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It's back-to-school time here in the United States, and that means lots of new beginnings—teachers, friends, activities, and, of course, a new grading period. So, what does this have to do with LinkedIn?

Well, LinkedIn has an awesome FREE grading system called the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI)However, most people have not taken advantage of it. 

And don't be turned off by the word "selling" just because you're not a salesperson. Let's face it—we're all selling something. If you're not selling products or services, you're selling yourself or your organization every day. And with the rise of social media, this has never been more true.

Get your score by simply clicking the Get your score free button on this page: https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/social-selling/the-social-selling-index-ssi

By the way, I'll be discussing easy ways to improve your SSI score as well as lots of tips, tricks, and strategies for growing your brand and making more money at my virtual workshop Using LinkedIn to Generate a Steady Stream of Sales Prospects. The workshop will be on September 14, noon-2pm CT. No worries if you're busy, because all registrants will receive a recording of the session.


What's your score?

Yes, 100 is a perfect score, and I doubt anyone has achieved that score other than maybe Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) or Ryan Roslansky (current CEO of LinkedIn). But be sure to look past just the raw score and see how you rank in your industry and your network, both in total and in each of the four scoring categories (maximum of 25 points for each category). Also, take note of the trend line for your score. These spots are where the information gets particularly helpful for you personally.


What is SSI and why should you care?

LinkedIn came up with SSI to score sales professionals and their corporate teams and track improvement and results, thus proving the ROI from upgrading to their most expensive premium sales upgrade called Sales Navigator. So, of course LinkedIn has a motive for spending time and effort to generate this information. They're hoping companies will upgrade all their salespeople to Sales Navigator.

However, now all users can learn and improve by tracking their Social Selling Index (SSI). It's easy to set goals after you receive your score from LinkedIn.

LinkedIn surveyed over 5,000 sales professionals, and they've shared the following fairly significant results that demonstrate the importance of becoming an SSI leader:
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  • SSI leaders create 45% more opportunities per quarter than SSI laggards
  • SSI leaders are 51% more likely to hit quota than SSI laggards
  • 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don't use social media


How does LinkedIn determine your SSI score?

Your SSI score is based on what LinkedIn refers to as "The Four Pillars of Social." Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 7.06.14 AM

1. Establish your professional brand. Complete your profile with the customer in mind. Become a thought leader by publishing meaningful posts.

2. Find the right people. Identify better prospects in less time using efficient search and research tools.

3. Engage with insights. Discover and share conversation-worthy updates to create and grow relationships.

4. Build relationships. Strengthen your network by connecting and establishing trust with decision makers.

You can view LinkedIn's SlideShare presentations with additional Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 7.21.38 AMinsights on how to improve your score in these four areas. I would highly recommend you take the time to click through these presentations, especially the ones related to the areas where your SSI results indicate you have the most work to do.

I'm in total agreement with LinkedIn that these are the four critical elements for getting results from all your social media channels—and not just for selling purposes but also for growing your brand, improving your business and personal marketing, and finding your next great job.

And just in case you're wondering, my SSI is currently 86, and I rank in the top 1% of my industry and network—but I won't be happy until I get to 100. I only scored 16.42 out of 25 in the "Engage with Insights" category, and I'm going to work on that.

REMINDER:  Using LinkedIn to Generate a Steady Stream of Sales Prospects Workshop

If you'd like to learn more simple ways to not only improve your SSI but to find and connect with more prospects, grow your brand, and make more money with LinkedIn, register now for my upcoming two-hour workshop on September 14. Click here to get more details and register. And remember—if you aren't able to attend the live virtual event, your registration includes a link to the recording.