person a legitimate customer for me? Is this somebody that I could do business with and if so then I accept the connection request and I follow that up with hey, thanks for reaching out? How can I help you today? And I want to get the conversation going and I want to start it just as easy as what can I do to help you. Now, for people that don’t fall into that category -- maybe we don’t have a mutual contact, maybe they’re in Switzerland. The list could be extensive. My first thought is did they customize the Linked In introduction? Did they write something in there because if they wrote something in there there’s a very good chance they’ve described why they wanted to connect with me? Very few people do that. I would say one out of about a 100 invitations I get actually have a personalized introduction. So, I recommend to everybody that that’s what they do when they reach out to people. Particularly if you don’t know them. Linked In doesn’t like you doing that but if you’re going to take that risk, customize it and maximize your opportunity to get connected. When people don’t customize instead of ignoring or accepting I reply to the message and my message is consistent. I say to that person hi Nile. Thank you for reaching out to me. I don’t believe we have met. What are your thoughts on helping one another? I’ll wait three days for your response before I accept your connection request. And then I wait to see what happens because what I found is 90 percent of those people don’t bother to respond to my follow through and I think well, if you can't do that you’re probably not ready to start networking with the big boys.

Nile:                Yeah, that’s probably true. Well, listen, I know that I want to continue this but we’re going to take a short break. We’ll be right back after this message. Hey, welcome back. You’re listening to the social media business hour with Nile and Jordan and our special guest tonight Mike Shelah and we’re talking about Linked In. you know it’s one of my favorite subjects. And in the last segment we were talking about how people -- or better yet, how you personally respond to the connection requests you get in messages Mike and I liked what you were saying and one of the things that I think we agree on but I want you to continue with where you were but one of the things that we both agree on here is that you don’t want to just use the default messages because why do you just want to be run of the mill? Stand out and it doesn’t take long. In fact, I use a program -- I’m Mac based. It’s called text expander. On PC it’s called Brevity. But literally all it does is -- it’s a short key. I type in three keys and it fills in the message for me and I just fill in the blanks if there are any and it doesn’t take any length of time to sort of put my standard message out. Some people could just save it and cut and paste it but because I do different ones depending on the situation I like having that customization there. But you give a unique response and I liked where you were going in the last segment. So, let me hear more about how you respond to some of those requests that you get.

Mike:              Sure. The key is customization and even more important delivering some value. If you’re going -- if you’re trying to connect with somebody and they’re a prospective client let them know what was the level of engagement. One of my favorite things about Linked In is that you can research a person before you try to touch them. I went to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County also known as UMBC and in this part of the country UMBC is now very well renowned as a top technology school and if I see on somebody’s profile that they’re an UMBC graduate I’m writing go retrievers because that’s our mascot. Our mascot’s a Labrador retriever. Go retrievers. And because that’s something that’s going to really create that common bond. That’s going to -- it’s going to ground us. And for the sales audience listening today it enhances your prospecting tool. You come up with that target list of 20 accounts that you want to engage and you’re going to reach out to someone what better way than your mutual connections. The people that you know that they know. Looking through their mutual contacts. I got a call back from a client one day because the message I left on his voicemail was hey Bob. Calling you today. We’re both members of the Baltimore County Chamber. I saw that you are friends with George and with Brad. How do you know George and Brad? And he called me back and he said well Mike, how do you know George and Brad? And we got the conversation going. I didn’t say anything about my company or my product or any of that. I started as a person and I started deeply, personally and it just so happened the two names that I mentioned that we had as mutual contacts -- one was a business partner of his that he rents space from and the other one was his childhood best friend. Oh, and I could say that the one man was my former boss that I have a good relationship with and the other one’s my fraternity brother. He was more than happy to set a meeting and have a conversation with me because I wasn’t just another salesperson. I was a person.

Nile:                And he approached you on a completely different level and I always like to say people buy from people. They don’t buy from companies or businesses.

Mike:              Amen brother.

Nile:                And so the fact that you’re reaching out as a person and you’re developing the personal connection just makes all the difference in the world. Great golden nugget there. I’m curious, you’ve been using Linked In for a while. Have you ever used Linked In to find a job?

Mike:              I have actually and what normally happens is jobs normally find me and what I mean by that is because I’ve optimized my profile, because I’m engaging on a regular basis on there I have people reach out to me all the time saying they’re having trouble finding a job and I say well, I get contacted by one new recruiter on average once a week and they say well, how do you do that? I’m like my profile’s optimized for the industry that I’m in. they naturally find me. and I’ve been happy to say that I’ve been able to just reject most of those job opportunities because they weren’t better than the one I have and the company I’m with right now; I’m with them now because I saw an old friend of mine had gotten a new job there as a sales director so he was above a manager and I just reached out and I again, I had no attention -- I said Rob, congratulations on the new job. I wish you nothing but success. And Rob immediately pinged me back and said Mike I’m desperate for good sales people. Will you come and interview with us. And at the time I was open to hearing about new opportunities. I came in. I met with my now sales manager of three and a half years and I’ve had ridiculous success at that company. And that’s how you find the opportunities. By optimizing your profile and doing that daily engagement. I wasn’t looking for a job when I reached out to Rob to congratulate them. I genuinely wanted to say hey, best of luck with your new job.

Nile:                Again, it’s on a person basis. Not a company basis. Makes all the difference in the world. We’ve talked about some strategies and I’m curious and obviously want to relate this to Linked In but what do you think has made you successful with Linked In from a personal level?

Mike:              I think it starts with the personal component. I certainly do. When I think about my big wins, like my big successes that I’ve had as a salesperson almost every single one of them has started with a personal referral that I’d leveraged through Linked In to get the opportunity to speak to that client. Almost every single one. I have some close relationship to someone who knew to get me in the door and they got me in the right door and that person had to be ignoring me before and the plates just shifted into place. I had this one company, huge law firm in Baltimore and I had been calling on them and calling on them and calling on them and they never returned my phone calls. And a friend of mine went to work for that firm and I said Joe would you mind introducing me to Brent. I’ve been trying to get a hold of him. He has not been returning my calls. Joe sends one email to Brent introducing me. Brent gets -- sends me a follow up email and says I would be happy to work with you -- meet with you Mike but I don’t think there’s much you’re going to be able to help us with right now. That was the second largest sale of my professional career. It again happened in less than 60 days and I actually got the customer so excited about what I was offering that they broke their contract with their current vendor to come and work with my company.

Nile:                Wow. That’s actually saying something.

Mike:              And it really was leveraging that other relationship. He had no desire to talk to me but because I knew someone that he respected he said all right. I’ll hear what you have to say.

Nile:                Excellent strategy there and thanks for giving us insights into your success as well. One of the other things that I’d like to ask is that I know that you teach people, you have a strategy to average a new connection every day to get the right introductions. So, it’s not just the connection but it’s the connection to get the right introductions. How do you do that?

Mike:              It’s the value of the second degree connection. That’s what I try to impart on people. I connect with my clients all the time but I -- I say I connect with everyone. I connect with everyone that I meet. Great example, I was at a business expo last week in Baltimore and it’s a big semiannual event. They do one in the fall, they do one in the spring. There’s usually 60 vendors and about 500 people and typically when I go to an event like that I’m going to see 20 or 30 people I already know and I’m going to meet 15 to 20 people that I don’t know. And with each one of those people I follow up right after the event. Nile, great meeting you at the Bizz Expo this week. I hope we have the opportunity to work together very soon. And that’s all the introduction is. I’ll tell you, I have a coworker right now who is doing some great volunteer work with a nonprofit here in Baltimore and that nonprofit has got this big event coming up in June and they’re looking for ways to market and promote the event and so my coworker said well, you’ve got to talk to my friend Mike because he does all this stuff with Linked In and you’re just going to love him. And I have a phone call with my liaison there. Her name is Karin. And it turns out that Karin’s not connected to my friend on Linked In. now, I know that they know each other but neither one of them has taken that step and my first thought was why aren’t you taking that step? Because I found out that another friend of mine in the marketing company is also doing a project for them and in fact I’m helping her behind the scenes to prepare for that presentation. And I said to her why aren’t you connected to Karin? If you’re working with her why haven’t you taken that step? Why wouldn’t you? Because once you’ve done a good job, once you’ve delivered on what they’ve asked for I’m going to ask for a recommendation because I want that on my profile. I want people to see that I have customers that are happy, that love me and that I’ve done great work for.

Nile:                That makes absolute sense there and again, I think there’s a number of golden nuggets there. As we’re going through this and I’m listening to what you’re talking about there and the way that you’re talking about connecting people -- again, I’m back to old fashioned networking and it’s sometimes good to connect the virtual world to the real world and when we’ve got these real world connections it does amaze me as well how many people aren’t sharing those connections that they have. Not only -- I look at Linked In I guess and I’m going to take a sort of different angle here. I look at Linked In as my best resource for my online rolodex and if -- now, we’re talking rolodex so we’re dating ourselves a bit because most people today have no clue what that is if they’re new to the business world but it was basically on the corner of your desk and you kept notes on there about anniversaries and spouses and children and events and whatever it may be you kept on that little card. I like to keep all of those notes on those little cards in my Linked In section but --

Mike:              Absolutely.

Nile:                But if I’m not connected to those folks I can't do that. And so I like the recommendation you just made. Why aren’t you and why wouldn’t you? Because I think sometimes we could help the folks that are in our community deal with the value that sometimes they overlook or quite frankly they don’t value. And I want to get into some other strategies as well as talking to about how people could find you and all of that but we’re going to do that in the next segment. So, we’re going to take just a short break and we’ll be right back after this message. Hey, welcome back to the social media business hour. We’re here talking to Mike Shelah and we’re talking about Linked In and Mike I personally think we’re into some advanced strategies but before we get into some --

Mike:              Love it.

Nile:                Some of the other questions and all of that good stuff, one of the things that really strikes me in the face and I think of this the same way. I think anybody listening to this is going to say there’s nothing real detailed or real fancy. I could do all of this. Sounds pretty simple. And I would agree that they could. But they don’t do it. like you said, the most common thing that I hear people say is yeah, I’ve got a Linked In profile but I really haven’t touched it. It’s out of date. Don’t look at it. And we’re talking about some tremendous power they could get and it’s pretty simple if you just do a few simple things. Would you agree?

Mike:              I completely agree, yeah. And that’s why I use the word evangelize, I use the word catalyst because that really is my goal. I want to turn on as many people as I can to this platform. And not just make them aware because as you’ve stated plenty of people are aware of Linked In. they’re not aware of what it could do for them. And by me getting their awareness cranked up to 11 it’s just going to benefit me. I mean, ultimately it’s very selfish. The more people use Linked In, the better off I am.

Nile:                Well, and the more people you help you become valuable to those folks. They’re more interested in helping you at that point in time.

Mike:              Very true.

Nile:                So, do you have any tips on how you use Linked In to manage and develop and nurture contacts along the way? Now, I know you’ve shared a few things but I’m interested if you’ve got any more details there, any more nuggets?

Mike:              Yeah, I -- my favorite thing is the engagement piece and you may have seen -- you may have talked about this on previous podcasts but Linked In now has that social selling index tab. You can click on it and it will highlight your profile and put it into four buckets and show you where you need to do a better job and it gives you a ranked score of one out of 100. And the one thing that I think most people don’t really take advantage of is the engagement. You have an opportunity to post an update like you do on Facebook although we’re not talking about what you had for breakfast or your kid’s rehearsal or anything like that. We’re talking about things that matter to business. Do an update and invite conversation. A more detailed update, Linked In Pulse -- once a week put your thought together or for people that don’t like to write what I recommend is they take their daily updates from Monday through Friday and they lump those into a pulse blog post on Saturday. So, take the five articles or relevant stories that you connected throughout the week and just do a two, three sentence paragraph on each one and make that your pulse bog post for the week to increase engagement. And not only to increase engagement but to position yourself as a thought leader and an industry expert. That’s really what those two tools do for you. And then you can further leverage that blog post by engaging it in groups. Linked In now let’s you join up to 100 groups and those groups can be everything from your favorite football team to your college alumni to something based in your community. It can be faith based. It can -- the spectrum for groups that you can join is almost infinite. Get yourself north of 50 groups and then once you’ve written that blog post on Saturday the following Monday share it in five groups and it’s as simple as I wrote this blog post about -- what are some of the things you’ve done in this situation that have benefited you? And get the conversation going. And now you’re being positioned as a thought leader. You’re increasing your audience. You’re increasing engagement and that’s really how you get yourself to adding one new connection a day. By going through those steps. You start with the daily posts. You summarize them in a weekly pule blog and then you push them out to your groups to further engage your audience.

Nile:                Well, groups have changed dramatically just in the last six months on Linked In that for people that think they know about groups and maybe some of the things that they used to do that don’t work anymore -- it’s worthwhile taking a new look at groups and we don’t have that much time. We can't get into that much detail there but I agree with the group power. It’s just people leveraging that power. And developing that power. Having that said, what you just talked about was an excellent social media strategy and when you do those shares -- we haven’t talked about this but a lot of people don’t know this. I know you do. You’ve got this nice little box down in the bottom right hand corner of your post where you could share on Twitter.

Mike:              Oh, yes. One of my favorites.

Nile:                And most of those posts that you’re doing make sense to be shared on Twitter as well. People will engage with you on the platforms that are their platforms. It’s where they work and play. That may or may not be Linked In. may not include Linked In. so, if you’re doing something there why not leverage the power and be able to put it out to Twitter at the same time and if you happen to think about how you’re doing those things it works perfectly when you could do that and just check that little tiny box.

Mike:              Yeah, very -- and you make a good point that it doesn’t have to be automatic. When Linked In first rolled out Twitter there was a feature that you could select to make it automatic and I learned very quickly that was a bad idea because I was getting these random post updates on my Linked In profile for when I would tweet something. So, I quickly learned to make it a toggle that when I post something on linked it then pushes it over to Twitter and not the other way around.

Nile:                Yeah, absolutely. Because a lot of things that you put on Twitter may not work very well on Linked In. virtually everything you do on Linked In would work on Twitter so use it accordingly.

Mike:              Flip the phone. Absolutely.

Nile:                But I love the way that you talked about doing that because that same strategy works with a lot of the different social media platforms and engage with people where they are. They may or may not be on Linked In as I mentioned but certainly the fact that you could pick up one or two over the course of a year -- new contacts that are valuable contacts just by sharing out the same information may not sound like much but if you look at it 10 years later and it was only two per year that’s 20 good, solid contacts. That could make a business all by itself. Sometimes we --

Mike:              That -- believed in -- yeah. They’ve believed in what you said and it resonated with them and they wanted to get engaged.

Nile:                Exactly. Sometimes we think about the big numbers and I’d rather have 10 followers that are actively engaged than a thousand that aren’t. And it’s just so important to make sure that we don’t get caught up in big numbers. We get caught up in good numbers.

Mike:              Quality.

Nile:                Quality over quantity so great stuff.

Mike:              Nothing wrong with quantity but quality and quantity, much nicer combination.

Nile:                A much nicer combination and sometimes you have to have quantity just to sort of validate that you’re in the game and you probably have some strategies related to that but we’re running close to being out of time. We’ve got about three or four minutes left and before we run out of time I want to ask about what you do with your clients and to the extent that we’ve got people that are interested in learning more and talking to you, how would they do that? So, let’s talk first about what you do for your clients.

Mike:              Sure. Three phases to that really. First is anybody that goes to my website can get a free three page report where I review their profile and I believe you said you have 13 points. I have 12 points and then my five tips and tricks. So, we’re basically talking about the same things. And I go through there, I make my recommendations based on what I see. Then the next phase is they’ve gone through that report, they’ve done the things I’ve suggested but they’re looking for more the strategic -- they have a specific goal that they want to attack; I’ll do one on one coaching. The nonprofit that I mentioned. I’m going to be doing that for them. I’m going to be working with them starting in December through June on a biweekly basis to promote this event that they have. It’s one of their biggest fundraisers of the year. That’s what I’m going to be doing with them. And then the last one is I do a 10 week program that is sale centric for the business owner that has a sales force of five or more people. I do a snapshot before this program begins where I do an overview of each participant and I present that to management. And then through the 10 week course we’re going through 30 minutes of Linked In and then 30 minutes of sales strategy. Once a week. At the end of the 10 weeks I do another snapshot for management and it generally falls into four categories. You’ve got your DIY people at the top mister manager. They’re doing great. They don’t need any more help. You’ve got your people that are picking it up. They probably could use some more help. You’ve got these people bellow. They really need a lot of help. And then you’ve got that unfortunate group at the bottom that I can hit them over the head with a hammer and they won't know that it hurts.

Nile:                Well, I just re-categorized your list there. I like it. The DIY, great. They’re ready to fly. Need some help. Needs a lot of help and helpless.

Mike:              It can't be helped. Yes.

Nile:                So, yeah. Beyond any help. So, that’s absolutely awesome. So, if people are interested in learning more, give us that information again.

Mike:              Certainly. I’m on Linked In. you can find me at www.mikeshelah.com. M-I-K-E-S-H-E-L-A-H.

Nile:                I was going to say make sure we spell Shelah because you know people will be getting that wrong.

Mike:              Yes, it is not like the girl’s name. Just pronounced that way. And I’m also on Twitter @mikeshelah. I have a Facebook page, Mike Shelah Consulting and I have an Instagram @mikeshelah.

Nile:                You just mentioned Instagram there. That’s powerful stuff but most people seem to ignore that.

Mike:              Great for pictures.

Nile:                Well, great. Great for a lot of things actually. We might talk about that in the future. Well, listen, we’re basically out of time. I want to thank you so much for joining us and us just having this great Linked In discussion. I always like it when I can have other Linked In -- I know you don’t like the term expert. You say you’re not but I like when other Linked In experts are out there and experts are the people that are sort of at the top of it, of the Linked In platform as you are that are really helping pull other people up to the top because it is a great platform. Most people just aren’t using it. So, Mike, thanks so much for joining us.

Mike:              Nile, this has been a blast. Thank you for your time.

Nile:                I appreciate it. And to our listeners, I want to thank you for joining us on the social media business hour. Hopefully you learned at least a few new ideas or concepts. Maybe you were just reminded of a few things that you already know but you haven’t been doing to improve or grow your life or business. Our desire is that you take just one of the things that you learned or were reminded of today and you apply it to your business or your life this week. I know that a small change will make a big difference and I’m committed to bringing you at least one new idea each week that you could implement. So, identify just one small change that you could make to your business or your life this week and see what a big difference it will make for you. So, until next week, this is Nile Nickel. Now, go make it happen.

Woman:          Thanks for listening. Social media business hour is sponsored by linkedinfocus.com. Be sure to get the latest social media business tips and tricks plus free tips on how you can use Linked In to help your business today. Visit socialmediabusinesshour.com.

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