Archive for January, 2012

Are You Receiving the Full Benefit from LinkedIn?

It’s easy to sign up for social media sites and only use them for a messaging service, checking out your friends latest photos, and keeping up with what friends are doing.  LinkedIn is different; it was designed for “professional networking”, and can be a great tool for building your trust, credibility, and publicity for your ministry and your career. 

If you aren’t using all LinkedIn’s features and receiving all their benefits, 2012 is a great time to ramp up your results by looking at some other uses that might help you ‘extend your reach into the kingdom’.  Here’s a few to consider:

Complete your LinkedIn profile – Of course your LinkedIn profile will always need frequent updates, but be sure you’ve posted a professional head shot (photos say you are real), your LinkedIn headline is not just your title (this should be a reason others will look at your profile to see who you are), your LinkedIn public profile (URL) has been customized to just your name (so it’s easy to use and looks professional), your summary is both informative and interesting (this might be all others see and will know about you), your current and past experience is included with quantifiable results (what have you done), your education and credentials are included (are you qualified), and you’ve included at least an app or two (Reading list by Amazon, etc.) to show a bit more about yourself.  The bottom line is if someone looks at your profile, will they see all they need to know who you are and why they will want to contact you?

Be an active, professional networker – Your network is important to you, but do you make them feel that way?  It’s easy to get overwhelmed as your network grows so maintaining communications is critical.  Let your contacts know what you’re doing, but don’t just push your services and products, share things that offer real value to them.  Change your LinkedIn Status (several times a week is good) with links to articles that your network will find helpful or interesting.  Scan through your Network Updates (on your LinkedIn Home screen) every day or two.  If you see one of your contacts has changed positions, is involved in something interesting, or posted an interesting link, congratulate them or let them know the link was interesting.

Participate in your groups, and search for new ones that might be helpful – LinkedIn groups are one of the most helpful ways to connect with new, influential, and valuable people in LinkedIn.  Search for and join LinkedIn groups that are focused on your interests.  If you have a “target” contact list, you can join groups they are in (as long as those groups would also be helpful for you).  Once in the group, read through the discussions and look for ones you can add value to.  Those valuable comments are frequently noticed by others in the group, giving you a perfect opportunity to communicate directly with them, and even invite them to join your network.

Get a few recommendations – Recommendations tell readers what others know about you and why to contact you.  Don’t just send out requests to everyone you know.  The best strategy is for you to send 2-3 recommendations to your connections each week.  Many will respond with their recommendation for you.  If you do request recommendations, send some examples of what you’d like them to include, it makes it easier for them to write and you’ll get the results you desire.

Create a “Company” or ministry page – A company page is used to share additional details about your company’s products and services, as well as comments made by clients.  It provides an additional internet location for you and other employees and partners to be found by LinkedIn and other internet searches.

Create a LinkedIn Group – If your ministry might benefit from a continual connection to a specific group of clients, partners, etc. you can create a LinkedIn group.  The group options allow you to approve members and even comments members post, or leave it as an open group that anyone can join or post comments.

Be aware of your competition – Have you researched other ‘competitive’ or ‘partner’ ministries to see how they are using LinkedIn?  It’s always helpful to see what others have done to give you ideas on how to present your ministry and yourself on the internet.

Advertise Events – The events app can be especially helpful for ministries located in a small geographic area or advertising web events for a larger audience.  It also gives you an opportunity to see what events others are hosting or attending to see if they might interest you.

This is only a small list of things that LinkedIn participation can help you ‘extend your reach into the kingdom’ with.  The key is making the time (10-15 minutes a day, or an hour or two a week) to make use of LinkedIn’s features and benefits.  If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to send them to me at BillBenderLinkedIn <@> gmailcom.  That way of presenting an email address keeps the ‘web-bots’ from finding an email address to scam, just put a period or ampersand in place of theand <@> and leave out the spaces.


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 !

Bill Bender
Linked4Ministry & Anothen Life Ministries


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