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This past week, I had three people mention they’d like to be more active on LinkedIn, but they find the platform a little overwhelming. I feel their pain. That’s how I used to feel.

I don’t know if it’s because LinkedIn is a “business platform,” but when many of us step inside the LinkedIn world, we don’t understand how it all works. It can seem like everyone knows what they’re doing but you.

When I first started using LinkedIn I didn’t have a clue how it all worked. I thought the only goal was to get lots and lots of connections. I had no idea who I should be connecting with. And even worse, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with all those people once we were connected?

I didn’t know what to add to my personal profile. It seemed so boring to just copy/paste the contents of my resume. Plus, if I wasn’t looking for a job, why would I even want to list all the places I’d ever worked?

In the beginning I also had such a pathetically small network. I had no idea on how to make it grow. Who all was I suppose to connect with? My friends and family? People I used to work with? What about strangers?

I actually felt embarrassed to ask other people to “LinkIn” with me. So I tried connecting with random strangers. I felt like a total fraud.

But, I stuck it out and didn’t quit. 

The turning point for me was finally admitting I didn’t know what I was doing. So I did what I do best. I googled it.

Lo and behold, I found lots of information on using LinkedIn. I learned how to improve my profile. I learned how to find key connections. I learned how to publish posts and articles.

Today, I feel totally competent and confident using LinkedIn. Even better, using LinkedIn is now a regular part of my business strategy. I love all the great connections I’ve made. And being active on LinkedIn has done wonders for my business.

So, knowing there may be other folks out there, who are struggling to use LinkedIn, I thought I’d share what’s worked for me.  Which is why I made a video about how I do LinkedIn. In the video, I provide you a backstage look at my daily practice on LinkedIn.

Here’s what I cover in the video:

1. Be Consistent

I make LinkedIn a daily part of my regimen. I don’t usually go on on the weekends. Monday through Friday I try to spend at least 20-30 minutes a day on LinkedIn. 

2. Check Messages

I monitor my LinkedIn messages. These are the personal conversations I’m having with my connections. I always make a point to read and respond to each message I receive in a timely manner.  

3. Review Connection Requests

I don’t like to leave people hanging. If someone would like to connect with me, I review their LinkedIn profile to ensure they are a good fit for me. I always appreciate people that take the time to write me a personal note about what they want to connect with me. It’s polite.

4. Respond to Notifications

I spend a lot of time reviewing and responding to notifications. Primarily, I focus my reviewing posts and comments that mention me. This is a great way to continue the conversation and make some new connections. For instance, if someone took the time to leave a comment on a post I published, I like to give them a “thumbs up” and comment back on their original comment. 

5. Read Through the Newsfeed

I love looking through the newsfeed. There is so much great content to choose from. As I scroll through the newsfeed, I keep a lookout for posts that I find interesting.  When I see something, if I like the content, I usually give it a “thumbs up” and leave a thoughtful comment. I spend time to provide honest feedback that the author might find useful.

6. Prune Connections (Follow & UnFollow)

I like to spend a little time pruning my LinkedIn newsfeed. Therefore if I start to see there is too much content cluttering up my newsfeed, I may consider unfollowing specific people, businesses, groups, and hashtags. I can remove unwanted content from my newsfeed by simply using LinkedIn’s Unfollow feature.

When you are just getting started on LinkedIn you won’t have many connections. Therefore, it’s important to begin following people or businesses that you find interesting. You can even follow topics (hashtags #) you find interesting. This will provide you with a newsfeed worth scrolling through.

7. Check Out John Espirian

If you really want to up your LinkedIn game, I highly recommend you follow John Espirian on LinkedIn. I have learned so much reading John’s LinkedIn posts and articles.

I also suggest you check out John’s website, which has lots of great blog posts, audios, and videos. Best of all, he has put together a highly reviewed video course called: “How not to be a LinkedIn Loser” 

How I Do LinkedIn: Backstage Tour 

Below is the YouTube video I made, which allows you to see how I personally use LinkedIn. In the video I take you through my typical LinkedIn daily routine. 

Warning: It’s a little long (26 minutes) but I wanted you to get the full experience of what I really do. I hope this backstage tour helps you see LinkedIn as a little less confusing. And, I hope it will help you create your own LinkedIn strategy.

BONUS: To save you from having to take any notes, I’m enclosing a complete transcription of the entire video. The transcription can be found directly below the YouTube. Simply scroll on down and you’ll see it.


Video Transcript

Hi, this is Gillian with another episode of Social Media Marketing. Easy Peasy, because marketing your small business with social media should be easy peasy. Today I’m going to talk about LinkedIn and that’s because the other day one of my clients said to me, I don’t really know how to do LinkedIn. I am on LinkedIn, but I get in there and I get lost and confused, and I know you love LinkedIn. What is it that you do? So I thought it would be kind of interesting to take you on sort of a behind the scenes. Uh, what do I do every day when I’m doing LinkedIn? What does that actually mean? So I’m just gonna show you my best practices. This is just basically what I’m doing to be active and get my LinkedIn connections growing and being the best that they can be. First of all, you have to be on LinkedIn.

You have to make it a daily part of your regimen. I don’t usually go on on the weekends, but Monday through Friday I try to get on and spend, you know, maybe 20 minutes to 30 minutes a day on LinkedIn, consciously going in and doing different things, so I’m going to just take you through my routine. I don’t come in and just post that. That’s what a lot of people do. I call it posting and ghosting, meaning that they come in, they post something and then that’s it. They log off and they’re done for the day. I’m actually the opposite. What I do is I come onto LinkedIn and I look at it as if it is a networking event. It’s an external now virtual networking event and I think about if I was going to a networking mixer in my local chamber of commerce or something like that, how would I act?

And the thing that I would not do, which a lot of people do on LinkedIn is I would not come to the networking event and say, buy my stuff. You just wouldn’t do that. That would be just poor judgment. And I also wouldn’t just throw my business cards and run away, you know, here, read my, read my book, buy my stuff, you know, that sort of thing. Instead I would want to be part of the conversation and if I didn’t know anybody there, I’d probably want to kind of go and stand around a couple of groups that I thought those look like some nice people I’d like to get to know. And then I would spend time listening to what the conversation is and seeing how can I be a part of that con conversation, how can I contribute? And that’s how I act towards LinkedIn.

I come here purposefully to see what kind of relationships I can get with people. And it’s not just about blinging my stuff out there. I truly come here to be helpful and my network of people is growing and growing and it’s all sorts of great things are happening for me on LinkedIn. Let me walk you through my day. So the first thing I do is I come in and I always start off with my messages. Is there somebody that has sent me a personal message? And that’s the first thing I want to take care of is if somebody is waiting back for me to give them a response. I like to go and have a look at my messages. I actually came in here earlier and this woman who uh, I recently connected with, she just wrote hi. Hello Gillian, good to connect with you.

I was like to be the last one that has, you know, something to say. So I could just turn around and say thanks. Happy to connect with you too. Looking forward to learning more about you and your business because that’s what LinkedIn is, it’s about businesses and then just send it and then that way I feel good. I’m carrying on the conversation. Kind of had the last word in a nice sort of way. So I always look through my messages. Is there any that I need to stick out and, and go take care of that would light up if I had any that I needed to do. And then the next thing I usually do is I go to my network. I want to see is there anybody that maybe wants to connect with me so I don’t like to, or I don’t like to ignore people.

I want to respond to people right away. I would click on my network. Usually it would tell me, you know, I’ve been here in here a second ago, so I’ve kind of like taken all the, the things off. So here is somebody that wants to connect with me. She sent me an invitation and at this point I can just go ahead and accept or I could ignore her. If you ignore somebody, you’re just saying, I don’t want to connect with you. And their, their invitation just goes away. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything mean would happen. Um, if, if, if you don’t really feel that that’s somebody that would be good, a good fit for you, feel free to ignore them. And it doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything bad. It just declines the invitation. I don’t even think they’re notified. It’s just the invitation is, is gone out of your inbox.

So don’t leave these all hanging around. They get in the way. What I like to do is some people automatically accept there’s kind of no right or wrong way. I like to actually go through and have a look at somebody and make sure that they fit and I have a criteria for who I like to connect with. I don’t worry about if I don’t know you or anything like that. It’s more along the lines of do I feel that number one, you’re my ideal client. You’re, you’re my avatar. Number two, would you be a connector? Would you know somebody who would be a good client for me? And then I also look at it in terms of can I learn from you? Are you somebody that I would be interested in? I share some sort of similarities with you. I would want to read your posts.

I feel that you have something interesting for me to offer. If you’re in a totally different industry and I can’t see that, I would be interested at all. I can’t see that we would cross paths. I don’t think I can help you. You can’t help me. I don’t connect with those people. So that’s just me being a little bit picky. And also too, I occasionally look to make sure nobody is scammy cause I feel I have a thousand connections. I feel that I want to protect all of my connections and I don’t want to let in somebody who’s going to maybe come in and spam everybody. And I’ve occasionally had some connections and I went, I didn’t even know if that’s a real person. I would decline them. So if I wanted to have a look and see who Jacqueline is, I just would click on her name.

And actually Jacqueline is a good ex, a good example of someone who was a very, very nice profile. She has a very nice profile picture. She has a background up. Um, one of the biggest things on LinkedIn is don’t have that blue generic background just makes you look like you’re not taking this seriously. I see that there are, we have some shared connections. We have 117 shared connections, which is really interesting because it probably means that Jacqueline and I share a lot of interests and I look at her and she’s working with, she’s helping women corporate, leaving their corporate career and probably running their own businesses. I do have a lot of, you know, that is something that we both have in common. She’s in the UK, I have a lot of UK connections. I’m very globally connected, so I think this is really good.

And the people who jump off the page that we have the shared connection, I like those people. I know those people immediately. So that just kind of pops, pops in. I also see that we’re in a group together, so we share that connection as well. If I wanted to learn a little bit more about Jacqueline, I can view her about, and I see that she’s, she writes articles, so she’s posting articles. She has 16,000 followers. It’s like, wow, she’s pretty hot, hot, hot, you know, really doing well and she’s active because she’s, she’s posting content or she’s commenting on other people’s content. So I think that’s good. If I look through, I see she’s got a lot of experience. NLP, that’s something I’m very interested. So again, we share that experience. So I would look at her and I would just say, Oh my goodness, yes, yes, I would love to, you know, love, love to accept her invitation and I’ll have to do is hit accept and now Jacqueline’s up new connections.

So I think that’s really cool. Um, she also has a business page if I wanted to. Um, it’s automatic if somebody has a business page, as soon as you connect with them, it’s going to ask you, do you want to follow my business page? I don’t usually follow business pages unless it would be like a company I’m trying to like learn about or something like that. I just usually stick to people. That’s just my own personal preference. That is a little bit about, you know, going through and accepting an invitation and how I do it. Once I’ve gone through the messages and I’ve gone through anybody who’s waiting to connect with me, then what I will do is I then look at the notifications and the notifications is different things of the different people in my network are doing. So sometimes it could be somebody has commented on somebody else’s post.

Sometimes I mentioned in a post, maybe somebody commented on my comments and I like to keep the conversation going. So I tend to come in and do a lot of stuff in the notifications. And anything that’s blue is something that I haven’t seen before. I haven’t acted on it. So this helps me kind of get a mental image of what, you know, what needs my attention and what doesn’t. So I would go through this and here, um, here’s something. It says a Joanne and 26 other people have commented on your post and it’s like, wow, that’s my post. And I see that here. Here is a, here is something. So if I wanted to click on that, it’ll go directly to what that comment was. So I see Joanne said love that system. Worked in the library in the fifth grade, so she’s continuing the conversation.

I can just say thanks for uh, sharing that, how fun. It just carries on the conversation and every time you post on your, you know, you comment on your own post or comment on somebody else’s post, it kind of gives up post a little bit of a bump and it goes back up to the top again. It’s a nice thing to do and not just for yourself, do it for other people, do it for other people in the conversations. And I actually meet a lot of people and connect with people by posting and commenting on other people’s posts. It’s like, I like their comments, they like my comments. So it’s a good way for me to find people that share similar outlooks about different things in life. That’s just a neat thing to do is I go through the notifications, see if there’s something I want to comment, a comment of, a comment.

We’re still having a conversation and sometimes they can just really be fun. This guy, this guy’s post the other day just totally cracked me up. So it said, this came through my door today. Anyone know what it is and what it’s used for? And it’s hysterical because it’s a phone book. And we used to live and die by having our phone books delivered at our door. Now we’re just like, who needs a phone book? We have Google, we have cell phones. We, Nope, like nobody even has a landline these days. So I thought that was so funny. Um, I said, uh, I think one of my comments was a complimentary doorstop to all citizens. He commented back and I can like his comment. So again, gives him a little bit of a bump. If I had more to say, I’m talking to you right now, so I’m not going to talk and go through this.

But if I had something to comment on the comment and would keep, I would keep it going. And every time we do his post gets a little bit of a bump and it goes back up into the newsfeed. Kind of fun to go through the notifications and see all these different things. And now since I’ve responded to that, that now goes white. So I know that I’ve already looked at it. I can come back in and I can look for anything that’s blue. I should go back and take a look at anything that’s white I’ve already looked at. Again, I’ll come back in here later today, but I just wanted to let you know. These are the different things that I do when I come through and look at my notifications. Then the next thing that I like to do is I like to go through and I like to look at my homepage, which of course shows my newsfeed and with this, this is for people that are like new to LinkedIn.

This is a really important thing to know. Your newsfeed is a direct reflection of the people that you are connected to or the people that you are following, or if you’re in a group, you would see the posts of a group, so you’re going to see the posts of people. You’re following posts of people that you’re connected to, and also too, if you’re following hashtags. I’m following a couple of hashtags here. If I look at these hashtags, these are all the different hashtags that I have decided to follow because they’re important to me. Copywriting tips. I like copywriting tips. Even though I am a marketer and I don’t necessarily do a huge amount of copywriting. There’s copywriting that marketers have to do, so I like to follow that LinkedIn learner’s lounge. That’s the great John Experian. He is really, really great stuff, so I love to follow his latest posts whenever he does stuff about the LinkedIn learner’s lounge.

It’s very, very good stuff. I follow my own company. I want to make sure that if somebody mentions me that I find it and then sometimes I actually tagged my posts with that hashtag so if I want to come back and find them later, they’re all curated under that one hashtag. That’s a tip I learned from John Experian, which was a great tip. These are now everything that I see in my newsfeed is a result of people in following or people I’m connected to, hashtags I’m following, and then any particular groups that I’m also a member, I might see those posts as well. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. So I’m not really sure how that all works. If you are not connected to anybody on LinkedIn, you’re going to get here and see not much at all, which is why it’s really important to connect with other people.

And if you’re new to LinkedIn and you’re not exactly sure who to connect with, one of the most important things is start following people that would be of interest to you. Maybe people in your industry, people that you might want to work with, work for, you know, maybe you’re looking for a job. So you might want to start following the different companies or the different executives or people that you think might hire. You might be able to connect you to a job. So that’s what you want to do is you want to follow people because you can follow people and you don’t need permission. You just click their name and say, I want to follow. And that’s all you have to do. If we look at this gentleman here, Roy Dawson, so I don’t, I don’t know. Right? I don’t know Roy at all. And if I wanted to connect with Roy, I would have to click connect.

I like to send people an invitation. That’s just my style. Some people don’t, but I always feel it’s, it’s a nice thing. They know who I am and why I want to connect with them. If I wanted to kind of learn a little bit about Ray before I connected with him, just to see if he’s some someone of interest to me or maybe I just want to see what he’s about first. If I click here on More and then I click on Follow, now I followed him and he doesn’t, he doesn’t see my stuff. I see his stuff. And at this point now I’ll start to see Ray Dawson’s posts in my newsfeed. So this is a really good way to get good information in your newsfeed. You know, I don’t want to, I don’t want to connect with Tony Robbins. He’s not gonna know me from Jack, but I might want to follow Tony Robbins.

I might want to follow Gary Vaynerchuk, all those people to learn from them and get some good information in my newsfeed. That’s the first thing that I always tell people. Start following people. That is so important. You want to follow people and I’ll give you a tip about extra connections at the end if I hopefully remember this. So that is really important. You should also think about who you want to unfollow as well because just like the person who doesn’t have very many people in their connections who maybe they’re new to LinkedIn or they’re young or they’re just starting out, they got 10 people. It doesn’t matter where you start, but you can also be the opposite. I have a thousand connections, which is, you know, probably like in the middle. I think, um, most people, you know, kind of the aim to get to 500, that the sort of, the goal with most people when they start on LinkedIn.

So I’m at a thousand, so it’s like, that’s not a big deal, but it’s, it’s, you know, regular. Now if I start to get to 30,000 or something, you have to think about it. I’m seeing 30 thousands people’s posts come through my newsfeed and I can get overwhelmed and like what if I’ve connected with people that I actually, I’m not really interested in their stuff. They might be a good connector for me, but what they post, I don’t have any interest in. Well what you can do is you can go, and I won’t do this to Ray cause I’m going to go ahead and follow him, but I am now following Ray. If I don’t want to follow him anymore, all I have to do is go here and click unfollow and Ray will never know. That’s the nice thing about unfollowing somebody. It’s like whether you’re connected to them or you’re just following them and now you don’t want to follow them anymore.

If you don’t want to see their posts anymore, just click the unfollow and that’s it. You won’t see it. And it’s really nice because it’s not like Ray’s going to get upset and get a message that says Jillian with is not following you anymore and now he feels bad. That doesn’t happen. So it’s a good thing to kind of prune your, your, your connections on LinkedIn. If you got too many people, start unfollowing them and get that behemoth newsfeed down to a manageable amount. That is my tip for the unfollow, which is almost as important as the following. Okay. So if we go back into the newsfeed now what we want to do is we want to go through the new speed and again go back to that cocktail party analogy or the networking event analogy where you think about being in a room with different people, having different conversations.

That’s what your newsfeed is and you want to go through the newsfeed and you want to begin looking for conversations that you might want to be a part of today’s international women’s day. And so any, any woman that I see that is, I’m, you know, a first connection to I feel a kinship. We’re all celebrating international women’s day together. So here’s Jules. I recently connected with Jules. I really like her, she’s nice. We, we’ve connected, we, we, you know, sent messages back and forth and I really think she does nice quality writing. And here she has some really lovely pictures. And so I would stop and I would read this and I would go through and she’s talking about you know, post, I love this post. A picture of the one woman who inspires you the most in the comments and then just tag them or you know if they’re on, if they’re on LinkedIn.

So I’m going to come back and read Jules and I’ve probably will like play, I hate to say the word play cause it sounds so silly but meaning I’ll be part of this conversation because I think it’s a lovely conversation talking about women who that are an inspiration to us. And I actually thought of doing a post like this so I don’t need to do that now cause Jule’s did it. So I’m going to come back in and I’m going to add my 2 cents of who inspires me. So I’ll make a mental note to do that. And the nice thing about LinkedIn is you don’t have to make mental notes. LinkedIn has this cool little feature here where if you click on these three dots, it has saved for later. And then that way I looked down over here and where am I saved? Here’s my saved items.

And so I can go click. And then that way I don’t miss, I don’t miss Jules. This posts, I can come back, go to my saved items, I can find this post, there’ll be at the top of it, and then I can respond. Uh, usually I respond in the moment, but right now I’m busy talking to you guys so I can’t do that. Anyways, I would go through the newsfeed and just see is there any conversations here that I want to be a part of. And especially if somebody is a first connection, if they’re a first connection to me, I want to go through and really see what they have to say. And you begin to recognize people over and over again that really have some great information to share. Heidi, Heidi Medina, she is not somebody I am connected to. I’m simply following her, but she has, she has some really interesting posts.

So I like to read what she has to say and I would just go through and, Oh, this is so cute with the little cartoon and the women’s. So I’d probably come back and want to do something about this too. So I’m probably going to spend a lot of time on LinkedIn today because it is international women’s day. That’s very important. It is very nice to go through here and find the conversations that you want to be a part of and then stop, give a comment if you like how other people have commented. You know, I always try to like a post and then I add my comment and then I like to read through other people’s comments and see what other people have to say. And if I like it, I’m like comment or at the very least I give him the thumbs ups.

I like to give people as much feedback as possible. I just kind of see it as like paying it all forward. And just, this is just like such a wonderful message today. Empowering women, you know, empowered women. I, I love it. I love it. I love international women’s day. It’s a great thing and I really feel that I have uh, created our cultivated a really nice tribe of people on LinkedIn that I really feel are like community, like shared shared friends, shared shared colleagues that you would come in and have wonderful conversations with. And a lot of times I go offline and I and I talk with people about different things. It’s just really become a neat, neat place. So I like that. Okay. So I said I was going to show you one more thing. So I’m going to show you how once you’re connected to somebody you can go through and maybe find other people in their network that you might want to connect with.

I’m going to go ahead and use my sister because I know she won’t mind so I’m just going to go ahead and type in her name. And there is my sister who is also my business partner. So if I go ahead and have a look at my sister, I see that my sister has 500 plus connections and my sister and I are first level connected to each other. So if I click on this 500 plus connections, I now see all of the people that my sister’s connected to. So my sister actually has 900 plus results. And at this point I might go through here and I might say, Oh, I’d like to, you know, here’s somebody who’s a ghost writer. I think I maybe would like to connect with that person as well. So anybody who’s second connections means I’m not connected to them. My sister is.

So now I might want to go through my sister’s connections and say, Hmm, this might be somebody that would be somebody I would be interested in, in, uh, connecting with. So I would simply, uh, I can go ahead and click here and then I can send, if I liked their profile at this point, I see, Oh, it’s somebody in Tucson, Arizona. It’s where I used to live in Arizona. So if I wanted to connect with this person, I would just click to connect and then I can add a note. And they would see that we share 17 mutual connections. They’re more likely to connect with me because I’m not a stranger to them. So that’s one thing that I highly suggest. If you have, don’t have a lot of people in your network, go through the people that you are now connected with and look through their people and see if there’s somebody that you would be interested in connecting with and know that since you’re already connected to who they’re connected to, you’re more likely to get, um, your invitation done.

Another too is you can go through and do a search and you can narrow it down. So you can go up here and you can do a search field. So if I was looking for realtors in Arizona or something like this, I could go ahead and do a people search and I could narrow it down and I can put locations and all sorts of different things. So you can go through, I think there’s a limit on how many searches you can do, but there’s no limit of going through other people’s connections that you’re already connected to and looking for more to help grow your network. So that kind of gives you an overview of what I do when I come into LinkedIn. One of the things that I wanted to leave you with is someone who I highly recommend following. And that is John Espirian. He is just so talented, so bright.

No so much. I have learned so much on LinkedIn from John and John has, um, who was one of the hashtags I follow and he does, he does a blog post. He does the most interesting, interesting LinkedIn posts. Um, just all around really nice guy, really nice guy. And he actually has a course called How Not to be a LinkedIn Loser and you know, you can come here for free and you can actually hire John and he’ll work with you and you know, help you with your profile and stuff. But he has this course and it’s three hours. It’s like a really comprehensive course and he goes through and teaches you everything that you need to know about how not to be, you know, he goes through with your tactics and you know, your profile and getting everything all set up. So, um, this is a program I would highly recommend to come in here and do.

And he’s just got the cutest little Bitmoji guy, John that shows up everywhere. He’s just hoping he’s got so much character and it’s $110 and you get a, sorry, 110 pounds, which is I think like probably 145 American dollars if you’re American. And you can come here and stream and watch his videos and I think he’s got some PDFs and slides and all sorts of different things. So if you really need help with LinkedIn, go to John. And also too, if you need some good copywriting, he’s like probably one of the best copywriters that I have seen. He’s really, really talented. Go ahead and put his a website and the notes below so that you can click and also come to LinkedIn and uh, you know, just, just type for John. Here he is. John Espirian, just type John Espirian into LinkedIn. Um, I’m telling you, he is just a wealth of information, just so much great stuff.

He’s got a book coming out next month, all sorts of different things. Just go through and read his posts and just all sorts of really, really good stuff.

That’s it for me today with another episode of social media marketing. Easy-peasy, because marketing your small business with social media should be easy peasy. If you liked this video, please give it a thumbs up. Leave me a comment. I respond to all comments, and if you’d like to watch the next episode of any of the videos that we do on the Launch4Life YouTube channel, go ahead and subscribe. Just click and subscribe and we would just be so happy if you did that. Have a great day.