The biggest excuse keeping professionals from using LinkedIn? “I don’t have the time for one more thing.” So here are five things you could do on LinkedIn while drinking your ­morning coffee.
• Check the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” menu option. Even a free LinkedIn account let’s you find a sampling of the people who have checked out your profile. This will let you know who’s thinking about you. If you see that a potential client has viewed your profile, shoot him or her a message. (Don’t do it right away, and don’t mention you saw they were looking at your profile.) Doesn’t it makes sense to market to the one person you know is thinking about you?
This feature appears on the homepage of every LinkedIn account — just look under the “Profile” menu.
• Add three new connections. The top right corner of the LinkedIn “People You May Know” section will give you a few suggestions, but if you want to drill down deeper you can hit the “Network” button on the top of the screen and select “Find Alumni.” This will show you people who went to school when and where you did. You can further filter this down to find out who’s working in the legal industry or lives in your city. Just click on “find alumni” to search for your old classmates.
• Share you favorite article from that morning using the “Share an Update” feature on the homepage. If you have already spent 30 minutes reading a useful article, taking one more minute to share the link will show you are on top of the latest developments and add value to your network. Will anybody read your update? Absolutely — and if you want to make sure of it you can always go to bitly.com to shorten the link and track how many people have viewed it.
• Go to LinkedIn’s home page and look at whether any of your connections have been promoted or moved to new companies. Often, the best way to bring in new clients is by following your strongest relationships as they move from company to company.
• Take the time to endorse some of your most valued contacts. If you have worked for them personally, you can take time to write a recommendation for them. There’s been considerable debate about the importance of endorsements — do they really matter? All I know is that it means a lot to me personally when someone I think highly of endorses me. To endorse someone, just look up their LinkedIn profile using the search bar on the top of the page, then follow the prompts. It takes a few seconds, but is a nice way to pay it forward.
A mentor of mine once told me, “You can’t make time; you have to schedule time.” You’ve already scheduled your cup of coffee — let’s make that time count by checking off a few of these tasks on LinkedIn.
Adrian Dayton is an attorney and author of the book Social Media for Lawyers (Twitter Edition). His website is adriandayton.com.