Top 5 Things I Learned from the 42 Rules Book

In my last post, I discussed my opinions of the new book 42 Rules for 24 Hour Success on LinkedIn.  I found the book to be more appropriate for new professionals just starting with LinkedIn.  While I am not a novice, I am by no means an expert so there were a number of good takeaways that I gained from the book.  Listed below are the top 5 I noted:

  1. Vanity URLs – LinkedIn allows you to create a personalized URL that you can embed in an e-mail signature, print on a business card or link to from your blog site.  For example, mine is http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevekeifer.  However, you must manually configure this feature.  Your LinkedIn profile will default to a machine generated random sequence of characters, which are impossible to remember.
  2. Widgets – One of my favorites is the LinkedIn button, which takes the end-user to your LinkedIn profile on-line when clicked upon.  This grabs the reader’s attention and provides a fool-proof way to connect.  LinkedIn will automatically generate source code that you could add to your blog home page, e-mail signature or other HTML-based content.
  3. Profile Updates – One of the annoyances I have found with LinkedIn is that it broadcasts updates to your profile out to your entire network.  For example, I recall a few months ago that I added a photo and filled out additional profile details that I did not necessarily want to call attention to.  I was pleased to learn that there is a relatively easy process for controlling whether your network receives updates about profile changes.  Go to the Accounts & Settings page to disable networks to your network.
  4. Professional Headline – LinkedIn displays your “professional headline” every time your name is referenced on the site.  I did not pay much attention to this when I first established my profile, however, the word choice can make a big impact on the impression you make.  For example, instead of simply listing your current employer and job title, consider listing your broader professional ambition and credentials (e.g. Marketing Executive with 20 years of experience in the Enterprise Software Segment).
  5. Sales Prospecting – Via LinkedIn you can identify mutual colleagues that could be used to facilitate an introduction.  But even if you find yourself less than three degrees away from your target buyer, you can still perform some research on his/her profile.  Many users will share publicly information about their careers and educational backgrounds as well as awards and specialized skills.

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