Tag Archives: LinkedIn

YOU are the Sale

17 Jul

In 2019, we are selling ourselves. It doesn’t matter what your position might be – frankly, it becomes more and more important the higher you are in a company. And as an entry level salesperson, you carry YOU forward – whether that’s at the same company all your life or more likely, whatever career is generated from your first few years in the workplace.

How do you sell yourself today?

1 – You have a kick-butt LinkedIn profile. Because that’s what professional people do. You also have other social media sites – at least Facebook – where you are community-facing on a regular basis. In the old days, networking happened in your neighborhood or at your place of worship or the grocery store where you knew everyone. Today, it’s on the world wide web.

2 – You operate every day with every person under the golden rule. People around you start saying (because you usually succeed at living the golden rule), “I wonder what that guy does…”. They won’t listen or remember – unless they ask with genuine curiosity. That curiosity only comes when they like you as a human being.

I grew up learning from people and many sales books that the buyer didn’t need to like you. It’s actually true – but then you can only be one thing – an expert with a perfect product or service. In case you aren’t the expert yet and/or your product service is only very good in a competitive field, genuine, trusting relationships go a long way in the ten years that I’ve been running my own business.

3 – You are authentic. Part of being likeable is being vulnerable. You have a couple warts and you talk about them openly.

For example, I don’t like golf. That makes me a bit odd in the business community, but I haven’t played a hole since my third child was born. Somehow, I’m accepted.

I’m also a spazz. My children and fiance definitely understand this. They also know they can say “shoosh you dumb bear”… and I’ll immediately realize that I might be talking an octave too high about something that probably isn’t that big of a deal.

4 – You strive to be the best in the world at something. It doesn’t have to be work-related because whatever it is, it makes you human and helps people remember you. I’m not the best in the world (yet) but my passions and talents are in writing. I’m a recruiter, consultant and salesman, so I decided to put off the fiction novel and pour my efforts into these blogs and business books until I’m 50 (then I write the novel).

If you have these four principles above well in hand, there are many directions you can go from there. It’s all about taking your passions and making you memorable – beyond the privacy of your friends and family...

You’re good at golfing… then represent your company at EVERY charity tournament this year.

You’re a juggler… then learn how to juggle EVERYTHING and tell everyone about it (think concise, short stories ūüôā ).

You love to travel… is your office covered with pictures from your vacations away? What’s the front-page screensaver on your phone? Buy a padfolio with photos on the cover. Start a blog for photos or writings.

You’re a pastry chef… then why isn’t EVERYONE at your office getting a birthday cupcake from you every year? Or maybe deliver some cakes to your clients? They will think you are nutty… but they won’t forget you.

You’ve got a heckuva story to tell… you don’t have to be a writer to be an author. What would be cooler than starting your own book? I can help you with that one if you reach out.

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

Adios Data.com … Hello 2.0 CRM’s

26 Mar

goodbye

In 2010, Salesforce purchased Jigsaw and renamed it Data.com… On May 4th, 2019, they will be calling it quits.

As a recruiter and salesperson, it has been a tool for many years providing phone numbers, email addresses and titles of prospects. Like Wikipedia and LinkedIn, Data.com was good at getting other people to contribute just-in-time information and share it through their platform. That was a novel idea many years ago when we were still collecting business cards and putting them into our Rolodex (or Outlook if you were tech savvy). The mass amount of DATA (primarily free of charge) was wonderful and we dreamed that the site would only benefit from the Salesforce acquisition.

T-Rex_1_grande Salesforce couldn’t make it really work (or didn’t want to make it work) and now Data.com, a once powerful place to acquire and manage CRM records, is a¬†dinosaur.¬†The primary reason for shutting their curtains is that it was full of a bunch of junk – inaccurate records in terms of titles, phone numbers and email addresses. Today, their data is more inaccurate than ever.

So where do we go from here?

There are many options to gravitate to in 2019 and within the universe of CRM’s, they are all a little different from one another. Most of them are going to cost you some money… and I’m going to let the companies battle a little bit before understanding who will be the quality, long term players. They are going to grow (CRM software grew faster than any other software segment in 2018) and gobble one another up – and I don’t see it sorting itself out quickly.

What is a CRM in 2019? The definition is changing every day. A CRM (customer relationship manager) was created to move us past an Excel spreadsheet to organize and manage all of our interactions with customers and prospects. Today, a CRM is certainly focused on doing that, but it is becoming more interactive pulling records from sources outside of your organization.

Recently, SelectHub provided a 2019 snapshot by looking at a sample set of 254 companies (CRM Survey):

  • Outlook is the CRM tool for 29% of these companies
  • Excel is 22% (what?!)
  • Gmail is 14%
  • Salesforce is a mere 6%
  • Mailchimp has 5% of the market
  • The remaining 24% includes HubSpot (3%), Microsoft (2%) & Oracle (2%)

How accurate is this sample set? Admittedly, the list is made up of primarily companies under 1000 employees (84%) and a majority of those are under 500 employees. For small businesses, I’ll assume this is a pretty good snapshot.¬†

smh260% of these companies are using Outlook, Excel and Gmail as a CRM!¬†It definitely surprised me that Salesforce has captured a mere 6% of the CRM market. It’s no wonder that Salesforce is hiring salespeople like crazy as they are probably drooling over the market potential. I’m reminded of Coca-Cola in this instance… In 2011, Coca-Cola had over 40% of the carbonated beverage worldwide market. At the time, 55 billion beverages were consumed world-wide per day (excluding water) and Coca-Cola sold “only” 1.7 billion beverages per day. With only 3.1% of the beverage market, they have incredible potential!

Here is another take on who owns the market: CRM market share?¬†Salesforce cites that they have 19.6% market share (Oracle, SAP, Microsoft & Adobe making up the next 20%). This article also says that Salesforce is fudging their numbers a bit – part of this is because it’s difficult to completely define WHAT-IS-A-CRM. Even if this is accurate, the top 5 still own less than 40% of the market.

With the removal of Data.com, Salesforce is going to push their product called the Lightning Data Engine. They have a head start because Lightning has partnered with many players (via their AppExchange which has over 5,000 “solutions”) and they’ve become an aggregator of your CRM options which include:

  • Dun & Bradstreet Optimizer as well as D&B Hoovers
  • Equifax (Business Connect)
  • ZoomInfo
  • Bombora
  • HG Data & HG Insights
  • Datafox Orchestrate (Oracle)
  • Clearbit
  • MCH Strategic Data
  • Compass
  • InsideView
  • Owler
  • Business Watch
  • Aberdeen
  • Relationships promised to come include Thomson Reuters and others

Salesforce’s product isn’t great, but they are winning. Their partnerships may be the driver that moves them from good to great. Another reason they are a decent choice for a CRM is because they have been around for 20 years. This doesn’t mean Salesforce is better – but they have become a name brand. This has driven them way beyond expectations to a net worth today of $122 Billion. Also, Salesforce has a reputation of taking good care of their employees – you can’t underestimate the power of a company with a great culture.

Is LinkedIn going to be a player in this universe? Microsoft will claim they already are with their CRM Dynamics 365. I’m disappointed in the results so far but since Microsoft owns LinkedIn, I would imagine that they have a gold mine if they can figure it out as quickly.

boxing

8 Bullets on 13 Players:

  1. Based on history, I’m concerned that Microsoft isn’t moving fast enough.
  2. It feels like Salesforce is trying to think for us by driving its users towards any old CRM tool.
  3. Does Oracle or SAP even care about being a solid CRM for the small business community? Is Adobe going to be a major player?
  4. Is Google’s Copper CRM (formerly ProsperWorks) making a dent in the market?
  5. What about the unified CRM’s like Pega, BPM Online and SugarCRM?
  6. HubSpot, Zoho and Mailchimp have garnered significant growth over the last five years. Are they going to take us to the next level? I think they can push everyone to innovate.
  7. I’ve heard good things about Intelligent CRM by Avtex – which so far hasn’t partnered with Salesforce’s AppExchange.
  8. There are many others that aren’t even on my radar (yet)…

dandelion

I’m disappointed that Data.com didn’t survive… I wish they’d continued with a shared platform and just made it better. The fact that it was free made it pretty cool too. I’m not investing in any of the above at the moment, but I’m curious to see how this plays out and what innovations are to come.

I’m not the expert on this topic. I’m just another user of the products that is trying to understand how it is shifting. Per usual, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

blueoctopusllc.com

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/adios-datacom-hello-20-crms-drew-schmitz/

 

 

The Friendly World of LinkedIn

19 Mar

gif smile

In February, I wrote a blog that I thought had a shot at being featured on a channel of LinkedIn Pulse (link to article here: The 50* Largest Groups on LinkedIn). It’s not really an “article”, but a list filling a void that I couldn’t find updated anywhere on the world wide web. After publishing and getting some organic steam, I decided to drive as much traffic to my post as possible. I did some considerable research on the topic of getting featured on LinkedIn Pulse and certainly got a lot smarter along the way as I interacted with a lot of friendly connections…

receive

The primary way that my post received a lot of attention was by reaching out to my network one by one and asking for their support with the article. I certainly didn’t have time to invite all 14,000 of my connections, but I asked about 400 people and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of support from my network.

I used the opportunity to reconnect with 100 people that I hadn’t communicated with in some time and I shared it with 50+ clients asking them for a ‘like’. Then I rolled up my sleeves over the weekend and really dug into mining my connections and asking the biggest influencers in my network for help.

Who were the last 250 people I asked?

lion1. LION’s aka LinkedIn Open Networkers. I may go a little overboard as a recruiter connecting with other LION’s (I have over 2,000 of them), but they have real value and I saw this in action. I didn’t invite all of them, given this was actually me doing the invites (I don’t let my virtual assistant touch my LinkedIn due to it containing many real relationships, so I don’t want them to feel spammed). Instead, I searched through the LION’s that were most active, the ones that had the most connections and the individuals that also wrote articles that I could help to cross-promote. LION’s typically have a lot of connections so their resharing value is exponential.

I sent them different versions of this message (within LinkedIn):

Hello Susan, I’m trying to get this article featured on one of LI’s Pulse channels. Is there any way I could get you to reshare it and/or comment on the article? Let me know how I can return the favor. Many thanks! ~Drew

bee1

2. The Busy Bees. I asked people that were more active on LinkedIn. I view my newsfeed almost every morning, so I’m aware of who is most involved in using LinkedIn. These connections certainly got an invitation.

3. Recruiters and HR Professionals. They use LinkedIn probably more than any job title. All of the recruiters and HR folks that I know well received a message from me.

4. Groups. These weren’t individual people I messaged; I went to almost all of my LinkedIn groups and posted my article there. In turn, this generated a lot of visibility from 2nd and 3rd degree connections. Since I do not promote very often in my groups, I don’t think any took down my post. A lot of them were listed in the article, so it was certainly relevant material.

I assumed I’d get help from 1 out of every 10 people but that ratio ended up being closer to 1 out of every 4. The number of reshares was my biggest surprise and more than not, they reposted with a nice plug on the blog post and me. The comments were awesome as well and many of them came with thoughtful questions and meaningful feedback.

thumbsblogOngoing, I realized who in my network could help again if I asked. I’m guessing half of the aforementioned connections would be annoyed if I asked for another “favor” this month, but the other half offered to help anytime. These 75 or so connections (you know who you are) recognize the enormous value of a supportive community on LinkedIn. I will be liking their posts, reading their articles (and reposting if I like the material), joining some of their groups and likely asking for their help in the future.

As of today, I have over 800 views of my article, 168 likes, 47 comments and 97 reshares.¬†Woo hoo! Of course, it never got featured on a channel of LinkedIn’s Pulse, which was my original objective… but it did garner a lot of attention, my answer on Quora is on the first page of results when you Google “largest LinkedIn groups”, I have a meeting with a new prospect and last Friday, I got a call from a radio host that wants me to be featured on his program.¬†Listen to me live on¬†Cover Your Assets with Todd Rooker on ESPN 1500 AM 8:00-9:00 am on April 13th!

I have been loudly reminded all over again of the utility of LinkedIn and the value of my 1st degree connections. The key is to actively engage with them on a regular basis. We all have only so much time… but I don’t think you can afford not to comb through your relationships and communicate with them on a regular basis. Thank you, Microsoft and LinkedIn, for your imperfect but valuable social media site. A thousand thank-you’s to my network for your ongoing support!

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

blueoctopusllc.com

P.S. Can I still get featured? If you like this post, please give it a thumb. If you benefit from reading my articles, please go here and give me a like, comment or reshare: The 50* Largest Groups on LinkedIn

 

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/friendly-world-linkedin-drew-schmitz/

Getting LinkedIn Recommendations

12 Mar

recommended

In my blog posts over the last six weeks, I’ve covered LinkedIn as a part of a 7-part series (this is my 7th and last post!).

In my opinion, recommendations (not to be confused with skill endorsements) are the most important section on LinkedIn. Recommendations are probably a bigger differentiator than anything else on their site.

If you are a job-seeker or salesperson, recommendations may be the number one thing that make people comfortable hiring or doing business with you. We can all tell people how great we are – but someone else’s words mean a lot more. Get at least 10 recommendations on your page.

givehands-and-heart

How do you get recommendations? Give them. I make a concerted effort to write them on a regular basis – and in most cases, it’s an opportunity to ask for one in return. Don’t make this a bigger deal than it is; write 3-4 sentences about why you think highly of them (and if you don’t, do not give them a recommendation!). And don’t get caught up in making it perfect.¬†

My recommendations say something like:

“I worked with Joe when we were both at ABC Company. I had the opportunity to see him in action and he did SOMETHING really well. I’d highly recommend Joe – please reach out if you have any questions!” (under SOMETHING describe 1-2 specifics).

This took me about 90 seconds to write.

write

Here are the 3 steps for writing a recommendation:

  1. Go to their LinkedIn profile and click on the 3 dots in the right corner. In the dropdown menu, choose Recommend.
  2. Choose how you know this person and your position at the time.
  3. Write your recommendation.

Clients and people that you’ve reported to are the best recommenders, but colleagues you’ve worked with can also provide a recommendation. Just like the ones you give – only ask those that think highly of you and/or love the service you provided them. So don’t be shy and¬†ask for them! Then ask again… if they say yes the first two times, then politely pester them a third time until they actually write one for you.

People are heavily influenced by these so don’t wait until someone asks for your references after interviews – put them out there for the world to see!¬†

gifthatsallfolksIt has been fun breaking down some of the best features of LinkedIn over the past 6 weeks. If you took my suggestions to heart, you understand better how to sell, recruit, find a job, join groups and receive recommendations… and you probably have one of the better profiles on LinkedIn. The quality of your profile will have ongoing benefits.

Despite the length of my 2019 LinkedIn entries, we have not exactly covered the breadth of this site. If you have questions about anything on LinkedIn, feel free to reach out to me.

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

http://www.blueoctopusllc.com

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/getting-linkedin-recommendations-drew-schmitz/

#linkedin

 

How to Maximize LinkedIn Groups

5 Mar

alone

This is my 6th entry in a 7-part series about LinkedIn. Feel free to check out my previous posts at: BlueOctopus. Next week, I’ll finish this series by covering recommendations.

Last August, LinkedIn updated the group section of their site and now have a dedicated team of engineers to support and focus on it. For a while, many of us were wondering if they were abandoning groups altogether – but even though their changes were subtler than I’d prefer, it’s a great sign that LinkedIn is now recognizing the importance of groups.

There are 6 primary reasons to join a LinkedIn group:

  1. Find a group that is specific to your industry.
  2. If you are looking for your next job.
  3. You are hiring.
  4. Your organization sells something.
  5. You’d like to lead a niche group (specific to your industry or otherwise).
  6. Discover various learning opportunities outside of your industry.

Searching groups on LinkedIn is a bit clumsy but can be done one of two ways:

  • Go to Groups by clicking on Work in the upper right. At the bottom of the page of your groups, you can click on Search other trusted communities that share and support your goals.
  • Otherwise, just use the normal search box in the upper left. Then you will have to define your search under More and change to Groups.

SUPER GROUPS.¬†The largest groups have the most activity. That doesn’t always translate to being the best options, but it’s a great place to start. Here is a list of the biggest LinkedIn groups as of 2019: Top 50. By joining some of the larger groups on LinkedIn – including some specific to your industry – you give yourself further exposure to others.

Image result for i got a job

GET A JOB.¬†If you are looking for a job, there are some obvious groups to join. If you aren’t looking for a job, you probably will be in the future, so joining a job group still isn’t a bad idea.

Here are three options for you: Linked: HR, Hub.Careers & Engineering Jobs Worldwide. These are larger group options but don’t forget to find smaller ones in your area and industry (LinkedMinnesota, Minnesota Job Seekers & Minnesota Jobs.com are examples in my home state). Also note that any and all groups can help a job seeker. They usually allow openings to be posted and can be extremely supportive for someone promoting themselves for work.

Image result for recruit

RECRUIT YOUR NEXT HIRE. If you are hiring, there might not be a better place to find your next hire than on LinkedIn. The Recruiter.com, The Recruitment Network and HR Jobs are great for full time recruiters and HR professionals. Also, join the three job groups mentioned above. And again, find a niche group to your industry and look for those specific to your area.

Image result for catching fish

LAND A NEW CUSTOMER.¬†If you’ve read my past articles, being active on LinkedIn as a salesperson is a no-brainer. Figure out where your prospects hang out and join all those groups. Worst case scenario, join all of the largest groups as this will allow you to directly message more people.

Image result for niche

 

FIND INDUSTRY & NICHE GROUPS.¬†If you are in marketing, social media or just curious about this industry, join SocialMediopolis, Digital Marketing, Marketing CMO Social Media Business Digital, Marketing Communications and Media & Marketing Professionals Worldwide. These are huge groups because marketing folks are among the most active on LinkedIn for obvious reasons. But if you are a project manager selling SaaS software, join a project manager and SaaS group… if you are fascinated with cryptocurrency, join those groups.

Niche groups are wonderful for everyone. Join a few and determine which ones are the most active. Even the smallest can be wonderfully effective depending upon their activity (and the manager that runs the group).

Image result for lincoln color

BE A LEADER.¬†You may want to consider starting and running your own LinkedIn group. As a promotional tool for you and your business, this is a great way to build awareness, position yourself as an expert, showcase your company, generate interest and nurture relationships. You may also be a part of a smaller group of people that you just want to “collect” for internal discussions (I’ve done so for two alumni groups). Just make sure if you start one, that you are actively leading the group and contributing to discussions at least on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. For more detail on starting and managing your own group, here is a resource: https://buffer.com/library/linkedin-groups.

Related image

GROW YOUR BRAIN.¬†Sometimes the benefit of LinkedIn isn’t a job, a hire or a new client. LinkedIn is a great place for educating yourself about the latest and greatest trends in business, technology, your industry/interests and other happenings in the world. There are people like me that post articles but within groups, there is all sorts of additional content – and you can post questions to the group. People love helping people and LinkedIn can be a great example of that.

If you want to join groups privately: 

  1. Click the Me icon in the top right of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown.
  3. Click the Communications tab at the top of the page.
  4. Under the Channels section, click Change next to Email frequency.
  5. Click the Right icon to the right of Updates from your groups.
  6. Check or uncheck the box next to the group you’d like to receive updates from.
  7. For more detailed control, click Manage to the right of the group name.

Once you’ve joined a few groups, you can message other members directly, post new conversations within the group (like “I have an opening!”) and comment on others’ posts without requiring a first degree connection.¬†

I highly recommend doing some work searching and joining groups. There are too many benefits, so join a few more this week!

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

blueoctopusllc.com

The 50* Largest Groups on LinkedIn

26 Feb

hugepublishable

Over the past month, I’ve been trying to find a way to cull a list of the largest groups by searching on LinkedIn and the web… apparently, it’s not that easy. There hasn’t been an updated list (that I can find) since 2017, so I’ve assembled the 50 LinkedIn groups below and would like to share them with you. There is an asterisk next to my title as it required a lot of inefficient hunting and pecking, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve missed a group or two or three that tops 300,000. If you know of one, please make a comment (or email me) and I’ll get this updated!

Please see my blog series on the LinkedIn topic at: blueoctopusllc.wordpress.com. I go into further details about selling, recruiting, job seeking, groups and recommendations.

There are many groups that have 200,000-300,000 members but the list below contains all that currently surpass 300,000 (note you can click name to link to any of the groups listed):

  1. SocialMediopolis.com (1.9 Million members)
  2. Software & Technology Professionals (1.8 Million)
  3. Digital Marketing (1.2 Million)
  4. Harvard Business Review (1.1 Million)
  5. Linked: HR (969K)
  6. Finance Club (900K)
  7. Forum VAGAS.com  (894K)
  8. The Project Manager Network (865K)
  9. The Recruiter.com Network (833K)
  10. Marketing CMO Social Media Business Digital (743K)
  11. Dubai Recruitment (715K)
  12. Marketing Communications (700K)
  13. On Startups (638K)
  14. Telecoms Professionals (599K)
  15. Media & Marketing Professionals Worldwide (582K)
  16. Lean Six Sigma (572K)
  17. Pete Asmus’ Real Estate Networking¬†(565K)
  18. The Recruitment Network (543K)
  19. Sales, Marketing, Social Media, Advertising and Technology (542K)
  20. Future Trends (534K)
  21. Retail Industry Professionals Group (525K)
  22. Engineering Jobs Worldwide (515K)
  23. Banking Careers (504K)
  24. Finance Plus: Private Equity Venture Capital and M&A News (481K)
  25. Consultants Network (468K)
  26. Digital Marketing: Social Media, Search, Mobile & more (464K)
  27. Cloud Computing, SaaS & Virtualization (460K)
  28. Oil & Energy Recruitment (453K)
  29. Oil & Gas People (445K)
  30. Hub.Careers (423K)
  31. Cloud Computing (410K)
  32. Information Security Community (399K)
  33. Event Planning & Event Management (379K)
  34. Project Manager Community (379K)
  35. Procurement Professionals (374K)
  36. MarTech Advisor BD Guild (368K)
  37. Vagas & Jobs (368K)
  38. Pharmaceutical Jobs (351K)
  39. SAP Community (351K)
  40. Big Data and Analytics (348K)
  41. Executive Suite (333K)
  42. Java Developers (326K)
  43. Information Technology, FinTech, Blockchain and Bitcoin (326K)
  44. Oil & Gas Industry Professionals (316K)
  45. Marketing Pros РLargest Marketers Group (312K)
  46. Sales Best Practices (310K)
  47. Sales Management Executives (310K)
  48. Business Development Рthe Missing Link (309K)
  49. International Export Group (307K)
  50. .NET Developers (302K)

thumbsblogWho did I miss? Let me know!

If you enjoyed the post and are a LinkedIn user, please do me a HUGE favor Рclick on this link to the Pulse article and reshare or give it the thumbs up icon: LinkedIn Pulse article Thank you!

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

blueoctopusllc.com

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/linkedins-35-largest-groups-drew-schmitz/

#linkedingroups #largestlinkedingroups #linkedinrecruiting #linkedinsales #sales

Get a Job on LinkedIn

20 Feb

job seeking

This post is the 4th in a series in which I’m covering LinkedIn in detail. The past two entries focused on selling and recruiting on LinkedIn. Recommendations and groups are the final two topics soon to follow this article.

You don’t have to read my first three posts to understand this entry, but I’d highly recommend you go back to the recruiting topic (Recruiting on LI blog). If you are going to use LinkedIn to find your next job, you should understand how recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers may be using it.

As a job seeker, it’s crucial that you have a great profile – below I’ve highlighted seven areas on which to focus.

#1 – Your Photo. I believe people can go overboard regarding the importance of your picture on LinkedIn, but this IS the first thing people see. Make sure it’s not a lame selfie – but a good head shot. Absolutely do not use LinkedIn without including a picture of yourself.¬† It personalizes and warms up interactions. And when there isn’t a photo, I usually assume that the person doesn’t actively use LinkedIn.

#2 – Headline. Besides your photo, this is the first thing people see even if they don’t click into your profile.¬†A headline is limited to only 120 characters, so make it clear – state what you do and/or what you are looking for. If you aren’t working, it’s a must to put “Actively Seeking Employment” on this line. Even better, “Actively Seeking Employment as a SaaS Salesperson” is the type of descriptive headline you might want to use. What do you want people to know about you? Mine personally states that I’m a Sales Recruiter, Sales Coach, Consultant, Author and Speaker. That’s clear, concise and covers all the things that I do as an entrepreneur. Be sure to take advantage of this line.

Editing these sections is done by clicking on the pencil on the upper right-hand side of your profile page. The intro section includes your photo, headline, name, current position, education, location, industry, contact info, summary and media attachments. It’s not mandatory, but consider attaching a video, documents and/or samples of your work.¬†

#3 – Summary. This section is at the top when someone clicks to view your profile. You can be fairly descriptive about yourself as it allows for 2,000 characters. The summary should be about YOU because it gives people a chance to learn about your talents and what “makes you tick”. I think it’s important to not only illustrate what you offer and are looking for, but also show a little bit about your personality. This is your opportunity to share more than what a one-dimensional resume describes about you.

After your summary, be sure to fill out Experience and Skills & Endorsements. Experience is your work history – I suggest you copy and paste EXACTLY what is on your resume. Selecting your skills are easy and important; but in my opinion, getting endorsements of your skills from others is a silly feature so don’t bother asking for them.

#4 – Keywords.¬†Don’t underestimate the importance of these.¬†By optimizing your keywords, you will turn up higher in search results. These are the words others will enter into the search box when recruiting qualified candidates. I would suggest repeating industry key words in your areas of expertise so that you will be easily found in advanced searches.

#5 – Recommendations. Much different than the triviality of skill endorsements is the importance of getting recommendations. I can’t stress enough their importance!¬†I care more about what other people say about you than what you tell me about yourself. Clients and people that you’ve reported to are the best recommendations – but colleagues as well as others you’ve worked with on projects can also write one for you. Don’t be shy – ask for them! Then ask again… if they say yes the first two times, then pester them a third time until they actually write one for you.

What is the best way to get a recommendation? Give them to other people on LinkedIn that have impressed you over your career – and then ask for one in return. You should get 3-5 recommendations as a job seeker… but you know a lot of people so why not get 10+? People are heavily influenced by these so don’t wait until they ask for your references after interviews – put them out there for the world to see!

#6 РJob Alerts. These are a confidential way to advertise that you are looking. Through job alerts, you can let others know you are open to opportunities with specific companies Рand only those companies will be aware of your interest.

  • Click on Me in the upper right then¬†Settings & Privacy;¬†under Privacy, select Job seeking preferences.
  • Next, search for the companies that you‚Äôre interested in on the LinkedIn homepage.
  • On the¬†Company Page, click the¬†Jobs¬†tab.
  • Click¬†Create Job Alert¬†to setup alerts for when the company posts jobs that match your skills.
  • Once you create these, you can also let recruiters know that you‚Äôve have job alerts for their company by switching the toggle to¬†On.

Ongoing, you can view and manage your list of company alerts for by clicking¬†Manage job alerts¬†on the Jobs page. Here you can also manage your specific job alerts from the section –¬†At companies you‚Äôve saved job alerts for.

Obviously, LinkedIn has its own job postings that you can easily navigate by clicking on Jobs at the very top. You are going to need to be proactive with your network and connections, as this feature (and job boards in general) won’t necessarily get you hired.

After all that work, you now have a great profile!

#7 РIntroductions. The best thing that LinkedIn can do for a job seeker is help you find the specific name of the person to contact. You can find the hiring managers, leadership and HR contacts and reach out to them directly.

You probably aren’t connected to that person, so find out who is and get an introduction. They don’t have to be hiring – but they will likely be flattered if you tell them that you want to work for them. This may get you in the ideal situation in which you are the only person interviewing for an opening not even posted.

Use LinkedIn to its fullest potential because it is so much more than a black & white resume! If your search isn’t confidential, don’t be hesitant to tell everyone you know well that you are on the hunt – and the more specific you can be, the better.¬†

Good luck chasing your dream job!

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

blueoctopusllc.com

How to Recruit on LinkedIn

13 Feb

party

This is my 3rd entry in a series of 7 blogs about how to make better use of LinkedIn. My first two articles were an introduction and focus on selling via LinkedIn (see entries on January 31 & February 7 if you missed them: BOSC WordPress).

If you are a full-time recruiter, you probably know the ins and outs of using LinkedIn. The rest of you probably don’t maximize all the benefits of this expansive site. Unemployment remains extremely low in 2019, so you can’t wait for resumes to land on your doorstep. Great candidates are currently working, and LinkedIn is probably the best way to proactively find them.

1. JOIN THE PARTY

By joining some of the larger groups on LinkedIn – including some specific to your industry – you give yourself further exposure to others. You can message other members directly, post new conversations within the group (like “I have an opening!”) and comment on others’ posts without requiring a first degree connection. I highly recommend doing some work searching and joining groups.

2. ROAR LIKE A LION

I covered being a L.I.O.N. (LinkedIn Open Networker) in my last blog. If you don’t know what it is, please read that last post. If you are actively recruiting, utilize this rich network on LinkedIn.

3. CONSIDER A SUBSCRIPTION

For some of us, the need for InMails and additional tools within LinkedIn becomes a little more important. I’d consider an upgrade so that you can message 2nd degree connections and beyond. Also, you will be able to contact other premium members without using an InMail (a $60/month subscription gives you 15 per month).

If you do have them, use your InMails wisely. Craft personalized messages explaining why the recipient seems like a match for your opening. Keep it brief and to the point about your opportunity.

4. JOB POSTINGS?

I don’t mean to plug spending a lot on LinkedIn but posting a job on here can be a good option. Not to get off-topic, but here are my job board recommendations:

  • Try ZipRecruiter and Indeed first; they are probably the most effective.
  • Monster and CareerBuilder are still relevant. They have become good but not great.
  • Dice can be effective for technical positions.
  • Ladders is good for salespeople and other $100K+ jobs.

I think LinkedIn falls in a close third behind ZipRecruiter and Indeed. Most of my tips are proactive efforts versus reactionary, so please don’t assume that job ads are going to easily fill your opening with a great candidate.

5. USE A CRYSTAL BALL

Crystal is a plug-in that allows you to learn about the personality of a person on LinkedIn based on their communication style. It’s a great little tool and I’d highly recommend that you give it a try.

6. DO YOUR HOMEWORK

The absolute number one value for recruiting on LinkedIn is the research you can do in finding people. Consider this site crucial for data mining. What do you want to mine? Their name, skill set and company. If you know this much, you can determine who to reach out to. With an extensive network (500+ connections), the advanced search becomes your best friend.

7. NOW WHAT?

You have their name, but you don’t have any InMails nor a group in common with the person. DON’T risk sending them an invitation to connect if they are a stranger. You can be red-flagged by LinkedIn if more than one person responds “I Don’t Know” to your invite.

Even though there are 590 Million people on LinkedIn, only 260 Million (44%) are monthly users. The average user spends just 17 minutes a month on their site. For more statistics, check out: https://www.omnicoreagency.com/linkedin-statistics/.

You are going to have to get more creative than that – below are four better suggestions.

a. Get an introduction. Chances are, you have a contact in common – message that person in LinkedIn (1st degrees are always free) and ask for that introduction. Also, be sure to clarify your intentions up front – “introducers” can be more helpful if they know you want to reach the person about a job opening.

b. Locate them on a job board by name and company. Even if they aren’t currently searching, you may be able to find this person on one of the several mentioned in #4 above. A lot of resumes are kept on job boards indefinitely (unless taken down by the user).

c. Find their email.¬†Sometimes you get lucky and they have their email listed in their profile. In 2019, it’s not that difficult to find people’s email addresses. If you know their company, go to their website and find their email “suffix”. Blue Octopus is http://www.blueoctopusllc.com, so our email ends @blueoctopusllc.com. Joe Johnson at Blue Octopus is probably one of the 90% that can then be reached using these common email formats: jjohnson@blueoctopusllc.com or joe.johnson@blueoctopusllc.com (if a smaller company, try joe@blueoctopusllc.com). Worst case scenario, it bounces, and you move on to other methods.

d. Call them! You know where they work; if they look great, it might be time to bravely pick up the phone.

Remember when emailing and especially calling them at work to be respectful of your “interruption”. Keep the emails somewhat vague aside from stating you “have an opportunity to discuss”. Over the phone ask if this is “a good time – or can we schedule something more convenient?” (Picture their boss is sitting at their desk!).

8. KEEP CONNECTING!

I started out on LinkedIn many years ago, slowly adding colleagues, friends, clients and people I’ve met in person to build my network to over 2,000 connections. Later, I became an active LION and open networker. 14,000 connections later, I have a vast network giving me exposure to millions. If the average user has 500 connections (based on what I’ve read, that’s probably a low estimate), then I have 500 * 14,000 = 7,000,000 second degree connections!

First and foremost, I want you to think of LinkedIn as a database for mining people’s names, titles and skill sets. Don’t assume that an InMail (or any message) will work, because at least half of your messages probably aren’t read by the individual. Please, please remember – LinkedIn isn’t all-encompassing and you will need to apply some of the methods that I suggest under #7 above.

Stay on top of building your network РIf you have spoken to or emailed a connection, send a personalized invitation. If you have met them in person, diligently keep sending these new people invites! 

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

http://www.blueoctopusllc.com

 

Selling with LinkedIn

7 Feb

Lion-Panthera-Leo

In last week’s blog, I introduced this 7-part blog on LinkedIn¬† (https://bit.ly/2Gcmsnh). This is the second in the series (Recruitment, Job Seeking, Groups & Recommendations to follow).

I think the number one use for LinkedIn is for selling you – and your product or service. Below are six ways in which it helps you sell.

#1 – You can search and find the right prospects by name and title. Not only can you find people within companies you are targeting, but you will also see the connections that you have in common (hint, hint – maybe you can get an introduction). If someone works in a white-collar business, they are likely to be found on LinkedIn, so this is a great place to mine information.

#2 – It also allows you to learn a little more about that person.¬†It’s incredible how much information we can gather about someone through LinkedIn before even speaking to them.¬†I’d suggest using a plug-in tool called Crystal. It gives you a detailed summary of the personality of the individual (it gives you 10 free profile views per month and a paid account provides unlimited views). It’s amazingly insightful, using an algorithm for the way a person communicates on the LinkedIn platform. Crystal is a simple tool that is just another way of making this social media site even more effective.

Inversely, when people are buying from you, they probably go to your LinkedIn to gather information about you (just as often or more often than visiting your company website). In 2019, your prospects and customers are more informed than ever prior to meeting you. It isn’t just about your company and products/service – they are becoming more knowledgeable about you personally… so building a great profile is key (especially your Headline & Summary).

#3 – Like Facebook, it’s great for staying connected with people. It’s your 2019 Rolodex – and this Rolodex updates itself for you.

#4 – Networking. It’s ideal for ongoing networking before and after you’ve met someone in person. And it’s also cool that you already know what they look like when you are meeting someone at a busy coffee shop for the first time!

#5 – InMails.¬†LinkedIn has a variety of pricing plans which offer you a certain number of “InMails” (messaging within LinkedIn) for reaching people that aren’t first degree contacts. I don’t think paying for it is a must – but if you do consider a paid plan, I think InMails are the best part of paying for an upgraded subscription.

#6 – LinkedIn Open Networkers. Last week, I talked about being a cat or dog on LinkedIn… but, you actually want to be a LION! LIONs (Linked. In. Open. Networkers.) are willing to connect with anyone. If you are a salesperson, why wouldn’t you want to make a connection with as many people as possible? It may be an employee of a company you are trying to sell into – or it may be a person that lives in another city that is willing to grab dinner with you when you are in town (I once had drinks with a LION connection in Stockholm). As a salesperson, why not open more doors – at the very least, those specific to your industry?

The key to being a LION is basically the “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game… LinkedIn shows your 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections: You know George Smith who knows Amy Larson (a 2nd degree) and she knows Margaret Thatcher (3rd degree). The trouble with searches is that you can’t see profiles unless they are 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connections (and in many cases, it doesn’t even show 3rd degrees). If you want to find more people, you need to be connected to more people. So, advertise yourself as a LinkedIn Open Networker or LION on your headline. I have over 14,000 connections and I receive 5-10 invitations a day from other LIONs – the overall effectiveness is exponential.

You can search for LIONs (see “People filters” for different categories) and send them invitations. They will always accept your invite and not put you at risk. Typically, if someone receives your invitation and they don’t know you, they can click “I Don’t Know” this person… and that’s a red flag. If you receive some of these flags (the number is an undisclosed LinkedIn mystery) – they can suspend or shut down your profile.

If you aren’t doing so already, use LinkedIn to aid your selling efforts. As a salesperson, it’s a must.¬†

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

blueoctopusllc.com

 

 

 

 

Are You a Dog or Cat on LinkedIn?

29 Jan

doggiest

From a simplified perspective, there are essentially two ways to use LinkedIn: Like a cat or like a dog…

Dog:¬†You want to meet and connect with EVERYONE even if you don’t know them well (that’s me!). If you are meeting new people on a weekly basis, this method might make sense for you as a place to collect your connections; if you are a recruiter or a salesperson, I highly recommend being a dog.

Cat:¬†You are more careful about your connections on LinkedIn. This is your core group of trusted colleagues and you don’t want to overload your contact list. You cats out there will probably be annoyed with my recommendations to join a lot of groups and connect with as many people as you can. You’ve kept this program simple and therefore a little more manageable.

Even though I’m a dog, I can appreciate the cat strategy. My personal LinkedIn is overloaded with connections and given its limitations, it can be difficult at times to sort through and remember my interaction with all my 1st degrees.

In 2003, LinkedIn went into business and then in 2016, Microsoft purchased it (for $26 Billion). It was ahead of its time – to compare, Facebook was launched in 2004 and Twitter in 2006. If the Rolodex wasn’t a thing of the past in 2003, it certainly got thrown out once LinkedIn came around.

Sixteen years later, LinkedIn is somewhat of a name brand in social media for business. It’s still very practical but not as user-friendly as I’d like it to be. Even with the best $120 monthly subscription, the ability to export specific information (like location) is poor and you are probably going to find a few aspects of the interface clunky.

That said, whether you are a dog or a cat, LinkedIn is the go-to web site for professional networking and that probably isn’t going to change any time soon. Since their basic membership is free, at the very least, have a profile on it and understand a few basic methods of using this social media tool.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to break down LinkedIn in further detail to highlight its strengths:

  • Selling
  • Hiring
  • Job Seeking
  • Groups
  • Recommendations.

In this upcoming blog series, I am not going to give much detail about building your profile. It has been written many times so instead, my focus will be on the list above. However, just to recap the basics: use a good profile picture, build some detail under your work history and create a profile highlighting your personality and strengths. Make sure it is well written!

Have you identified yourself as a Cat or Dog? Whatever your animal, let’s make the most of LinkedIn! I look forward to diving into more detail in the coming weeks.

It’s time to grow faster

~ Drew

drew@blueoctopusllc.com