Archive for September, 2011

Using LinkedIn Recommendations and how to post those you receive from other sources

 

LinkedIn recommendations are very powerful.  Even though you would only post the favorable ones, they still give your readers someone else’s view of who you are and what you offer should they contact you.  We know the power of our personal testimony when we witness to a non-believer, but too many Christians don’t take advantage of that power in representing their ministry.  If you were looking for a new church, think about how helpful it would be to see 5-10 opinions of what others have found before you actually visit.  Also, remember how helpful it is when you are shopping online to read recommendations from other users.  There’s no doubt that recommendations can influence decisions and actions, so isn’t it time to get started.

 

The “best” way to get recommendations is to first ‘give’ some.  Pick 3-4 of your contacts ‘each week’ that you know personally (or through ministry/products received), and that you feel comfortable about recommending, and send them a recommendation.  When they receive your unsolicited recommendation they will be blessed.  When they accept your recommendation, LinkedIn suggests they send you one.  By sending 3-4 each week, you receive a ‘constant stream’ of recommendations that reinforce the message they send.

 

If you receive a recommendation from a non-LinkedIn user (i.e. in a thank you letter), you can suggest they join LinkedIn and send it through the LinkedIn system.  If it’s from someone who doesn’t want to join LinkedIn, or perhaps it’s an older recommendation from someone you can no longer contact, you can scan it, or retype it and make a .pdf of the recommendation.  Once it’s in .pdf format, you can post it in your LinkedIn profile in the ‘box.net’ files.  (You have to add the box.net files to your profile first if you don’t already have it).  Use a description that shows what the file is, like “Letter of recommendation from a Pastor (or ministry receiver) about my work with them”.  To further enhance that recommendation you could use a quote or two from the recommendation in your LinkedIn summary, and note the complete recommendation can be found in your ‘box.net’ files.

 

By adding recommendations to your LinkedIn profile, you profile further becomes a ‘selling’ tool for your ministry.  Be sure to customize your LinkedIn public profile URL, and then you can add it to your business cards, ministry brochures, and emails to help build your trust, your credibility, and your ministry success.

 

As always, thank you for reading Linked4Ministry.  If you are new here, the best way to receive all the new posts is to subscribe for e-mail updates at the top right.  If you have been following Linked4Ministry and find it helpful, please consider sharing it with other ministry partners that it could benefit.  It’s easy to do by clicking on the following buttons, and it’s OK to click more than one !

Blessings,
Bill Bender
Linked4Ministry & Anothen Life Ministries

 

 

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Are You Using Your LinkedIn Headline Properly?

Are You Using Your LinkedIn Headline Properly?

Are first impressions important?  Do most people form first impressions for those that they see, meet, or listen to the first time?  Everything I’ve learned indicates that first impressions are important and probably even more important in social media because we can’t see the other person to gauge their reaction to how we look, what we’ve written, or how we write.

We each have our own individual goals that we should have identified and written a plan of what needs to be done to accomplish them.  Regardless of our individual goals, our goal in social media is to get others to pay attention to us, look at our LinkedIn profile, check out our facebook page, or follow us on twitter.  It’s not easy with so much competition for attention on the internet.  Sam Richter just posted some social marketing statistics that began with 3 interesting facts; “20 percent of searches on Google each day have Never been searched for before”, “There are more than 3.5 billion pieces of content shared each week on facebook”, and “53 percent of people on Twitter recommend companies or their products in their tweets”.  If we don’t stand out from the crowd, we cannot achieve our other goals to grow our ministries!

 

LinkedIn headlines are the “First Thing” LinkedIn users see right after your name and photo.

For the most part, LinkedIn headlines are not recognized, not understood, ignored, or not used.  It’s mostly a matter of not being aware of where to input a LinkedIn headline, or what a headline should be.  When you look at a LinkedIn profile, the headline is one of the first things you see, right after the photo and name.

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Your LinkedIn Headline is also seen in other locations like group discussions.  If someone initiates or contributes to a discussion and a viewer wants to see more about the person, letting their mouse hover over the photo will bring up their photo, name and headline.  The goal is for the headline and the posting to encourage viewers to check out your entire profile, including your websites, summary, and recommendations.

 

 

Most Headlines don’t tell the whole story

For most LinkedIn profiles, the headline is the person’s title for their current position.  If you don’t specifically enter your own LinkedIn headline, LinkedIn provides a headline for you based on your most recently entered position.

LinkedIn’s instructions say your own headline will be much more effective than the one they select.

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What should your Headline be?

Your LinkedIn Headline should attract attention, get people to want to know more about you, and tell them what they might expect from you or your ministry.  I’ll use my own ministries as an example.  I’ve tried to highlight two ministries in my headline; (1) Anothen Life, which is a deliverance and inner healing ministry, and (2) Linked4Ministry, which helps other Christian ministries use LinkedIn and other social media. 

Anothen Life – If I used “Creator, Director, etc. of Anothen Life” those that didn’t know what Anothen Life was, would have no idea what I did, and probably not encouraged many to seek out more information.  By using “Anothen Life helps you eliminate things that you thought you had to live with”, I’ve included a hint of what deliverance and inner healing is, what it can do for the viewer, and added in a bit of curiosity to get viewers to investigate more.

Linked4Ministry – Since the name Linked4Ministry doesn’t tell what the ministries are linked for, using “Creator at Linked4Ministry wouldn’t be very informative.  Instead I used part of the Linked4Ministry ‘tagline’ “Linked4Ministry extends your ministries reach”.  I would have preferred to use the full tagline “Linked4Ministry helps Christian Ministries extend their reach into the kingdom”, but the number of characters was limited.

This isn’t an easy choice or a quick decision; it may take some time and trials to get it right.  I changed mine several times before I was satisfied.  Ask others that know your ministry or goals for their input, and give them your thoughts for their feedback.  To get you thinking, consider creating your ministry 20 second “elevator speech” – that is what you might tell someone in an elevator or in a coffee line who asks what your ministry is about.  You want it to be something that describes your ministry, and they will remember after you’ve parted ways.

 

How To Enter, or Change Your LinkedIn Headline

To enter, or change your LinkedIn headline, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Let your mouse hover over “Profile” in the top menu bar.
  2. Click on “Edit Profile”.
  3. Click on the blue word “Edit” just after your name.
  4. Enter your custom headline in the block titled “Professional ‘Headline’”.
  5. Click on “Save Changes” at the bottom.

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Summary:

Don’t waste this important LinkedIn feature by leaving it out or settling for your title.  Using a creative, attention getting, and informative LinkedIn Headline will help you gain attention, get connections, gain trust and credibility, and help you spread the Gospel.

 

As always, thank you for reading Linked4Ministry.  If you are new here, the best way to receive all the new posts is to subscribe for e-mail updates at the top right.  If you have been following Linked4Ministry and find it helpful, please consider sharing it with other ministry partners that it could benefit.  It’s easy to do by clicking on the following buttons, and it’s OK to click more than one !

Blessings,
Bill Bender
Linked4Ministry & Anothen Life Ministries

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