As we have talked about before, LinkedIn at its core is another way to network, and one of the cornerstones of good networking is helping people.  In a class I taught recently, I was asked the question, “How can you help people using LinkedIn?”  Therefore, I thought I would share the thoughts I came up with at the class, as well as a few more that I came up with subsequently, for this week’s tips titled:

                   Eight Great LinkedIn Tools for Helping Your Network

1.      Share helpful downloadable information on your profile.  Things like white papers, how to's, checklists, research studies and other documents like this are what your audience would appreciate your having available for their downloading 24/7.  You can place these documents on your profile using any of the following applications:  Box.net files, SlideShare or Google Presentation.  Consider referencing these documents in your Summary section to highlight where they are and what they can help them with.

2.      Use one of your three websites (hotlinks) to send people to a website that gives them the ability to sign up for something or share information.  Be sure to use descriptive words to describe that hotlink. Consider referencing these websites in your Summary section to highlight where they are and how they can be helpful.

3.      You can use the Status Update on your home page to share information, websites, events, articles and other helpful information.  This is what I consider the home run of LinkedIn.  A function similar to this is what has made Twitter all the rage.  With that in mind, why are so many people not taking advantage of this?  Probably because they haven’t formulated a strategy for using this important tool on LinkedIn.  If you consider this your daily helping voice for your network and consistently look for things to share that will bring value to people in your network, you will get more comments, questions, referrals and thank you’s than you know what to do with.

4.      Groups are a way to share information to a targeted set of LinkedIn users either by posting a discussion or a news article.  The exposure you get doing this usually goes well beyond your intended audience, which can only be a good thing.  Also, consider commenting on the discussions of other people if you have some additional helpful information to add to the discussion.

5.      One of the functions in the Events application is to share events that you have organized or plan to attend.  This is easy to do by simply using the “Share” button on the bottom page of the event details.

6.      Tell your connections about groups you think they should consider joining.   You can do this by using the “Forward” function when you are on the profile screen of the group you want to recommend.  You will then be prompted to grab the names of your connections that you think would benefit from being a member of this group.

7.      After you have read a book that you think will help others in your network, use the Reading List by Amazon application to post a review of your thoughts on this book.  Once you do that, a network update will appear on the home pages of your connections, and it will also appear on your profile for all to see.

8.      Think about which of your connections should meet each other.  This is really the power point of this tip.  To do this, you must be very proactive in thinking about your friends and making introductions that could benefit both of them.  This step can be simplified by first sorting your connections by industry and then thinking about people in similar or related industries who should know each other.  This type of introduction is the ultimate networking step and will really be appreciated by the two parties as their relationships grow and prosper.  Try this.  I think you will find it worth the effort.  You can use the “Forward this profile to a connection” function to start the introduction process.  You will find this at the top right of the profile page.

As you can tell, LinkedIn has some great built-in features to accomplish your networking goal of helping others.  Now it is your job to put them to use.

Make helping people in your network your top priority in the coming week.    

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



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


Download a free chapter at:  http://budurl.com/m4bm.


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