Posted by: garispang | August 6, 2009

6 Top LinkedIn Tools

We all get the point of LinkedIn…extend our networking by finding other business professionals to connect to with the hope that this will lead to more opportunity and eventually help us grow our business.  Some people do this more freely then other, but regardless we all want to be able to do it more effectively.  With that in mind here are 5 top LinkedIn tools.
Build a Better Profile:
The Linkulator:  The Linkulator is the first tool that grades your LinkedIn profile from 0 to 100, compares your score to the average LinkedIn user, and provides some tips to help you improve your score.  I’m partial to this tool because I built it.
Expand Your Network:
WebMail or Mail Client Import:  This tool simply looks at the people you communicate with through email, imports them into LinkedIn, and then shows you which of your imported contacts are already LinkedIn members.  You can then click to invite these people one by one or several at a time.
The Webmail option is simple and you just need to supply your login information.  The Mail Client (Outlook, Lotus, Mac, etc.) requires that you export your contacts to a CSV file and then import that to LinkedIn.  Instructions are available for the different programs making it a simple process.
Find a Job/Advance Your Career
Jobs Insider:  The Jobs Insider comes with the LinkedIn Browser toolbar.  With it you can see how you connect into a job listing and see how you are connected to the position.  The tool works with Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs, Craigslist, SimplyHired, Dice, or Vault
Build Your Credibility
LinkedIn Answers & RSS Feeds
Track topics based on keywords and categories in LinkedIn Answers to review and respond to questions posed by other LinkedIn members.  When you look at a category on the right side at the bottom of the Browse box is a text link to “Subscribe to new questions in” whichever category you are currently viewing.
Click on the RSS link and it will allow you to choose an RSS Reader from the list.  I use My Yahoo to view news stories and have set up an RSS feed to show me the most recent questions in several categories.  I can quickly find the most recent questions asked and build my credibility through sharing information and demonstrating my expertise.
Communicate Your Message
Blogs are a great way to provide value, share information, and communicate your message in a non-sales manner.  The WordPress or Blogger applications allow you to pull your blog into your profile, adding another dimension to it.  Blogs are easy to set up and you can have one up and running in less than 20 minutes.
We all get the point of LinkedIn…extend our networking by finding other business professionals to connect to with the hope that this will lead to more opportunity and eventually help us grow our business.  Some people do this more freely then others, but regardless we all want to be able to do it more effectively.  With that in mind here are 5 top LinkedIn tools and a bonus tool.

Build a Better Profile:
The Linkulator:  The Linkulator is the first tool that grades your LinkedIn profile from 0 to 100, compares your score to the average LinkedIn user, and provides some tips to help you improve your score.  I’m partial to this tool because I built it.

Expand Your Network:
WebMail or Mail Client Import:  This tool simply looks at the people you communicate with through email, imports them into LinkedIn, and then shows you which of your imported contacts are already LinkedIn members.  You can then click to invite these people one by one or several at a time.

The Webmail option is simple and you just need to supply your login information.  The Mail Client (Outlook, Lotus, Mac, etc.) requires that you export your contacts to a CSV file and then import that to LinkedIn.  Instructions are available for the different programs making it a simple process.

Find a Job/Advance Your Career
Jobs Insider:  The Jobs Insider comes with the LinkedIn Browser toolbar.  With it you can see how you connect into a job listing and see how you are connected to the position.  The tool works with Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs, Craigslist, SimplyHired, Dice, or Vault

Build Your Credibility
LinkedIn Answers & RSS Feeds (the link takes you to the Start Ups and Small Business Category.  RSS feeds are available in each category):  Track topics based on keywords and categories in LinkedIn Answers to review and respond to questions posed by other LinkedIn members.  When you look at a category on the right side at the bottom of the Browse box is a text link to “Subscribe to new questions in” whichever category you are currently viewing.

Click on the RSS link and it will allow you to choose an RSS Reader from the list.  I use My Yahoo to view news stories and have set up an RSS feed to show me the most recent questions in several categories.  I can quickly find the most recent questions asked and build my credibility through sharing information and demonstrating my expertise.

Communicate Your Message
Blog Applications:  Blogs are a great way to provide value, share information, and communicate your message in a non-sales manner.  The WordPress or Blogger applications allow you to pull your blog into your profile, adding another dimension to it.  Blogs are easy to set up and you can have one up and running in less than 20 minutes.

Bonus Tool
Resume Import to Create Profile:  Building your profile can be time consuming when you first start out.  Many people start and stop and only get to a detailed profile after many update sessions.  LinkedIn now allows you to upload your resume to build your profile.

I have to admit that I have not used the tool…my profile’s been built for a while…but anything that makes it easier is a good thing.  Just be sure to double check it because you never know what translation errors may occur.

Wrap Up
That’s it for the Top Tool tips.  They are many other tools available to help you more effectively utilize LinkedIn.  What are some of your favorites that I did not include?

**LinkedIn is only part of the Social Media equation.  Some other tools that are effective are Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and of course blogs.  If you have questions about how to incorporate these great tools into your business I’d be happy to help.  SONARconnects, the advertising agency I’m a partner in offers the following services:

1.  Social Media Training:  We create and/or optimize your accounts, show you how to build your communities, and communicate your message…all with the purpose helping you monetizing social media.

2.  Social Media Management:  We actively manage your accounts and take responsibility for building your communities, communicating your message, and establishing your online brand.

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