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If you hang out in any online business circles, you probably know Viveka from… well, everywhere. As a self-professed LinkedIn LION, Viveka will connect and engage with you wherever you cross paths.
She also knows a boatload of everything about LinkedIn, which she shares, among other places, on LinkedIn Chat on Twitter. If you’ve never participated, it’s a good time and great for connecting and learning.
So when I heard about her book on LinkedIn marketing I immediately added it to my “must reads”.
You may notice the publication date on the book – September 2012 – and wonder why it’s been on my bookshelf this long.
The truth is, LinkedIn is a little intimidating. I use it – sort of. It’s one of those must-have social profiles for a business person. But it always seemed a bit more “official” than other social networks; bigger, more serious, harder to manage than any of the other quadzillion social spaces I work and play on every day.
So I admit to taking a bit of a head-in-sand approach to LinkedIn and to reading this book, but I needn’t have worried. This book is 100% accessible and breaks LinkedIn down into completely manageable chunks that even the hesitators can use.
An Actual “Hour A Day” Book
Plenty of books promise to make us pros at something in an hour a day. We can become social media experts, Facebook magicians, Pinterest masterminds, email marketing whizzes.
It sounds very attractive until you pick up the book and either read washed-over advice that you could’ve found with a two second Google search or good advice that’s just too cumbersome to implement.
The great thing about this book is that if you truly devote yourself to a single hour, you can do wonders with your LinkedIn presence.
The best thing is that the book is literally broken down into day-by-day and week-by-week activities that build on each other to take you from “Now what?” to “I’m a total LinkedIn marketing genius.”
Now, I admit the table of contents is a bit intimidating. It spans 23 weeks, times 5 days a week at an hour a day… that’s some serious math! You may think you don’t have that long to perfect your profile, that you need a job or references and leads now.
But come on. You know you’ve been sitting on that “update LinkedIn profile” to-do for at least as long. Mine’s been on my list for about a year now.
If you promise yourself to spend an hour a day working on yours then the next 23 weeks will pass… and at the end of it you’ll not only have a great presence but you’ll have discovered a stack of networking resources and tips that you can use every day.
Or, you could just let another 23 weeks pass.
Some Things You’ll Learn
Here are just a few of the more eye-opening things I learned. And if you, like me, are 21 ½ weeks shy of being competent on LinkedIn, I bet you’ll find these interesting too.
You can upload your résumé to LinkedIn – but you shouldn’t – not with the upload tool, anyway. Viveka explains about the glitchy nature of the tool and gives us advice for how to create a LinkedIn-worthy résumé.
You can only invite 3,000 people ever via the connection tool that allows you to upload your contact list. Only Viveka gives you that important tidbit, because LinkedIn has left that out of its documentation completely.
LinkedIn search works! That’s something you might not expect if you come from a Facebook world, and it means that you need to optimize your profile to be found. Viveka will tell you how.
There’s a way to send InMail to people without paying for it. Viveka describes this “reverse- engineering” trick in Week 17, so skip ahead if you must… but be sure that if you’re going to go through the effort, you’d better have a good profile in place first!
All caps get a pass when it comes to adding your personal experience. Since LinkedIn doesn’t give you any other formatting options, Viveka explains how capital letters – in conjunction with white space – can make your profile easy to read and draw the eye to things you want to highlight.
I could go on all day with these little “huh” moments, but that’s what the book is for. Just make sure you’ve got a highlighter handy.
And once you’ve got the basics down, there’s plenty more to learn and implement when it comes to networking, making connections and actually using LinkedIn for your business benefit. After Week 23 is when the real work kicks in, because the last quarter or the book is dedicated to helping you actually leverage this powerful resource.
You’ll learn how to manage your time on LinkedIn, what to do once you’re there and what you can do within your role as a job seeker, employer, recruiter and more, to take advantage of the myriad ways to make positive business connections.
What This Book Is… And Isn’t
This book is a fantastic resource for anyone who’s been putting off dealing with Linked In, for anyone who isn’t sure where to start, or for anyone who has been around the block with LinkedIn and is looking to take it up a notch.
It’s well organized and written in a friendly and readable way that doesn’t make you feel like you’re reading a text book and won’t make you run for your coffee every five minutes.
This book is an action book. I love idea books and concept books as much as anyone, but sometimes I just want someone to tell me how to do it. There’s a perfect balance of “how” and “why” in this book. Viveka gives you a rationale for doing things a certain way, but then she gets right to the actual how.
This isn’t the kind of book you sit down and read by the fireplace on a Saturday night. In fact, it isn’t the kind of book you read cover-to-cover at all – not if you really plan to use it, that is.
It’s broken down into weeks and hours for a reason. Because there’s just too much to learn and too much to do at once. You don’t become a LinkedIn marketing genius in a day!
If you want to get the most out of this book, commit to reading a single chapter and then taking action immediately. If you read the whole thing then stop to think about it for a while, I guarantee it’ll go back on your shelf and LinkedIn will still be just another to-do.
Plus reading the whole thing can be a little overwhelming. Reading about how to moderate a group sounds big and scary if you haven’t even gotten your profile right yet. So save yourself that angst and take it a step at a time as it’s intended.
This book also has a few outdated sections, but that’s the nature of being in an online world. Things change by the millisecond. For example, there’s a section on using LinkedIn Answers, something LinkedIn just recently did away with.
The good news is that Viveka isn’t called a LinkedIn Expert for nothing. I’m sure there will be a revised edition when the time comes. In fact, I did find a Bonus Download on the book’s sales page, which includes updates to some recent changes to LinkedIn’s profile.
The 10-Second Wrapup
LinkedIn has always felt a bit distant to me. It’s on the “have to” list but not necessarily on the “want to” list. But Viveka makes it a whole lot more accessible and you can’t help being charmed by her enthusiasm. Sometimes all you need is a great advocate and you can start to feel some of that excitement wearing off on you, too.
A lot of effort went into putting together a book that won’t make you fall asleep into your soup, and will also give you the feeling that yes, you can do this. It’s not so hard, when you have a well-versed and personable expert leading you and a clear path to follow.
I’ve highlighted this book six ways to Sunday and I promise you’ll be seeing a heck of a better LinkedIn profile when you visit mine over the next several weeks!
If you want to make more out of LinkedIn then I highly recommend this book. It’s available in paperback and Kindle format so go read the sample chapter if you still need convincing, then buy it right now. (And yes, that’s an affiliate link… this is such a great book that I know for a fact so many people are going to buy it that I’m going to get at least a whole slice of pizza out of it!)
And if you’ve read this book already, I would love to know what you think!