Fall. The time of year for dropping temps and dropping leaves, watching football, planning for the holidays, and, of course, putting together our business growth plans for the next year. For most of us the current economy will not allow us to easily project growth without changing something in the way we approach our day-to-day business activity. We are looking for that something new or different to help us move the numbers.
I have a couple suggestions that might help you get the learning and encouragement you need to execute that "something new." 
For those of you in or near the Badger State, I have some excellent live learning choices coming up. For those of you in other parts of the world, I have brand new specialty LinkedIn training DVD's you can pop in your computer or TV and get an "almost live" experience. 
Here are the details.
Live Learning Events:
Thurs Oct 27:  "48 Steps to Small Business Success" in Wauwatosa
Wed Nov 2:  "LinkedIn & Facebook for Business" in Green Bay
LinkedIn Training DVD's 
(email me at wayne@powerformula.net or call 262-241-5807 for ordering details)
  • LinkedIn Speed Training for Beginners (available in my website store)
  • LinkedIn Intermediate Power Formula Training (available in my website store)
  • LinkedIn for the Sales Professional 
  • LinkedIn for Non-Profits 
  • LinkedIn for the Human Resources Professional 
  • LinkedIn for the CEO
Get some learning, make some changes, and get going on your 2012 growth plan. Now on to this week's LinkedIn thought.

While traveling this week I read a great new social media book called "Likeable Social Media" by Dave Kerpen. I highly recommend it. The book is an overview of the social media landscape, with the major premise summed up in one quote from the book: "Today the like facebook like buttonis more important than the link."  
He suggests (and I totally agree with him) there are certain tools on each social media site that will help us stay in front of, communicate with, and ultimately sell more to people if and only if we can earn the ability to get a like from our customers, fans, followers, connections, or whatever they are called on the desired platform.
Dave focuses mostly on Facebook and Twitter. Of course, I could not help but think about what features on LinkedIn would be the most helpful to you in accomplishing this same favored like status. Here are my top four ideas.
1.  Like.  Duh. You can "like" status updates from individuals and companies as well as group discussions. Once you push the "Like" button, your name will appear with a "thumbs up." The conversation or discussion you "liked" will then be referenced in your own Status Update feed. This is a great way to give these updates and discussions additional exposure.
I have used this to help a friend find a job. I saw a job posting, pushed the "Like" button, and my friend saw the job positing in his Status Update feed. He then contacted the person who posted the job and was eventually hired for the job. Without my "like," he may never have known about the job.
2.  Share.  The "Share" button allows you to share with your network web links to articles, videos, etc. You can choose to share the link in a status update, with your Twitter followers and/or LinkedIn groups, or selected individuals. You can include an encouraging comment as well. 
3.  Follow.  You can follow companies, discussions, and group members. By following, you are saying to the individual, "I like what you do, what you share, and I want to make sure I don't miss anything you say or do."  
LinkedIn's recent introduction of company status updates is a great addition to the site. You will definitely be doing your company a big service by encouraging people to follow your company. I will discuss this in greater detail in a future tip.
I would be honored to have you follow my company.
4.  Connect.  This is the ultimate in "liking" -- having someone want to connect with you, listen to all you want to share, and also help them grow their network and their business by giving them access to your network. 
You definitely need to consider your LinkedIn connections strategy as you begin to put together your 2012 growth plan. This article I wrote will help you get your head around this concept.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts about "liking" on LinkedIn.