Good morning Ray, what do you recommend as my invite reason, and is it acceptable to let her know what I am interested in? Insurance agent candidates? Thank you for your assistance as I have not extensively utilized LinkedIn…(

No problem, happy to help.

You don’t need a reason to invite Jonnie, because she asked me to share her profile with my connections.  She will accept your invite.  Just copy her email address and on the “Contacts” tab, pick “Add Connections”.  Paste her email on the right and hit send.

I am not sure Jonnie is a prospect for you but getting more connects will open your network and move you towards your potential prospects.  This weekend I am going to share your profile with some people that could be potential prospects.

When you send an invite you will get an email when it is accepted.  When I share your profile you will get invites.  I would suggest that you develop a “thank you” message to send in either case.  Something to work on is making this message be about the recipient, not you.  You know, you get a message that says: “Thank you for the connect, I can do this and I can do that, I will make things wonderful” and you think I can make you go away by hitting delete.  Try to develop a message that is about the recipient.  Don’t have one in mind right now but you will figure it out.

I wouldn’t push the idea that you are looking to change people’s careers right off.  Let me think on this.  But I think the whole idea behind LI is not really developing an email mailing list or sending out junk mail.  Maybe a blog would be good for you.  Insurance is currently being sold like a commodity, like where can you buy the cheapest box of Tide detergent.  It is a lot more complicated than that right?  So how about getting your current agents to give you some success stories.  You know, “George bought some cut-rate homeowners insurance, a review of his policy showed he wasn’t covered for a broken water pipe.  Here at Farmers we got him great personalized coverage without a big increase in premium.”  Something like that.

So set up a blog and link it to your LI website.  Post one or two things a week.  Maybe once a month send a note and mention in your thank you note to your connects asking, “has your insurance policy really got you covered?  Don’t wait until you need it to find out you made a big insurance mistake, read the blog on my profile to see if you could be like George who was wasting premium dollars on coverage that didn’t cover him, or Jane who because of the coverage she had could have had her wallet smashed along with her car if she had been in an accident.”  At the end of the email and the posts put a short message something like, “Farmers Agents get recurring income and build strong relationships with their clients by making sure their clients have the right coverage.  If you are interested in receiving generous rewards for helping people protect what is most precious to them, contact me today to discuss the opportunities we have.”  Create a line something like this- something not to long, and memorable, and use it everywhere.

It doesn’t have to be that, David, it is just an example.  It isn’t something I think you can make happen overnight.  One thing I think people don’t realize is using other means or marketing you would typically spend a lot of money to get a prospect.  With social media generally people don’t spend much money.  Life isn’t free.  I think social media can be very effective but you have to either spend money or time.  With LI if you aren’t going to spend 1-2 hours a day on it, in my opinion you might as well pay to do seminars.  I think LI can be more effective, it is easier to convert a friend than a stranger to what you want them to be but getting those friends isn’t going to happen without effort.

If you believe this tip or any tips in this blog will contribute to the success of your LinkedIn experience, I hope you will give me just a few minutes of your time to help with my success and share my LinkedIn profile with some of your connections.  Please read the “If My Tips Help You, Please Help Me” section of the blog to find out how to help me.  You will find this section next to where it says home at the bottom of the picture on this page.   By following this suggestion it will help you with your network too. 

 

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Also, in regards to ignored InMail, doesn’t LI guarantee a response?

Yes and you almost never get a response.  People read the InMails, they just don’t respond in a way that uses the InMail up.  I think what happens is the recipient gets an email that tells the InMail content.  So they respond to the email.  This works great because you get to recycle the InMails.  The way it works, you can usually send 70-75 InMails a week, if you are on the $100 a month plan.  Whichever plan you are on if you are a paid member you usually get to use about three times the number of inmails you are granted each month and they get recycled for reuse every week.

If you believe this tip or any tips in this blog will contribute to the success of your LinkedIn experience, I hope you will give me just a few minutes of your time to help with my success and share my LinkedIn profile with some of your connections.  Please read the “If My Tips Help You, Please Help Me” section of the blog to find out how to help me.  You will find this section next to where it says home at the bottom of the picture on this page.   By following this suggestion it will help you with your network too. 

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Do you know if there’s anyway to choose more than one industry in your profile? Many of us wear many hats, so that would be useful if there’s a way

Thank you so much for sharing your contacts. To me this is the essence of LI. The opportunity for each member to build a community and working in that community to help the other members. I can’t tell you how it works but somehow if you are willing to give, the more you give the more you get.

Now to your question.  I haven’t been able to figure this one out. Like you, I put different industries with different job titles at least some of them. However, to change the industry where you want to change it I don’t think it can be done.

I would really like it if we could have more than one industry as I too am involved in more than one industry. One of the things I am finding about LinkedIn is there are all kinds of limitations. Used to make me think why can’t LI let me do this or that. Now I sort of look at it as a challenge. For example, last week I got put on restriction for sending too many OpenLink messages. So now I have to figure out how many is too many. LI could just say you can only send 50 InMails or whatever but that would take the challenge out of it, wouldn’t it?

Anyway my answer is no.

If you believe this tip or any tips in this blog will contribute to the success of your LinkedIn experience, I hope you will give me just a few minutes of your time to help with my success and share my LinkedIn profile with some of your connections.  Please read the “If My Tips Help You, Please Help Me” section of the blog to find out how to help me.  You will find this section next to where it says home at the bottom of the picture on this page.   By following this suggestion it will help you with your network too.

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Ray Simmons has sent you a message.

Hi,

I met some guy on LI. He is in OC that needs a trust for his father-in-law so I forwarded him your profile. When I looked up your profile I noticed your blog, which you haven’t posted to in almost a year. I’m not sure but I always think when I see that the blogger has given up on blogging. Of course it could be that the blogger is just too busy to blog anymore. But I guess I think if you are going to have a blog you should try to think of something to say at least once a month?

I found an easy way to blog is to take client or potential client’s emails and turn them into blog posts. You can look at some examples at raysimmons.wordpress.com if you are interested.

I actually have two blogs the second is “LinkedIn Connection Secrets”.  It is at linkupwithray@wordpress.com. You can also find them on my LI profile. This blog tell you how to get more connections on LI.

I mention this because my experience is after I got a couple thousand connections I started blogging.  I was figuring it might be good for business next tax season and still believe that to be so. What surprised me is that I am generating business right now. Seems like once I connect with someone if they have a tax issue well at least they know a tax nerd so they ask.

It is a lot easier to get connections with a paid subscription because you have better search options. That said, if you spent a couple hours a day working on LI I bet in 2-3 months you would start generating biz.

I know a couple hours sounds like a lot but clients are not free. So it is either time or money but somehow getting clients is going to cost you. I won’t know for another six months but it seems to me that so far LI is looking pretty cost effective.

If you believe this tip or any tips in this blog will contribute to the success of your LinkedIn experience, I hope you will give me just a few minutes of your time to help with my success and share my LinkedIn profile with some of your connections.  Please read the “If My Tips Help You, Please Help Me” section of the blog to find out how to help me.  You will find this section next to where it says home at the bottom of the picture on this page.   By following this suggestion it will help you with your network too.

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I’d like to connect with IT professionals, software engineers, and software managers in San Diego. Any advice on how best to do this? Thanks for the great idea Ray!

Such a great question, I wonder why no one asked me before?  If you have a paid account you could do some pretty detailed searches and use InMail to contact.  Here’s what I would do if I had a free account.  Figure out the groups these folks belong to.  Join the groups.  Once you are in the groups, visit the group and you will see a tab at the top that says “Members”.  Click that.  You will be able to see each person, go to the profile if you are of a mind to do so.  Best thing is you can usually send them a message.  Some block this but generally you can send them messages.  Free don’t need InMail or need to connect if you share a group.  So figure out a reason these people should connect with you.  Generally that would not be job or buying something.  But find a reason that is of interest to them and start sending messages to them asking them to connect with you.  Next, start networking- figure out how to talk to these guys.

If you believe this tip or any tips in this blog will contribute to the success of your LinkedIn experience, I hope you will give me just a few minutes of your time to help with my success and share my LinkedIn profile with some of your connections.  Please read the “If My Tips Help You, Please Help Me” section of the blog to find out how to help me.  You will find this section next to where it says home at the bottom of the picture on this page.   By following this suggestion it will help you with your network too.

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Why You Want More Connections

I spent my high school years in the small town of Shandon, CA which at the time had a population of less than 500.  In Shandon, there was a small grocery store that the locals frequented.  Once in a blue moon a traveler would pull off the highway looking for a public restroom.  If the fella that ran that grocery store was real lucky the traveler would stop and buy a soda so he could ask to use the restroom. 

There’s a grocery store a couple miles from my office.  There are more than 65,000 cars a day that drive by that store.  There are about 250,000 people that live within 3 miles of that grocery store.  Sometimes I miss Shandon, the store is still there, a few weeks ago I was one of those travelers venturing off the highway but I just bought a soda.   There’s a rest area on the highway now.  So which store do you think has more opportunities?  Hands down it is the store next to my office. 

Getting more connections is like moving from Shandon to Torrance, you have more opportunities.  The great thing with LI is there is an occasional email jam but no traffic jams. 

 If you believe this tip or any tips in this blog will contribute to the success of your LinkedIn experience, I hope you will give me just a few minutes of your time to help with my success and share my LinkedIn profile with some of your connections.  Please read the “If My Tips Help You, Please Help Me” section of the blog to find out how to help me.  You will find this section next to where it says home at the bottom of the picture on this page.   By following this suggestion it will help you with your network too.

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You are my new hero. Just like Forrest.

Great news.  I see the post on your wife’s profile but you are right and I do not see the feed, or WP thing on either profile.  I think it is better to have it on, so people will see more posts.  Try this:

Go back to “Get More Apps” and click WP again.  The installation screen will come up again.  On the right you’ll see “The Installation Is Installed” There’s a box underneath.  Where you can check “Display on my profile” and Display on LinkedIn homepage”  Check both and click update settings. 

If they are checked, go to the top and click “Go to Application” you should see your blog.  By the name click edit make sure the box that says, “Show all recent posts from your blog” 

If that doesn’t work go to the WP dashboard and choose “My Blogs” from the menu on the left.  Make sure “LinkedIn” is checked. 

If that doesn’t work I am out of ideas. 

Let me know if this works and if I can post your website with the original message.  And if it works do me a favor and refer some of your connects to my profile.  On the blog there a page that says “If My Tips…” just click there for information to quickly refer your connects.  Thanks in advance.

If you believe this tip or any tips in this blog will contribute to the success of your LinkedIn experience, I hope you will give me just a few minutes of your time to help with my success and share my LinkedIn profile with some of your connections.  Please read the “If My Tips Help You, Please Help Me” section of the blog to find out how to help me.  You will find this section next to where it says home at the bottom of the picture on this page.   By following this suggestion it will help you with your network too.

 

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I may just not know how to do it but I think when you post invite requests on open network lists without your email, for someone to connect they have to leave the list and go to your profile. Pretty much that means I have to start over going through the list.

Here’s what I have found with getting more connections. You have to try to make it easy on the guy on the other end. For example, I use OpenLink a lot to contact potential new contacts. It works fine and there are reasons I use it. That said, it is not nearly as effective as just sending an invite. I am pretty sure this is because the OpenLink message doesn’t give me an option to give the recipient a connect button. So they have to copy my email and send an invite. Not so easy, not so likely to happen.

Think about a fellow (or lady) cruising an invite post in one of the open networking groups. Here’s the quick way to do that. First if it is important you move the cursor over their picture and get some basics about the person. I do this because although I accept invites from around the world I only invite U.S. based connects.  That is my market.

Next I want to know if I have already contacted them. To know this once I look at a profile I usually click “follow” So when I am cruising these lists anyone that says “unfollow” at the bottom of their picture I don’t need to look at, already have contacted them. 

Last I capture their email address on a spreadsheet I have open. When I am done collecting names I just send them all invites at once.

If there is no email address I don’t follow them and hope to catch them later. This is because, if I go to their profile it means starting over on cruising the list.  It just takes more time. Occasionally I am on a short list I will send a message like I did you.  It bumps me off the list but easier to get back.

I’m probably not doing it right but it is what works for me. BTW, there are some tips about where else you can put your email to make it easier to find. Having it where you have it is great. I often capture emails when I am sending an InMail. When you put your email there, it shows up on InMails when someone wants to contact you.  Makes it so I don’t waste the InMail.  Same principal though, is if it is in your name it is easier to capture. There is a blog post on that too.

If you believe this tip or any tips in this blog will contribute to the success of your LinkedIn experience, I hope you will give me just a few minutes of your time to help with my success and share my LinkedIn profile with some of your connections.  Please read the “If My Tips Help You, Please Help Me” section of the blog to find out how to help me.  You will find this section next to where it says home at the bottom of the picture on this page.   By following this suggestion it will help you with your network too.

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Whoops, On Restriction Again.

LI has all these little annoying rules about doing things like only inviting people you know, which if I know them why do I need LI.  I want to meet new people.  I realize that is not the way everyone feels but for my business that is the best solution.  Still LI has things that make it more difficult for me to meet new people.  Actually I have to give LI some Kudos.  LI makes it difficult enough to get connections and communicating with them that it is probably too much work for most spammers to bother me.

And it is difficult but not impossible.  I’ve found if I work on it, I can make about 1,500 connections a month without getting in too much trouble with LI.  Once in a while I get what I think is a good idea that doesn’t work well.  That is what happened last week.  I noticed a lot of people put their email on the profile in the place where their last name is.  I got this idea to search last names that had “gmail.com” in it.  Geez a whole plethora of people who have their email right in the profile and it looks like these people must be “Open Networkers”.  Why else would they put their email address where it is so visible? 

Word to the wise, learn from my mistake.  Don’t use this technique.  Apparently some people or perhaps a lot of people put their email address in their profile are not interested in connecting with everyone, because I got put on restriction right away.   In the past when I went on restriction for IDKs in a day or two it would get lifted.  This time the restriction didn’t go away. 

Here’s another Kudo for LI.  I finally got around to writing customer service.  On a Sunday morning I wrote.  Of course in the note I was very humble and acknowledged my mistake.  Promised to be more careful and two hours later my restriction is gone. 

I think it is important to realize that on LI you can do a lot but you have to figure ways to accomplish what you want to do while staying on LI’s good side

If you believe this tip or any tips in this blog will contribute to the success of your LinkedIn experience, I hope you will give me just a few minutes of your time to help with my success and share my LinkedIn profile with some of your connections.  Please read the “If My Tips Help You, Please Help Me” section of the blog to find out how to help me.  You will find this section next to where it says home at the bottom of the picture on this page.   By following this suggestion it will help you with your network too.

 

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Thanks for the reply. I know people need what I do (on the side, actually, my day job is a tech writer for a defense contractor) but how to connect from knowing they need it to telling them they need it without turning them off and being needy or pushy. I’m not a salesman by nature, though when I’m sold on something I can be convincing. I’m doing some SEO jobs on the side in the Private Investigations field but nothing consistent. It’s a fascinating niche and a whole subculture once you get into it. I’m in their groups, and trying to connect but it’s slow going.

Mostly just getting a kazillion connects.  Didn’t really get too many people asking about taxes when I had 500 connects.  I have about 4,000 now.  When I got to about 1,000 I started spending a little time really trying to get connects.  And then I started a blog.  So when you make connects or post on a blog your network mostly hears about it.  99% miss it, maybe 99.99% but some people notice.  There’s a post on the “LinkedIn Connection Secrets” blog.  It is a true story about my mom building her business.  I think it is the bridge.  People get connected and see you doing things, you have a chance. 

People using LI to market directly, they are missing the boat and I would be surprised if they were successful.  There’s a couple and I don’t mean to bash anyone.  But for example “mobile marketing” where they text cell phones or another one is “send out cards” probably both great concepts but when someone connects with me and then wants to immediately try to sell me their sending me coupons to my cell phone.  Well maybe a great idea but their emails are getting deleted.  They haven’t even come close to making me feel a need.  If that same guy was really selling these things and started a blog showing what he texts and giving some results and he was connected to enough people he would find people calling him. 

LinkedIn is a strange new world.  When you think about advertising in the past it was a matter of sending out enough mailers or running enough newspaper ads eventually you would get seen.  Run a newspaper ad and it goes out to 50,000 people if you run them, enough people will get to know you and the phone will ring (in the past).  IMHO is that in todays world that is too expensive and newspapers are obsolete.  But when your’re on the net or LI or blogging whatever it is, not running ads.  Think of it like this.  Suppose you have a house and are about to lose it in foreclosure, you’re worried about tax consequences, so you Google foreclosure, taxes, residence, something like that.  If you see an ad for a tax business it gives you nothing, right, doesn’t help you at all.  Suppose you come across a page where a tax nerd explains what happens.  Well maybe you learn and nothing more.  However some people will learn and think gee this is complicated this guy understands what he is doing I want him figuring it out for me.  I think we have to have a new mindset when it comes to potential clients.  There’s a lot of science about how many “touches” you need to convert a prospect to a client.  I think it is 12 touches.  If you try to send me 12 email advertisements you will be spam after 2 or 3.  So you have to touch me without advertising until I see the need for you. 

There’s my two cents.  Just happened to be on my mind tonight. 

If you believe this tip or any tips in this blog will contribute to the success of your LinkedIn experience, I hope you will give me just a few minutes of your time to help with my success and share my LinkedIn profile with some of your connections.  Please read the “If My Tips Help You, Please Help Me” section of the blog to find out how to help me.  You will find this section next to where it says home at the bottom of the picture on this page.   By following this suggestion it will help you with your network too.

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