I wanted to dedicate a post to a newish LinkedIn feature that enables the platform’s users to spotlight other members of their LinkedIn network by sharing someone’s profile with their LinkedIn connections. You can also share your own profile to your network.

You can share your profile with any of your 1st-degree connections and coworkers from the introduction card on your profile. This can help you to grow your network, or to increase your chance of finding and securing professional opportunities.

To share your profile:

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Click View profile.
  3. Click the More button in your introduction card.
  4. Select Share Profile from the dropdown menu. You’ll be redirected to a new message window.
  5. In the new message window, type a name or multiple names of the connection(s) you wish to share your profile with. Note: Your public profile URL will populate in the text box.
  6. You can include a personalized message in the field provided, and/or attach media to send to the recipient(s).
  7. Click Send.

You can also use the Share Profile feature to introduce any LinkedIn member to someone in your network who may benefit from knowing them.

To share a member’s profile:

  1. Navigate to the profile of the member whose profile you’d like to share.
  2. Click the More button on their introduction card.
  3. Select Share Profile from the dropdown menu. You’ll be redirected to a new message window.
  4. In the new message window, type a name or multiple names of the connection(s) with whom you want to share the profile.
  5. Click send.
  6. You can also share a profile from your home screen in the write a post dialogue box. You’ll see the option to share a post now on the bottom left hand side (see screenshot).

Check it out and let me know what you think of this new feature.

While quality is always better than quantity when it comes to the number of LinkedIn connections you have, most business professionals who use LinkedIn can increase the number of connections they have on the platform.

LinkedIn is a great place to network with other professionals who could become business partners, referral sources, clients or even employees.

For every first degree connection you add to your LinkedIn network, you instantly gain hundreds of 2nd-degree connections and thousands of 3rd-degree connections. And if one of your connections likes one of your posts, their connections have the potential to see that update, so when you increase your connections by one person, you’re actually increasing your network by thousands. This is why it’s so important to actively add connections rather than to just sit back and accept connection requests from others.

Here are some ideas on how to create a strategic connections plan to find contacts and maximize your network.

  • While you automatically follow the companies of any companies past and present you list in the experience section of your LinkedIn profile, you’ll need to request to join the alumni groups of these former companies and reconnect with former classmates/colleagues with whom you’ve lost touch who are also members of those groups.
  • There is tremendous value in being a member of key industry groups on LinkedIn where you can find like-minded professionals, and share content that establishes you as a subject matter expert and expand your network. Perhaps most importantly, belonging to a group instantly grants you access to sending connection invites to every other member within that group.
  • Each time you add a company to your list of prior jobs, you automatically follow that company but not its accompanying alumni group, so you manually need to find the corresponding alumni group and request membership. You should join the LinkedIn alumni groups of each educational institution you attended and prior law firm (even defunct firms have robust alumni networks and gatherings).  Then search for contacts through these companies/groups and add them to your network. Make a list of individuals with whom you haven’t been in touch from law school and former employers and once you connect with them, reach out to touch base – this is the perfect time to reestablish connections.
  • Review your connections’ connections – who do they know who you know? This is why it’s a good idea to link in with colleagues and former colleagues so that you can see their connections and then add them to your network.
  • Look through your competitors’ connections – this is a great source of CI and shared contacts.
  • Consider connecting with certain friends and family members. We often overlook mixing our personal and professional lives together and we shouldn’t – as oftentimes this is from where potential business opportunities come.
  • Connect with anyone who engages with your content or content in which you’re mentioned.
  • Connect with anyone who follows you – note that follow is different than connecting – an individual can choose to follow you (without connecting to you) depending on your settings in order to follow your posts. I always take it a step further and invite them to join my network if they’ve elected to follow me.
  • Utilize the “People You May Know” feature. The more you use it and choose to connect with the potential connections it suggests for you (based on your connections’ connections, past education, employers, education and interests), the more targeted your future connection suggestions will be.
  • Reconcile your LinkedIn contacts with your Outlook address book and CRM system. Most people today don’t send an email to let you know that they are leaving their job along with their new contact information/vCard. They usually just update the information on LinkedIn, so it’s up to you to do the due diligence to find out where they landed and then most importantly, to update their contact information in your CRM system to ensure that they still will receive client alerts/invites, etc. (What’s the point of having all of these great professional contacts if they aren’t getting your mailings? At the very least, make sure to share them on LinkedIn.)
  • Beware of LinkedIn’s mass “Import Your Contacts” prompt. I recommend that you never click on any of the prompts on LinkedIn where it asks you to upload your address book or send a mass LinkedIn invite to your contacts. You can wind up inviting every single person in your address from the history of time. Like your gardener. Your grandma. Your high school boyfriend. Only do this if you really want to be in touch with these people and field their confused questions about why you’re adding them to your professional network. Unfortunately there is no way to invite everyone from your address book in one mass invite to connect with you on LinkedIn.

Building your LinkedIn network takes time – but I promise it’s well worth the effort especially now in this time of social distancing. LinkedIn will be the most important tool for business networking for the foreseeable future.

No matter how old you are or what you do, someone will stab you in the back at some point in your life.

I have been betrayed both personally and professionally, and sometimes I’ve seen it coming and other times, it completely caught me off guard. I usually have a strong intuition, but sometimes it kicks in too late, as I am a very trusting and open person.

Unfortunately there are just some people in this world who think that lying, hurting others, causing drama spreading gossip is necessary to get ahead or entertaining. These are dangerous people who you should try and avoid at all costs.

Each of us (I hope) tries to be a good person every day. You show people you are a good person by taking actions consistent with what you define as being a good person.

Continue Reading What to Do When Someone Stabs You in the Back

Here’s an easy and essential LinkedIn tip that everyone should do ASAP – create a custom LinkedIn profile URL.

Until you create your customized LinkedIn profile URL, your LinkedIn profile is going to have a suboptimal URL attached to it, full of numbers and letters, which is not very user friendly or easily shared with your network. The main point of LinkedIn is giving others the ability to quickly and easily find and connect with you.

You have to create your own customized LinkedIn profile URL in order to use your LinkedIn profile in your branding.

Having a custom LinkedIn URL also helps with SEO on major search engines.

Luckily it’s easy to create your own LinkedIn profile URL. If you have a common name, you might have to modify your name in the URL. So mine is stefaniemarrone for example.

Learn more.

I wanted to discuss an issue that keeps coming up for my clients that may also be happening for some of you. This involves when someone from a company has administrative rights to a LinkedIn company page who no longer works at their company and that former employee is the only administrator of the page.

How to become the administrator of a LinkedIn company page

Designated administrator rights are automatically granted to the creator of a LinkedIn Page. Designated administrators can add all types of admins to a Page. LinkedIn can’t provide Page admin information to members or replace or remove administrators. LinkedIn recommends keeping  a record of your page admins and sharing this information with your organization’s HR department. To request LinkedIn Page or Showcase Page admin rights:

  1. List your current position with the organization on your profile.
  2. Go to the Page you’d like admin access to.
  3. Click the  More icon and select Request admin access from the dropdown menu.
  4. Click the checkbox to verify that you’re authorized to become an admin of the page.
  5. Click Request access. You’ll see a notification indicating that your request was successfully sent. Note: This grants all current Designated Admins access to your public profile information.
  6. You’ll receive an email notification once you’ve been granted page admin access.

In order to become a company page admin, you must fit the following LinkedIn criteria.

  • You’re a current company employee and your position is on your profile.
  • A company email address (e.g. stefanie@companyname.com) is one of the confirmed email addresses on your LinkedIn account.
  • You associate your profile with the right company. You must click on a name from the company name dropdown list when you edit or add a position on your profile.
  • Your company’s email domain is unique to the company.
  • Your profile must be more than 50% complete.
  • You must have several connections (usually a minimum of 10)
  • Next, visit your company’s LinkedIn page. If someone has already claimed the page, you should see messaging at the top of the page that says “ask an admin for access”
  • If the person in charge is no longer an employee of your business, you need to connect with this admin. If they accept you as a connection, send them a message asking them to give you ownership of the page. You may want to share LinkedIn’s instructions for adding a company administrator.
  • From there, you should be notified when you have successfully been added as an admin of the page.

But what if you can’t connect with them or if they don’t accept your invite or give you access to the page? Let’s say the current company page administrator is a former employee and won’t accept your request to connect (awkward) – well you do have alternative options. In cases like this, it’s best to reach out directly to LinkedIn support.  Visit the LinkedIn Contact Us page and fill out the form. LinkedIn is good about responding to these types of requests quickly. In addition, you can reach out to LinkedIn via its Twitter account specifically for questions and support requests: https://twitter.com/LinkedInHelp/.

Whatever you do, try and recover the page or else you will need to start a new page and it will be confusing to your employees and you will have to start from scratch.

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Last week, I presented a virtual CLE program for Perrin Conferences  with Amster Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP partner Charley Macedo on “Social Media Best Practices to Help Build Your Personal Brand and Your Business.”

In the program, Charley and I explored the growing importance of social media and how to use it to build relationships in a time of social distancing, tips for identifying how to build your brand and business on social media, and how to create an engaging LinkedIn profile to enhance your presence, how to maximize your LinkedIn company page, easy ways to repurpose content across LinkedIn and multiple social media platforms and how to position yourself as a leader and authority on social media.

It’s never been more important to use social media to build your brand and business than it is right now during the time of social distancing. The tips we provided in this webinar will help lawyers and professionals at any level and in any industry.

You can purchase the CLE recording of the program here.

This is not the year to take a break from marketing during the summer.

Even under the best circumstances, it’s incredibly important to ensure your current clients are happy and that you are consistently generating new sources of leads and referrals. This is the time to focus on your ongoing business development and branding efforts. I can’t stress enough how important this is during the time of social distancing.

Here are 25 ideas on how to do that in my latest JD Supra article, which now involves shifting your strategy from in-person networking and client entertaining to having a strong online presence and thought leadership platform.

The ideas include:

  • Build strong relationships
  • Reevaluate your business’ goals for the year
  • Get to know your top clients better
  • Reconnect with former clients
  • Develop a smart and inexpensive visual content strategy
  • Provide personalized, value-added content
  • Enhance and update your bio and LinkedIn profile
  • Become involved with your alumni associations
  • Find ways to help your contacts
  • Ensure that all practice area/industry descriptions on your web site reflect current market conditions
  • Volunteer on a bar association committee, for a social cause or a pro bono project

Read the full article for more tips.

In what shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, LinkedIn has reported that it’s seeing a massive increase in company posts mentioning ‘COVID-19’ and ‘working from home.”

What is interesting is to note the engagement that these posts have received and how LinkedIn’s members have responded to coronavirus-related content, which may provide some helpful indicators for your company page strategy.

LinkedIn has shared some new insights on both fronts. LinkedIn has seen a massive spike in company page posts mentioning COVID-19, which is not surprising given the current state of the world. LinkedIn specifically notes that the coronavirus posts that received the most engagement were about how companies were stepping up to help relief efforts. If your company is helping the community – in big or small ways – make sure to promote that on your social media channels (but not in a boastful way).

“Working from home” related posts have seen an even bigger jump in engagement on LinkedIn across the globe as workers adjust to this new normal. This is again not surprising, so if you have any content about how your employees are adjusting to working from home or tips on efficiently working from home – post them.

LinkedIn provided a listing of the specific words that appeared most often in the posts that have resonated with users. They are:

  • Health
  • Help
  • People
  • Employees
  • Support
  • Social distancing
  • Health authorities
  • Public health
  • Healthcare workers

It’s unsurprising that working from home and COVID-19 content continue to be top topics for LinkedIn users, so if are looking for ways to better connect with your followers, add some of these topics into your content marketing strategy. One word of caution – don’t overpost on these topics or you risk that your audience will get content fatigue when it comes to these subjects. Intersperse other content throughout your editorial calendar for maximum engagement.

Over the past few months, you may have noticed LinkedIn’s post composer quick links growing, with more options to help guide what you post about on the platform (and make it easier for you to post).

Most LinkedIn users are now seeing six different custom post creation options at the bottom of their LinkedIn post composer (in your main news feed) – they are:

  • Celebrate an occasion
  • Create a job
  • Find an expert
  • Create a poll
  • Share a profile
  • Offer help

The more recent additions are polls, which LinkedIn added in May, ‘Offer help,’ which it launched last month in light of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and a new ‘Share a profile’ option, which it also added last month, which enables users to showcase one of your connections via a post – a very useful tool to build relationships with others in your network.

The options follow Facebook’s lead in guiding users as to what to share, as LinkedIn looks for more ways to keep members posting often, while also providing new tools to assist those looking for professional assistance during the pandemic.

Parent company Microsoft reported earlier this year that LinkedIn is seeing record levels of engagement, which has only increased during COVID-19.

Part of that has been improvements to its algorithm to ensure better distribution of content from all users, while LinkedIn has added new tools, like Stories, to maximize interaction and keep more updates flowing through user feeds.

It is interesting to note how LinkedIn is looking to emphasize specific types of engagement and facilitate simpler posting – while it also continues to promote hashtag use and topic following options to maximize utility.

The options also add new considerations for your LinkedIn strategy. Highlighting specific profiles – or getting people to highlight yours – could be a good way to boost awareness, while Stories (still only available in some regions) and polls obviously facilitate new opportunities. LinkedIn hasn’t made a big deal about these new post quick link options, but it’s worth keeping an eye on which ones appear in your composer, and considering how you might be able to utilize them to maximize your platform performance.

And more enhancements are coming – LinkedIn is also working on new visual presentation tools and other options which could eventually see their own quick links.

I get a lot of social media questions, and I wanted to take the opportunity to answer them in a new “Ask Me Anything” regular series.

Here’s the first question I received, “How do I restart a LinkedIn company page after a year of not posting anything on it?”

The answer is simple. No one is following your company page closely enough to notice that you haven’t been posting on it, so if you are serious and strategic about building up your LinkedIn company page’s content and followers, you can easily do it at any point, but make a commitment to be consistent with it from this point forward in order to stay top of mind with clients, prospects, employees, recruits, the media and others who are interested in your organization.

Consistency is really important when it comes to success on LinkedIn but also because it’s one of the characteristics associated with a good lawyer. You don’t want to have fits and spurts with your LinkedIn page because it can also harm your professional reputation once you build a following.

I can’t stress enough the importance of having a strong social media presence on the channels on which your clients and prospects are, and for most law firms and professional service firms, LinkedIn is the most important social media business networking platform. So if you don’t have a LinkedIn company page, or you have one but have never posted to it or posted on it a long time ago, now is the time to start using it in a meaningful way as online networking and branding has never been more important due to the pandemic and constraints on in-person gatherings.

By being consistent, I mean posting regularly to the page (at least once a week) with content of value to your followers and developing a strategic social media strategy that includes an editorial calendar with future posts, the right hashtags and correctly sized visuals to accompany the news, thought leadership, practices and people you want to highlight from your business.

You can always restart a LinkedIn company page, or any social media platform for that matter. The key is to be committed to its growth and development from a content and audience perspective. If you don’t have the time to manage the platform yourself or you aren’t sure what types of content to post on it or you’re worried about running out of things to say, seek the help of a trained marketing professional at your firm or outsource it to someone like me.

I’d love to answer other questions you have!

Note: Join me on Wednesday, July 15 at 1pm ET for a free virtual program on LinkedIn and personal branding best practices for business professionals who are currently looking for a job. Register here.