I never really wanted to be LinkedIn, Facebooked or Twittered. It all started with a good friend of mine consistently nagging me, saying, “You have to be on LinkedIn. You own your own business.” Well, when someone tells me, a 53-year-old experienced business guy, what I have to do, well, those are fighting words.
But, as luck would have it, around that same time I was in Holland, Michigan, for a series of meetings and found myself with a couple of hours in my hotel room. I had my computer and the Internet and thought I’d try this thing since no one was watching. I surely didn’t want to admit that I was messing around with social media.
Within forty minutes, I realized the power of this site, went to Amazon.com, and ordered two LinkedIn books to begin my own official investigation. Being a CPA, I need to understand the details and master something or else I don’t waste my time. In the next two months, I studied those books, read the blogs of numerous experts, and became a student of the site.
Since that time, it has been my passion and part-time job to learn everything I can about LinkedIn. My teaching, consulting and speaking, along with preparing my weekly email of LinkedIn tips and helps, have kept me searching for more and different ways to apply the power of LinkedIn to the experiences and relationships businesspeople already have in an effort to maximize its benefits.
Don’t mess with it until you have a strategy. I see way too many people come to my classes and say they are on LinkedIn, but they don’t have a clue what they are going to do with it. I would rather see people strategically using networking, branding and marketing tools they understand as opposed to wasting their time answering another set of emails and accepting connection invitations with no strategy or purpose behind the effort.
Have a well-defined, documented strategy so you can measure your results or forget it. Your time would be better spent enjoying your favorite hobby or leisure activity. It doesn’t bother me when someone comes to my class and says, “Great, I get it now, but I don’t see how it will work for me; so I am going to pass.” Bravo to that person. At least he is on to the next new idea or thought about how he is going to grow his network and business.
LinkedIn does many things really well, but based on my personal experiences, feedback from my audiences, and my semiannual LinkedIn user surveys, the three things LinkedIn users find most beneficial are researching, networking, and marketing. The moment we get our profile up, most of us old-school business folk want LinkedIn to produce lots of sales. Well, that is probably not going to happen. On the other hand, those people who are spending time improving their researching, networking, and marketing techniques are certainly seeing an increase in their sales.
In addition to the lack of a well-defined strategy, the top five mistakes people make when using LinkedIn are:
This is a big issue for all of us. Who has time for a new habit that is supposed to take two hours per week? My suggestion is to set up a specific time that you devote to LinkedIn, maybe while you are watching your favorite television show or sporting event (Packers for me, please), and then stick to it. Hey—who says the Facebook generation is the only group that can multitask?
Changes are always going to be a part of this type of technology. My suggestion is to find an expert who is staying on top of it and keep listening to him/her. My blog and weekly tips give information in bite-sized pieces, making it easy for beginners, as well as more advanced users, to understand and implement the latest techniques.
Call me an old guy if you must, but for me there is something special about picking up a book while on an airplane or curled up in my favorite easy chair near the fireplace. I wanted to make it easy for busy businesspeople to learn the secrets to unlocking the power of LinkedIn in as little as three or four hours—whether at the beach, on an airplane, or while relaxing at home.
Sure, but since time management is always a concern for busy businesspeople, I suggest starting with LinkedIn. After becoming proficient with LinkedIn, consider investigating the other social media platforms. Facebook is great for businesses that sell directly to consumers. Twitter is an effective tool for directing people to your website or blog. You need to decide which social networking sites will most effectively help you accomplish your goals. Do yourself a favor—develop a strategy before embarking on any kind of social networking or you may find yourself wasting a whole lot of time.
The key to providing valuable information for all LinkedIn users—both beginner and more experienced users—was the inclusion of practical, real-life examples that result from my many years as a businessman. I am confident those stories and examples will provide “aha moments” for the experienced LinkedIn users and also motivate the beginners to embrace this powerful tool.
As I was writing the book, my knowledge of and passion for LinkedIn was continually increasing. As a result, I decided to include many of those more advanced concepts and ideas in my book. More seasoned users will be able to immediately begin implementing those techniques, and the beginners will be able to see the great potential this tool provides.
As the father of three extraordinary daughters, I have experienced the full range of parental emotions—from the highs of birth, first steps, and scoring that first soccer goal, to the lows of the first car accident and less-than-stellar boyfriend. But the top-of-the-mountain moment was the phone call I received from my oldest daughter: “I got a full-time job, Dad, with benefits!”
Since I suspect the vast majority of my readers will be Baby Boomers, I know many of them are anxious to get their adult children on the road to financial independence. To assist them, I have included in my book valuable advice they can share with their kids about how to find a job using LinkedIn. This includes suggestions regarding keeping their Facebook account free of inappropriate material, because employers and recruiters will be looking at how they present themselves on that site. The chapter also includes tips on what to include in their profile, connecting with business professionals, and using LinkedIn to prepare for an interview.
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“Power Formula doesn’t read like a first book, which this is for Breitbarth. Instead, it is polished and comprehensive enough to provide an excellent starting base for social media newbies. Seasoned LinkedIn users may gain less from it, but it certainly deserves a look.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Perfect for readers who grew up before the dawn of the Internet era.”
“The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success is a thorough, comprehensive how-to manual, yet it is easy to follow and a pleasure to read. With Wayne Breitbarth as a guide, even a business executive who knows little about social media will be able to learn how to put LinkedIn to good use.”
“To succeed in business today you need to thoroughly understand how to leverage one of today's most powerful tools, LinkedIn. A great first step is to read Breitbarth's book.”
-Erik Qualman, International Best-Selling Author of Socialnomics
“The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success is a great guide for anyone looking to leverage LinkedIn for professional development purposes. I highly recommend this book for novices in particular who will find Breitbarth’s style user friendly and geek-speak free. Worthy of space on the book-shelf or on your handy-dandy Kindle.”
—Shama Kabani, Author of the best-selling The Zen of Social Media Marketing
“Social networks are evolving into commercial networks—a way to find jobs and conduct work—and thus are an increasingly important channel in people’s lives. As Wayne points out in his excellent book, LinkedIn is all about making the right connections, which is why we view it as an invaluable tool for recruiting talent that helps our clients win. Buy at least 396 copies of Wayne’s book and share it with all your friends.”
Mark Toth, chief legal officer, Manpower North America
“I know of no one who knows how to use LinkedIn better than Wayne Breitbarth. That he is willing to share his knowledge so clearly and concisely is truly a gift—his gift to anyone who needs to connect for business, for fun, or to find a job.”
—Robert Grede, bestselling author of Naked Marketing: The Bare Essentials and The Spur & the Sash: A Novel
“I own a small business and have followed Wayne’s advice to better utilize LinkedIn. By revising my profile, participating in groups, and more effectively using the advanced search function, I’ve been able to get connected to key decision-makers and drive traffic to our website. It’s been a great business development tool for my company.”
—Jeff Carrigan, founder and CMO, Big Shoes Network
“The Power Formula greatly simplifies the ability of those of us not in the Facebook generation to make sense of social media and leverage LinkedIn for business success.”
—Michael A. Dalton, author of Simplifying Innovation
“This book is just like Wayne himself—smart, down-to-earth, and full of good ideas. The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success explains how anyone can use LinkedIn to propel business growth. With clear explanations and real-life examples, it’s a must-read for anyone who is serious about business development.”
—Christina Steder, president, Clear Verve Marketing
“While college students are not strangers to social media, having direction and focus on how to appropriately and professionally use LinkedIn as a tool for researching careers and networking with professionals is essential. Wayne Breitbarth gives great instruction for this tech-savvy yet new-to-the-workforce population.”
—Laura F. Kestner,
director, Career Services Center, Marquette University
“The combination of Wayne Breitbarth’s passion for the power of social networking and his real-world business experience, deep knowledge, mastery of LinkedIn, and skill as a trainer make the The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success a real standout. This is the one book to buy if you are serious about getting up to speed fast.”
—Frank Martinelli, president, The Center for Public Skills Training
“As someone who has been helping clients use the Web and social media as powerful business tools for fifteen years, I'm embarrassed to admit that I never quite ‘got’ LinkedIn. It wasn't until some of my public speaking engagements had me on the same program with Wayne that I realized what I was missing. Wayne's real-world experience, commonsense approach and enthusiastic style have turned roomfuls of attendees—and me—into true believers in the power of LinkedIn. I still help my clients with their Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare tactics, but for LinkedIn expertise that translates into meaningful results, I send them to see Wayne. If LinkedIn is just a part of your business social media strategy, Wayne's book will be valuable. And if LinkedIn is the only thing you do, it's the only book you need!”
—Tom Snyder, president and CEO, Trivera Interactive, and author of The Complete Idiot's Mini Guide to Real-time Marketing with Foursquare
“Wayne's delightful book will help you build competence in understanding LinkedIn, gain confidence in using this important tool, and enable you to take the risk of embracing social media to advance your professional goals. Buy it today!”
—Susan Marshall, president, Executive Advisor LLC, and author of How to Grow a Backbone
“A worthwhile business book is one that gets turned into a reference guide to be referred to over and over. Wayne has written such a book. Buy one and you’ll be less intimidated about Web 2.0, Sales 2.0, and you’ll begin to get measurable results from one social media option—because you’ll be linked in!”
—Jeff Koser, author of Selling to Zebras
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