I am starting to play around with Facebook, not because I want to have something else to do in my already busy life but because I want to be able to intelligently answer the question of what benefits it might have as a business tool.  To that end, I was on Facebook the other night and, as usual with something new on the computer, five minutes turned into 90 minutes, with no real apparent value.  Ever had that feeling?

Time management on social media sites, including LinkedIn, is a real issue; so I thought it might be time to address this topic again by talking about what you should do daily on LinkedIn to get the most out of it.  I’m calling this tip…

                               Getting the most out of LinkedIn in just 15 minutes per day

Here are the steps I recommend that you do each and every day (you can decide whether that means just workdays or weekends as well) to receive consistent results in your networking efforts using LinkedIn.  Try to make this time not only consistent but dedicated.  If you find a certain time of day and a specific place where you do this, it will help this to become a consistent habit. 

1.      Respond to any messages in your Inbox.  I can’t emphasize enough the importance of being timely when someone is reaching out to you.  Always think about how “antsy” you get these days when someone doesn’t answer a text message in a minute or two.  The world we live in has really amped up this expectation; so don’t let a day go by with something sitting in that box.  If the item doesn’t require a response, like a mass invitation to an event or something like that, place it in archive so you don’t spend time thinking about it another day.

2.      Invite people whom you met yesterday to join your network. Timeliness on this step is important for a couple reasons.  First, you want to make sure that the person you met will remember the meeting or conversation you had with him/her that led to the invitation to join your network.  Second, your being the aggressor and sending the invitation shows that you care and that you are very good at timely follow-through.  This should make a good first impression and suggest that this is how you do all things in your life, including whatever business you are in.  Always be sure to invite people from their profile page so you can use a detailed invitation.  I know they have shortened this message up, which I really hate, but I just can’t stand the standard LinkedIn invitation message when you are trying to begin what should be a long and beneficial relationship.

3.      Review the previous day’s emails of group discussions you are following.  Don’t select the option of following a discussion unless you are really interested in the topic or the person who started the discussion, because you will be overwhelmed by the quantity of these emails.  Be selective, and this will help in just giving you the important discussions to keep tabs on.

4.      Review the status updates from your network for the previous day.  This is your chance to see what your friends think is most important in their lives that you might want to be a part of or comment on.  Remember that when you share a comment, you are sharing that with all the people in their network, and that is great marketing for you.

5.      Post a status update of your own.  Don’t miss this great daily opportunity to share information with your entire first level network and also remind them that you are still out there doing business and looking forward to their help.  Staying top of mind is where you want to be with your friends, and this is a super way to do that.  LinkedIn etiquette would allow you to do some self-promotion from time to time, hopefully crafted in a question type format.  Just be careful not to make this your focus.  Remember – LinkedIn is a networking platform, and that means giving, sharing and helping first and foremost.  Also, doing some homework during the rest of your work week and saving links to articles and websites will help you to have good information to share.  Try to have a place in your briefcase or on your desk that you keep those links, so that when you do this step you have great content to pick from and share.  I recently read in Mitch Joel’s book “Six Pixels of Separation” that “content is media,” which is so true.  So why not make this part of the LinkedIn experience your own little daily media machine. 

6.      Review Recently Connected.  Is there anything more important in the networking world than knowing who your friends just met?  I have received more benefit out of this section of my home page than any other part.

Miscellaneous News and Notes-- 
Preorder my book "The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success: Kick-start your Business, Brand and Job Search" from Greenleaf Book Group at Amazon.com.

Some of the other resources I provide are:

•       Customized corporate training classes
•       Keynote and workshop presentations for conventions and association meetings
•       Corporate social media strategy consulting
•       For Sale:  LinkedIn training DVDs for beginners and intermediate users
•       For daily tips, follow me on Twitter at:  http://twitter.com/WayneBreitbarth

Here is my upcoming schedule for teaching/speaking so you can share with friends, relatives and business associates.  Follow link or paste into your browser for additional details and registration information.



Wednesday February 23, 2011      Wayne's LinkedIn Power Formula Training for Beginners
                                                   M&M Office Interiors; 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Good luck in grabbing that 15 minutes a day to LinkedIn success.

Wayne C. Breitbarth
M&M Office Interiors, Inc.
W233 N2833 Roundy Circle West Suite 100
Pewaukee, WI  53072

office 262-781-2600
cell 414-313-7785